"The young women [in England] are so mortally silly and insipid, that I cannot bear them. Upon my word ... I have scarce met with one worthy being spoke to. Their chat is all on caps--balls--cards--dress--nonsense."
"Thus has Homer proved his opinion of our poor sex--that the love of beauty is our most prevailing passion. It really grieves me to think that there certainly must be reason for the insignificant opinion the greatest men have of women--at least I fear there must.--But I don't in fact believe it--thank God!"
"Vanity, or to call it by a gentler name, the desire of admiration and applause, is, perhaps, the most universal principle of human actions.... Where that desire is wanting, we are apt to be indifferent, listless, indolent, and inert.... I will own to you, under the secrecy of confession, that my vanity has very often made me take great pains to make many a woman in love with me, if I could, for whose person I would not have given a pinch of snuff."
"The only sure way of avoiding these evils [vanity and boasting] is never to speak of yourself at all. But when, historically, you are obliged to mention yourself, take care not to drop one single word that can directly or indirectly be construed as fishing for applause."
"It is indeed typical that you Earth people refuse to believe in the superiority of any world but your own. Children looking into a magnifying glass, imagining the image you see is the image of your true size."
"Yet some natures are too good to be spoiled by praise, and wherever the vein of thought reaches down into the profound, there is no danger from vanity. Solemn friends will warn them of the danger of the head's being turned by the flourish of trumpets, but they can afford to smile."
"Pride can go without domestics, without fine clothes, can live in a house with two rooms, can eat potato, purslain, beans, lyed corn, can work on the soil, can travel afoot, can talk with poor men, or sit silent well contented with fine saloons. But vanity costs money, labor, horses, men, women, health and peace, and is still nothing at last; a long way leading nowhere.--Only one drawback; proud people are intolerably selfish, and the vain are gentle and giving."
"I was amongst the virtues like the great Turk in his seraglio of women, and I chose to dwell with that virtue which looked the fairest in my eyes and gave me at that season most pleasure. In short, I made wives of them: I first admired them, then made them my own property, and if they would not submit to my will, I again turned them off and divorced them."
"[F]or vanity disappointed will always find an enemy on whom to bestow the utmost hatred and dislike; and the woman who hath been thus entangled in her own snares will generally find that enemy in the person of her husband. As from him (when her lover) arose all her pleasure, so from him now flows all her disappointment."
"Near by is an interesting ruin--the meagre remains of an ancient heathen temple--a place where human sacrifices were offered up in those old bygone days when the simple child of nature, yielding momentarily to sin when sorely tempted, acknowledged his error when calm reflection had shown it to him, and came forward with noble frankness and offered up his grandmother as an atoning sacrifice--in those old days when the luckless sinner could keep on cleansing his conscience and achieving periodical happiness as long as his relations held out."