To be a Man’s own Fool is bad enough, but the Vain Man is Every Body’s. This silly Disposition comes of a Mixture of Ignorance, Confidence, and Pride; and as there is more or less of the last, so it is more or less offensive or Entertaining. And yet perhaps the worst Part of this Vanity is its Unteachableness. Tell it any Thing, and it has known it long ago; and out-runs Information and Instruction, or else proudly puffs at it. Whereas the greatest Understandings doubt most, are readiest to learn, and least pleas’d with themselves; this, with no Body else. For tho’ they stand on higher Ground, and so see farther than their Neighbors, they are yet humbled by their Prospect, since it shews them something, so much higher and above their Reach. And truly then it is, that Sense shines with the greatest Beauty when it is set in Humility. An humble able Man is a Jewel worth a Kingdom: It is often saved by him, as Solomon’s Poor Wise Man did the City. May we have more of them, or less Need of them.

William Penn

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