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Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.
Nature furnishes what nature absolutely needs.
Nature makes us poor only when we want necessaries (the number thus in want are comparatively few): but custom gives the name of poverty to the want of superfluities.
Our natural and real wants are confined to narrow bounds, while those, which fancy and custom create, are confined to none.
Man's rich with little, were his judgment true;
The chief source of human discontent is to be looked for not in real but in our fictitious wants: not in the demand of nature, but in the artificial cravings of desire.
We are ruined, not by what we really want, but by what we think we do; therefore never go abroad in
search of your wants. If they be real wants, they will come home in search of you; for he that buys what he does not want, will soon want what he cannot buy.
Men are not influenced by things but by their thoughts about things.
The necessities that exist are generally created by the superfluities that are enjoyed.
"How came you to go to the bad so horribly ?" asked a man of another, whom he found in destitute circumstances. "The truth is," the reply was, "I bought so many superfluities, that at last had to sell my necessaries."
To be without any wants is the Divine prerogative; our praise is, that we add not to the number of those to which we were appointed-that we have none which we can avoid that we have none from conduct. In this we attain the utmost fection within our reach.
our own misdegree of per
On the other hand when fancy has multiplied our necessities-when we owe I know not how many to ourselves when our ease is made dependent on delicacies, to which our Maker never subjected it-when the cravings of our luxury bear no proportion to those of our natural hunger, what a degenerate race do we become! What do we but sink our rank in the creation.
Happy is he who limits his wants to his necessities.
Strong instances of self-denial operate powerfully on our minds; and a man who has no wants has obtained great freedom and firmness, and even dignity.
Limit your wants, estimate their cost, and never exceed it, taking pains to keep it always inside your income. Thus you will secure your lasting independence-young men think of this. A great deal of the happiness of life depends upon this. After having made your money, spend it as you choose, honestly, but be sure, you make it first.
The perfection of wisdom and the end of philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities.
Desire is the uneasiness a man finds in himself upon the absence of anything, whose present enjoyment carries the idea of delight with it.
We are seldom at ease from the solicitations of our
natural or adopted desires.
Like our shadows,
Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.
Much is wanting where much is desired.
The poorest man is not the one who has the least,
but the one who wants the most.
When a man's desires are boundless, his labour is endless; they will set him a task he will never go through; and cut him out work he can never finish. The satisfaction which he seeks, is always absent, and the happiness he aims at is ever at a distance. He has perpetually many things to do, and that which is wanting, never can be numbered.
Those who require much are ever much in want.
What then is wealth, if boundless be our wants?
From desires comes grief, from desires comes fear; he who is free from desires knows neither grief nor fear.
Buy what you do not want, and you will sell what you cannot spare.
Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap.
Prudence is our best exchequer, and makes an
By taking measure of our means, which is a revenue, That cannot be exhausted, for it circumscribes our wants,
And will not barter peace for temporary show, nor
Present ease in idleness at the price of future sorrow.
It is quite true that little is absolutely necessary for our wants, as the sages have so often said; meaning thereby our primary wants, or what tends barely to support life. But a great mistake is made in considering these as the whole range of wants. Besides the food and external comfort essential to bare existence, the mental faculties have an endless range of desires, the gratification of which is so much added to the enjoyment of life; as, for instance, the taste for elegances of all kinds, the appetite for instruction, the delight in exercising influence over, and even in succouring and relieving, one's fellow-creatures. The desire of making fair and pleasing appearances in his person, his home, and all that is his, is one of which the gratification is less important, but it is as natural a want of man's heart as the appetite for food itself. It is no wonder, then, that the maxim as to the sufficiency of a very little has never received any practical regard from man.
He goes on ever eager to acquire, because, gene
rally speaking, each new step in acquisition tends