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Virtue

  • No one's interested in virtue till it's been lost.

  • Too much virtue has a corrupting effect.

  • Virtue, like a dowerless beauty, has more admirers than followers.

  • ... there's a pitch of virtue about him that is exhausting.

  • ... there isn't any virtue where there has never been any temptation. Virtue is just temptation, overcome.

  • I am not impressed by external devices for the preservation of virtue in men or women. Marriage laws, the police, armies and navies are the mark of human incompetence.

  • ... Mr. Bull revealed a streak of conscious virtue which his acquaintances somewhat naturally discredited instantly from his very insistence upon it.

  • The Devil ... is much better served by exploiting our virtues than by appealing to our lower passions; consequently, it is when the Devil looks most noble and reasonable that he is most dangerous.

  • If you seek what is honorable, what is good, what is the truth of your life, all the other things you could not imagine come as a matter of course.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Bill Adler, ed., The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey ()
  • ... it is a greater honour to have more Merit than Title, than to have more Title than Merit.

  • Reward is its own virtue.

  • ... I have brought him [my son] up to think that purity and virtue are both masculine and femanine gender, and that God's angels are not necessarily all she ones.

  • One can acquire some virtues by feigning them for a long time.

  • Laws and customs may be creative of vice; and should be therefore perpetually under process of observation and correction: but laws and customs cannot be creative of virtue: they may encourage and help to preserve it; but they cannot originate it.

  • It is queer how it is always one's virtues and not one's vices that precipitate one into disaster.

    • Rebecca West,
    • "There Is No Conversation," The Harsh Voice ()
  • Virtue has its own reward but not at the box office.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • Some out of their own virtue make a god who sometimes later is a nuisance to them, a terror perhaps to them, a difficult thing to be forgetting.

  • Honor wears different coats to different eyes ...

  • Vices are simply overworked virtues ...

    • Laura Ingalls Wilder,
    • 1916, in Stephen W. Hines, ed., Little House in the Ozarks: A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler, The Rediscovered Writings ()
  • I desire Virtue, though I love her not - / I have no faith in her when she is got: / I fear that she will bind and make me slave, / And send me songless to the sullen grave.

    • Anna Wickham,
    • "Self Analysis," The Contemplative Quarry ()
  • I have come to believe that we fear our virtues far more than our sinfulness.

  • You may have noted the fact that it is a person's virtues as often as his vices that make him difficult to live with.

  • ... there are virtues which are very well in the abstract, but which, encountered in the flesh, can be a source of extreme irritation.

  • Nobody likes to be accused of a virtue.

  • Virtue knows no color line ...

  • The muses crown virtue when fortune refuses to do it.

    • Elizabeth Montagu,
    • letter 1774, in Anna Letitia Le Breton, Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld ()
  • ... the word 'virtue' is not / in my vocabulary / 'strength' is ...

  • ... a man hasn't got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined.

  • ... whether or not virtue was in fact its own reward, it did seem like sin was its own punishment.

  • The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

  • Purity strikes me as the most mysterious of the virtues and the more I think about it the less I know about it.

  • Honor is a term much used but little understood.

  • My virtue's still far too small, I don't trot it out and about yet.

  • As a child I was early turned from the path of righteousness by the unfortunate remark once let drop in my presence by my mother that virtue is its own reward. Hitherto I had supposed that if I were being good it was for some decent and intelligible purpose.

  • The man or the woman in whom resides greater virtue is the higher; neither the loftiness nor the lowliness of a person lies in the body according to the sex, but in the perfection of conduct and virtues.

    • Christine de Pisan,
    • 1405, in Earl Jeffrey Richards, trans., The Book of the City of Ladies ()
  • We shall all be perfectly virtuous when there is no longer any flesh on our bones.

  • One seldom loves people for their virtues.

  • May I never, I say, become that abnormal, merciless animal, that deformed monstrosity — a virtuous woman.

  • Live virtuously, my Lord, and you cannot die too soon, nor live too long.

  • All forced virtue is degrading in it effect.

  • Virtue is the music of the soul, the harmony of the passions; it is the order, the symmetry, the interior beauty of the mind; the source of the truest pleasures, the fountain of the sublimest and most perfect happiness.

  • As far as the education of children is concerned I think they should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones. Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not shrewdness but frankness and a love of truth; not tact but love for one's neighbor and self-denial; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know.

  • Woman's virtue is man's greatest invention.

  • ... virtue can only flourish among equals ...

  • Jennet was one of those persons, abounding in every class of life, whose virtues are most conspicuous in 'damning sins they are not inclined to.'

  • Virtue can only flourish amongst equals.

  • Virtue is an excellent thing and we should all strive after it, but it can sometimes be a little depressing.