150+ Best Virtue Quotes: Exclusive Selection

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Profoundly inspirational virtue quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

Famous Virtue Quotes

Ability may get you to the top but it’s character that will keep you there. ― Abraham Lincoln

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. ― Maya Angelou

Be father to virtue, but father-in-law to vice. ― Proverb

Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel and countenance. ― Ben Franklin

When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better. ― Mae West

Virtue is an angel, but she is a blind one, and must ask Knowledge to show her the pathway that leads to her goal. ― Horace Mann

Be not overcome by evil but repay evil with good. ― Bible

One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk. ― Charles Baudelaire

Don’t expect immortal virtues of mortals. Angels do not dwell on this planet. ― Minna Thomas Antrim

Beauty without virtue is a flower without perfume. ― French Saying

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues. ― Elizabeth Taylor

We are double-edged blades, and every time we whet our virtue the return stroke strops our vice. ― Henry David Thoreau

Character is easier kept than recovered. ― English Saying

Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known. ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Blushing is the color of virtue. ― Diogenes

Civility costs nothing and buys everything. ― Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Virtue is praised but hated. People run from it, for it is ice-cold and in this world, you have to keep your feet warm. ― Denis Diderot

Do good and care not to whom. ― Portuguese

I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. ― Billy Joel

It would seem that Nature has prescribed to everyone from the moment of his birth certain limits for virtue and vice. ― François VI

Do what comes natural. ― Unknown

Don’t give people what they want, give them what they need. ― Joss Whedon

We bow with resignation beneath the tempestuous storms of life; but a daily vexation, like a moth eating a garment, consumes our virtue. ― Anonymous

Don’t hang your hat higher than you can reach. ― Belizean

It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen. ― Aristotle

Virtue is insufficient temptation. ― George Bernard Shaw

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence. ― Unknown

We value virtue but do not discuss it. The honest bookkeeper, the faithful wife, the earnest scholar get little of our attention compared to the embezzler, the tramp, the cheat. ― John Steinbeck

Beware of making your moral staple consist of the negative virtues. ― Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Don’t toot your own horn. ― Unknown

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

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. ― Henry David Thoreau

Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good throughout. ― Ben Franklin

Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. ― Joseph Smith

He that has energy enough to root out a vice should go further and try to plant a virtue in its place. ― Charles Caleb Colton

Give credit where credit is due. ― M. Floy

“The virtuous man contents himself with dreaming that which the wicked man does in actual life. ― Sigmund Freud

Modesty and unselfishness – these are virtues which men praise – and pass by. ― André Maurois

Good example is the best sermon. ― Ben Franklin

It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men. ― Mary Wollstonecraft

Virtues are dangerous as vices insofar as they are allowed to rule over one as authorities and not as qualities one develops oneself. ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Good wine needs no bush. ― R. Taverner

I’d rather make a show 100 people need to see, than a show that 1000 people want to see. ― Joss Whedon

Virtue is its own revenge. ― E.Y. Harburn

Goodness does not consist in greatness but greatness in goodness. ― Athenaeus

But what is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Those who know what virtuous liberty is, cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-sounding words in their mouths. ― Edmund Burke

All of us are experts at practicing virtue at a distance. ― Theodore M. Hesburgh

Grace thou thy house and let not that grace thee. ― Ben Franklin

Love should be treated like a business deal, but every business deal has its own terms and its own currency. And in love, the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them or what they do for you. You love them for the values, the virtues, which they have achieved in their own character. ― Ayn Rand

The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can’t separate them. They’re wedded. ― Henry Miller

Handsome is as handsome does. ― Anthony Munday

The Master said, “A true gentleman is one who has set his heart upon the Way. A fellow who is ashamed merely of shabby clothing or modest meals is not even worth conversing with. ― Confucius

Virtue would not travel so far if vanity did not keep her company. ― François VI de la Rochefoucault

Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. ― Ben Franklin

It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge. ― Voltaire

A man hasn’t got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined. ― Anne Petry

If evils come not then our fears are in vain; and if they do, fear but augments the pain. ― Ben Franklin

‎It isn’t enough to stand up and fight darkness. You’ve got to stand apart from it, too. You’ve got to be different from it. ― Jim Butcher

What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy. ― Voltaire

If I keep my character, I’ll be rich enough. ― Plutonius

We do not place especial value on the possession of a virtue until we notice its total absence in our opponent. ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Virtue’s the paint that can make wrinkles shine… ― Edward Young

If you are not good for yourself, how can you be good for others. ― Spanish Saying

Sin is committable in thought, word or deed; so is virtue. ― Martin H. Fischer

.. everyone knows that ice cream is worth the trouble of being cold. Like all things virtuous, you have to suffer to gain the reward. ― Brandon Sanderson

To many people virtue consists chiefly in repenting faults, not in avoiding them. ― Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

If you make yourself into a doormat, people will wipe their feet on you. ― Belizean

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. ― George Washington

Vice and virtue are to the artist materials of his art. ― Oscar Wilde, Preface to Dorian Gray

If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up. ― Booker T. Washington

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. ― Winston S. Churchill

Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way… you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions. ― Aristotle

Any of us can achieve virtue, if by virtue we merely mean the avoidance of the vices that do not attract us. ― Robert S. Lynd

If you’ld have a servant that you like, serve yourself. ― Ben Franklin

You have to choose the best, every day, without compromise…guided by your own virtue and highest ambition. ― Phillipa Gregory

Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now. ― A.W. Tozer

The excess of virtue is a vice. ― Greek proverb

It is better to take many injuries than to give one. ― Ben Franklin

And it is you, spirit–with will and energy, and virtue and purity–that I want, not alone with your brittle frame. ― Charlotte Brontë

Unless I accept my faults, I will most certainly doubt my virtues. ― Hugh Prather

It is easy to kick a person when he is down. ― Aesop

Wisdom ain’t a virtue I ever aspired to. ― Moira Young

They who disbelieve in virtue because man has never been found perfect, might as reasonably deny a sun because it is not always day. ― Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

It’s an ill bird that fouls his own nest. ― Latin Proverb

Good and great are seldom in the same man. ― Winston S. Churchill

Water which is too pure has no fish. ― Ts’ai Ken T’an

No one is hurt by doing the right thing. ― Hawaiian

Humanity is not perfect in any fashion; no more in the case of evil than in that of good. The criminal has his virtues, just as the honest man has his weaknesses. ― Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

Hypocrisy is a tribute that vice pays to virtue. ― Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld

On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time. ― George Orwell

Nobility is not a birthright but is defined by one’s actions. ― Darren Bateman

We must remember that the test of our religious principles lies not just in what we say, not only in our prayers, not even in living blameless lives – but in what we do for others” ― Harry S. Truman

…happiness does not consist in amusement. In fact, it would be strange if our end were amusement, and if we were to labor and suffer hardships all our life long merely to amuse ourselves…. The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement…. ― Aristotle

It is hardly respectable to be good nowadays. ― Edith Sitwell

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values. ― Dalai Lama

The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend. ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth. ― L.M. Montgomery

Some folks wear their halos much too tight. ― Author Unknown

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth. ― Aesop

The way of the superior person is threefold; virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from perplexities; and bold they are free from fear. ― Confucius

“Men who do not forgive women their little faults will never enjoy their great virtues. ― Khalil Gibran

What, after all, is a halo? It’s only one more thing to keep clean. ― Christopher Fry

People show their character by what they laugh at. ― German

Only a man of integrity can possess the virtue of honesty, since only the faking of one’s consciousness can permit the faking of existence. ― Ayn Rand

We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them. ― François VI de la Rochefoucault

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. ― Dalai Lama

But merely being tradition does not make something worthy, Kadash. We can’t just assume that because something is old it is right. ― Brandon Sanderson

To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness. ― Confucius

Seek virtue and of that posest, to Providence resign the rest. ― Ben Franklin

As it fades, I see the truth – in plain sight, yet hidden all along. We are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue. This truth holds me close, rocking me like a child in a mother’s arms. It binds me in its love as death swallows me in its grasp. ― Tomi Adeyemi

Sweet are the slumbers of a virtuous man. ― Joseph Addison

Your stockings prove your virtues. Be certain they are clean and free of tears. ― Emilie Autumn

Caesar did not merit the triumphal car more than he that conquers himself. ― Ben Franklin

He cannot “tempt” to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. ― C. S. Lewis

The best way to keep good acts in memory is to repeat them. ― Cato

Know you not that a good man does nothing for appearance sake, but for the sake of having done right? ― Epictetus

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves. ― William Hazlitt

Unlike the puerile loyalty to a conviction, loyalty to a friend is a virtue – perhaps the only virtue, the last remaining one. ― Milan Kundera

The one who understands does not speak; the one who speaks does not understand. ― Chinese Saying

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue! ― Barry Goldwater

The pleasure of doing good is the only one that will not wear out. ― Chinese Saying

I can’t count the men who have tried to seduce me away from my virtue by teaching me how to defend it. ― Patrick Rothfuss

The real art of conversation is not only saying the right thing at the right moment but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the most tempting moment. ― Unknown

Make foes of bowmen if you must,

Never of penmen. ― Tiruvallur

The wise and the brave dares own that he was wrong. ― Ben Franklin

The charm of your society, my Sparrow, lies in not knowing what you will say next – though one rapidly learns to expect the worst! ― Georgette Heyer

Virtue alone is true nobility. ― William Gifford

Sexual energy between two people is a primal force comprised of power (energy that moves toward another) and virtue (knowing the energy between the two is right). ― Alexandra Katehakis

It is my wish that you may have at better and freer life than I have had. Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience; this was what upheld me in time of misery. ― Ludwig van Beethoven

Virtue is like a rich stone, it’s best plain set. ― Francis Bacon

Patience is not a virtue. It is an achievement. ― Vera Nazarian

Wealth and content are not always bedfellows. ― Ben Franklin

When you are asked to love everybody indiscriminately, that is to love people without any standard, to love them regardless of whether they have any value or virtue, you are asked to love nobody. ― Ayn Rand

What you cannot avoid, welcome. ― Chinese Proverb

These virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions … The good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life. ― Aristotle

When love and skill go together, expect a masterpiece. ― John Ruskin

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.

When you go to a donkey’s house, don’t talk about ears. ― Jamaican Saying

A virtuous woman is not moved by big names and flamboyance, but only men of profound wisdom and integrity move her. ― Michael Bassey Johnson

Where you were born is less important than how you live. ― Turkish Saying

It is easy to be conspicuously ‘compassionate’ if others are being forced to pay the cost. ― Murray N. Rothbard

Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad habits. ― Ben Franklin

“This is pity,” he thought, and then he lifted his head in wonder. He thought that there must be something terribly wrong with a world in which this monstrous feeling is called a virtue. ― Ayn Rand

You are what you eat. ― German Proverb

He never complained. He seemed to have no instinct for the making much of oneself that complaining requires. ― Wendell Berry

You become what you think about. ― Buddha

What virtue is there in a man who demonstrates goodness because he has been bred to it? It is his habit from youth. But a man who has known unkindness and want, for him to be kind and charitable to those who have been the cause of his misfortunes, that is a virtuous man. ― Deanna Raybourn

You can’t stop a pig from wallowing in the mud. ― Yoruba – West Africa

There has to be a cut-off somewhere between the freedom of expression and a graphically explicit free-for-all. ― E.A. Bucchianeri

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