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


Love thyself last.


Reservation is self-love.


Offended self-love never forgives.


True self-love and social are the same.


Self-love is the greatest of flatterers.

La Rochefoucauld.

In all time self-love has blinded the wisest.


A prudent consideration for Number One.


I to myself am dearer than a friend.


Would you hurt a man keenest, strike at his self-love.

Lew Wallace.

The world is governed by love,—self-love.


Self-love was born before love.

De Finod.

Self-love is a busy prompter.


Self-love and reason to one end aspire.


Love yourself; and in that love not unconsidered leave your honor.


Self-love is the most inhibited sin in the canon.


Self-love, as it happens to be well or ill conducted, constitutes virtue and vice.

La Rochefoucauld.

Self-love leads men of narrow minds to measure all mankind by their own capacity.

Jane Porter.

Self-love exaggerates our faults as well as our virtues.


There are wounds of self-love which one does not confess to one’s dearest friends.

J. Petit-Senn.

Our self-love can be resigned to the sacrifice of everything but itself.

La Harpe.

Our self-love is ever ready to revolt from our better judgment, and join the enemy within.


Self-love makes as many tyrants, perhaps, as love.


O impudent! regardful of thy own, whose thoughts are centred on thyself alone!


Self is the great antichrist and anti-God in the world, that sets up itself above all else.


The most amiable people are those who least wound the self-love of others.

La Bruyère.

Almost every one flatters himself that he and his are exceptionable.

Alphonse Karr.

Self-love is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.


Men indulge those opinions and practices that favor their pretensions.


Of all mankind, each loves himself the best.


Self-love is more cunning than the most cunning man in the world.

La Rochefoucauld.

Cut out the love of self, like an autumn lotus with thy hand!


All other love is extinguished by self-love; beneficence, humanity, justice, philosophy, sink under it.


Whatever discoveries we may have made in the regions of self-love, there still remain many unknown lands.

La Rochefoucauld.

It is the nature of extreme self-lovers as they will set an house on fire and it were but to roast their eggs.


Blind self-love, vanity, lifting aloft her empty head, and indiscretion, prodigal of secrets more transparent than glass, follow close behind.


A man who loves only himself and his pleasures is vain, presumptuous, and wicked even from principle.


Plato said that of all things in the world we should beware of that folly by which most men please themselves and despise a better judgment.

Jeremy Taylor.

Esteeming others merely for their agreement with us in religion, opinion, and manner of living is only a less offensive kind of self-adoration.

Rev. T. Adam.

It is falling in love with our own mistaken ideas that makes fools and beggars of half mankind.


Nothing is so capable of diminishing self-love as the observation that we disapprove at one time what we approve at another.

La Rochefoucauld.

Man’s that savage beast whose mind, from reason to self-love declined, delights to prey upon his kind.

Sir J. Denham.

Self-love is an instrument useful but dangerous; it often wounds the hand which makes use of it, and seldom does good without doing harm.


Every man is prompted by the love of himself to imagine that he possesses some qualities superior, either in kind or degree, to those which he sees allotted to the rest of the world.

Dr. Johnson.

A gentleman is one who understands and shows every mark of deference to the claims of self-love in others, and exacts it in return from them.


That man alone loves himself rightly who procures the greatest possible good to himself through the whole of his existence, and so pursues pleasure as not to give for it more than it is worth.

Benjamin Franklin.

Self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind. It is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and we must conceal it.


O villainous! I have looked upon the world for four times seven years; and since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found man that knew how to love himself.


Self-love is a principle of action; but among no class of human beings has nature so profusely distributed this principle of life and action as through the whole sensitive family of genius.

Isaac Disraeli.

Such is the infatuation of self-love, that, though in the general doctrine of the vanity world all men agree, yet almost everyone flatters himself that his own case is to be an exception from the common rule.


The secret of our self-love is just the same as that of our liberality and candor. We prefer ourselves to others only because we have a more intimate consciousness and confirmed opinion of our own claims and merits than of any other person’s.


That the principle of self-love (or, in other words, the desire of happiness) is neither an object of approbation nor of blame, is sufficiently obvious. It is inseparable from the nature of man as a rational and a sensitive being.

Dugald Stewart.

Every man, like Narcissus, becomes enamored of the reflection of himself, only choosing a substance instead of a shadow. His love for any particular woman is self-love at second-hand, vanity reflected, compound egotism.

Horace Smith.

Self-love, in a well-regulated breast, is as the steward of the household, superintending the expenditure, and seeing that benevolence herself should be prudential, in order to be permanent, by providing that the reservoir which feeds should also be fed.


Those who have affirmed self-love to be the basis of all our sentiments and all our actions are much in the right. There is no occasion to demonstrate that men have a face; as little need is there of proving to them that they are actuated by self-love.


Self-love is, in almost all men, such an overweight that they are incredulous of a man’s habitual preference of the general good to his own; but when they see it proved by sacrifices of ease, wealth, rank, and of life itself, there is no limit to their admiration.


Oh, the incomparable contrivance of Nature, who has ordered all things in so even a method that wherever she has been less bountiful in her gifts, there she makes it up with a larger dose of self-love, which supplies the former deficits and makes all even.


It is allowed that the cause of most actions, good or bad, may be resolved into the love of ourselves; but the self-love of some men inclines them to please others, and the self-love of others is wholly employed in pleasing themselves. This makes the great distinction between virtue and vice.


The most notorious swindler has not assumed so many names as self-love, nor is so much ashamed of his own. She calls herself patriotism, when at the same time she is rejoicing at just as much calamity to her native country as will introduce herself into power, and expel her rivals.


It is this unquiet self-love that renders us so sensitive. The sick man, who sleeps ill, thinks the night long. We exaggerate, from cowardice, all the evils which we encounter; they are great, but our sensibility increases them. The true way to bear them is to yield ourselves up with confidence to God.


If we listen to our self-love, we shall estimate our lot less by what it is than by what it is not; shall dwell upon its hindrances and be blind to its possibilities; and, comparing it only with imaginary lives, shall indulge in flattering dreams of what we should do if we had but power, and give if we had but wealth, and be if we had no temptations.

James Martineau.

  • Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
  • Reason’s comparing balance rules the whole.
  • Man, but for that, no action could attend,
  • And, but for this, were active to no end:
  • Fix’d like a plant on his peculiar spot,
  • To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot;
  • Or, meteor-like, flame lawless thro’ the void,
  • Destroying others, by himself destroy’d.
  • Pope.

    The cause of all the blunders committed by man arises from this excessive self-love. For the lover is blinded by the object loved; so that he passes a wrong judgment on what is just, good and beautiful, thinking that he ought always to honor what belongs to himself in preference to truth. For he who intends to be a great man ought to love neither himself nor his own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by himself, or by another.