Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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VANITY.  We care for the good opinion of men, firstly because they are useful to us, and then because we wish to please them (children their parents, pupils their teachers, and well meaning people generally their fellow men).  Only where the good opinion of men is of importance to someone, apart from the advantage thereof or his wish to please, can we speak of vanity.  In this case the man wishes to please himself, but at the expense of his fellow men, either by misleading them into holding a false opinion about him, or by aiming at a degree of "good opinion "which must be painful to everyone else (by arousing envy).  The individual usually wishes to corroborate the opinion he holds of himself by the opinion of others, and to strengthen it in his own eyes; but the strong habit of authority a habit as old as man himself induces many to support by authority their belief in themselves: that is to say, they accept it first from others; they trust the judgment of others more than their own.  The interest in himself, the wish to please himself, attains to such a height in a vain man that he misleads others into having a false, all too elevated estimation of him, and yet nevertheless sets store by their authority, thus causing an error and yet believing in it.  It must be confessed, therefore, that vain people do not wish to please others so much as themselves, and that they go so far therein as to neglect their advantage, for they often endeavour to prejudice their fellow men unfavourably, inimicably, enviously, consequently injuriously against themselves, merely in order to have pleasure in themselves, personal pleasure.  
 

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