880. Vanity.

880. Vanity.NOUN. vanity; conceit, conceitedness; self-conceit, self-complacency, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, self-love, self-approbation, self-praise, self-glorification, self-laudation, self-gratulation, self-applause, self-admiration; amour propre [Fr.]; selfishness &c. 943.

airs, pretensions, mannerism, affected manner; egotism; priggism, priggishness; coxcombry, gaudery, vainglory, elation; pride &c. 878; ostentation &c. 882; assurance &c. 885.

vox et præterea nihil [Lat.]; cheval de bataille [Fr.].

egoist, egotist; peacock, coxcomb &c. 854 Sir Oracle &c. 887.

VERB. be vain &c. adj., be vain of; pique oneself &c. (pride) 878;“lay the flattering unction to one’s soul” {Shakespeare—Hamlet. See full context in Phrases for Hope }.

have too high an opinion of oneself, have an overweening opinion of oneself, have too high an opinion of one’s talents; blind oneself as to one’s own merit; not think small beer of oneself, not think vin ordinaire of oneself [Fr.]; put oneself forward; fish for compliments; give oneself airs &c. (assume) 885; boast &c. 884.

render vain &c. adj.; inspire with vanity &c. n.; inflate, puff up, turn up, turn one’s head.

ADJ. vain, vain as a peacock, proud as a peacock; conceited, assured, overweening, pert, forward; perky, vainglorious, high-flown; ostentatious &c. 882; puffed up, inflated, flushed.

self-satisfied, self-confident, self-sufficient, self-flattering, self-admiring, self-applauding, self-glorious, self-opinionated; entêté [Fr.] &c. (wrong-headed) 481; wise in one’s own conceit, pragmatical, overwise, pretentious, priggish; egotistic, egotistical; soi-disant [Fr.] &c. (boastful) 884; arrogant &c. 885.

unabashed, unblushing; unconstrained, unceremonious; free and easy.

ADV. vainly &c. adj.

PHR. “How we apples swim! said the horse droppings.” {Proverb(See Swift below). }.

“An inundation, says the fable,
Overflow’d a farmer’s barn and stable;
Whole ricks of hay and sacks of corn
Were down the sudden current borne;
While things of heterogeneous kind
Together float with tide and wind.
The generous wheat forgot its pride,
And sail’d with litter side by side;
Uniting all, to shew their amity,
As in a general calamity.
A ball of new-dropp’d horse’s dung,
Mingling with apples in the throng,
Said to the pippin plump and prim,
‘See brother, how we apples swim.’
 

{Jonathan SwiftOn The Words Brother Protestants and Fellow Christians, so Familiarly Used by The Advocates for The Repeal of The Test-Act in Ireland 1733.}.

Wij appelen zwemmen! zei de paardenkeutel. [Dut.] {Proverb“How we apples swim! said the horse droppings.” }.

La vanité n’a pas de plus grand ennemi que la vanité. [Fr.] {Proverb“Vanity has no greater foe than vanity.” }.

Gloria vana florece, y no grana. [Sp.] {Proverb“Vainglory blossoms, and bears no fruit.” }.

La gloire vaine ne porte graine. [Fr.] {Proverb“Vainglory bears no grain.” }.

BELARIUS. Now for our mountain sport. Up to yond hill,
Your legs are young; I’ll tread these flats. Consider,
When you above perceive me like a crow,
That it is place which lessens and sets off;
And you may then revolve what tales I have told you
Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war.
This service is not service so being done,
But being so allow’d. To apprehend thus
Draws us a profit from all things we see,
And often to our comfort shall we find
The sharded beetle in a safer hold
Than is the full-wing’d eagle. O, this life
Is nobler than attending for a check,
Richer than doing nothing for a bribe,
Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silk:
Such gain the cap of him that makes him fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross’d. No life to ours!

{Shakespeare—Cymbeline—Act III. Sc. 3.}.

“Vanity dies hard; in some obstinate cases it outlives the man.” {Robert Louis Stevenson—Prince Otto.}.

De calceo sollicitus, at pedem nihil curans. [Lat.] {Proverb“Anxious about the appearance of the shoe, but regardless of the comfort of the feet.” }.

Les hommes rougissent moins de leur crimes que de leurs faiblesses et de leur vanité. [Fr.] {La Bruyère—Les Caractères. II. “Men blush less for their crimes than for their weaknesses and vanity.” }.

Ce qu’on nomme libéralité, n’est, souvent, que la vanité de donner, que nous aimons mieux que ce que nous donnons. [Fr.] {La Rochefoucauld—Maximes. 271. “What is called liberality, is often nothing more than the vanity of giving, a feeling which we are fonder of than the actual bestowal of alms.’ }.

La vertu n’iroit pas si loin, si la vanité ne lui tenoit compagnie. [Fr.] {La Rochefoucauld—Maximes. 205. “Virtue would not go so far, if vanity did not go with her.” }.

“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” {Holy Bible—Ecclesiates, Ch. 1. (King James I version). }.

The Peacock and Juno

THE PEACOCK made complaint to Juno that, while the nightingale pleased every ear with his song, he himself no sooner opened his mouth than he became a laughingstock to all who heard him. The Goddess, to console him, said, “But you far excel in beauty and in size. The splendor of the emerald shines in your neck and you unfold a tail gorgeous with painted plumage.” “But for what purpose have I,” said the bird, “this dumb beauty so long as I am surpassed in song?” “The lot of each," replied Juno, “has been assigned by the will of the Fates—to thee, beauty; to the eagle, strength; to the nightingale, song; to the raven, favorable, and to the crow, unfavorable auguries. These are all contented with the endowments allotted to them.”

{Aesop—Aesop’s Fables. (Translated by George Fyler Townsend). }.

Se ipse amans sine rivali. [Lat.] {Cicero—Epistolæ ad Quintum Fratrem. III. 8. “A lover of himself, without any rival.” }.

“So this is what Matthew has been looking so mysterious over and grinning about to himself for two weeks, is it?” she said a little stiffly but tolerantly. “I knew he was up to some foolishness. Well, I must say I don’t think Anne needed any more dresses. I made her three good, warm, serviceable ones this fall, and anything more is sheer extravagance. There’s enough material in those sleeves alone to make a waist, I declare there is. You’ll just pamper Anne’s vanity, Matthew, and she’s as vain as a peacock now. Well, I hope she’ll be satisfied at last, for I know she’s been hankering after those silly sleeves ever since they came in, although she never said a word after the first. The puffs have been getting bigger and more ridiculous right along; they’re as big as balloons now. Next year anybody who wears them will have to go through a door sideways.”

{Lucy Maud Montgomery—Anne of Green Gables. Ch. XXV. Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves. }.


Now gan his hart all swell in jollity,
And of him selfe great hope and help conceiv’d,
That puffed up with smoke of vanity,
And with selfe-loved personage deceiv’d,
He gan to hope of men to he receiv’d
For such as he him thought, or faine would
Put for in court gay portaunce he perceiv’d,
And gallant shew to be in greatest gree,
Eftsoones to court he cast t’advaunce his first degree.

{Edmund Spenser—The Faerie Queene. Canto III. St. V.}.


I have often thought that there has rarely passed a Life of which a judicious and faithful Narrative would not be useful. For, not only every Man has in the mighty Mass of the World great Numbers in the same Condition with himself, to whom his Mistakes and Miscarriages, Escapes and Expedients would be of immediate and apparent Use; but there is such an Uniformity in the Life of Man, if it be considered apart from adventitious and separable Decorations and Disguises, that there is scarce any Possibility of Good or Ill, but is common to Humankind. A great Part of the Time of those who are placed at the greatest Distance by Fortune, or by Temper, must unavoidably pass in the same Manner; and though, when the Claims of Nature are satisfied, Caprice, and Vanity, and Accident, begin to produce Discriminations, and Peculiarities, yet the Eye is not very heedful, or quick, which cannot discover the same Causes still terminating their Influence in the same Effects, though sometimes accelerated, sometimes retarded, or perplexed by multiplied Combinations. We are all prompted by the same Motives, all deceived by the same Fallacies, all animated by Hope, obstructed by Danger, entangled by Desire, and seduced by Pleasure.

{Samuel Johnson—The Rambler. No. 60. (Saturday, October 13, 1750). }


The teeming Mother, anxious for her Race,
Begs for each Birth the Fortune of a Face:
Yet Vane could tell what Ills from Beauty spring;
And Sedley curs’d the Form that pleas’d a King.
Ye Nymphs of rosy Lips and radiant Eyes,
Whom Pleasure keeps too busy to be wise,
Whom Joys with soft Varieties invite
By Day the Frolick, and the Dance by Night,
Who frown with Vanity, who smile with Art,
And ask the latest Fashion of the Heart,
What Care, what Rules your heedless Charms shall save,
Each Nymph your Rival, and each Youth your Slave?
An envious Breast with certain Mischief glows,
And Slaves, the Maxim tells, are always Foes,
Against your Fame with Fondness Hate combines,
The Rival batters, and the Lover mines.
With distant Voice neglected Virtue calls,
Less heard, and less the faint Remonstrance falls;
Tir’d with Contempt, she quits the slipp’ry Reign,
And Pride and Prudence take her Seat in vain.
In croud at once, where none the Pass defend,
The harmless Freedom, and the private Friend.
The Guardians yield, by Force superior ply’d;
By Int’rest, Prudence; and by Flatt’ry, Pride.
Here Beauty falls betray’d, despis’d, distress’d,
And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.

{Samuel Johnson—The Vanity of Human Wishes. The Tenth Satire of Juneval, Imitated by Samuel Johnson. }.


png

Did he find the problems of the inhabitability of the planets and their satellites by a race, given in species, and of the possible social and moral redemption of said race by a redeemer, easier of solution?

Of a different order of difficulty. Conscious that the human organism, normally capable of sustaining an atmospheric pressure of 19 tons, when elevated to a considerable altitude in the terrestrial atmosphere suffered with arithmetical progression of intensity, according as the line of demarcation between troposphere and stratosphere was approximated from nasal hemorrhage, impeded respiration and vertigo, when proposing this problem for solution, he had conjectured as a working hypothesis which could not be proved impossible that a more adaptable and differently anatomically constructed race of beings might subsist otherwise under Martian, Mercurial, Veneral, Jovian, Saturnian, Neptunian or Uranian sufficient and equivalent conditions, though an apogean humanity of beings created in varying forms with finite differences resulting similar to the whole and to one another would probably there as here remain inalterably and inalienably attached to vanities, to vanities of vanities and to all that is vanity.

And the problem of possible redemption?
The minor was proved by the major.

{James Joyce—Ulysses}.

See also Saint Augustine on intellectual vanity and desire in Phrases for Desire.

See also Mark Twain on self-conceit and irreverence in Phrases for Impiety.

See also Samuel Butler’s “A Huffing Courtier” in Phrases for Ostentation


Roget’s Thesaurus 1911. Compiled, edited and supplemented by Nicholas Shea. Dev version 1.7.9b Compiled on: 19 January 2022 at 05:16:38
CORRECTED HEADS: 1 to 905; CORRECTED QUOTES: 1 to 905; ALL OTHER HEADS & QUOTES IN PROGRESS. www.neolithicsphere.com

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.