"Those who, while they disapprove of the character and measures of a government, yield to it their allegiance and support are undoubtedly its most conscientious supporters, and so frequently the most serious obstacles to reform."
"As for conforming outwardly, and living your own life inwardly, I do not think much of that. Let not your right hand know what your left hand does in that line of business. It will prove a failure.... It is a greater strain than any soul can long endure. When you get God to pulling one way, and the devil the other, each having his feet well braced,--to say nothing of the conscience sawing transversely,--almost any timber will give way."
"Have we no culture, no refinement,--but skill only to live coarsely and serve the Devil?--to acquire a little worldly wealth, or fame, or liberty, and make a false show with it, as if we were all husk and shell, with no tender and living kernel to us? Shall our institutions be like those chestnut burs which contain abortive nuts, perfect only to prick the fingers?"
"Whoever aims publicly at great things and at length perceives secretly that he is too weak to achieve them, has usually also insufficient strength to renounce his aims publicly, and then inevitably becomes a hypocrite."
"It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime."
"Discourses on humility are a source of pride in the vain and of humility in the humble. So those on scepticism cause believers to affirm. Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, few doubtingly of scepticism."
"Being accused of making money by selling sex in Hollywood, home of the casting couch and the gratuitous nude scene, is so rich with irony that it's a better subject for a comic novel than a column.... On one coast the cops are busting sex workers on Eighth Avenue, dragging them downtown to night court where they pay the fine and go right back to their corner; on another they're charging Heidi Fleiss with pandering in a town in which the verb is an art form."
"I haven't seen so much tippy-toeing around since the last time I went to the ballet. When members of the arts community were asked this week about one of their biggest benefactors, Philip Morris, and its requests that they lobby the New York City Council on the company's behalf, the pas de deux of self- justification was so painstakingly choreographed that it constituted a performance all by itself."