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[ Also see Apologies Bashfulness Blushes Boasting Character Chastity Decency Delicacy Diffidence Humility Innocence Maidenhood Meekness Pretension Prudery Purity Refinement Reserve Self-praise Shame Women ]

Modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
  Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
         (l. 329)

Like the violet, which alone
  Prospers in some happy shade,
    My Castara lives unknown
      To no looser eye betrayed.
      - William Habington (Habbington), Castara,
        (in Elton's edition, p. 166)

Modesty is a sweet song-bird no open cage-door can tempt to flight.
      - Mohammed Shems-ed-Deen Hafiz (pseudonym of Shams-Ed-Dinmuhammad)

Modesty is the lowest of the virtues, and is a confession of the deficiency it indicates. He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Remember that with her clothes a woman puts off her modesty.
      - Herodotus ("Father of History")

Why, to hear Betsy Bobbet talk about wimmin's throwin' their modesty away, you would think if they ever went to the political pole, they would have to take their dignity and modesty and throw 'em against the pole, and go without any all the rest of their lives.
      - Marietta Holley,
        My Opinions and Betsy Bobbet's

What can be found equal to modesty, uncorrupt faith, the sister of justice, and undisguised truth?
  [Lat., Cui pudor et justitiae soror incorrupta fides nudaque veritas quando ullum inveniet parem?]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Carmina
         (I, 24, 6)

Bashfulness is not so much the effect of an ill-education, as the proper gift and provision of wise nature. Every stage of life has its own set of manners, that is suited to it, and best becomes it. Each is beautiful in its season; and you might as well quarrel with the child's rattle, and advance him directly to the boy's top and spanfarthing, as expect from diffident youth the manly confidence of riper age.
      - Richard Hurd, D.D.

Modesty is a bright dish-cover, which makes us fancy there is something very nice underneath it.
      - Douglas William Jerrold

"God will punish," say the Orientals, "him who sees and him who is seen." Beautiful and terrible recommendation of modesty!
      - Joseph Joubert

Modesty is a diamond setting to female beauty.
      - Frances Anne "Fanny" Kemble (Mrs. Butler)

A modest man never talks of himself.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

Modesty is to merit, what shade is to figures in a picture; it gives it strength and makes it stand out.
      - Jean de la Bruyere,
        The Characters or Manners of the Present Age
         (ch. II, sec. 17)

Avoid pretension; Nature never pretends.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

Modesty is silent when it would be improper to speak; the humble, without being called upon, never recollects to say anything of himself.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

It is often found that modesty and humility not only do no good, but are positively hurtful, when they are shown to the arrogant who have taken up a prejudice against you, either from envy or from any other cause.
      - Niccolo Machiavelli (Macchiavelli)

Be simple and modest in your deportment, and treat with indifference whatever lies between virtue and vice. Love the human race; obey God.
      - Marcus Aurelius (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus)

I think that few people are aware how early it is right to respect the modesty of an infant.
      - Harriet Martineau

God intended for women two preventatives against sin, modesty and remorse; in confession to a mortal priest the former is removed by his absolution, the latter is taken away.
      - Miranda of Piedmont

No modest man ever did or ever will make a fortune.
      - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

The greatest ornament of an illustrious life is modesty and humility, which go a great way in the character even of the most exalted princes.
      - Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I)

Egotism is true modesty. In religious enquiry each of us can speak only for himself.
      - Cardinal John Henry Newman,
        in Aldous Huxley's "Proper Studies"

The violet droops its soft and bashful brow,
  But from its heart sweet incense fills the air;--
    So rich within--so pure without--art thou,
      With modest mien and soul of virtue rare.
      - Frances Sargent Osgood

Modesty becomes a young man.
  [Lat., Adolescentem verecundum esse decet.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus), Asinaria
         (V, 1, 8)

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