chapter  5
13 Pages

Virtue

ByNancy Locklin

Chapter five, “Virtue,” reflects on the significance that when Moricette was finally captured, she was at her father’s side as he lay dying. This demonstration of filial piety may have offered the community a sign that she still had virtue and still had a place in their community. The chapter then provides an overview of the history of virtue as a concept, differentiating it from honor. Studies on virtue further distinguish between the virtues expected of men and those expected of women, and the virtues of leaders compared to those of “common folks.” Virtue was often connected to the concept of “duty” in the eighteenth century, but there were contradictions if duty to one’s civic role went against duty to one’s family. Loss of control was also considered to be beneath a virtuous person. Thus, there is a brief consideration of mental illness and suggestions in the evidence that there was something amiss about Moricette. The chapter concludes with reflections on the actions of the participants in the homicide and all that followed, testing who was being dutiful to the public good and who was motivated by dedication to the family.