History, is made up of the bad actions of extraordinary men and woman. All the most noted destroyers and deceivers of our species, all the founders of arbitrary governments and false religions have been extraordinary people; and nine tenths of the calamities that have befallen the human race had no other origin than the union of high intelligence with low desires.
The ultimate foundation of honor is the conviction that moral character is unalterable: a single bad action implies that future actions of the same kind will, under similar circumstances, also be bad.
Inference is founded upon obvious reasons. Regard to reputation has a less active influence, when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided upon a number, than when it is to fall singly upon one. A spirit of faction . . . will often hurry the persons of whom they were composed into improprieties and excesses for which they would blush in a private capacity.
He who busies himself with things other than improvement of his own self becomes perplexed in darkness and entangled in ruin. His evil spirits immerse him deep in vices and make his bad actions seem handsome.