Intemperance is the lack of moderation or temperance, most often expressed as the tendency towards drunkenness and gluttony.
- Beware the deadly fumes of that insane elation
Which rises from the cup of mad impiety,
And go, get drunk with that divine intoxication
Which is more sober far than all sobriety.
- William R. Alger, "The Sober Drunkenness", Poetry of the Orient (1865), p. 167.
- Sinners, hear and consider, if you wilfully condemn your souls to bestiality, God will condemn them to perpetual misery.
- Richard Baxter, A Sermon Preached at the Funeral of Mr. John Corbet.
- Men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
- Edmund Burke, Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791).
- Man, being reasonable, must get drunk;
The best of life is but intoxication:
Glory, the grape, love, gold, in these are sunk
The hopes of all men and of every nation;
Without their sap, how branchless were the trunk
Of life's strange tree, so fruitful on occasion:
But to return,—Get very drunk; and when
You wake with headache, you shall see what then.
- Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto II, Stanza 179.
- Intemperance is a hydra with a hundred heads. She never stalks abroad unaccompanied with impurity, anger, and the most infamous profligacies.
- Chrysostom, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 353.
- All learned, and all drunk!
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book IV, line 478.
- Gloriously drunk, obey the important call.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book IV, line 510.
- If the body brought a suit against the soul for all the sufferings and ills it had endured throughout its whole life, and one had to judge the case oneself, one would readily condemn the soul for having ruined certain features of the body through carelessness and made it soft through drink and brought it to rack and ruin through love of pleasure, just as if a tool or a utensil were in a bad state one would blame the person who used it carelessly.
- Democritus, Fragment 34, cited in Plutarch, Do Desire and Distress Belong to the Body or the Soul?, The Atomists, C. Taylor, trans. (1999)
- Then hasten to be drunk, the business of the day.
- John Dryden, Cymon and Iphigenia (1700), line 407.
- Petition me no petitions, Sir, to-day;
Let other hours be set apart for business,
To-day it is our pleasure to be drunk;
And this our queen shall be as drunk as we.
- Henry Fielding, Tom Thumb the Great (1730), Act I, scene 2.
- He that is drunken * * *
Is outlawed by himself; all kind of ill
Did with his liquor slide into his veins.
- George Herbert, The Temple (1633), The Church Porch, Stanza 6.
- Shall I, to please another wine-sprung minde,
Lose all mine own? God hath giv'n me a measure
Short of His can and body; must I find
A pain in that, wherein he finds a pleasure?
- George Herbert, The Temple (1633), The Church Porch, Stanza 7.
- A man may choose whether he will have abstemiousness and knowledge, or claret and ignorance.
- Samuel Johnson, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), 1778.
- Touch the goblet no more!
It will make thy heart sore
To its very core!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus, The Golden Legend (1872), Part I.
- Voluptuous habits speedily bind all the powers of the soul in loathsome vassalage, and exclude every thought except such as relate to the beastly pleasures of which it is the slave. Distracted by cravings as inexorable as they are base, and in their vileness perpetually reproduced, — tantalized by the impure fountains of a diseased imagination, and oppressed with its own effeminacy, — the mind loses its vigor and its productiveness. Every faculty rapidly deteriorates and decays; memory becomes extinguished, inanity destroys resolution, and the heart is as cold and callous as a cinder extinct. It ceases to love, to sympathize, and diffuse the delicious tears that sanctify friendship's shrine. The whole countenance assumes an expression of obdurateness and repugnance. The features, marked with premature decay, proclaim that the source of gentle sentiments, pure emotions, and innocent joys, is exhausted, like a limpid fountain invaded by the scoria and flame of a volcano. All the elements of life seem to have retreated into their abused organs only to perish there. Even the organs themselves are withered, and worse than dead; their infirmities, maladies, sufferings, rush in a multitude upon the degraded victim, and overwhelm him in awful retribution.
- Elias Lyman Magoon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 354.
- Soon as the potion works, their human count'nance,
Th' express resemblance of the gods, is chang'd
Into some bruitish form of wolf or bear,
Or ounce or tiger, hog, or bearded goat,
All other parts remaining as they were;
And they, so perfect in their misery,
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement.
- John Milton, Comus (1637), line 64.
- And when night
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book I, line 500.
- But in the eighth month a severe disease attacked Gaius who had changed the manner of his living which was a little while before, while Tiberius was alive, very simple and on that account more wholesome than one of great sumptuousness and luxury; for he began to indulge in abundance of strong wine and eating of rich dishes, and in the abundant license of insatiable desires and great insolence, and in the unseasonable use of hot baths, and emetics, and then again in winebibbing and drunkenness, and returning gluttony, and in lust after boys and women, and in everything else which tends to destroy both soul and body, and all the bonds which unite and strengthen the two; for the rewards of temperance are health and strength, and the wages of intemperance are weakness and disease which bring a man near to death.
- Philo, On the Embassy to Gaius, II, sec. 14, translated by C. D. Yonge
- Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright: at the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
- Other vices make their own way; this makes way for all vices. He that is a drunkard is qualified for all vice.
- Francis Quarles, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 353.
- O monstrous! but one half-penny-worth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack!
- William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act II, scene 4, line 591.
- Sweet fellowship in shame!
One drunkard loves another of the name.
- William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act IV, scene 3, line 48.
- Boundless intemperance
In nature is a tyranny, it hath been
Th' untimely emptying of the happy throne,
And fall of many kings.
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1605), Act IV, scene 3, line 66.
- And now, in madness,
Being full of supper and distempering draughts,
Upon malicious bravery, dost thou come
To start my quiet.
- William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603), Act I, scene 1, line 98.
- O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!
- William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603), Act II, scene 3, line 293.
- I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me, I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast!
- William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603), Act II, scene 3, line 305.
- Every inordinate cup is unblessed and the ingredient is a devil.
- William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603), Act II, scene 3, line 309.
- I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;
So full of valour that they smote the air
For breathing in their faces; beat the ground
For kissing of their feet.
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest (c. 1610-1612),, Act IV, scene 1, line 171.
- What's a drunken man like, fool?
Like a drowned man, a fool and a madman: one draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns him.
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02), Act I, scene 5, line 136.
- I never drink. I cannot do it, on equal terms with others. It costs them only one day; but me three,—the first in sinning, the second in suffering, and the third in repenting.
- Laurence Sterne, he Koran: or, The Life, Characters, and Sentiments, of Tria Juncta in Uno, M. N. A., or Master of No Arts (1794).
- A drunkard clasp his teeth and not undo 'em,
To suffer wet damnation to run through 'em.
- Cyril Tourneur, The Revenger's Tragedy (1607), Act III, scene 1.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 398-99.
- Libidinosa etenim et intemperans adolescentia effœtum corpus tradit senectuti.
- A sensual and intemperate youth hands over a worn-out body to old age.
- Cicero, De Senectute, IX.
- Ha! see where the wild-blazing Grog-Shop appears,
As the red waves of wretchedness swell,
How it burns on the edge of tempestuous years
The horrible Light-House of Hell!
- M'Donald Clarke, The Rum Hole.
- He calls drunkenness an expression identical with ruin.
- Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers, Pythagoras, VI.
- Quid non ebrietas designat? Operta recludit;
Spes jubet esse ratas; in prælia trudit inermem.
- What does drunkenness not accomplish? It discloses secrets, it ratifies hopes, and urges even the unarmed to battle.
- Horace, Epistles, I. 5. 16.
- In vain I trusted that the flowing bowl
Would banish sorrow, and enlarge the soul.
To the late revel, and protracted feast,
Wild dreams succeeded, and disorder'd rest.
- Matthew Prior, Solomon, Book II, line 106.
- Nihil aliud est ebrietas quam voluntaria insania.
- Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.
- Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, LXXXIII.
- Drunkenness is an immoderate affection and use of drink. That I call immoderation that is besides or beyond that order of good things for which God hath given us the use of drink.
- Jeremy Taylor, Holy Lining, Of Drunkenness, Chapter II, Part 2.
- The wine of Love is music,
And the feast of Love is song:
And when Love sits down to the banquet,
Love sits long:
* * * * *
Sits long and rises drunken,
But not with the feast and the wine;
He reeleth with his own heart,
That great, rich Vine.
- James Thomson, The Vine.
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