Slander is perhaps the only vice which no circumstance can palliate, as well as being one which we are most ingenious in concealing form ourselves.
Every duty brings its peculiar delight, every denial its appropriate compensation, every thought its recompense, every love its elysium, every cross its crown; pay goes with performance as effect with cause. Meanness overreaches itself; vice vitiates whoever indulges it; the wicked wrong their own souls; generosity greatens; virtue exalts; charity transfigures; and holiness is the essence of angelhood. God does not require us to live on credit; he pays us what we earn as we earn it, good or evil, heaven or hell, according to our choice.
The most effective way of attacking vice is to expose it to public ridicule. People can put up with rebukes but they cannot bear being laughed at: they are prepared to be wicked but they dislike appearing ridiculous.
Ambition is not a vice of little people.
In truth, knowledge is a great and very useful quality; those who despise it give evidence enough of their stupidity. But yet I do not set its value at that extreme measure that some attribute to it, like Herillus the philosopher, who placed in it the sovereign good, and held that it was in its power to make us wise and content. That I do not believe, nor what others have said, that knowledge is the mother of all virtue, and all vice is produced by ignorance. If that is true, it is subject to a long interpretation.
Knowledge is the mother of all virtue; all vice proceeds from ignorance.
Virtue is health, vice is sickness.
For most or even all forms of evil serve the Universe - much as the poisonous snake has it use - though in most cases their function is unknown. Vice itself has many useful sides: it brings about much that is beautiful, in artistic creations for example, and it stirs us to thoughtful living, not allowing us to drowse in security.
Gaze not on beauty too much, lest it blast thee; nor too long, lest it blind thee; nor too near, lest it burn thee. If thou like it, it deceives thee; if thou love it, it disturbs thee; if thou hunt after it, it destroys thee. If virtue accompany it, it is the heart’s paradise; if vice associate it, it is the soul’s purgatory. It is the wise man’s bonfire, and the fool’s furnace.
The fountain of beauty is the heart, and every generous thought illustrates the walls of your chamber. If virtue accompanies beauty it is the heart's paradise; if vice be associate with it, it is the soul's purgatory. It is the wise man's bonfire, and the fools furnace.
What is good readily changes for the worse, but you can never turn vice into virtue.
One vice spilles a greate noumber of vertues.
No act is ever, in virtue of falling under some general description, necessarily actually right... moral acts often (as every one knows) and indeed always (on reflection we must admit) have different characteristics that tend to make them a the same time prima facie right and prima facie wrong; there is probably no act, for instance, which does good to anyone without doing harm to someone else, and vice versa.
If idleness do not produce vice or malevolence, it commonly produces melancholy.
I know no evil so great as the abuse of the understanding, and yet there is no one vice more common.
There is no vice or folly that requires so much nicety and skill to manage as vanity; nor any which by ill management makes so contemptible a figure.
There is no vice which mankind carries to such wild extremes as that of avarice.
He who hates vice hates men. [hate [moral] failings and you hate people]
The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all vices except this one.
To have no virtue or no vice is equally without precedent.