"If there is a single quality that is shared by all great men, it is vanity. But I mean by "vanity" only that they appreciate their own worth. Without this kind of vanity they would not be great. And with vanity alone, of course, a man is nothing."
"Lady Dellwyn ... for the first time began to entertain some suspicions that she had a heart to bestow. Not that she was actuated by that romantic passion which creates indifference to every other object and makes all happiness to consist in pleasing the beloved person, [but] only overstraining delicacy so much as to feel it almost a crime to charm any other."
"Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter, wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others who are within his sphere of action: and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life."
"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us."
"Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well- informed mind, is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing any thing, should conceal it as well as she can."
"Writing a book I have found to be like building a house. A man forms a plan, and collects materials. He thinks he has enough to raise a large and stately edifice; but after he has arranged, compacted and polished, his work turns out to be a very small performance. The authour however like the builder, knows how much labour his work has cost him; and therefore estimates it at a higher rate than other people think it deserves,"
"How easily and cleverly do I write just now! I am really pleased with myself; words come skipping to me like lambs upon Moffat Hill; and I turn my periods smoothly and imperceptibly like a skilful wheelwright turning tops in a turning-loom. There's fancy! There's simile!"