The French courage proceeds from vanity - the German from phlegm - the Turkish from fanaticism & opium - the Spanish from pride - the English from coolness - the Dutch from obstinacy - the Russian from insensibility - but the Italian from anger.
I need not print a line, nor conjure with the painter's tools to prove myself an artist . . . Whilst in other spheres of labor the greater part of our life's toil and moil will of a surety end, as the wise man predicted, in vanity and vexation of spirit, here is instant physical refreshment in the work the garden entails, and, in the end, our labor will be crowned with flowers.
To be beneficent when we can is a duty; and besides this, there are many minds so sympathetically constituted that, without any other motive of vanity or self-interest, they find a pleasure in spreading joy around them, and can take delight in the satisfaction of others so far as it is their own work. But I maintain that in such a case an action of this kind, however proper, however amiable it may be, has nevertheless no true moral worth, but is on a level with other inclinations. . . . For the maxim lacks the moral import, namely, that such actions be done from duty, not from inclination.
Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804)
Source: Fundamental Principles of THE METAPHYSICS OF ETHICS