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Pride is that exalted idea of our state, qualifications or attainments which exceeds the boundaries of justice, and induces us to look down upon supposed inferiors with some degree of unmerited contempt.
-DR. T. COGAN.
Of all the causes, which conspire to blind
Is Pride, the never failing voice of fools.
She gives in large recruits of needful pride;
What wants in blood and spirits, swell'd with wind :
There is an outside and inside kind of pride, as may be well seen in the familiar anecdote of Plato and Diogenes. The neat house and well-arranged silk couch of Plato were marks of outside pride; the act of Diogenes, when he came in and trod with dirty feet on his friend's couch, saying, 'Thus I trample on the pride of Plato,' was a signification of inside pride. Plato was right when he replied, And with greater pride, Diogenes.'
The outside pride which merely takes the ordinary modes of showing itself, such as good dress, or a neat household, is a much lower measure of the sentiment than the inside, which wraps itself up in the guise of a contempt for those things, and is content with its own meditations.
I am learned, I am rich, I am strong, I am powerful, and I am great-Do not have such pride; if you have it you will suffer loss.
Pride differs in many things from vanity, and by gradations that never blend, although they may be somewhat indistinguishable. Pride may perhaps be termed a too high opinion of ourselves, founded on the overrating of certain qualities that we do actually possess; whereas vanity is more easily satisfied and can extract a feeling of self-complacency, from qualifications that are imaginary. Vanity can also feed upon externals, but pride must have more or less of that which is intrinsic; the proud therefore do not set so high a value upon wealth as the vain, neither are they so much depressed by poverty. Vanity looks to the many, and to the moment, pride to the future, and the few; hence pride has more difficulties, and vanity more disappointments; neither does she bear them so well, for she at times distrusts herself, whereas pride despises others. For the vain man cannot always be certain of the validity of his pretensions, because they are often as empty as that very vanity that has created them; therefore it is necessary for his happiness, that they should be confirmed by the opinion of his neighbours, and his own vote in favour of himself, he thinks of little weight, until it be backed up by the suffrages of others. The
vain man idolizes his own person, and here he is wrong; but he cannot bear his own company, and here he is right. But the proud man wants no such confirmations; his pretensions may be small, but they are something, and his error lies in overrating them. If others appreciate his merits less highly, he attributes it either. to their envy, or to their ignorance, and enjoys in prospect that period when time shall have removed the film from their eyes. Therefore the proud man can afford to wait, because he has no doubt of the strength of his capital, and can also live, by anticipation, on that fame which he has persuaded himself that he deserves. He often draws indeed too largely upon posterity, but even here he is safe; for should the bills be dishonoured, this cannot happen until that debt which cancels all others, shall have been paid.
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty
spirit before a fall,
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Do not delay the work of to-day to the morrow.
Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise;
Till the whole stream which stopp'd him should be gone,
Which runs, and, as it runs, for ever will run on.
Never defer that until to-morrow which you can do
One half the evils in our way
And then how great the sorrow,
To find the work of yesterday
It is never too late to mend, to mend,
In a brother's sorest need;
If you have a work to do,
Do the work that's needed.
When you have the golden chance,
God will give you another.
Freely give of every good
Choicer gifts from Heaven.
Whatsoe'er you find to do
Do it now, no other time