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Quotes About Vice

Quotes tagged as "vice" (showing 1-30 of 129)
“There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.”
Joseph Pulitzer

Winston S. Churchill
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

[On British Labour politician Stafford Cripps.]
Winston S. Churchill, Wealth, War, and Wisdom

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“The world says: "You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more." This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Stephen Fry
“Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '.

Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice.

I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about.”
Stephen Fry

Bertrand Russell
“No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.”
Bertrand Russell, On Education

Erich Fromm
“There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as 'moral indignation,' which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.”
Erich Fromm, Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics

Tallulah Bankhead
“Here's a rule I recommend: Never practice two vices at once.”
Tallulah Bankhead

Voltaire
“Our labour preserves us from three great evils -- weariness, vice, and want.”
Voltaire, Candide

Napoleon
“Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.”
Napoleon

Moderata Fonte
“When you hear men talking," said Cornelia, "all they ever do is speak ill of women. ... And I don't quite know how they managed to make this law in their favour, or who exactly it was who gave them a greater license to sin than is allowed to us; and if the fault is common to both sexes (as they can hardly deny), why should the blame not be as well? What makes them think they can boast of the same thing that in women brings only shame?”
Moderata Fonte, The Worth of Women: Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their Superiority to Men

Molière
“My hate is general, I detest all men;
Some because they are wicked and do evil,
Others because they tolerate the wicked,
Refusing them the active vigorous scorn
Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds.”
Molière, The Misanthrope

Graham Greene
“How often the priest had heard the same confession--Man was so limited: he hadn't even the ingenuity to invent a new vice: the animals knew as much. It was for this world that Christ had died: the more evil you saw and heard about you, the greater the glory lay around the death; it was too easy to die for what was good or beautiful, for home or children or civilization--it needed a God to die for the half-hearted and the corrupt.”
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

G.K. Chesterton
“The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered...it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.”
G.K. Chesterton

François de La Rochefoucauld
“Hypocrisy is a tribute that vice pays to virtue.”
François de La Rochefoucauld, Reflections or Sentences and Moral Maxims

Moderata Fonte
“[I]t was with a good end in mind – that of acquiring the knowledge of good and evil – that Eve allowed herself to be carried away and eat the forbidden fruit. But Adam was not moved by this desire for knowledge, but simply by greed: he ate it because he heard Eve say it tasted good.”
Moderata Fonte, The Worth of Women: Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their Superiority to Men

Oscar Wilde
“He hadn’t a single redeeming vice.”
Oscar Wilde
tags: vice

Thornton Wilder
“Never support two weaknesses at the same time. It's your combination sinners - your lecherous liars and your miserly drunkards - who dishonor the vices and bring them into bad repute.”
Thornton Wilder

William Makepeace Thackeray
“The moral world has no particular objection to vice, but an insuperable repugnance to hearing vice called by its proper name.”
William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair

Charlotte Brontë
“Your god, sir, is the World. In my eyes, you, too, if not an infidel, are an idolater. I conceive that you ignorantly worship: in all things you appear to me too superstitious. Sir, your god, your great Bel, your fish-tailed Dagon, rises before me as a demon. You, and such as you, have raised him to a throne, put on him a crown, given him a sceptre. Behold how hideously he governs! See him busied at the work he likes best -- making marriages. He binds the young to the old, the strong to the imbecile. He stretches out the arm of Mezentius and fetters the dead to the living. In his realm there is hatred -- secret hatred: there is disgust -- unspoken disgust: there is treachery -- family treachery: there is vice -- deep, deadly, domestic vice. In his dominions, children grow unloving between parents who have never loved: infants are nursed on deception from their very birth: they are reared in an atmosphere corrupt with lies ... All that surrounds him hastens to decay: all declines and degenerates under his sceptre. Your god is a masked Death.”
Charlotte Brontë, Shirley

William Shakespeare
“So may the outward shows be least themselves:
The world is still deceived with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.”
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Benjamin Franklin
“To be proud of virtue, is to poison yourself with the Antidote.”
Benjamin Franklin

Natalie Clifford Barney
“My queerness is not a vice, is not deliberate, and harms no one.”
Natalie Clifford Barney

Ayn Rand
“If this is vise I want no virtue.

...

I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.

Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars.

...

But what is freedom? Freedom from what? There is nothing to take a man’s freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. That and nothing else.”
Ayn Rand

Christine de Pizan
“My Lady, you certainly tell me about wonderful constancy, strength and virtue and firmness of women, so can one say the same thing about men? (...)

Response [by Lady Rectitude]: "Fair sweet friend, have you not yet heard the saying that the fool sees well enough a small cut in the face of his neighbour, but he disregards the great gaping one above his own eye? I will show you the great contradiction in what the men say about the changeability and inconstancy of women. It is true that they all generally insist that women are very frail [= fickle] by nature. And since they accuse women of frailty, one would suppose that they themselves take care to maintain a reputation for constancy, or at the very least, that the women are indeed less so than they are themselves. And yet, it is obvious that they demand of women greater constancy than they themselves have, for they who claim to be of this strong and noble condition cannot refrain from a whole number of very great defects and sins, and not out of ignorance, either, but out of pure malice, knowing well how badly they are misbehaving. But all this they excuse in themselves and say that it is in the nature of man to sin, yet if it so happens that any women stray into any misdeed (of which they themselves are the cause by their great power and longhandedness), then it's suddenly all frailty and inconstancy, they claim. But it seems to me that since they do call women frail, they should not support that frailty, and not ascribe to them as a great crime what in themselves they merely consider a little defect.”
Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies

Charles Robert Maturin
“Yes, I laugh at all mankind, and the imposition that they dare to practice when they talk of hearts. I laugh at human passions and human cares, vice and virtue, religion and impiety; they are all the result of petty localities, and artificial situation. One physical want, one severe and abrupt lesson from the colorless and shriveled lip of necessity, is worth all the logic of the empty wretches who have presumed to prate it, from Zeno down to Burgersdicius. It silences in a second all the feeble sophistry of conventional life, and ascetical passion.”
Charles Robert Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer

Isla Dewar
“You must master the vices. You know that if a thing is worth doing it's worth doing well. If, however, a thing is not worth doing then it's worth doing fabulously, amazingly, with grace, style and panache.”
Isla Dewar, Women Talking Dirty

Héloïse d'Argenteuil
“[I]f the name of wife appears more sacred and more valid, sweeter to me is ever the word friend, or, if thou be not ashamed, concubine ... And thou thyself wert not wholly unmindful of that ... [as in the narrative of thy misfortunes] thou hast not disdained to set forth sundry reasons by which I tried to dissuade thee from our marriage, from an ill-starred bed; but wert silent as to many, in which I preferred love to wedlock, freedom to a bond. I call God to witness, if Augustus, ruling over the whole world, were to deem me worthy of the honour of marriage, and to confirm the whole world to me, to be ruled by me forever, dearer to me and of greater dignity would it seem to be called thy concubine than his empress.”
Héloïse d'Argenteuil, The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse

Iain Pears
“He who profits by villainy, has perpetrated it.”
Iain Pears, An Instance of the Fingerpost

William Beckford
“If she knew me as I really am she would despise me, and certainly not aid or abet my evil designs. To veil their vices from the sight of the good is the only resource of those who are not blind and know themselves to be vicious.' Thus was I confirmed in habits of hypocrisy; and these, for a time, worked only too effectually to my advantage.”
William Beckford, Episodes of Vathek

Barbara W. Tuchman
“Vainglory, however, no matter how much medieval Christianity insisted it was a sin, is a motor of mankind, no more eradicable than sex.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

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