Canto XX, lines 26–27 (tr. Longfellow).
The Divine Comedy (c. 1308–1321), Purgatorio
„In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice.“
Observations on the Drawing Up of Laws (1774)
Context: In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice. Those who have money will display it in every imaginable way. If their ostentation does not exceed their fortune, all will be well. But if their ostentation does exceed their fortune they will ruin themselves. In such a country, the greatest fortunes will vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Those who don't have money will ruin themselves with vain efforts to conceal their poverty. That is one kind of affluence: the outward sign of wealth for a small number, the mask of poverty for the majority, and a source of corruption for all.
Canto XX, lines 26–27 (tr. Longfellow).
„There is no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation, than a want of zeal in its inhabitants for the good of their country.“
— Joseph Addison politician, writer and playwright 1672 - 1719
The Freeholder, no. 5.
— Frances Burney English writer 1752 - 1840
The Early Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney, vol. 1, p. 48, journal entry, November 17, 1768.
— Stephen Harper 22nd Prime Minister of Canada 1959
The Star, January 30, 2007.
— René Descartes French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist 1596 - 1650
— Rutherford B. Hayes American politician, 19th President of the United States (in office from 1877 to 1881) 1822 - 1893
Diary (21 December 1843), referring to Aristotle's Ethics
Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1922 - 1926)
— L. Ron Hubbard American science fiction author, philosopher, cult leader, and the founder of the Church of Scientology 1911 - 1986
"Principles of Money Management" (9 March 1972).
Scientology Policy Letters
„Many bad men are rich, many good men are poor. But we will not exchange wealth for virtue along with them. One man has money now, another has money at another time. Money goes around, whereas virtue endures.“
— Theognis of Megara Greek lyric poet active in approximately the sixth century BC -570 - -485 BC
πολλοί τοι πλουτοῦσι κακοί, ἀγαθοὶ δὲ πένονται:
ἀλλ᾽ ἡμεῖς τούτοις οὐ διαμειψόμεθα
τῆς ἀρετῆς τὸν πλοῦτον, ἐπεὶ τὸ μὲν ἔμπεδον αἰεί,
χρήματα δ᾽ ἀνθρώπων ἄλλοτε ἄλλος ἔχει.
Source: Elegies, Lines 315-318, also attributed to Solon
— Diogenes of Sinope ancient Greek philosopher, one of the founders of the Cynic philosophy -404 - -322 BC
Stobaeus, iv. 31c. 88
Quoted by Stobaeus
— Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay British historian and Whig politician 1800 - 1859
Review of Aiken’s Life of Addison (1843)
„We really seek intelligence not for the answers it may suggest to the problems of life, but because we believe it is life,—not for aid in making the will of God prevail, but because we believe it is the will of God. We love it, as we love virtue, for its own sake, and we believe it is only virtue’s other and more precise name.“
— John Erskine American educator 1879 - 1951
Source: The Moral Obligation to be Intelligent (1915), pp. 26-27
„Above all, money-making and other external indices of social success must become subordinate to the inner attainments of moral and intellectual virtue.“
— Mortimer J. Adler American philosopher and educator 1902 - 2001
Source: Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind (1990), p. 314
„Money, then, appears as this overturning power both against the individual and against the bonds of society, etc., which claim to be essences in themselves. It transforms fidelity into infidelity, love into hate, hate into love, virtue into vice, vice into virtue, servant into master, master into servant, idiocy into intelligence and intelligence into idiocy.“
"The Power of Money in Bourgeois Society"
Source: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, p. 105, The Marx-Engels Reader
— Thomas Fuller (writer) British physician, preacher, and intellectual 1654 - 1734
Introductio ad prudentiam: Part II (1727), Gnomologia (1732)
„As no one can adventure nearer the throne of God by virtue of his rank, his wealth, or his talent, so no one is kept farther from that throne by his low condition, or by his poverty of wealth, of learning, or of intellect. The prince and the sage are not more welcome to heaven than the poor and ignorant.“
— Albert Barnes American theologian 1798 - 1870
Source: Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), P. 455.
„Patriotism is proud of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues.“
— Sydney J. Harris American journalist 1917 - 1986
“What’s Wrong with Being Proud?”
Pieces of Eight (1982)
Context: Patriotism is proud of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, “the greatest,” but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.
„Can we then hold the poverty-in-wealth of the money-grubbing usurers to be of any account? They may seem to be kings with purses full of gold, but they never even in their dreams have had a glimpse of the wealth that has eyes to see.“
— Philo Roman philosopher -15 - 45 BC
On the Virtues