In a noble soul, merit alone should light the flame of love.

Reputation is rarely proportioned to virtue. We have seen a thousand people esteemed, either for the merit they had not yet attained or for that they no longer possessed.

Though we may sometimes unintentionally bestow our beneficence on the unworthy, it does not take from the merit of the act. For charity doth not adopt the vices of its objects.

Confronted by outstanding merit in another, there is no way of saving one's ego except by love.

Though the noblest disposition you inherit, And your character with piety is pack'd, All such qualities have very little merit unaccompanied by Tact.

To be loved, we should merit but little esteem; all superiority attracts awe and aversion.

There is no merit where there is no trial; and, till experience stamps the mark of strength, cowards may pass for heroes, faith for falsehood.

All merit ceases the moment we perform an act for the sake of its consequences. Truly, in this respect “we have our reward.”

Arrogance in persons of merit affronts us more than arrogance in those without merit: merit itself is an affront.

Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.

There are difficulties in your path. Be thankful for them. They will test your capabilities of resistance; you will be impelled to persevere from the very energy of the opposition. But what of him that fails? What does he gain? Strength for life. The real merit is not in the success but in the endeavor; and win or lose, he will be honored and crowned.

When we pray, we should feel the seriousness of speaking directly to the Almighty. The concept of seriousness should not be mistaken for sadness since sadness is a transgression. Seriousness should stem from the true joy of fulfilling a mitzvah [biblical law or good deed], the joy of having the merit to pray to the Almighty.

It is especially important to express your feelings of joy when giving charity to a poor person. Show the person you are glad to be able to help him out. Showing displeasure giving charity erases the merit of giving.

The existence of law is one thing; its merit or demerit is another.

In politics, merit is rewarded by the possessor being raised, like a target, to a position to be fired at.

Real merit requires as much labor, to be placed in a true light, a humbug to be elevated to an unworthy eminence; only the success of the false is temporary that of the true, immortal.

Do not pride yourself on the few great men who, over the centuries, have been born on your earth through no merit of yours. Reflect, rather, on how you have treated them at the time, and how you have followed their teachings.

It is not possible to be regarded with tenderness, except by a few. That merit which gives greatness and renown diffuses its influence to a wide compass, but acts weakly on every single breast; it is placed at a distance from common spectators, and shines like one of the remote stars, of which the light reaches us, but not the heat.

God considers not the action, but the spirit of the action. It is the intention, not the deed wherein the merit or praise of the doer consists.