819. Parsimony.

819. Parsimony.NOUN. parsimony, parcity; parsimoniousness, stinginess &c. adj.; stint; illiberality, avarice, tenacity, avidity, rapacity, extortion, venality, cupidity; selfishness &c. 943; auri sacra fames [Lat.].

greed &c. 817a.

miser, niggard, churl, screw, tightwad, skinflint, crib, codger, muckworm, money-grubber, pinchfist, scrimp, pinch penny, lickpenny, hunks, curmudgeon, Harpagon, Silas Marner, harpy, extortioner, Jew, usurer; Hessian [U.S.] {mercenary}.

VERB. be parsimonious &c. adj.; grudge, begrudge, stint, skimp, pinch, gripe, screw, dole out, hold back, withhold, starve, famish, live upon nothing, skin a flint.

drive a bargain, drive a hard bargain; cheapen, beat down; stop one hole in a sieve; have an itching palm, grasp, grab.

ADJ. parsimonious, penurious, stingy, miserly, mean, shabby, peddling, scrubby, penny wise, near, niggardly, frugal to excess, close; fast handed, close handed, strait handed; close fisted, hard fisted, tight fisted; tight, sparing; chary; grudging, griping &c. v.; illiberal, ungenerous, churlish, hidebound, sordid, mercenary, venal, covetous, usurious, avaricious, greedy, extortionate, rapacious.

ADV. with a sparing hand.

PHR. Desunt inopiæ multa, avaritiæ omnia. [Lat.] {Syrus after Seneca—Epistolæ. 108. “Poverty wants many things, avarice every thing.” }.

“Charity gives herself rich; covetousness hoards itself poor.” {Proverb}.

As some lone miser visiting his store,
Bends at his treasure, counts, re-counts it o’er;
Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill,
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still
:
Thus to my breast alternate passions rise,
Pleas’d with each good that heaven to man supplies:
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
To see the hoard of human bliss so small;
And oft I wish, amidst the scene, to find
Some spot to real happiness consign’d,
Where my worn soul, each wand’ring hope at rest,
May gather bliss to see my fellows bless’d.

{Oliver Goldsmith—The Traveller or A Prospect of Society. L. 51-63.}.

“The epicure puts his purse into his belly, and the miser his belly into his purse.” {Proverb}.

Avaro non est vita sed mors longior. [Lat.] {Syrus“A miser’s existence is not a life but a prolonged death.” }.

But beauty like the fair Hesperian Tree
Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard
Of dragon watch with uninchanted eye,
To save her blossoms, and defend her fruit
From the rash hand of bold Incontinence.
You may as well spred out the unsun’d heaps
Of Misers treasure
by an out-laws den,
And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope
Danger will wink on Opportunity,
And let a single helpless maiden pass
Uninjur’d in this wilde surrounding wast.

{John Milton—The Two Brothers.}.

Tam deest avaro quod habet, quam quod non habet. [Lat.] {Syrus—Maxims. “The miser is as much in want of what he has as of what he has not.” }.

An old miser kept a tame jackdaw, that used to steal pieces of money, and hide them in a hole, which a cat observing, asked, “Why would he hoard up those round shining things that he could make no use of?” “Why,” said the jackdaw, “my master has a whole chestfull, and makes no more use of them than I do.”

{Jonathan Swift—Thoughts on Various Subjects.}.

Avarus nisi cum moritur, nihil recte facit. [Lat.] {Syrus“A miser does nothing well except when he dies.” }.

Sperne voluptates: nocet emta dolore voluptas. / Semper avarus eget: certum voto pete finem. [Lat.] {Horace—Epistolæ. Bk. I. ii. 55. “Scorn delights: pleasure bought with pain is hurtful. The covetous man always wants; set some fixed limit to your prayers.” }.

“They are afraid of tempests for their corn; they are afraid of their friends lest they should ask something of them, beg or borrow; they are afraid of their enemies lest they hurt them, thieves lest they rob them; they are afraid of war and afraid of peace, afraid of rich and afraid of poor; afraid of all.” Last of all, they are afraid of want, that they shall die beggars, which makes them lay up still, and dare not use that they have: what if a dear year come, or dearth, or some loss? and were it not that they are both to lay out money on a rope, they would be hanged forthwith, and sometimes die to save charges, and make away themselves, if their corn and cattle miscarry; though they have abundance left, as Agellius notes. Valerius makes mention of one that in a famine sold a mouse for 200 pence, and famished himself: such are their cares, griefs and perpetual fears.

{Robert Burton—The Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. I. Sec. II. Subsect. 12. }.

Quærit, et inventis miser abstinet, ac timet uti. [Lat.] {Horace—De Arte Poetica. P. 170. “The miser acquires, yet fears to use his gains.” }.

Brutta cosa è il povero superbo e ’1 ricco avaro. [It.] {Proverb“A proud pauper and a rich miser are contemptible beings.” }.

’Tis strange, the miser should his cares employ
To gain those riches he can ne’er enjoy:
Is it less strange, the prodigal should waste
His wealth, to purchase what he ne’er can taste?

{Alexander Pope—Moral Essays. Epistle IV.}.

Note: possibly the best account of misers ever given is to be found in Edith Sitwell’s ‘English Eccentrics’ Ch. 11. The God of This World.


Roget’s Thesaurus 1911. Compiled, edited and supplemented by Nicholas Shea. Dev version 1.7.9b Compiled on: 19 January 2022 at 05:16:38
CORRECTED HEADS: 1 to 905; CORRECTED QUOTES: 1 to 905; ALL OTHER HEADS & QUOTES IN PROGRESS. www.neolithicsphere.com

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.