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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 ]

Now if you can blush and cry guilty, cardinal
  You'll show a little honesty.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Surrey at III, ii)

Besides, they are our outward consciences,
  And preachers to us all, admonishing
    That we should drew us fairly for our end.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (King Henry at IV, i)

Well, my conscience hanging about the neck of my heart says very wisely to me, 'My honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son'--or rather 'an honest woman's son,' for indeed my father did something smack, something grow to; he had a kind of taste--Well, my conscience says, 'Launcelot, budge not.' 'Budge,' says the fiend. 'Budge not,' says my conscience. 'Conscience,' say I, 'you counsel well.' 'Fiend,' say I, 'you counsel well.'
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Launcelot at II, ii)

Though I did wish him dead,
  I hate the murderer, love him murdered.
    The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labor,
      But neither my good word nor princely favor.
        With Cain go wander thorough shades of night,
          And never show thy head by day nor light.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
         (Bolingbroke as King at V, vi)

The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
  Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv'st,
    And take deep traitors for the dearest friends!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (Queen Margaret at I, iii)

'Tis a blushing shame-faced spirit that mutinies in a man's bosom. It fills a man full of obstacles. It made me once restore a purse of gold that (by chance) I found. It beggars any man that keeps it.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (Second Murderer at I, iv)

I did but dream
  O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (King Richard at V, iii)

Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls;
  Conscience is but a work that cowards use,
    Devised at first to keep the strong in awe:
      Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (King Richard at V, iii)

My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
  And every tongue brings in a several tale,
    And every tale condemns me for a villain.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (King Richard at V, iii)

Yet, for I know thou art religious
  And hast a thing within thee called conscience,
    With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies
      Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
        Therefore I urge thy oath; for that I know
          An idiot holds his bauble for a god
            And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
              To that I'll urge him: therefore thou shalt vow
                By that same god, what god soe'er it be,
                  That thou adorest and hast in reverence,
                    To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up,
                      Or else I will discover naught to thee.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Aaron at V, i)

Conscience has no more to do with gallantry than it has with politics.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

I seek no better warrant than my own, conscience.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Conscience is that peculiar faculty of the soul which may be called the religious instinct.
      - Samuel Smiles

A man can bear a world's contempt when he has that within which says he's worthy. When he contemns himself, there burns the hell.
      - Alexander Smith

I believe that we cannot live better than in seeking to become better, nor more agreeably than having a clear conscience.
      - Socrates

A man never outlives his conscience, and that, for this cause only, he cannot outlive himself.
      - Bishop Robert South

A palsy may as well shake an oak, or a fever dry up a fountain, as either of them shake, dry up, or impair the delight of conscience. For it lies within, it centres in the heart, it grows into the very substance of the soul, so that it accompanies a man to his grave; he never outlives it.
      - Bishop Robert South

Conscience is its own counsellor.
      - Bishop Robert South

Conscience never commands nor forbids anything authentically, but there is some law of God which commands and forbids it first.
      - Bishop Robert South

No man ever offended his own conscience but first or last it was revenged upon him for it.
      - Bishop Robert South

The authority of conscience stands founded upon its vicegerency and deputation under God.
      - Bishop Robert South

The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.
      - Madame de Stael (Baronne Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein)

Conscience warns us as a friend before it punishes us as a judge.
      - Leszczynski Stanislaus ("Stanislaus I")

The world will never be in any manner of order or tranquillity until men are firmly convinced that conscience, honor and credit are all in one interest; and that without the concurrence of the former the latter are but impositions upon ourselves and others.
      - Sir Richard Steele

Were men so enlightened and studious of their own good as to act by the dictates of their reason and reflection, and not the opinion of others, conscience would be the steady ruler of human life, and the wards truth, law, reason, equity, and religion could be but synonymous terms for that only guide which makes us pass our days in our own favor and approbation.
      - Sir Richard Steele

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