C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


A great man is an abstraction of some one excellence; but whoever fancies himself an abstraction of excellence, so far from being great, may be sure that he is a blockhead, equally ignorant of excellence or defect of himself or others.


A self-made man? Yes; and worships his creator.

Henry Clapp.

He who, to be happy, needs nothing but himself, is happy.


Other people are least satisfied with those women who are best satisfied with themselves.

Mme. de Salm.

He who does not think too much of himself is much more esteemed than he imagines.


Blinded as they are as to their true character by self-love, every man is his own first and chiefest flatterer.


We are so little and vain that the esteem of five or six persons about us is enough to content and amuse us.


All men who know not where to look for truth, save in the narrow well of self, will find their own image at the bottom, and mistake it for what they are seeking.


I look upon the too good opinion that man has of himself to be the nursing-mother of all the false opinions, both public and private.


We censure others but as they disagree from that humor which we fancy laudable in ourselves, and commend others but for that wherein they seem to quadrate and consent with us.

Sir T. Browne.

Let a man’s talents and virtues be what they may, we only feel satisfaction in his society as he is satisfied in himself. We cannot enjoy the good qualities of a friend if he seems to be none the better for them.


Could all mankind lay claim to that estimate which they pass upon themselves, there would be little or no difference betwixt lapsed and perfect humanity; and God might again review His image with paternal complacency, and still pronounce it good.

Bishop Norris.

I do profess to be no less than I seem; to serve him truly that will put me in trust; to love him that is honest, to converse with him that is wise, and says little; to fear judgment; to fight, when I cannot choose; and to eat no fish.


Every man, in judging of himself, is his own contemporary. He may feel the gale of popularity, but he cannot tell how long it will last. His opinion of himself wants distance, wants time, wants numbers, to set it off and confirm it.