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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?
How few can well employ what fortune grants !

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.
Spare superfluities to provide necessaries.

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 to gratify a newly-developed want of his nature. His acquisitions will not, it is true, save from many of the evils of life, or stay the fell hand of death, or accompany him beyond the grave; but they will not the less, on that account, obtain many advantages to the healthy living possessor who knows how to make a good use of them; and this all men feel in their inner nature though men who set down their thoughts in writing speak generally in a different manner. The sneers and sarcasms at the wealthy, unless where they are really directed against the abuses of wealth, must only be regarded as escapes of bitter feeling on the part of the less fortunate. Riches in themselves derogate from no one. It is only when they harden or ensnare the heart,

or are attended by the insanity of miserliness, that they are to be justly made a subject of ridicule or censure. -R. CHAMBERS.

The fewer things a man wants, the nearer he is to God.

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spread out for sale, he exclaimed:

"How much there is in the world that I do not want."

Diogenes being asked why it was that the philosophers sought the society of the rich much more than the latter sought theirs, replied,

"Because philosophers know what they want, and the others do not."

Our portion is not large, indeed,
But then how little do we need,
For nature's calls are few!

In this the art of living lies,
To want no more than may suffice,
And make that little do.

We'll therefore relish with content,
Whate'er kind Providence has sent,
Nor aim beyond our power;
For, if our stock be very small,
'Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour.



"Man wants but little here below, Nor wants that little long."

'Tis not with me exactly so,

But 'tis so in the song.

My wants are many, and if told,
Would muster many a score;

And were each wish a mint of Gold,
I still should long for more.

What first I want is daily bread,

And canvas-backs and wine;

And all the realms of nature spread

Before me when I dine;

With four choice cooks from France, beside

To dress my dinner well;

Four courses scarcely can provide

My appetite to quell.

What next I want at heavy cost,

Is elegant attire ;

Black sable furs for winter's frost,

And silks for summer's fire

And Cashmere shawls, and Brussels lace

My bosom's front to deck,

And diamond rings my hands to grace,

And rubies for my neck.

And then I want a mansion fair,

A dwelling-house in style,

Four stories high, for wholesome air

A massive marble pile;

With halls for banquettings and balls,
All furnish'd rich and fine;

With high-blood steeds in fifty stalls,
And cellars for my wine.

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