There is a price for being good the same as for being bad; a cost to pay. And it’s the good men that can’t deny the bill when it comes around. They can’t deny it, like the honest man that gambles. The bad men can deny it; that’s why don’t anybody expect them to pay on sight or any other time. But the good can’t.
No one is truly honest. Even if we don’t lie to others, we often lie to ourselves. And the word good means different things to different people.
No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Might the simple maxim, that honesty is the best policy be laid to heart! Might a sense of the true aims of life elevate the tone of politics and trade, till public and private honor become identical!
If the role of an honest woman were nothing more than perilous, I would admit that it would serve. But it is tiresome; and I have never met a virtuous woman who did not think about deceiving somebody.[Si le métier d’honnête femme n’était que périlleux, passe encore… me disait une vieille dame; mais il ennuie, et je n’ai jamais rencontré de femme vertueuse qui ne pensât jouer en dupe.]