C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Extravagance is its own destroyer.


Extravagance is the rich man’s pitfall.


Wisdom seldom consorts with extravagance.


  • Dreading that climax of all human ills,
  • The inflammation of his weekly bills.
  • Byron.

  • The man who builds, and wants wherewith to pay,
  • Provides a home from which to run away.
  • Young.

    There is hope in extravagance, there is none in routine.


    Expense of time is the most costly of all expenses.


    If extravagance were a fault, it would not have a place in the festivals of the gods.


    A large retinue upon a small income, like a large cascade upon a small stream, tends to discover its tenuity.


    That is suitable to a man in point of ornamental expense, not which he can afford to have, but which he can afford to lose.


    He who is extravagant will quickly become poor; and poverty will enforce dependence, and invite corruption.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Prodigality is indeed the vice of a weak nature, as avarice is of a strong one; it comes of a weak craving for those blandishments of the world which are easily to be had for money.

    Henry Taylor.

    Profuseness is a cruel and crafty demon, that gradually involves her followers in dependence and debt; that is, fetters them with irons that enter into their souls.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
  • And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
  • And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires,
  • And introduces hunger, frost and woe,
  • Where peace and hospitality might reign.
  • Cowper.

  • Mansions once
  • Knew their own masters, and laborious hinds,
  • That had surviv’d the father, serv’d the son.
  • Now the legitimate and rightful lord
  • Is but a transient guest, newly arrived,
  • And soon to be supplanted. He that saw
  • His patrimonial timber cast its leaf,
  • Sells the last scantling, and transfers the price
  • To some shrewd sharper ere it buds again.
  • Estates are landscapes, gazed upon awhile,
  • Then advertised and auctioneer’d away.
  • Cowper.

    The passion of acquiring riches in order to support a vain expense corrupts the purest souls.


    When parents put gold into the hands of youth, when they should put a rod under their girdle—when instead of awe they make them past grace, and leave them rich executors of goods, and poor executors of godliness, then it is no marvel that the son being left rich by his father’s will, becomes reckless by his own will.

    John Lyly.