The most amiable people are those who least wound the self-love of others.
Self-love is too apt to draw some consolation even from so bitter a source as the calamities of others.—The sting of our pains is diminished by the assurance that they are common to all; and from feelings equally egotistical, it unfortunately happens that the zest and relish of our pleasures is heightened by the contrary consideration, namely, that they are confined to ourselves. This conviction it is that tickles the palate of the epicure, that inflames the ardor of the lover, that lends to ambition her ladder, and extracts the thorns from a crown.
Self-love is, in almost all men, such an overweight that they are incredulous of a man's habitual preference of the general good to his own; but when they see it proved by sacrifices of ease, wealth, rank, and of life itself, there is no limit to their admiration.
All other love is extinguished by self-love; beneficence, humanity, justice, and philosophy sink under it.
It is this unquiet self-love that renders us so sensitive. The sick man, who sleeps ill, thinks the night long. We exaggerate, from cowardice, all the evils which we encounter; they are great, but our sensibility increases them.
By a happy contradiction, no system of philosophy gives such a base view of human nature as that which is founded on self-love. So sure is self-love to degrade whatever it touches.
Self-love is a cup without any bottom; you might pour all the great lakes into it, and never fill it up.
There are wounds of self-love which one does not confess to one's dearest friends.
The cause of all the blunders committed by man arises from excessive self-love.—He who intends to be a great man ought to love neither himself nor his own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by himself or by another.
Self-love leads men of narrow minds io measure all mankind by their own capacity.
Self-love, as it happens to be well or ill conducted, constitutes virtue and vice.
The greatest of all flatterers is self-love.
Self-love is an instrument useful but dangerous: it often wounds the hand which makes use of it, and seldom does good without doing harm.
Self-love is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.
Love thyself last.
There are different kinds of self-love. As an instinct, it is desirable and important. As a modification of true benevolence, it is commendable. But as an idolatrous affection, it is censurable.
Our self-love is ever ready to revolt from our better judgment, and join the enemy within.
Most actions, good or bad, may be resolved into the love of ourselves; but the self-love of some men inclines them to please others, and the self-love of others is wholly employed in pleasing themselves. This makes the great distinction between virtue and vice.
Of all mankind each loves himself the best.
A man who loves only himself and his pleasures is vain, presumptuous, and wicked even from principle.
Offended self-love never forgives.
Self-love is the most delicate and the most tenacious of our sentiments: a mere nothing will wound it, but nothing can kill it.
The shadow of the sun is largest, when his beams are lowest. On the contrary, we are always least when we make ourselves the greatest.
Those who have affirmed self-love to be the basis of all our sentiments and actions are much in the right. There is no occasion to demonstrate that men have a face; as little need is there of proving to them that they are actuated by self-love.
Self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind—it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and we must possess it.
It is falling in love with our own mistaken ideas that makes fools and beggars of half mankind.