If avarice be thy vice, yet make it not thy punishment. . . . Let the fruition of things bless the possession of them, and think it more satisfaction to live richly than die rich. For, since thy good works, not thy goods, will follow thee, since wealth is an appurtenance of life, and no dead man is rich, to famish in plenty, and live poorly to die rich, were a multiplying improvement in madness, and use upon use in folly.
Sir Thomas Browne.
Avarice, in old age, is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road, the nearer we approach to our journey's end ?
"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.
Avarice is the most opposite of all characters to that of God Almighty, whose alone it is to give and not receive. W. Shenstone.
All the good things of this world are no further good to us than as they are of use; and, whatever we may heap up to give to others, we enjoy only so much as we can use, and no more. D. Defoe.
Study rather to fill your minds than your coffers; knowing that gold and silver were originally mingled with dirt, until avarice or ambition parted them.
O cursed lust of gold! when for thy sake
The fool throws up his interest in both worlds;
First starved in this, then damned in that to come.
For of his wicked pelf his god he made,
And unto hell himself for money sold; Accursed usury was all his trade, And right and wrong alike in equal balance weighed.
.... Avarice o'ershoots Its destined mark; and, with abundance cursed, In wealth the ills of poverty endures.
Gold glitters most where virtue shines no more,
As stars from absent suns have leave to shine.
Of all that sold eternity for time,
None bargained on so easy terms with death:
Illustrious fool! nay, most inhuman wretch!
He sat among his bags, and, with a look
"Which hell might be ashamed of, drove the poor
Away unalmsed; and 'midst abundance died—
Sorest of evils—died of utter want. PolloTc.