Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Vain Man

But a vain man is a nauseous creature; he is so full of himself, that he has no room for any thing else, be it ever so good or deserving.
It is I, at every turn, that does this, or can do that. And as he abounds in his comparisons, so he is sure to give himself the better of every body else: according to the proverb, “All his geese are swans.”
They are certainly to be pitied that can be so much mistaken at home.
And yet I have sometimes thought, that such people are, in a sort, happy, that nothing can put out of countenance with themselves, though they neither have nor merit other people’s.
But, at the same time, one would wonder they should not feel the blows they give themselves, or get from others, for this intolerable and ridiculous temper; nor show any concern at that, which makes other’s blush for, as well as at them, viz. their unreasonable assurance.
This silly disposition comes from a mixture of ignorance, confidence and pride; and as there is more or less of the last, so it is more or less offensive, or entertaining.
And yet, perhaps the worst part of this vanity is its unteachableness. Tell it any thing, and it has know it long ago; and outruns information and instruction, or else proudly puffs at it.
Whereas the greatest understandings doubt most, are readiest to learn, and least pleased with themselves; this, with nobody else.
For Though they stand on higher ground, and so see farther than their neighbors, they are yet humbled by their prospect since it show them something so much higher, and above their reach.
And truly then it is that sense shines with the greatest beauty, when it is set in humility.
A humble able man is a jewel worth a kingdom; it is often saved by him, as Solomon’s poor wise man did the city.
May we have more of them or less need of them.
William Penn -- Photo by Lesta

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