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


All luxury corrupts either the morals or the taste.


O luxury! thou curst by heaven’s decree.


Avarice and luxury, those pests which have ever been the ruin of every great state.


Fell luxury! more perilous to youth than storms or quicksands, poverty or chains.

Hannah More.

On the soft bed of luxury, most kingdoms have expired.


Luxury is a word of uncertain signification, and may be taken in a good as in a bad sense.


Truly, one gets easier accustomed to a silken bed than to a sack of leaves.


Sedition is bred in the lap of luxury and its chosen emissaries are the beggared spendthrift and the impoverished libertine.


Luxury possibly may contribute to give bread to the poor; but if there were no luxury there would be no poor.

Henry Home.

Luxury is an enticing pleasure, a bastard mirth, which hath honey in her mouth, gall in her heart, and a sting in her tail.


We see the pernicious effects of luxury in the ancient Romans, who immediately found themselves poor as soon as this vice got footing among them.


Luxury makes a man so soft that it is hard to please him, and easy to trouble him; so that his pleasures at last become his burden. Luxury is a nice master, hard to be pleased.

Sir G. Mackenzie.

By luxury we condemn ourselves to greater torments than have yet been invented by anger or revenge, or inflicted by the greatest tyrants upon the worst of men.

Sir W. Temple.

Luxury, so far as it reaches the people, will do good to the race of people; it will strengthen and multiply them. Sir, no nation was ever hurt by luxury; for, as I said before, it can reach but a very few.


  • What will not luxury taste? Earth, sea, and air,
  • Are daily ransack’d for the bill of fare;
  • Blood stuff’d in skins is British Christians’ food,
  • And France robs marshes of the croaking brood.
  • Gay.

  • Sofas ’twas half a sin to sit upon,
  • So costly were they; carpets, every stitch
  • Of workmanship so rare, they make you wish
  • You could glide o’er them like a golden fish.
  • Byron.

    You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending it in luxury—you make them exert industry, whereas by giving it, you keep them idle.


    Luxury, that alluring pest with fair forehead, which, yielding always to the will of the body, throws a deadening influence over the senses, and weakens the limbs more than the drugs of Circe’s cup.


    The more various our artificial necessities, the wider is our circle of pleasure; for all pleasure consists in obviating necessities as they rise; luxury, therefore, as it increases our wants, increases our capacity for happiness.


    Garrick showed Dr. Johnson his fine house, gardens, statues, pictures, etc., at Hampton Court. “Ah! David, David,” said the doctor, “these are the things which make a deathbed terrible.”

    John Bate.

    Luxury and dissipation, soft and gentle as their approaches are, and silently as they throw their silken chains about the heart, enslave it more than the most active and turbulent vices.

    Hannah More.

    I know it is more agreeable to walk upon carpets than to lie upon dungeon floors, I know it is pleasant to have all the comforts and luxuries of civilization; but he who cares only for these things is worth no more than a butterfly, contented and thoughtless, upon a morning flower; and who ever thought of rearing a tombstone to a last summer’s butterfly?


  • There, in her den, lay pompous luxury,
  • Stretch’d out at length; no vice could boast such high
  • And genial victories as she had won;
  • Of which proud trophies there at large were shown,
  • Besides small states and kingdoms ruined
  • Those mighty monarchies that had o’erspread
  • The spacious earth, and stretch’d their conquering arms
  • From pole to pole, by her ensnaring charms
  • Were quite consum’d; there lay imperial Rome,
  • That vanquish’d all the world, by her o’ercome;
  • Fetter’d was th’ old Assyrian lion there;
  • The Grecian leopard, and the Persian bear;
  • With others numberless, lamenting by,
  • Examples of the power of luxury.
  • May.

    Let us consider what we call vicious luxury. No gratification, however sensual, can of itself be esteemed vicious. A gratification is only vicious when it engrosses all a man’s expense, and leaves no ability for such acts of duty and generosity as are required by his situation and fortune. The same care and toil that raise a dish of peas at Christmas would give bread to a whole family during six months.