But this is a harmless little foible
in the English whale-hunters, which the Nantucketer does not take much to heart; probably, because he knows that he has a few foibles
- faults if you like - will never be dwelt upon in any memorandum of mine," he declares, and goes on - "he whose splendid and matchless achievements will be remembered with admiration while there is gratitude in the hearts of Britons, or while a ship floats upon the ocean; he whose example on the breaking out of the war gave so chivalrous an impulse to the younger men of the service that all rushed into rivalry of daring which disdained every warning of prudence, and led to acts of heroic enterprise which tended greatly to exalt the glory of our nation."
and vices of men, in whom there is great mixture of good, become more glaring objects from the virtues which contrast them and shew their deformity; and when we find such vices attended with their evil consequence to our favourite characters, we are not only taught to shun them for our own sake, but to hate them for the mischiefs they have already brought on those we love.
All the rest was weakness--sheer weakness; and it is the unhappy lot of thoroughly weak men, that their very sympathies, affections, confidences--all the qualities which in better constituted minds are virtues--dwindle into foibles
, or turn into downright vices.
'My dear Louisa, then consent to receive the submissive representation of your devoted friend, who knows something of several varieties of his excellent fellow-creatures - for excellent they are, I am quite ready to believe, in spite of such little foibles
as always helping themselves to what they can get hold of.
My new acquaintances, both male and female, disappointed my expectations, and vexed and depressed me by turns; I for I soon grew tired of studying their peculiarities, and laughing at their foibles
- particularly as I was obliged to keep my criticisms to myself, for my aunt would not hear them - and they - the ladies especially - appeared so provokingly mindless, and heartless, and artificial.
At times I wondered what she meant by giving herself such trouble to win me, when the more profitable Pelet was already in her nets, and when, too, she was aware that I possessed her secret, for I had not scrupled to tell her as much: but the fact is that as it was her nature to doubt the reality and under-value the worth of modesty, affection, disinterestedness--to regard these qualities as foibles
of character--so it was equally her tendency to consider pride, hardness, selfishness, as proofs of strength.
The death of Marmaduke’s father, and the consequent division of his small estate, rendered such an offer extremely acceptable to the young Pennsylvanian; he felt his own powers, and saw, not only the excellences, but the foibles
in the character of his friend.
We all have our little foibles
, and mine is the prompt settling of accounts."
He had been disintegrated into a number of varied fellow-creatures--beings of many minds, beings infinite in difference; some happy, many serene, a few depressed, one here and there bright even to genius, some stupid, others wanton, others austere; some mutely Miltonic, some potentially Cromwellian; into men who had private views of each other, as he had of his friends; who could applaud or condemn each other, amuse or sadden themselves by the contemplation of each other's foibles
or vices; men every one of whom walked in his own individual way the road to dusty death.
Catherine feared, as she listened to their discourse, that he indulged himself a little too much with the foibles
"Give me time to collect my wits, Father," said he, with a smile that showed that his father's foibles
did not prevent his son from loving and honoring him.