"What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core."
"For some reason a nation feels as shy about admitting that it ever went forth to war for the sake of more wealth as a man would about admitting that he had accepted an invitation just for the sake of the food. This is one of humanity's most profound imbecilities, as perhaps the only justification for asking one's fellowmen to endure the horrors of war would be the knowledge that if they did not fight they would starve."
"Every man of ambition has to fight his century with its own weapons. What this century worships is wealth. The God of this century is wealth. To succeed one must have wealth. At all costs one must have wealth."
"Among families, so rich as to be above labour, the daughters are hurried through the routine of boarding school instruction, and at an early period introduced into the gay world; and, thenceforth, their only object is amusement.--Mark the different treatment, which the sons of these families receive. While their sisters are gliding through the mazes of the midnight dance, they employ the lamp, to treasure up for future use the riches of ancient wisdom; or to gather strength and expansion of the mind, in exploring the wonderful paths of philosophy."
"Hereditary property sophisticates the mind, and the unfortunate victims to it ... swathed from their birth, seldom exert the locomotive faculty of body or mind; and, thus viewing every thing through one medium, and that a false one, they are unable to discern in what true merit and happiness consist."
"A queen driven from her throne, naked, in winter snows, like Elizabeth of Hungary, suffers more than she who wanders from a snow-beleaguered hut every day; the woman who has had the most suffers the most."
"In the early forties and fifties almost everybody "had about enough to live on," and young ladies dressed well on a hundred dollars a year. The daughters of the richest man in Boston were dressed with scrupulous plainness, and the wife and mother owned one brocade, which did service for several years. Display was considered vulgar. Now, alas! only Queen Victoria dares to go shabby."
"I should say tact was worth much more than wealth as a road to leadership.... I mean that subtle apprehension which teaches a person how to do and say the right thing at the right time. It coexists with very ordinary qualities, and yet many great geniuses are without it. Of all human qualities I consider it the most convenient--not always the highest; yet I would rather have it than many more shining qualities."
"It is better to pay court to a queen ... than to worship, as we too often do, some unworthy person whose wealth is his sole passport into society. I believe that a habit of respect is good for the human race."
"That wealth and greatness are often regarded with the respect and admiration which are due only to wisdom and virtue; and that the contempt, of which vice and folly are the only proper objects, is often unjustly bestowed upon poverty and weakness, has been the complaint of moralists in all ages."