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Vanity

  • 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.

  • The desire to be the object of public attention is weak, but the excessive dread of it is but a form of vanity and over-self-contemplativeness.

  • ... self-admiration giveth much consolation.

  • Only vain people wage war against the vanity of others.

  • There is as much vanity in self-scourgings as in self-justification.

  • I have a horror of vanity; it is the quicksand of reason.

  • ... hurt vanity is one of the cruelest of mortal wounds.

  • Miss Bart was discerning enough to know that the inner vanity is generally in proportion to the outer self-deprecation.

  • He thinks he's finer than frog hair.

  • He didn't believe she would ever be guilty of those uncatalogued faint treacheries which vanity makes young people commit.

  • 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 others think of us.

  • Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.

  • We are so vain that we care even for the opinion of those we don't care for.

  • The passion of vanity has its own depths in the spirit, and is powerfully militant.

  • There is scarcely any fault in another which offends us more than vanity, though perhaps there is none that really injures us so little.

  • ... vanity has no sex.

  • You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long, and the great charm of all power is modesty.

  • Conceit spoils the finest genius.

  • Vanity, like murder, will out.

  • Vanity often produces unreasonable alarm.

  • Is there any vanity greater than the vanity of those who believe themselves without it?

  • Wounded vanity knows when it is mortally hurt; and limps off the field, piteous, all disguises thrown away. But pride carries its banner to the last; and fast as it is driven from one field unfurls it in another ...

  • Pamper'd vanity is a better thing perhaps than starved pride.

  • All is vanity, and discovering it — the greatest vanity.

  • ... vanity first leads us into danger, and then renders us incapable of resistance.

  • Nothing is easier than to make a friend of the vain — nor an enemy.

    • Anonymous,
    • in Gertrude Atherton, Adventures of a Novelist ()
  • The sin of pride may be a small or a great thing in someone's life, and hurt vanity a passing pinprick, or a self-destroying or even murderous obsession.

  • Vain people can't bear to be crossed. They are the center of their world, and if circumstances don't allow the world to meet their needs, then the circumstances need to be changed. Their actions appear proportionate to them because any situation where their needs aren't being met is an affront.