Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"Such is the infatuation of self-love, that, though in general doctrine of the vanity world all men agree, yet almost everyone flatters himself that his own case is to be an exception from the common rule." - Hugh Blair

"Our first and last love is - self-love." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"The most amiable people are those who least wound the self-love of others." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Discouragement is simply the despair of wounded self-love." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"Faults will turn to good, provided we use them to our own humiliation, without slackening in the effort to correct ourselves. Discouragement serves no possible purpose; it is simply the despair of wounded self-love. The real way of profiting by the humiliation of one’s own faults is to face them in their true hideousness, without ceasing to hope in God, while hoping nothing from self." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"Self-love and reason to one end aspire." - J. de Finod

"Self-love exaggerates our faults as well as our virtues." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same, in its principles and operations. The same motives always produce the same actions: the same events follow the same causes. Ambition, avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public spirit: these passions, mixed in various degrees, and distributed through society, have been from the beginning of the world, and still are, the source of all the actions and enterprises, which have ever been observed among mankind." - David Hume

"Men universally are ungrateful toward him who instructs them, unless, in the hours or in the intervals of instruction, he presents a sweet cake to their self-love." - Walter Savage Landor

"Selfishness is a vice utterly at variance with the happiness of him who harbors it, and as such, condemned by self-love." - James Mackintosh, fully Sir James Mackintosh

"There are wounds of self-love which one does not confess to one’s dearest friends." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn

"Self-love leads men of narrow minds to measure all mankind by their own capacity." - Jane Porter

"The world is governed by love, self-love." -

"Every man, like narcissus, becomes enamored of the reflection of himself, only choosing a substance instead of a shadow. This love for any particular woman is self-love at second hand, vanity reflected, compound egotism." - Horace Smith

"Pride is over-estimation of oneself by reason of self-love." -

"In all times self-love has blinded the wisest." - Villefré NULL

"Offended self-love never forgives." -

"Would you hurt a man keenest, strike at his self-love." - Lew Wallace

"It is difficult to divest one's self of vanity; because impossible to divest one's self of self-love." - Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Oxford

"Self-love is a mote in every man's eye." -

"When one has this intelligent self-love is commanded to love his neighbor as himself, what else is enjoined than that he shall do all in his power to commend to him the love of God? This is the worship of God, this is true religion, this right piety, this the service due to God only." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"Reservation is self-love." - Bettina Skrzypczak

"Our first love and last love is - self-love." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"The main reason why silence is so efficacious an element of repute is, first, because of that magnification which proverbially belongs to the unknown; and, secondly, because silence provokes no man's envy, and wounds no man's self-love." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"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. The true way to bear them is to yield ourselves up with confidence to God." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"It takes a lot of self-love and presumption to have such esteem for one’s own opinions that to establish them one must overthrow the public peace and introduce so many inevitable evils, and such a horrible corruption of morals, as civil wars and political changes bring with them in a matter of such weight - and introduce them into one’s own country." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"The most vulnerable and at the same time the most unconquerable thing is human self-love; indeed, it is though being wounded that its power grows and can, in the end, become tremendous." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"The most positive men are the most credulous, since they most believe themselves, and advise most with their falsest flatterer and worst enemy - their own self-love." - Alexander Pope

"Innate ferocity is less cruel than self-love." -

"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." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Love: that self-love a deux." -

"Doubt is the trouble of a soul left to itself, which wants to see what God hides from it, and out of self-love seeks impossible securities." -

"The great enemy of the soul is not trial but sadness, which is the bleeding wound of self-love." - Francis Xavier Lasance, fully The Reverend Francis Xavier Lasance

"Let each one remember that he will make progress in all spiritual things only insofar as he rids himself of self-love, self-will and self-interest." - Ignatius Loyola, aka Saint Ignatius of Loyola

"Self-love, in the true sense, is the love of one’s real good - of truth, of virtue, of beauty, of God. It is the strongest in those who are most alive in their higher nature. It is the opposite of selfish love." - John Lancaster Spalding

"Prayer enables us to disregard self, and it allows us to become disentangled from the trammels of egotism. In prayer as in nothing else we can find refuge from the degradation of self-love." - William L. Sullivan

"Self-love is a principle of action; but among no class of human beings has nature so profusely distributed this principle of life and action as through the whole sensitive family of genius." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"Few things are more agreeable to self-love than revenge, and yet no cause so effectually restrains us from revenge as self-love. And this paradox naturally suggests another; that the strength of the community is not infrequently built upon the weakness of those individuals that compose it." - Charles Caleb Colton

"We strive as hard to hide our hearts from ourselves as from others, and always with more success; for in deciding upon our own case we are both judge, jury, and executioner, and where sophistry cannot overcome the first, or later the second, self-love is always ready to defeat the sentence by bribing the mind." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Friendship is only a reciprocal conciliation of interests, and an exchange of good offices; it is a species of commerce out of which self-love always expects to gain something." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Nothing is so capable of diminishing self-love as the observation that we disapprove at one time what we approve at another." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Self-love is the greatest of all flatterers... We feel good and ill only in proportion to our self-love." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"All other love is extinguished by self-love; beneficence, humanity, justice, philosophy, sink under it." - Epicurus NULL

"So sharply and clearly marked are the boundaries of morality and self-love that even the commonest eye cannot fail to distinguish whether a thing belongs to the one or the other." - Immanuel Kant

"With the sharpest self-examination we can find nothing beside the moral principle of duty which could have been powerful enough to move us to this or that action and to so great a sacrifice; yet we cannot from this infer with certainty; that it was not really some secret impulse of self-love, under the false appearance of duty, that was the actual determining cause of the will. We like them to flatter ourselves by falsely taking credit for a more noble motive; whereas in fact we can never, even with the strictest examination, get completely behind the secret springs of action." - Immanuel Kant