It is evident then that in the due government of a family, greater attention should be paid to the several members of it and their virtues
than to the possessions or riches of it; and greater to the freemen than the slaves: but here some one may doubt whether there is any other virtue
in a slave than his organic services, and of higher estimation than these, as temperance, fortitude, justice, and such-like habits, or whether they possess only bodily qualities: each side of the question has its difficulties; for if they possess these virtues
, wherein do they differ from freemen?
Socrates reminds Meno that this is only an enumeration of the virtues and not a definition of the notion which is common to them all.
But in the age of Socrates it was only by an effort that the mind could rise to a general notion of virtue as distinct from the particular virtues of courage, liberality, and the like.
The virtues, also, such as justice, self-restraint, and so on, are not easily dislodged or dismissed, so as to give place to vice.
By 'quality' I mean that in virtue of which people are said to be such and such.
Few people know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to sleep well.
And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing needful: to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time.
This was soon done; but again, as I thus conned all those virtues which I was to expect united in one unhappy woman, the result was still unsatisfying, for I began to perceive that it was really not perfection that I was in search of.
For, if you reflect a moment, you will see that, while it is easy to choose what virtues we would have our wife possess, it is all but impossible to imagine those faults we would desire in her, which I think most lovers would admit add piquancy to the loved one, that fascinating wayward imperfection which paradoxically makes her perfect.
But five of the other virtues
which Pierre recalled, counting them on his fingers, he felt already in his soul: courage, generosity, morality, love of mankind, and especially obedience- which did not even seem to him a virtue
, but a joy.
of prosperity, is temperance; the virtue
of adversity, is fortitude; which in morals is the more heroical virtue
I might be contented with this, and yet my vanity will add a third to the number; and him one of the greatest and noblest, not only in his rank, but in every public and private virtue