"Rare virtues are like rare plants or animals, things that have not been able to hold their own in the world. A virtue to be serviceable must, like gold, be alloyed with some commoner but more durable metal."
"Conscious virtue is the only solid foundation of all happiness; for riches, power, rank, or whatever, in the common acceptation of the word, is supposed to constitute happiness, will never quiet, much less cure, the inward pangs of guilt."
"Virtues are not emotions. Emotions are movements of appetite, virtues dispositions of appetite towards movement. Moreover emotions can be good or bad, reasonable or unreasonable; whereas virtues dispose us only to good. Emotions arise in the appetite and are brought into conformity with reason; virtues are effects of reason achieving themselves in reasonable movements of the appetites. Balanced emotions are virtue's effect, not its substance."
"Excellence or virtue is a settled disposition of the mind that determines our choice of actions and emotions and consists essentially in observing the mean relative to us ... a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect."
"I cannot call Riches better than the baggage of virtue. The Roman word is better, impedimenta. For as the baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue. It cannot be spared nor left behind, but it hindereth the march; yea and the care of it sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory."
"Virtue, my pet, is an abstract idea, varying in its manifestations with the surroundings. Virtue in Provence, in Constantinople, in London, and in Paris bears very different fruit, but is none the less virtue."
"Ah! how much a mother learns from her child! The constant protection of a helpless being forces us to so strict an alliance with virtue, that a woman never shows to full advantage except as a mother. Then alone can her character expand in the fulfillment of all life's duties and the enjoyment of all its pleasures."