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[ Also see Character Chastity Conscience Crime Evil Excellence Goodness Holiness Innocence Integrity Knavery Merit Morality Purity Religion Right Righteousness Sin Truth Vice Wisdom Worth ]

Most men admire virtue who follow not her lore.
      - John Milton

Virtue can see to do what virtue would by her own radiant light, though sun and moon were in the flat sea sunk.
      - John Milton

Virtue that wavers is not virtue, but vice revolted from itself, and after a while returning. The actions of just and pious men do not darken in their middle course.
      - John Milton

Virtue, which breaks through opposition and all temptation can remove, most shines, and most is acceptable above.
      - John Milton

God sure esteems the growth and completing of one virtuous person, more that the restraint of ten vicious.
      - John Milton,
        Areopagitica--A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing

Or, if Virtue feeble were,
  Heaven itself would stoop to her.
      - John Milton, Comus (l. 1,022)

Virtue could see to do what Virtue would
  By her own radiant light, though sun and moon
    Were in the flat sea sunk.
      - John Milton, Comus (l. 373)

Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt,
  Surprised by unjust force, but not inthralled;
    Yea, even that which mischief meant most harm
      Shall in the happy trial prove most glory.
      - John Milton, Comus (l. 589)

I prefer an accommodating vice to an obstinate virtue.
  [Fr., J'aime mieux un vice commode
    Qu'une fatigante vertu.]
      - Moliere (pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin),
        Amphitryon (I, 4)

Birth is nothing where virtue is not.
  [Lat., La naissnace n'est rien ou la vertu n'est pas.]
      - Moliere (pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin),
        Don Juan (IV, 6)

Where does virtue go to lodge?
  [Fr., Ou la vertu va-t-elle se nicher?]
      - Moliere (pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin),
        Exclamation of Moliere

The height and value of true virtue consists in the facility, utility, and pleasure of its exercise; so far from difficulty, that boys, as well as men, and the innocent as well as the subtle, may make it their own; and it is by order and good conduct, and not by force, that it is to be acquired.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

The recognition of virtue is not less valuable from the lips of the man who hates it, since truth forces him to acknowledge it; and though he may be unwilling to take it into his inmost soul, he at least decks himself out in its trappings.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

There is no virtue which does not rejoice a well-descended nature; there is a kind of I know not what congratulation in well-doing, that gives us an inward satisfaction, and a certain generous boldness that accompanies a good conscience.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

I find that the best virtue I have has in it some tincture of vice.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne,
        Essays--That we Taste Nothing Pure

Virtue is necessary to a republic.
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat)

Some virtue is needed, but not too much.
  Excess in anything is a defect.
    [Fr., Faut d'la vertu, pas trop n'en faut,
      L'exces en tout est un defaut.]
      - Jacques Marie Boutet Monvel,
        from a comic opera, "Erreur d'un Moment"

Virtue is to herself the best reward.
      - Henry More

I cannot worship the abstractions of virtue: she only charms me when she addresses herself to my heart, speaks through the love from which she springs.
      - Reinhold Niebuhr

Verily, virtue must be her own reward, as in the Socratic creed; for she will bring no other dower than peace of conscience in her gift to whosoever weds her. "I have loved justice, and fled from iniquity; wherefore here I die in exile," said Hildebrand upon his death-bed.
      - Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)

In your judgment virtue requires no reward, and is to be sought for itself, unaccompanied by external benefits.
  [Lat., Judice te mercede caret, per seque petenda est
    Externis virtus incomitata bonis.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso),
        Epistoloe ex Ponto (bk. II, 3, 25)

Virtue is not hereditary.
      - Thomas Paine

When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
      - Thomas Paine

Positive virtues are of all others the severest and most sublime.
      - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

The four cardinal virtues are prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice.
      - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

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