Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


De vitiis nostris scalam nobis facimus, si vitia ipsa calcamus.
We make a ladder for ourselves of our vices, if we trample those same vices underfoot.
St. Augustine—Sermon 3. De Ascensione.

Vitia temporis; vitia hominis.
Vices of the time; vices of the man.
Bacon—Humble Submission and Supplication to the Lords of Parliament. (1621).

Vice gets more in this vicious world
Than piety.
Beaumont and Fletcher—Love’s Cure. Act III. Sc. 1.

Vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.
Burke—Reflections on the Revolution in France.

To sanction Vice, and hunt Decorum down.
Byron—English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. L. 621.

And lash the Vice and Follies of the Age.
Susannah Centlivre—Prologue to The Man’s Bewitched.

Ne’er blush’d, unless, in spreading vice’s snares,
She blunder’d on some virtue unawares.
Churchill—The Rosciad. L. 137.

What maintains one vice would bring up two children.
Franklin—Poor Richard’s Almanac.

Omne animi vitium tanto conspectius in se
Crimen habet, quanto major qui peccat habetur.
Every vice makes its guilt the more conspicuous in proportion to the rank of the offender.
Juvenal—Satires. VIII. 140.

We do not despise all those who have vices, but we despise all those who have not a single virtue.
La Rochefoucauld—Maxims. No. 195.

A vice is a failure of desire.
Gerald Stanley Lee—Crowds. Bk. IV. Ch. XIII.

Saint Augustine! well hast thou said,
That of our vices we can frame
A ladder, if we will but tread
Beneath our feet each deed of shame.
Longfellow—The Ladder of St. Augustine. St. 1.

Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast;
But shall the dignity of vice be lost?
Pope—Epilogue to Satires. Dialogue I.

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 217.

The heart resolves this matter in a trice,
“Men only feel the smart, but not the vice.”
Pope—Horace. Bk. II. Ep. II. L. 216.

Hominum sunt ista [vitia], non temporum.
Those vices [luxury and neglect of decent manners] are vices of men, not of the times.
Seneca—Epistles. 97.

The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to plague us.
King Lear. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 170. (“Scourge” for “plague” in quarto.)

There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.
Merchant of Venice. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 81.

Vice repeated is like the wand’ring wind,
Blows dust in others’ eyes, to spread itself.
Pericles. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 97.

O, what a mansion have those vices got
Which for their habitation chose out thee,
Where beauty’s veil doth cover every blot,
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see!
Sonnet XCV.