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CONCEIT
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[ Also see Boasting Pretension Pride Self-love Self-praise Self-righteousness Selfishness Snobs Vanity ]

Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Ghost at III, iv)

These signs have marked me extraordinary,
  And all the courses of my life do show
    I am not in the roll of common men.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Glendower at III, i)

Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
  Brags of his substance, not of ornament.
    They are but beggars that can count their worth;
      But my true love is grown to such excess
        I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Juliet at II, vi)

The worst cliques are those which consist of one man.
      - George Bernard Shaw

Self-made men are most always apt to be a little too proud of the job.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

How wise are we in thought! how weak in practice! our very virtue, like our will, is nothing.
      - James Shirley

Self-love is better than any gilding to make that seem gorgeous wherein ourselves be parties.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

All affectation and display proceed the supposition of possessing something better than the rest of the world possesses. Nobody is vain in possessing two legs and two arms; because that is the precise quantity of either sort of limb which everybody possesses.
      - Sydney Smith

Nature descends down to infinite smallness. Great men have their parasites; and, if you take a large buzzing blue-bottle fly, and look at it in a microscope, you may see twenty or thirty little ugly insects crawling about it, which, doubtless, think their fly to be the bluest, grandest, merriest, most important animal in the universe, and are convinced the world would be at an end if it ceased to buzz.
      - Sydney Smith

Whoe'er imagines prudence all his own,
  Or deems that he hath powers to speak and judge
    Such as none other hath, when they are known,
      They are found shallow.
      - Sophocles, Antigone (707)

The best of lessons, for a good many people, would be to listen at a keyhole. It is a pity for such that the practice is dishonorable.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

Faith, that's as well said as if I had said it myself.
      - Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation
         (dialogue II)

They say it was Liston's firm belief, that he was a great and neglected tragic actor; they say that every one of us believes in his heart, or would like to have others believe, that he is something which he is not.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

Men are found to be vainer on account of those qualities which they fondly believe they have than of those which they really have.
      - Vincent Voiture

But the conceit of one's self and the conceit of one's hobby are hardly more prolific of eccentricity than the conceit of one's money. Avarice, the most hateful and wolfish of all the hard, cool, callous dispositions of selfishness, has its own peculiar caprices and crotchets. The ingenuities of its meanness defy all the calculations of reason, and reach the miraculous in subtlety.
      - Edwin Percy Whipple

Men educate each other in reason by contact or collision, and keep each other sane by the very conflict of their separate hobbies. Society as a whole is the deadly enemy of the particular crotchet of each, and solitude is almost the only condition in which the acorn of conceit can grow to the oak of perfect self-delusion.
      - Edwin Percy Whipple

Conceit and confidence are both of them cheats; the first always imposes on itself, the second frequently deceives others too.
      - Johann Georg von Zimmermann


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