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The 157th Article


Of pride.

All such as have a good conceit of themselves for anything else whatsoever, have not a real generosity but only pride, which is always very vicious, though it be so much the more as the cause for which a man esteems himself, is more unjust. And the most unjust of all, is, when he is proud for no reason, that is, though no man can see (for all this) any desert in him for which he should be prized, but only because worth is trampled on, and he imagines renown is nothing but mere usurpation, he believes that they who attribute most to themselves have most. This vice is so unreasonable and absurd that I should scarce believe there were any such men who gave themselves up thereunto, if nobody had ever been praised unjustly. But flattery is so common everywhere that there is no man so deficient, but he oft sees himself esteemed for things which merit not any praise, yea, that even deserve blame, which gives occasion to the more ignorant and stupid to fall into this sort of pride.