Quotes about wealth.
- The international community . . . allows nearly 3 billion people—almost half of all humanity—to subsist on $2 or less a day in a world of unprecedented wealth.
- Kofi Annan, Awake! magazine May 22, 2002; Can Globalization Really Solve Our Problems?
- The people who believe most that our greatness and welfare are proved by our being very rich, and who most give their lives and thoughts to becoming rich, are just the very people whom we call the Philistines. Culture says: “Consider these people, then, their way of life, their habits, their manners, the very tones of their voice; look at them attentively; observe the literature they read, the things which give them pleasure, the words which come forth out of their mouths, the thoughts which make the furniture of their minds; would any amount of wealth be worth having with the condition that one was to become just like these people by having it?”
- Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy (1869), chapter 1, "Sweetness and Light"
- There are, while human miseries abound,
A thousand ways to waste superfluous wealth,
Without one fool or flatterer at your board,
Without one hour of sickness or disgust.
- John Armstrong, The Art of Preserving Health (1744), Book II, line 195.
- Riches are a good handmaiden, but the worst mistress.
- Francis Bacon, De dignitate et augmentis scientiarium, Part I. vi. 3. 6.
- In truth, poverty is an anomaly to rich people. It is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.
- Walter Bagehot, The Waverly Novels (1858).
- I'm not technically rich, but I do have a lot of shit that I don't need, and I refuse to share with others.
- Maria Bamford, American stand-up commedian. Quote from: The Now Show,a radio comedy show on BBC Radio 4, 2006.
- If I was as rich as Rockefeller I'd be richer than Rockefeller, because I'd do a bit of window cleaning on the side.
- Ronnie Barker (1929–2005), British actor and comedian. Quotation from The Two Ronnies television series.
- The desire for wealth is nearly universal, and none can say it is not laudable, provided the possessor of it accepts its responsibilities, and uses it as a friend to humanity.
- P. T. Barnum, 'Preserve Your Integrity', The Art of Money Getting (1880).
- Those that have wealth must be watchful and wary,
Power, alas! naught but misery brings!
- Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797–1839), English popular songwriter. I'd be a Butterfly.
- The wealth ov a person should be estimated, not bi the amount he haz, but bi the use he makes ov it.
- Josh Billings, His Works, Complete (1873).
- If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.
- Edmund Burke, Letters on a Regicide Peace.
- Penny wise, pound foolish.
- Robert Burton (1577–1640), The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), 'Democritus to the reader'
- The rich are the scum of the earth in every country.
- G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936), English author and mystery novelist, The Flying Inn (1914).
- It is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
- Jesus Christ, The New Testament, Luke 18:25.
- Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), III, 'The Garden', 263.
- The horseman serves the horse,
The neatherd serves the neat,
The merchant serves the purse,
The eater serves his meat;
'T is the day of the chattel,
Web to weave, and corn to grind;
Things are in the saddle,
And ride mankind.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Ode,” Complete Works (1883), vol. 9, p. 73
- Wealth changes hands—that is one of its peculiarities.
- Elbert Hubbard. 'George Peabody' Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen (1916).
- Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack (1736 edition).
- We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
- George Bernard Shaw, Candida, I.
- There is no Wealth but Life.
- John Ruskin, Unto This Last, IV (1860).
- The rich is the one that rules over those of little means, and the borrower is servant to the man doing the lending.
- In democratic countries, however opulent a man is supposed to be, he is almost always discontented with his fortune, because he finds that he is less rich than his father was, and he fears that his sons will be less rich than himself.
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835–40.
- That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
- Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 11th March 1856.
- Nothing incites to money-crimes like great poverty or great wealth.
- Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), American author and humorist. 'More Maxims of Mark,' p. 945, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, and Essays, 1891-1910, Library of America (1992).
- We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.
- Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice ~ quoted by Raymond Lonergan in Mr. Justice Brandeis, Great American (1941), p. 42.
- I'm a very large creator of wealth, I like that. I like finding new companies and investing in them very early and seeing an enormous amount of wealth being generated.
- Alberto Vilar, from his interview in The Sunday Times, 19th March 2000.
- Technology is begining to differentiate the haves and the have nots.
- Michael Capellas, Chief Executive, Compac Computers. As he stated on The Money Programme, BBC 2, 6th February 2000.
- The man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was his to administer during his life, will pass away unwept, unhonoured and insung no matter to what uses he leaves the dross which he cannot take with him.
- Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth and Other Timely Essays (1900).
- Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, 'Rich Boy', All the Sad Young Men (1926).
- I hate almost all rich people, but I think I'd be darling at it.
- Dorothy Parker (1893–1967), American writer, editor and poet. From her interview for The Paris Review, reprinted in Writers at Work, First Series (1958).
- No rich man is a patriot, no rich man is a friend. They have all only got one fatherland—the Ritz-Carlton; and one friend—the mistress they're promising to divorce their wives for.
- Christina Stead, House of All Nations, pub. by Simon & Schuster (1938).
- Few rich men own their property. The property owns them.
- Robert Ingersoll, Address to the McKinley League, New York, 29th October 1896.
- Is passing large sums of wealth on to your children good for them or right for society?
- Bill Gates, in his BBC television interview with Jeremy Paxman
- Infinite riches in a little room.
- Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta (c. 1592), Act I, scene 1.
- To suppose, as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and keep absolutely sober.
- Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946), American essayist and aphorist. 'In the World', Afterthoughts (1931).
- It is the wretchedness of being rich that you have to live with rich people.
- Logan Pearsall Smith, 'In the World', Afterthoughts (1931).
- Riches are oftener an impediment than a stimulus to action; and in many cases they are quite as much a misfortune as a blessing.
- Samuel Smiles, 19th C Scottish author and reformer. 'Money: Its Use and Abuse', Self-Help (1856), Chapter 10.
- I'm just a poor millionaire.
- Delia Smith. From her television interview at Norwich City football Club, concerniong her ownership of the club, c. 2000.
- I wonder why rich people always grow fat—I suppose it's because there's nothing to worry them.
- Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905).
- Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down.
- To be wealthy has never been a goal of mine. You can only spend so much and you cannot take it with you, so for me leaving a good body of work is more important.
- Philip Andre Mickey Rourke, Jr., American actor and screenwriter. Live magazine, The Mail on Sunday newspaper, 8th November 2009; Interviewed by Chris Sullivan
- People yelled Show me the money! and screamed it at me all the time. It was a catchphrase everybody was hungry for. It was accepted because people think that when they look at professional actors and the obscene amounts of money they get. This was making fun of that. It wasn't mean-spirited.
- Cuba Gooding Jr, American actor. From his interview in The Express (UK) newspaper, 18th September 1999.
- WEALTH. Any income that is at least $100 more a year than the income of one's wife's sister's husband.
- H. L. Mencken (1880–1956), American journalist and critic. From 'maxims' section in, A Book of Burlesques (1920).
- People who are rich want to be richer, but what's the difference? You can't take it with you. The toys get different, that's all. The rich guys buy a football team, the poor guys buy a football. It's all relative.
- Martina Navratilova, Czechoslovakian-American tennis player. Quotation from her autobiography, Martina (1985).
- Wealth doesn't confer automatic happiness, whereas people who are not wealthy but very much want to be, believe it will confer almost automatic and unrelieved happiness. This is not true. Part of the reason is that to get the wealth you have to behave in a way that will definitely not make you happy. It's a beautiful circularity.
- Felix Dennis, British magazine publisher, entrepreneur and author. From his interview with David Woodward for Director Magazine, September 2006.
- Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where theives break through and steal:
But lay up for your selves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where theives do not break through nor steal.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- The New Testament, Matthew 6:19–21.
- Good thoughts his only friends;
His wealth a well-spent age;
The earth his sober inn,
And quiet pilgrimage.
- Thomas Campion, poet (1567–1620), The Man Upright of Life.
- Though they suffer no restriction of choice, in reality even multi-millionaires soon reach the outer limits of purely personal gratification—which should be some satisfaction to the rest of us.
- Alan Whicker, British interviewer, journalist and author. Within Whicker's World (1982).
- The rich live the same all over the world.
- Christian Dior (1905–1957), French fashion designer. Quoted by Stanley Marcus in the book, Christian Dior, The Man who made the World Look New, by Marie-France Pochna (1996).
- Of a rich man who was niggardly he [Bion] said, That man does not own his estate, but his estate owns him.
- Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Book IV. 'Bion', iii.
- The proper amount of wealth is that which neither descends to poverty nor is far distant from it.
- Seneca, On Tranquility.
- It is a mere illusion that, above a certain income, the personal desires will be satisfied and leave a wider margin for the generous impulse.
- Robert Louis Stevenson, 'Henry David Thoreau', Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882).
- Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 864-67.
- I have mental joys and mental health,
Mental friends and mental wealth,
I've a wife that I love and that loves me;
I've all but riches bodily.
- William Blake, Mammon.
- Since all the riches of this world
May be gifts from the devil and earthly kings,
I should suspect that I worshipped the devil
If I thanked my God for worldly things.
- William Blake, Riches.
- But I have learned a thing or two; I know as sure as fate,
When we lock up our lives for wealth, the gold key comes too late.
- Will Carleton, The Ancient Miner's Story.
- Midas-eared Mammonism, double-barrelled Dilettantism, and their thousand adjuncts and corollaries, are not the Law by which God Almighty has appointed this His universe to go.
- Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, Chapter VI.
- Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.
- Andrew Carnegie, Gospel of Wealth.
- Las necedades del rico por sentencias pasan en el mundo.
- Non esse cupidum, pecunia est; non esse emacem, vectigal est; contentum vero suis rebus esse, maximæ sunt, certissimæque divitiæ.
- Not to be avaricious is money; not to be fond of buying is a revenue; but to be content with our own is the greatest and most certain wealth of all.
- Cicero, Paradoxa, 6. 3.
- Give no bounties: make equal laws: secure life and prosperity and you need not give alms.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wealth.
- Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wealth.
- If your Riches are yours, why don't you take them with you to t'other world?
- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard (1751).
- Who hath not heard the rich complain
Of surfeits, and corporeal pain?
He barr'd from every use of wealth,
Envies the ploughman's strength and health.
- John Gay, Fables (1727), The Cookmaid, Turnspit, and Ox.
- The ideal social state is not that in which each gets an equal amount of wealth, but in which each gets in proportion to his contribution to the general stock.
- Henry George, Social Problems, Chapter VI.
- And to hie him home, at evening's close,
To sweet repast, and calm repose.
* * *
From toil he wins his spirits light,
From busy day the peaceful night;
Rich, from the very want of wealth,
In heaven's best treasures, peace and health.
- Thomas Gray, Ode on the Pleasure Arising from Vissisitude, line 87. Last two lines said to have been added by the Rev. William Mason, Gray's biographer.
- A little house well fill'd, a little land well till'd, and a little wife well will'd, are great riches.
- Written in a copy of the Grete Herbal (1516). "A little farm well tilled, / A little barn well filled, / A little wife well willed— / Give me, give me." As adapted by James Hook in The Soldier's Return.
- Dame Nature gave him comeliness and health,
And Fortune (for a passport) gave him wealth.
- W. Harte, Eulogius, 411.
- For wealth, without contentment, climbs a hill,
To feel those tempests which fly over ditches.
- George Herbert, The Church Porch, Stanza 19.
- It cannot be repeated too often that the safety of great wealth with us lies in obedience to the new version of the Old World axiom—Richesse oblige.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., A Mortal Antipathy, Introduction.
- Base wealth preferring to eternal praise.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book XXIII, line 368. Pope's translation.
- These riches are possess'd, but not enjoy'd!
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book IV, line 118. Pope's translation.
- Know from the bounteous heavens all riches flow;
And what man gives, the gods by man bestow.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XVIII, line 26. Pope's translation.
- Imperat aut servit collecta pecunia cuique.
- Riches either serve or govern the possessor.
- Horace, Epistles, I. 10. 47.
- Omnis enim res,
Virtus, fama, decus, divina, humanaque pulchris
- For everything divine and human, virtue, fame, and honor, now obey the alluring influence of riches.
- Horace, Satires, II. 3. 94.
- Et genus et virtus, nisi cum re, vilior alga est.
- Noble descent and worth, unless united with wealth, are esteemed no more than seaweed.
- Horace, Satires, II. 5. 8.
- And you prate of the wealth of nations, as if it were bought and sold,
The wealth of nations is men, not silk and cotton and gold.
- Richard Hovey, Peace.
- We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
- Samuel Johnson, remarking on the sale of Thrale's Brewery (1781).
- Poor worms, they hiss at me, whilst I at home
Can be contented to applaud myself, * * * with joy
To see how plump my bags are and my barns.
- Ben Jonson, Every Man Out of His Humour, Act I, scene 1.
- Private credit is wealth, public honour is security. The feather that adorns the royal bird supports his flight; strip him of his plumage, and you fix him to the earth.
- Junius, Letter 42. Jan. 30, 1771.
- Rarus enim ferme sensus communis in illa
- Common sense among men of fortune is rare.
- Juvenal, Satires, VIII. 73.
- Dives fieri qui vult
Et cito vult fieri.
- He who wishes to become rich wishes to become so immediately.
- Juvenal, Satires, XIV. 176.
- Facile est momento quo quis velit, cedere possessione magnæ fortunæ; facere et parare eam, difficile atque arduum est.
- It is easy at any moment to resign the possession of a great fortune; to acquire it is difficult and arduous.
- Livy, Annales, XXIV. 22.
- The rich man's son inherits cares;
The bank may break, the factory burn,
A breath may burst his bubble shares,
And soft, white hands could hardly earn
A living that would serve his turn.
- James Russell Lowell, The Heritage.
- Our Lord commonly giveth Riches to such gross asses, to whom he affordeth nothing else that is good.
- Martin Luther, Colloquies, p. 90. (Ed. 1652).
- You often ask me, Priscus, what sort of person I should be, if I were to become suddenly rich and powerful. Who can determine what would be his future conduct? Tell me, if you were to become a lion, what sort of a lion would you be?
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XII, Epigram 92.
- Those whom we strive to benefit
Dear to our hearts soon grow to be;
I love my Rich, and I admit
That they are very good to me.
Succor the poor, my sisters,—I
While heaven shall still vouchsafe me health
Will strive to share and mollify
The trials of abounding wealth.
- Edward Sandford Martin, A Little Brother of the Rich.
- The little sister of the Poor
* * * *
The Poor, and their concerns, she has
Monopolized, because of which
It falls to me to labor as
A Little Brother of the Rich.
- Edward Sandford Martin, A Little Brother of the Rich.
- But wealth is a great means of refinement; and it is a security for gentleness, since it removes disturbing anxieties.
- Ik Marvel, Reveries of a Bachelor, Over his Cigar, III.
- It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
- Matthew, XIX. 24.
- Let none admire
That riches grow in hell; that soil may best
Deserve the precious bane.
- I am rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
- Edward Moore, The Gamester, Act II, scene 2.
- Opum furiata cupido.
- The ungovernable passion for wealth.
- Ovid, Fasti, I. 211.
- Effodiuntur opes irritamenta malorum.
- Riches, the incentives to evil, are dug out of the earth.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, I. 140.
- Embarras des richesse.
- Embarrassment of riches.
- Title of a French Comedy played at the Haymarket, London (Oct. 9, 1738). Translation by Ozell.
- Opes invisæ merito sunt forti viro,
Quia dives arca veram laudem intercipit.
- Riches are deservedly despised by a man of honor, because a well-stored chest intercepts the truth.
- Phaedrus, Fables, IV. 12. 1.
- Nemini credo, qui large blandus est dives pauperi.
- I trust no rich man who is officiously kind to a poor man.
- Plautus, Aulularia, II. 2. 30.
- Get place and wealth, if possible, with grace;
If not, by any means get wealth and place.
- Alexander Pope, Epistles of Horace, Epistle I, Book I, line 103.
- What riches give us let us then inquire:
Meat, fire, and clothes. What more? Meat, clothes, and fire.
Is this too little?
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle III, line 79.
- Riches certainly make themselves wings.
- Proverbs, XXIII. 5.
- He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
- Proverbs, XXVIII. 20.
- He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
- Psalms, XXXIX. 6.
- All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!
As 'tis no better reckon'd, but of those
Who worship dirty gods.
- If thou art rich, thou art poor;
For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee.
- O what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
- Through life's dark road his sordid way he wends,
An incarnation of fat dividends.
- Sprague, Curiosity, Stanza 25.
- No, he was no such charlatan—
Count de Hoboken Flash-in-the-Pan—
Full of gasconade and bravado,
But a regular, rich Don Rataplane,
Santa Claus de la Muscavado,
Senor Grandissimo Bastinado!
His was the rental of half Havana
And all Matanzas; and Santa Ana,
Rich as he was, could hardly hold
A candle to light the mines of gold
Our Cuban owned.
- Edmund Clarence Stedman, The Diamond Wedding, Stanza 7.
- The man is mechanically turned, and made for getting…. It was very prettily said that we may learn the little value of fortune by the persons on whom Heaven is pleased to bestow it
- Richard Steele, Tatler, No. 203.
- If Heaven had looked upon riches to be a valuable thing, it would not have given them to such a scoundrel.
- Jonathan Swift, letter to Miss Vanhomrigh. Aug. 12, 1720.
- Repente dives nemo factus est bonus.
- No good man ever became suddenly rich.
- Syrus, Maxims.
- He that is proud of riches is a fool. For if he be exalted above his neighbors because he hath more gold, how much inferior is he to a gold mine!
- Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living, Of Humility, Chapter II, scene 4.
- Rich in good works.
- I Timothy, VI. 18.
- Can wealth give happiness? look round and see
What gay distress! what splendid misery!
Whatever fortunes lavishly can pour,
The mind annihilates, and calls for more.
- Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire V, line 394.
- Much learning shows how little mortals know;
Much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VI, line 519.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- The rich are like beasts of burden, carrying treasure all day, and at the night of death unladen; they carry to their grave only the bruises and marks of their toil.
- Augustine of Hippo, p. 523.
- Seek not proud riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly.
- Francis Bacon, p. 521.
- How many threadbare souls are to be found under silken cloaks and gowns!
- Thomas Brooks, p. 523.
- Worldly wealth is the devil's bait; and those whose minds feed upon riches recede, in general, from real happiness, in proportion as their stores increase.
- Robert Burton, p. 522.
- It is not the fact that a man has riches which keeps him from the kingdom of heaven, but the fact that riches have him.
- J. Caird, p. 523.
- There is a burden of care in getting riches, fear in keeping them, temptation in using them, sorrow in losing them, and a burden of account at last to be given up concerning them.
- Matthew Henry, p. 521.
- Get rich, if you will — you take great risks. But Christianity does not say to any man, You must be worth only so much, extend your business only so far. It says, Use your riches for the glory of God. If they once usurp His place, woe to you!
- Herrick Johnson, p. 521.
- If by the consecration of my earthly possessions to some extent, I can make the Christian character practically more lovely, and illustrate, in my own case, that the highest enjoyments here are promoted by the free use of the good things intrusted to us, what so good use can I make of them?
- Amos Lawrence, p. 521.
- But Christian faith knows that wealth means responsibility, and that responsibility may come to mean only heavy arrears of sin.
- Henry Parry Liddon, p. 522.
- Riches are the pettiest and least worthy gifts which God can give a man. What are they to God's word? Yea, to bodily gifts, such as beauty and health, or to the gifts of the mind, such as understanding, skill, wisdom? Yet men toil for them day and night, and take no rest. Therefore our Lord God commonly gives riches to foolish people to whom He gives nothing else.
- Martin Luther, p. 523.
- If you will be rich, you must be content to pay the price of falling into temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in perdition; and if that price be too high to pay, then you must be content with the quiet valleys of existence, where alone it is well with us; kept out of the inheritance, but having instead God for your portion — your all-sufficient and everlasting portion—peace and quietness and rest in Christ.
- Frederick William Robertson, p. 522.
- O, my God! withhold from me the wealth to which tears and sighs and curses cleave. Better none at all than wealth like that.
- Christian Scriver, p. 522.
- Nature does not conquer the world to God. It never has. It never will. In America, with its vast abounding wealth, its grand expanse of prairie, its reach of river, and its exuberant productiveness, there is danger that our riches will draw us away from God, and fasten us to earth; that they will make us not only rich, but mean; not only wealthy, but wicked. The grand corrective is the cross of Christ, seen in the sanctuary where the life and light of God are exhibited, and where the reverberation of the echoes from the great white throne are heard.
- Richard Salter Storrs, p. 522.