WHAT we take for Vertue is frequently nothing else but the concurrence of several Actions, and several Aims; which either our own Industry, or Fortune for us con∣trives to bring together. And we are much mistaken, if we think that Men are always stout from a principle of Valour, or Women chast from a principle of Modesty.
When see an action in another human being, we often attribute a context or meaning to what we observe which is not true. For instance, we may see someone behaving in a virtuous manner and think, “Oh he is virtuous.” However, he may be acting this way for very different reasons. For example a politician may be quite publicly gracious with a spouse and privately be quite different. The public kindness did not flow from grace or love; rather it was manipulation of the public.