Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The following piece on the proud person is written with the contempt that people truly feel towards those who see themselves as more than they are. I’m in this essay, no doubt: but I rarely find anyone who doesn’t hold some or many of the following weaknesses. Read this slowly with true self-evaluation before you just dismiss it as a description of the other guy.
A proud man is a fool in fermentation that swells and boils over like a porridge-pot. He set out his feathers like an owl, to swell and seem bigger than he is. He is troubled with a tumor and inflammation of self-conceit, that renders every part of him stiff and uneasy. He has given himself sympathetic love-powder, that works upon him to foolish self-affection, and has transformed him into his own mistress.
He is his own gallant knight, and makes most passionate addresses to his own dear perfections. He commits idolatry to himself, and worships his own image; though there is no soul living of his church but himself, yet he believes as the church believes, and maintains his faith with the obstinacy of a fanatic. He is his own favorite, and advances himself, not only above his merit, but above all mankind; he give place to no man but himself, and that with very great distance to all others, whom he esteems not worthy to approach him.
He believes whatever he has, receives a value in just being his, as a horse in a nobleman’s stable will bear a greater price than in a common market.
He strives to look bigger than himself, as well as others; and is no better than his own parasite and flatterer.
A little flood will make a shallow torrent swell about its banks, and rage, and foam, and yield a roaring noise, while a deep, silent stream glides quietly on; so a vain-glorious, insolent, proud man swells with a little frail prosperity, grows big and loud, and overflows its bounds, and when he sinks, leaves mud and dirt behind him.
Now, we can naturally take no view of ourselves, unless we look downwards, to teach us what humble admirers we ought to be of our own value. The slighter and less solid his materials are, the more room they take up, and make him swell the bigger, as feathers and cotton will stuff cushions better than things of more close and solid parts. Butler.

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