Virtue

Just as a tested and rugged virtue of the moral hero is worth more than the lovely, tender, untried innocence of the child, so is the massive strength of a soul that has conquered truth for itself worth more than the soft peach-bloom faith of a soul that takes truth on trust.

A wise man will always be contented with his condition, and will live rather according to his precepts of virtue, than according to the customs of his country.

Virtue is a weapon that cannot be taken away.

A great estate is a great disadvantage to those who do not know hot to use it, for nothing is more common than to see wealthy persons live scandalously and miserably; riches do them no service in order to virtue and happiness; it is precept and principle, not an estate, that makes a man good for something.

Be simple and modest in your deportment, and treat with indifference whatever lies between virtue and vice.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts, therefore guard accordingly; and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.

Honor is not that reward of virtue, for which the virtuous work, but they receive honor from men by way of reward, as from those who have nothing greater to offer. But virtue’s true reward is happiness itself, for which the virtuous work, whereas if they worked for honor, it would no longer be virtue, but ambition.

Man is judged to be good or bad chiefly according to the pleasure of the human will; for that man is good and virtuous who takes pleasure in the works of virtue, and that man evil who takes pleasure in evil works.

Moral virtue can be without some of the intellectual virtues, namely, wisdom, science and art, but not without understanding and prudence. Moral virtue cannot be without prudence, because moral virtue is habit of choosing, that is, making us choose well.

No being can be spoken of as evil, in so far as it is being, but only so far as it lacks being. Thus a man is said to be evil because he lacks the being of virtue; and an eye is said to be evil because it lacks the power to see well.

The happy man needs friends... not, indeed, not make use of them, since he suffices himself, nor to delight in them, since he possesses perfect delight in the operation of virtue, but for the purpose of a good operation, namely, that he may do good to them, that he may delight in seeing them do good, and again that he may be helped by them in his good work.

Virtue and sense are one; and, trust me, still a faithless heart betrays the head unsound.

Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul, is the best gift of heaven; a happiness that, even above the smiles and frowns of fate, exalts great Nature’s favorites; a wealth that ne’er encumbers, nor can be transferr’d.

Affliction is a school of virtue: it corrects levity, and interrupts the confidence of sinning.

He that does not respect confidence will never find happiness in his path. The belief in virtue vanishes from his heart; the source of nobler actions becomes extinct in him.

The recompense of virtue is virtue, and sin, sin.

Virtue, when 'tis praised, groweth like a tree.

Keep thy spirit pure from worldly taint by the repellent strength of virtue.

Beauty, like truth and justice, lives within us; like virtue, and like moral law, it is a companion of the soul.

Temperance to be a virtue must be free, and not forced.