Your greatness is measured by your kindness - Your education and intellect by your modesty - Your ignorance is betrayed by your suspicions and prejudices - Your real caliber is measured by the consideration and tolerance you have for others.
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.
Nor do we accept as genuine the person not characterized by this blushing bashfulness, this youthfulness of heart, this sensibility to the sentiment of suavity, and self-respect. Modesty is bred of self-reverence. Fine manners are the mantle of fair minds. None are truly great without his ornament.
In an age remarkable for good reasoning and bad conduct, for sound rules and corrupt manners, when virtue fills our heads, but vice our hearts; when those who would fain persuade us that they are quite sure of heaven, appear in no greater hurry to go there than other folks, but put on the livery of the best master only to serve the worst; in an age when modesty herself is more ashamed of detection than delinquency; when independence of principle consists in having no principle on which to depend; and free thinking, not in thinking freely, but in being free from thinking; in an age when patriots will hold anything except their tongues; keep anything except their word; and lose nothing patiently except their character; to improve such an age must be difficult; to instruct it dangerous; and he stands no chance of amending it who cannot at the same time amuse it.