"Just as bones, tissues, intestines, and blood vessels are enclosed in a skin that makes it possible to bear the sight of a human being, so the agitations and passions of the soul are wrapped up in vanity: it is the soul's skin."
"Whether a man hides his bad qualities and vices or confesses them openly, his vanity wants to gain an advantage by it in both cases: just note how subtly he distinguishes between those he will hide his bad qualities from and those he will face honestly and candidly."
"One sticks to an opinion because he prides himself on having come to it on his own, and another because he has taken great pains to learn it and is proud to have grasped it: and so both do so out of vanity."
"He who is usually self-sufficient becomes exceptionally vain and keenly alive to fame and praise when he is physically ill. The more he loses himself the more he has to endeavor to regain his position by means of the opinion of others."
"Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish to know only to talk. Thus we would not take a sea voyage--if we were never to speak of it--for the sole pleasure of seeing without hope of ever communicating it."
"We do not concern ourselves about being esteemed in towns through which we pass. But if we are to remain a while there, we are so concerned. How long is necessary? A time commensurate with our vain and paltry life."
"We do not content ourselves with the life we have in ourselves and in our being; we desire to live an imaginary life in the mind of others, and for this purpose we endeavor to shine. We labor unceasingly to adorn and preserve this imaginary existence and neglect the real."
"Vanity is so anchored in the heart of man that a soldier, a soldier's servant, a cook, a porter brags and wishes to have his admirers. Even philosophers wish for them. Those who write against vanity want to have the glory of having written well; and those who read it desire the glory of having read it. I who write this have perhaps this desire, and perhaps those who will read it."
"Of the three forms of pride, that is to say pride proper, vanity, and conceit, vanity is by far the most harmless, and conceit by far the most dangerous. The meaning of vanity is to think too much of our bodily advantages, whether real or unreal, over others; while the meaning of conceit is to believe we are cleverer, wiser, grander, and more important than we really are."