I hold it to be one of the distinguishing excellences of elective over hereditary successions that the talents which nature has provided in sufficient proportion, should be selected by the society for the govenment of their affairs, rather than that this should be be transmitted through the loins of knaves and fools passing from the debauches of the table to those of the bed.
There is an ideal of excellence for any particular craft or occupation; similarly there must be an excellent that we can achieve as human beings. That is, we can live our lives as a whole in such a way that they can be judged not just as excellent in this respect or in that occupation, but as excellent, period. Only when we develop our truly human capacities sufficiently to achieve this human excellent will we have lives blessed with happiness.
Of cases where a man is truthful both in speech and conduct when no considerations of honesty come in, from an habitual sincerity of disposition. Such sincerity may be esteemed a moral excellence; for the lover of truth, who is truthful even when nothing depends on it, will a fortiori be truthful when some interest is at stake, since having all along avoided falsehood for its own sake, he will assuredly avoid it when it is morally base; and this is a disposition that we praise.