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 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.
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.
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.
Temperance to be a virtue must be free, and not forced.
Candor is the seal of a noble mind, the ornament and pride of man, the sweetest charm of woman, the scorn of a rascal and the rarest virtue of sociability.
Sentiment and principle are often mistaken for each other, though, in fact, they widely differ. Sentiment is the virtue of ideas; principle the virtue of action. Sentiment has its seat in the had; principle, in the heart. Sentiment suggest fine harangues and subtle distinctions; principle conceives just notions, and performs good actions in consequence of them. Sentiment refines away the simplicity of truth, and the plainness of piety; and "gives us virtue in words, and vice in deeds."
When we envy another, we make their virtue our vice.
Strict punctuality is, perhaps, the cheapest virtue which can give force to an otherwise utterly insignificant character.
False modesty is the masterpiece of vanity: showing the vain man in such an illusory light that he appears in the reputation of the virtue quite opposite to the vice which constitutes his real character; it is a deceit.
He who seeks repentance for the past, should woo the angel virtue for the future.
If there is a virtue in the world at which we should always aim, it is cheerfulness.
Punctuality is the stern virtue of men of business, and the graceful courtesy of princes.
The only perfection I know of is a hearty love of god, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself. Charity is the only virtue which rightly unites us to God and man. Such union is our final aim and end, and all the rest is mere delusion.
Active beneficence is a virtue of easier practice than forbearance after having conferred, or than thankfulness after having received a benefit. I know not, indeed, whether it be a greater and more difficult exercise of magnanimity for the one party to act as if he had forgotten, or for the other as if he constantly remembered the obligation.
To live a life of pleasure is impossible without living a life of virtue and justice.
If thou takes virtue for the rule of life, and valuest thyself upon acting in all things comfortably thereto, thou wilt have no cause to envy lords and princes; for blood is inherited, but virtue is common property and may be acquired by all; it has, moreover, an intrinsic worth, which blood has not.