"More than the changing of institutions we need the development of a national conscience, and the upbuilding of national character.Men may boast of the aristocracy of blood, may glory in the aristocracy of talent, and be proud of the aristocracy of wealth, but there is one aristocracy which must ever outrank them all, and that is the aristocracy of character; and it is the women of a country who help to mold its character, and to influence if not determine its destiny; and in the political future of our nation woman will not have done what she could if she does not endeavor to have our republic stand foremost among the nations of the earth, wearing sobriety as a crown and righteousness as a garment and a girdle."
"An action is an aim of the subject, and it is his agency too which executes this aim: unless the subject were in this way even inthe most disinterested action, i.e. unless he had an interest in it, there would be no action at all.... Impulse and passion are the very life- blood of all action: they are needed if the agent is really to be in his aim and the execution thereof. The morality concerns the content of the aim, which as such is the universal, an inactive thing, that finds it actualizing in the agent."
"Washington will ever be a city for extracurricular romance and undercover trysts, partly because of the high moral standards demanded of the politician by his constituency, and also because it is a town where women are more easily tolerated if they dabble with politicians rather than politics."
"However great an evil immorality may be, we must not forget that it is not without its beneficial consequences. It is only throughextremes that men can arrive at the middle path of wisdom and virtue."
"The end of all moral speculations is to teach us our duty; and, by proper representations of the deformity of vice and beauty of virtue, beget correspondent habits, and engage us to avoid the one, and embrace the other."
"All morality depends upon our sentiments; and when any action or quality of the mind pleases us after a certain manner we say it is virtuous; and when the neglect or nonperformance of it displeases us after a like manner, we say that we lie under an obligation to perform it."
"If morality had naturally no influence on human passions and actions, it were in vain to take such pains to inculcate it; and nothing would be more fruitless than that multitude of rules and precepts with which all moralists abound."
"The proper office of religion is to regulate the heart of men, humanize their conduct, infuse the spirit of temperance, order, andobedience; and as its operation is silent, and only enforces the motives of morality and justice, it is in danger of being overlooked, and confounded with these other motives."
"Said an opponent to me after my last protest was sent in, what party would you vote for, if you could? Neither. I would have a moral sentiment party. I would know the private character of my candidate, would know also whether he takes care of his own property--whether he had failed in business--if so, whether he had paid back every dollar of debt as fast as he had earned them. Yes, every candidate should be examined morally, and if it be found that he has not been true to the monitions of conscience in one direction, he cannot or will not be in another ..."
"The Caracal lies on a shelf in its den in the Zoological Gardens quietly licking its fur. I go up and stand near it. It makes a face at me. I come a little nearer, it makes a worse face and raises itself up on its haunches. I stand and look. It jumps down from its shelf and makes as if it intended "going for" me. I move back; the Caracal has exerted a moral influence over me which I have been unable to resist. Moral influence means persuading another that one can make that other more uncomfortable than that other can make oneself."
"For the "superior morality" of which we hear so much, we too would desire to be thankful: at the same time, it were but blindnessto deny that this "superior morality" is properly rather an "inferior criminality" produced not by greater love of Virtue, but by greater perfection of Police; and of that far subtler and stronger Police, called Public Opinion."