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Virtue is choked with foul ambition
  And charity chased hence by rancor's hand;
    Foul subornation is predominant
      And equity exiled your highness' land.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part II
         (Gloucester at III, i)

Besides, this Duncan
  Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
    So clear in his great office, that his virtues
      Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued against
        The deep damnation of his taking off;
          And pity, like a naked new-born babe
            Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubin horsed
              Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
                Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye
                  That tears shall drown the wind.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at I, vii)

Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.
      - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
         (Vincentio, the Duke at III, i)

Therefore it is most expedient for the wise, if Don Worm (his conscience) find no impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Much Ado About Nothing
         (Benedick at V, ii)

I hold it ever
  Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
    Than nobleness and riches. Careless heirs
      May the two latter darken and expend;
        But immortality attends the former,
          Making a man a god.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Pericles Prince of Tyre
         (Cerimon at III, ii)

Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied,
  And vice sometime 's by action dignified.
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Friar Laurence at II, iii)

Virtue is beauty.
      - William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Anything that's mended is but patched; virtue that transgresses is but patched with sin, and sin that amends is but patched with virtue.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Clown at I, v)

What is virtue but the Trade Unionism of the married?
      - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

It is a great deal easier for a man to find a pedigree to fit his virtues than virtues to fit his pedigree.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

It is easier to be virtuous than it is to appear so, and it pays better.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Virtue does not consist in the absence of the passions, but in the control of them.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Virtues, like essences, lose their fragrance when exposed. They are sensitive plants, which will not bear too familiar approaches.
      - William Shenstone

They only have lived long who have lived virtuously.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

I willingly confess that it likes me better when I find virtue in a fair lodging than when I am bound to seek it in an ill-favored creature.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

In the truly great, virtue governs with the sceptre of knowledge.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

The only impregnable citadel of virtue is religion; for there is no bulwark of mere morality which some temptation may not overtop, or undermine and destroy.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Virtue is the beauty of the soul.
      - Socrates

Virtue is the nursing-mother of all human pleasures, who, in rendering them just, renders them also pure and permanent; in moderating them, keeps them in breath and appetite; in interdicting those which she herself refuses, whets our desires to those that she allows; and, like a kind and liberal mother, abundantly allows all that nature requires, even to satiety, if not to lassitude.
      - Socrates

Virtue is that which must tip the preacher's tongue and the ruler's sceptre with authority.
      - Bishop Robert South

It must be admitted that the conception of virtue cannot be separated from the conception of happiness-producing conduct.
      - Herbert Spencer

The more tickets you have in a lottery, the worse your chance. And it is the same of virtues, in the lottery of life.
      - Laurence Sterne

Virtue often trips and falls on the sharp-edges rock of poverty.
      - Eugene Sue (Marie Joseph Eugene Sue)

Virtue, the greatest of all monarchies.
      - Jonathan Swift,
        Ode--To the Hon. Sir William Temple

There are odious virtues; such as inflexible severity, and an integrity that accepts of no favor.
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus)

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