"In our daily intercourse with men, our nobler faculties are dormant and suffered to rust. None will pay us the compliment to expect nobleness from us. Though we have gold to give, they demand only copper."
"A true politeness does not result from any hasty and artificial polishing, it is true, but grows naturally in characters of the right grain and quality, through a long fronting of men and events, and rubbing on good and bad fortune."
"The more supple vagabond, too, is sure to appear on the least rumor of such a gathering, and the next day to disappear, and go into his hole like the seventeen-year locust, in an ever-shabby coat, though finer than the farmer's best, yet never dressed.... He especially is the creature of the occasion. He empties both his pockets and his character into the stream, and swims in such a day. He dearly loves the social slush. There is no reserve of soberness in him."
"Surely, 'tis one step towards acting well, to think worthily of our nature; and as in common life, the way to make a man honest, is, to suppose him so ... so here, to set some value upon ourselves, enables us to support the character ... of generosity and virtue."
"The truth and regularity of a character is not, in justice, to be looked upon as broken, from any one single act or omission whichmay seem a contradiction to it:Mthe best of men appear sometimes to be strange compounds of contradictory qualities."
"We often think ourselves inconsistent creatures, when we are the furthest from it, and all the variety of shapes and contradictoryappearances we put on, are in truth but so many different attempts to gratify the same governing appetite."
"As, therefore, we can have no dependence upon morality without religion;Mso, on the other hand, there is nothing better to be expected from religion without morality;Mnevertheless, 'tis no prodigy to see a man whose real moral character stands very low, who yet entertains the highest notion of himself, in the light of a religious man."