moral and esthetic quality
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Purity is the state or degree of being pure, lacking contaminants or impediments to virtue.


  • Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.
    • James Baldwin "The Black Boy Looks at the White Boy" in Esquire (May 1961) republished in Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961)
  • Men and women grow older in this world of ours, and as the years advance they change. Of all the changes that they undergo those of their moral natures are the most painful to watch. The boy changes into the man, and there is something lost which never seems to come back again. It is like the first glow of the morning that passes away — like the bloom on the blossom that never is restored. Your grown-up boy is wise in bad things which he used to know nothing about. His life no longer sounds with a perfectly clear ring, or shines with a perfectly white lustre. He is no longer unspotted. ...

    The worst thing about all this staining power of the world is the way in which we come to think of it as inevitable. ... It is not true. ... Social life is lighted up with the lustre of the white, unstained robes of many a pure man or woman who walks through its very midst. ...

    When a man comes not merely to tolerate, but to boast of the stains that the world has flung upon him; when he wears his spots as if they were jewels; when he flaunts his unscrupulousness, and his cynicism and his disbelief and his hard-heartedness in your face as the signs and badges of his superiority; when to be innocent and unsuspicious and sensitive seems to be ridiculous and weak; when it is reputable to show that we are men of the world by exhibiting the stains that the world has left upon our reputation, our conduct, and our heart, then we understand how flagrant is the danger; then we see how hard it must be to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.

  • θρησκεία καθαρὰ καὶ ἀμίαντος παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ καὶ Πατρὶ αὕτη ἐστίν, ἐπισκέπτεσθαι ὀρφανοὺς καὶ χήρας ἐν τῇ θλίψει αὐτῶν, ἄσπιλον ἑαυτὸν τηρεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ κόσμου.
    • Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
  • Quell' onda, che ruina
    Dalla pendice alpina,
    Balza, si frange, e mormora
    Ma limpida si fa.
    • That water which falls from some Alpine height is dashed, broken, and will murmur loudly, but grows limpid by its fall.
    • Metastasio, Alcide al Bivio (1760).
  • Qual diverrà quel fiume,
    Nel lungo suo cammino,
    Se al fonte ancor vicino
    É torbido così?
    • What will the stream become in its lengthened course, if it be so turbid at its source?
    • Metastasio, Morte d' Abele (1732), I.
  • Have you not seen those who claim themselves to be pure? Rather, Allah purifies whom He wills, and injustice is not done to them, (even) as much as a thread (inside a date seed).
  • The gentleman knows that whatever is imperfect and unrefined does not deserve praise. ... He makes his eyes not want to see what is not right, makes his ears not want to hear that is not right, makes his mouth not want to speak what is not right, and makes his heart not want to deliberate over what is not right. ... For this reason, power and profit cannot sway him, the masses cannot shift him, and nothing in the world can shake him.
    • Xun Zi, “An Exhortation to Learning,” E. Hutton, trans., Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (2001), p. 260

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 652.
  • Les choses valent toujours mieux dans leur source.
    • The stream is always purer at its source.
    • Blaise Pascal, Lettres Provinciales, IV.
  • Unto the pure all things are pure.

See also

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