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CONSCIENCE
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[ Also see Character Confession Contentment Depravity Guilt Honor Integrity Principles Reform Reformation Regret Remorse Repentance Right Self-examination Self-respect Shame Soul Virtue Voice ]

True, conscious Honour is to feel no sin,
  He's arm'd without that's innocent within;
    Be this thy screen, and this thy wall of Brass.
      - Alexander Pope, First Book of Horace
         (ep. I, l. 93)

Some scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought,
  "I'll now give sixpence where I gave a groat;
    Where once I went to church, I'll now go twice--
      And am so clear too of all other vice."
      - Alexander Pope, Moral Essays
         (ep. III, l. 365)

Let Joy or Ease, let Affluence or Content,
  And the gay conscience of a life well spent,
    Calm ev'ry thought, inspirit ev'ry grace,
      Glow in thy heart, and smile upon thy face.
      - Alexander Pope,
        To Mrs. M.B. on her Birthday

What Conscience dictates to be done,
  Or warns me not to do;
    This teach me more than Hell to shun,
      That more than Heav'n pursue.
      - Alexander Pope, Universal Prayer

In the commission of evil, fear no man so much as thyself; another is but one witness against thee, thou art a thousand; another thou mayest avoid, thyself thou canst not. Wickedness is its own punishment.
      - Francis Quarles

O the wound of conscience is no scar, and time cools it not with his wing, but merely keeps it open with his scythe.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

Conscience is the voice of the soul, the passions are the voice of the body. Is it astonishing that often these two languages contradict each other, and then to which must we listen? Too often reason deceives us; we have only too much acquired the right of refusing to listen to it; but conscience never deceives us; it is the true guide of man; it is to man what instinct is to the body; which follows it, obeys nature, and never is afraid of going astray.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Reason deceives us often; conscience never.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Living with a conscience is like driving a car with the brakes on.
      - Budd Wilson Schulberg

He that hath a scrupulous conscience is like a horse that is not well weighed; he starts at every bird that flies out of the hedge.
      - John Selden

A good conscience fears no witnesses, but a guilty conscience is solicitous even in solitude. If we do nothing but what is honest, let all the world know it; but if otherwise, what does it signify to have nobody else know it so long as I know it myself? Miserable is he who slights that witness!
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

We are born to lose and to perish, to hope and to fear, to vex ourselves and others; and there is no antidote against a common calamity but virtue; for the foundation of true joy is in the conscience.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

Live with men as if God saw you; converse with God as if men heard you.
  [Lat., Sic vive cum hominibus, tanquem deus videat; sic loquere cum deo, tanquam homines audiant.]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca),
        Epistoloe Ad Lucilium (X)

It is quite certain that, if from childhood men were to begin to follow the first intimations of conscience, honestly to obey them and carry them out into act, the power of conscience would be so strengthened and improved within them, that it would soon become, what it evidently is intended to be, "a connecting principle between the creature and the Creator."
      - John Campbell Shairp

Conscience is a blushing, shamefaced spirit than mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of obstacles.
      - William Shakespeare

Conscience is a thousand swords.
      - William Shakespeare

Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
  Devised at first to keep the strong in awe.
      - William Shakespeare

I feel within me a peace above all earthly dignities, a still and quiet conscience.
      - William Shakespeare

It is a blushing, shame-faced spirit, that mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of obstacles; it made me once restore a purse of gold that by chance I found; it beggars any man that keeps it; it is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man that means to live well endeavors to trust to himself, and live without it.
      - William Shakespeare

The color of the king doth come and go,
  Between his purpose and his conscience,
    Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set:
      His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.
      - William Shakespeare

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, i)

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
  And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
      And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
        With this regard their currents turn awry,
          And lose the name of action.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, i)

Better be with the dead,
  Whom we to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
    Than on the torture of the mind to lie
      In restless ecstasy.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at III, ii)

A peace above all earthly dignities,
  A still and quiet conscience.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Wolsey at III, ii)

I know myself now, and I feel within me
  A peace above all earthly dignities,
    A still and quiet conscience.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Wolsey at III, ii)


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