For years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa. The difference did not exist. Our company is too big. It goes with the welfare of the country.
By vulgarity I mean that vice of civilization which makes man ashamed of himself and his next of kin, and pretend to be somebody else
There exists, at the bottom of all abasement and misfortune, a last extreme which rebels and joins battle with the forces of law and respectability in a desperate struggle, waged partly by cunning and partly by violence, at once sick and ferocious, in which it attacks the prevailing social order with the pin-pricks of vice and the hammer-blows of crime.
Because impudence is a vice, it does not follow that modesty is a virtue; it is built upon shame, a passion in our nature, and may be either good or bad according to the actions performed from that motive.
Obstinacy, sir, is certainly a great vice; and in the changeful state of political affairs it is frequently the cause of great mischief. It happens, however, very unfortunately, that almost the whole line of the great and masculine virtues--constancy, gravity, magnanimity, fortitude, fidelity, and firmness--are closely allied to this disagreeable quality, of which you have so just an abhorrence; and in their excess all these virtues very easily fall into it.
Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
I am not thinking of those shining precepts which are the registered property of every school; that is to say learn as much by writing as by reading; be not content with the best book; seek sidelights from the others; have no favourites; keep men and things apart; guard against the prestige of great names; see that your judgments are your own; and do not shrink from disagreement; no trusting without testing; be more severe to ideas than to actions; do not overlook the strength of the bad cause of the weakness of the good; never be surprised by the crumbling of an idol or the disclosure of a skeleton; judge talent at its best and character at its worst; suspect power more than vice, and study problems in preference to periods.
A virtuous person is better than virtue and a vicious person is worse than vice.
Physical evils are in nature inseparable from animal life, they commenced existence with it, and are its concomitants through life; so that the same nature which gives being to the one, gives birth to the other also; the one is not before or after the other, but they are coexistent together, and contemporaries; and as they began existence in a necessary dependance on each other, so they terminate together in death and dissolution. This is the original order to which animal nature is subjected, as applied to every species of it. The beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea, with reptiles, and all manner of beings, which are possessed with animal life; nor is pain, sickness, or mortality any part of God's Punishment for sin. On the other hand sensual happiness is no part of the reward of virtue: to reward moral actions with a glass of wine or a shoulder of mutton, would be as inadequate, as to measure a triangle with sound, for virtue and vice pertain to the mind, and their merits or demerits have their just effects on the conscience, as has been before evinced: but animal gratifications are common to the human race indiscriminately, and also, to the beasts of the field: and physical evils as promiscuously and universally extend to the whole, so "That there is no knowing good or evil by all that is before us, for all is vanity." It was not among the number of possibles, that animal life should be exempted from mortality: omnipotence itself could not have made it capable of externalization and indissolubility; for the self same nature which constitutes animal life, subjects it to decay and dissolution; so that the one cannot be without the other, any more than there could be a compact number of mountains without valleys, or that I could exist and not exist at the same time, or that God should effect any other contradiction in nature...
Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited ... and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficultto miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many.
The office of the Vice-President is a greater honor than I ever dreamed of attaining.
Wherefore, though good and bad men suffer alike, we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves, because there is no difference in what they both suffer. For even in the likeness of the sufferings, there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers; and though exposed to the same anguish, virtue and vice are not the same thing. For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly, and chaff to smoke; and under the same flail the straw is beaten small, while the grain is cleansed; and as the lees are not mixed with the oil, though squeezed out of the vat by the same pressure, so the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked. And thus it is that in the same affliction the wicked detest God and blaspheme, while the good pray and praise. So material a difference does it make, not what ills are suffered, but what kind of man suffers them. For, stirred up with the same movement, mud exhales a horrible stench, and ointment emits a fragrant odor.
In most poetic expressions of patriotism, it is impossible to distinguish what is one of the greatest human virtues from the worst human vice, collective egotism.
The virtue of patriotism has been extolled most loudly and publicly by nations that are in the process of conquering others, by the Roman, for example, in the first century B.C., the French in the 1790s, the English in the nineteenth century, and the Germans in the first half of the twentieth. To such people, love of one's country involves denying the right of others, of the Gauls, the Italians, the Indians, the Poles, to love theirs.
A vice in common can be the ground of a friendship but not a virtue in common. X and Y may be friends because they are both drunkards or womanizers but, if they are both sober and chaste, they are friends for some other reason.
It is easy to distinguish the evil worked by sin and vice, but the trained eye sees also the evil done by self-righteous or self-regarding virtue.
What is vice but an enslaving habit and virtue but a human opinion? See God and do His will; walk in whatever path He shall trace for thy goings.
I, too, seem to be a connoisseur of rain, but it does not fill me with joy; it allows me to steep myself in a solitude I nurse like a vice I've refused to vanquish.
The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul; by reason whereof there is, agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can be found in the nature of things. Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical: because true history propoundeth the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them more just in retribution, and more according to revealed providence: because true history representeth actions and events more ordinary, and less interchanged, therefore poesy endueth them with more rareness, and more unexpected and alternative variations: so as it appeareth that poesy serveth and conferreth to magnanimity, morality, and to delectation. And therefore it was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind into the nature of things.
Here I am once more in this scene of dissipation and vice, and I begin already to find my morals corrupted.
Whoever in his public services is handcuffed and shackled by the vice of consistency will be a man not free to act as various questions come before him from time to time; he will be a statesman locked in a prison house, keys to which are in the keeping of days and events that are dead. Let me quote Emerson: 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen.'
There has never been superadded to these vices of mine the withering, embalming vice of consistency.
Avarice is the vice of declining years.
To be able to keep a mother-in-law in the country while he lives in Paris, and vice versa, is a piece of good fortune which a husband too rarely meets with.
One sees you sitting in the sun
With the sweeter gifts you had
And didn't keep,
One grieves that the altars of
Your vice lie deep.
Circumstances will determine what I term the survival value of humankinds moral compass. Being highly moral in an immoral environment will almost certainly be detrimental to ones survival and vice versa.