To flee vice is the beginning of virtue, and to have got rid of folly is the beginning of wisdom. ~ Horace

A Vice is a defect in character.


  • Every other vice hath some pleasure annexed to it, or will admit of some excuse, but envy wants both.
  • The vices of which we are full we carefully hide from others, and we flatter ourselves with the notion that they are small and trivial; we sometimes even embrace them as virtues.
    • John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, pg. 32
  • Study to sever pleasure from vice.
    • Descartes, Discourse on Method, J. Veitch, trans. (1899), part 3, p. 32
  • There are no vices more dangerous than those which simulate virtue.
    • Erasmus, The Handbook of the Christian Soldier (1501), as translated by Charles Fantazzi, in The Erasmus Reader (1990), p. 146
  • To flee vice is the beginning of virtue, and to have got rid of folly is the beginning of wisdom.
    • Horace, Epistles, Book I, epistle 1, line 41
  • No vice exists which does not pretend to be more or less like some virtue, and which does not take advantage of this assumed resemblance.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, Characters, H. Van Laun, trans. (London: 1885) “Of the Affections,” #72
  • We must carefully teach children to detest vices for what they consist in; we must teach them their natural ugliness, so that they flee them not only in their deeds but in their minds: the very thought of them should be hateful, whatever mask they hide behind.
    • Montaigne, Essays, as translated by M. A. Screech, p. 124
  • L’hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend à la vertu.
  • Aliena vitia in oculis habemus, a tergo nostra sunt.
    • The vices of others we have before our eyes, our own are behind our backs.
  • 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, as quoted in The Seven Deadly Sins (2000) by Steven Schwartz, p. 23.
  • I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.
    • Mark Twain, "Answers to Correspondents", The Californian, 17 June 1865. Reprinted in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches (1867).
  • God commands (people) to maintain justice, kindness, and proper relations with their relatives. He forbids them to commit indecency, sin, and rebellion.

See also

AltruismAsceticismBeneficenceBenevolenceBraveryCarefulnessCharityCheerfulnessCleanlinessCommon senseCompassionConstancyCourageDignityDiligenceDiscretionEarnestnessFaithFidelityForethoughtForgivenessFriendshipFrugalityGentlenessGoodnessGraceGratitudeHolinessHonestyHonorHopeHospitalityHumanityHumilityIntegrityIntelligenceJusticeKindnessLoveLoyaltyMercyModerationModestyOptimismPatiencePhilanthropyPietyPrudencePunctualityPovertyPuritySelf-controlSimplicitySinceritySobrietySympathyTemperanceTolerance

AggressionAngerApathyArroganceBigotryContemptCowardiceCrueltyDishonestyDrunkennessEgotismEnvyEvil speakingGluttonyGreedHatredHypocrisyIdlenessIgnoranceImpatienceImpenitenceIngratitudeInhumanityIntemperanceJealousyLazinessLustMaliceNeglectObstinacyPhilistinismPrejudicePretensionPrideRecklessnessSelf-righteousnessSelfishnessSuperficialityTryphéUnkindnessUsuryVanityWorldliness

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