And could I look upon her without compassion, seeing her punishment in the ruin she was, in her profound unfitness for this earth on which she was placed, in the vanity of sorrow which had become a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of remorse, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities that have been curses in this world?
It is the utterly destructive quality. When you say vanity, you are thinking of the kind that admires itself in mirrors and buys things to deck itself out in. But that is merely personal conceit. Real vanity is something quite different. A matter not of person but of personality. Vanity says, "I must have this because I am me." It is a frightening thing because it is incurable.
But the more shrewdly and earnestly we study the histories of men, the less ready shall we be to make use of the word 'artificial.' Nothing in the world has ever been artificial. Many customs, many dresses, many works of art are branded with artificiality because the exhibit vanity and self-consciousness: as if vanity were not a deep and elemental thing, like love and hate and the fear of death. Vanity may be found in darkling deserts, in the hermit and in the wild beasts that crawl around him. It may be good or evil, but assuredly it is not artificial: vanity is a voice out of the abyss.
Long ago one of the Cynic philosophers strutted through the streets of Athens in a torn mantle to make himself admired by everyone by displaying his contempt for convention. One day Socrates met him and said: 'I see your vanity through the hole in your mantle.' Your dirt too, sir, is vanity, and your vanity is dirty.
Vanity Fair-Vanity Fair! Here was a man, who could not spell, and did not care to read-who had the habits and the cunning of a boor: whose aim in life was pettifogging: who never had a taste, or emotion, or enjoyment, but what was sordid and foul; and yet he had rank, and honours, and power, somehow: and was a dignitary of the land, and a pillar of the state. He was high sheriff, and rode in a golden coach. Great ministers and statesmen courted him; and in Vanity Fair he had a higher place than the most brilliant genius or spotless virtue.
William Makepeace Thackeray
Right now I am full of greed and vanity, so I cannot live with you like before. But may be we can meet like this. I think just being together and talking would be nice. But when we grow old, when greed and vanity will be completely gone, when I will be tired of singing can I return to that place too?
... overconfidence in one's own ability is the root of much evil. Vanity, egoism, is the deadliest of all characteristics. This vanity, combined with extreme ignorance of conditions the knowledge of which is the very A B C of business and of life, produces more shipwrecks and heartaches than any other part of our mental make-up.
Alice Foote MacDougall
Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter, wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others who are within his sphere of action: and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.
The ant's a centaur in his dragon world. Pull down thy vanity, it is not man Made courage, or made order, or made grace, Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down. Learn of the green world what can be thy place In scaled invention or true artistry, Pull down thy vanity, Paquin pull down! The green casque has outdone your elegance.
Vanity, right?" Nash reappeared in the living room with an open bag of potato chips. "I nominate my venerable brother. He likes to play hero, and one look at him should establish the vanity angle." "Nash!" I really shouldn't have been surprised by the dig. But I was. "What?" He raised one brow at me in challenge. "It's okay to call me jealous, but not to call him vain?" "Awareness of one's obvious advantages doesn't imply vanity, " Tod insisted calmly. Nash turned on him. "Does it imply narcissism?" Tod huffed. "This coming from the guy who owns more hair products than his girlfriend.
Vanity, right?" Nash reappeared in the living room with an open bag of potato chips. "I nominate my venerable brother. He likes to play hero, and one look at him should establish the vanity angle." "Nash!" I really shouldn't have been surprised by the dig. But I was. "What?" He raised one brow at me in challenge. "It's okay to call me jealous, but not to call him vain?" "Awareness of one's obvious advantages doesn't imply vanity," Tod insisted calmly. Nash turned on him. "Does it imply narcissism?" Tod huffed. "This coming from the guy who owns more hair products than his girlfriend.
I was trying to be 27 at age 47, but God had to get rid of my vanity. I had trouble letting go of the old Lex physically. My human fleshly nature didn't want to let go of what had come to be billed as 'The Total Package.' I guess God had to help me get rid of the last remnant of that vanity and pride.
If human nature were not base, but thoroughly honourable, we should in every debate have no other aim than the discovery of truth; we should not in the least care whether the truth proved to be in favour of the opinion which we had begun by expressing, or of the opinion of our adversary. That we should regard as a matter of no moment, or, at any rate, of very secondary consequence; but, as things are, it is the main concern. Our innate vanity, which is particularly sensitive in reference to our intellectual powers, will not suffer us to allow that our first position was wrong and our adversary's right. The way out of this difficulty would be simply to take the trouble always to form a correct judgment. For this a man would have to think before he spoke. But, with most men, innate vanity is accompanied by loquacity and innate dishonesty. They speak before they think; and even though they may afterwards perceive that they are wrong, and that what they assert is false, they want it to seem thecontrary. The interest in truth, which may be presumed to have been their only motive when they stated the proposition alleged to be true, now gives way to the interests of vanity: and so, for the sake of vanity, what is true must seem false, and what is false must seem true.
Vanity is as advantageous to a government as pride is dangerous. To be convinced of this we need only represent, on the one hand,the numberless benefits which result from vanity, as industry, the arts, fashions, politeness, and taste; and on the other, the infinite evils which spring from the pride of certain nations, a laziness, poverty, a total neglect of everything.
Baron de Montesquieu
I think what kind of destroyed the franchise, in some ways, was ego and vanity. When that element of ego and vanity that's sitting there in the franchise right now gets pushed aside, I think the whole thing could be re-tooled. I think it's the type of franchise that has years in it, and has lots of legs.
Vanity, or to call it by a gentler name, the desire of admiration and applause, is, perhaps, the most universal principle of humanactions.... Where that desire is wanting, we are apt to be indifferent, listless, indolent, and inert.... I will own to you, under the secrecy of confession, that my vanity has very often made me take great pains to make many a woman in love with me, if I could, for whose person I would not have given a pinch of snuff.
Very often inertia, selfishness, and vanity play the greatest role in our trust in others; inertia when we prefer to trust somebody else, in order not to investigate, be vigilant, or act ourselves; selfishness when the desire to speak about our own affairs tempts us to confide in someone else; vanity when it concers something that we are proud of.
From that awful encounter of the soul with the outer world, enunciation, wisdom, and charity are born; and with their birth a new life begins. To take into the inmost shrine of the soul the irresistible forces whose puppets we seem to be - Death and change, the irrevocableness of the past, and the powerlessness of Man before the blind hurry of the universe from vanity to vanity - to feel these things and know them is to conquer them.
Pride is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed, that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what would have others think of us.
I would much rather fight pride than vanity, because pride has a stand-up way of fighting. You know where it is. It throws its black shadow on you, and you are not at a loss where to strike. But vanity is that delusive, that insectiferous, that multiplied feeling, and men that fight vanities are like men that fight midges and butterflies. It is easier to chase them than to hit them.
Henry Ward Beecher
Human vanity is so constituted that it stiffens before difficulties. The more an object conceals itself from our eyes, the greater the effort we make to seize it, because it pricks our pride, it excites our curiosity and it appears interesting. In fighting for his God everyone, in fact, fights only for the interest of his own vanity, which, of all the passions produced bye the mal-organization of society, is the quickest to take offense, and the most capable of committing the greatest follies.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Pride, " observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections, "is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it it very common indeed; that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or the other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have other think of us.
SONG OF DAWN I saw the sun rise by accident. It was a horrible sight. Annoyed by its splendor, I sought refuge in a moist pillow, and lay there, alone, at the dawn of another day, that brought me closer to another death, pondering the vanity of my solitude, the vanity of procrastination, and the tiresome inevitability of waking up again the same person. It might still be possible to change, but obstinately I remain the same, hoping that others might take solace in my consistency. But perhaps they take no solace in it, perhaps they too find it tedious.
When Vanity kissed Vanity, a hundred happy Junes ago, he pondered o'er her breathlessly, and, that all men might ever know, he rhymed her eyes with life and death: "Thru Time I'll save my love!" he said. . . yet Beauty vanished with his breath, and, with her lovers, she was dead. . . -Ever his wit and not her eyes, ever his art and not her hair: "Who'd learn a trick in rhyme, be wise and pause before his sonnet there". . . So all my words, however true, might sing you to a thousandth June, and no one ever know that you were Beauty for an afternoon.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
When a thing is bought not for its use but for its costliness, cheapness is no recommendation. As Sismondi remarks, the consequence of cheapening articles of vanity, is not that less is expended on such things, but that the buyers substitute for the cheapened article some other which is more costly, or a more elaborate quality of the same thing; and as the inferior quality answered the purpose of vanity equally well when it was equally expensive, a tax on the article is really paid by nobody: it is a creation of public revenue by which nobody loses.
John Stuart Mill
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 3 What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? 4 A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. 5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. 6 The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. 7 All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. 8 All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it is said, 'See, this is new'? It has been already in the ages before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.
Grandfather looked away from me and out to sea, and when he spoke, it was as though he spoke to himself. 'The obligations of normal human kindness - chesed, as the Hebrew has it - that we all owe. But there's a kind of vanity in thinking you can nurse the world. There's a kind of vanity in goodness.' I could hardly believe my ears. 'But aren't we supposed to be good?' 'I'm not sure.' Grandfather's voice was heavy. 'I do know that we're not good, and there's a lot of truth to the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Vanity is so anchored in the heart of man that a soldier, a soldier's servant, a cook, a porter brags and wishes to have his admirers. Even philosophers wish for them. Those who write against vanity want to have the glory of having written well; and those who read it desire the glory of having read it. I who write this have perhaps this desire, and perhaps those who will read it.
Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character; vanity of person and of situation. He had been remarkably handsome in his youth; and, at fifty-four, was still a very fine man. Few women could think more of their personal appearance than he did, nor could the valet of any new made lord be more delighted with the place he held in society. He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of a baronetcy; and the Sir Walter Elliott, who united these gifts, was the constant object of his warmest respect and devotion.
Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character; vanity of person and of situation. He had been remarkably handsome in his youth; and, at fifty-four, was still a very fine man. Few women could think more of their personal appearance than he did; nor could the valet of any new-made lord be more delighted with the place he held in society. He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of a baronetcy; and the Sir Walter Elliot, who united these gifts, was the constant object of his warmest respect and devotion.
Self-respect is the very cement of character, without which character will not form nor stand; a personal ideal is the only possible foundation for self-respect, without which self-respect degenerates into vanity or conceit, or is lost entirely, its place being taken by worthlessness and the consciousness of worthlessness; and that is the end of all character. It is often said that if we do not respect ourselves no one else will respect us; this is rather a dangerous way to put it; let us rather say that if we are not worthy of our own respect we cannot claim the respect of others. True self-respect is a matter of being and never of mere seeming. As Paulsen says, "It is vanity that desires first of all to be seen and admired, and then, if possible, really to be something; whereas proper self esteem desires first of all to be something, and' then, if possible, to have its worth recognized.
Edward O. Sisson
I thought of what pride would look like, a jowly old guy in a smoking jacket. Vanity was a tall, beautiful woman with a face like a mask. Envy was a treasure-hoarding dragon, dainty and diabolical. As I sketched in the dragon's face, I gave her eyebrows like mine, my turtle necklace around its scaly neck. Xanda drew them as cliffs and valleys, irrevocably linked pride as a mountain, envy as a valley, hating its lowness and longing to reach, overtake, conquer. She drew vanity as a volcano with an abyss at its core.