"Well, I had gone and spoiled it again, made another mistake. A double one in fact. There were plenty of ways to get rid of that officer by some simple and plausible device, but no, I must pick out a picturesque one; it is the crying defect of my character."
"There is no Possibility of succeeding in a Satyrical Way of Writing or Speaking, except a Man throws himself quite out of the Question. It is great Vanity to think any one will attend a Thing because it is your Quarrel. You must make your Satyr the Concern of Society in general, if you would have it regarded."
"Vain men delight in telling what Honours have been done them, what great Company they have kept, and the like; by which they plainly confess, that these Honours were more than their Due, and such as their Friends would not believe if they had not been told: Whereas a Man truly proud, thinks the greatest Honours below his Merit, and consequently scorns to boast. I therefore deliver it as a Maxim that whoever desires the Character of a proud Man, ought to conceal his Vanity."
"Since the beginning of time, three-quarters of the mental energy and of the lies inspired by vanity have been expended for their inferiors by people who are only abased by such expenditure. And Swann, who was easygoing and unaffected with a duchess, trembled at the thought of being scorned and put on airs when he was with a housemaid."
"Pride is an established conviction of one's own paramount worth in some particular respect, while vanity is the desire of rousing such a conviction in others, and it is generally accompanied by the secret hope of ultimately coming to the same conviction oneself. Pride works from within; it is the direct appreciation of oneself. Vanity is the desire to arrive at this appreciation indirectly, from without."
"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."