The word character has lost its true meaning. Today, it is thought of as a novel trait we know we should have but can’t define in a meaningful way. We say things like “men of good character” but we mistakenly define it as a man of good qualities or of good values. The term we use today is more closely linked to a person’s personality.
Character is something different. Warren Susman researched the rise and fall of the concept of character during the 1800s and wrote that it was a keyword in the vocabulary, but it was described as something men would have to strive to attain.
Good character was something that came from within and a person of good character was a person of noble virtue.
Their actions yielded their character: what they did was who they were.