E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Half is more than the whole. (Πεo υ o). This is what Hesiod said to his brother Perseus, when he wished him to settle a dispute without going to law. He meant half of the estate without the expense of law will be better than the whole after the lawyers have had their pickings. The remark, however, has a very wide signification. Thus an embarras de richesse is far less profitable than a sufficiency. A large estate to one who cannot manage it is impoverishing. A man of small income will be poorer with a large house and garden to keep up than if he lived in a smaller tenement. Increase of wealth, if expenditure is more in proportion, tendeth to poverty.