Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Avarice
 
  It is by bribing, not so often by being bribed, that wicked politicians bring ruin on mankind. Avarice is a rival to the pursuits of many. It finds a multitude of checks, and many opposers, in every walk of life. But the objects of ambition are for the few; and every person who aims at indirect profit, and therefore wants other protection than innocence and law, instead of its rival, becomes its instrument. There is a natural allegiance and fealty due to this domineering, paramount evil, from all the vassal vices, which acknowledge its superiority, and readily militate under its banners; and it is under that discipline alone that avarice is able to spread to any considerable extent, or to render itself a general, public mischief.
Edmund Burke: Speech on the Nabob of Ascot’s Debts, Feb. 28, 1785.    
  1
 
  Had covetous men, as the fable goes of Briareus, each of them one hundred hands, they would all of them be employed in grasping and gathering, and hardly one of them in giving or laying out, but all in receiving and none in restoring: a thing in itself so monstrous that nothing in nature besides is like it, except it be death and the grave, the only things I know which are always carrying off the spoils of the world and never making restitution. For otherwise, all the parts of the universe, as they borrow of one another, so they still pay what they borrow, and that by so just and well-balanced an equality that their payments always keep pace with their receipts.
John Dryden.    
  2
 
  We are at best but stewards of what we falsely call our own; yet avarice is so insatiable that it is not in the power of liberality to content it.
Seneca.    
  3
 
  There is no vice which mankind carries to such wild extremes as that of avarice.
Jonathan Swift.    
  4
 
  Poverty is in want of much, but avarice of everything.
Publius Syrus.    
  5
 
 
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