To act from pure benevolence is not possible for finite human beings, Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive.
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- I have found men to be more kind than I expected, and less just.
- To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
- The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it.
- No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.
- Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense. He whom nature has made weak, and idleness keeps ignorant, may yet support his vanity by the name of a critic.
- In a man’s letters you know, Madam, his soul lies naked, his letters are only the mirror of his breast, whatever passes within him is shown undisguised in its natural process. Nothing is inverted, nothing distorted, you see systems in their elements, you discover actions in their motives.