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Self-importance   Listen
noun
Self-importance  n.  An exaggerated estimate of one's own importance or merit, esp. as manifested by the conduct or manners; self-conceit.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Self-importance" Quotes from Famous Books



... moving to Indianapolis, and at the end of ten days all was ready for the money to be delivered. Dic again asked for Rita, and Mr. Bays was for delivering the girl at once. His new venture at Indianapolis had stimulated his sense of self-importance, and he insisted, with a temerity never before dared, that Dic, whom he truly loved, should have the daughter whom they each loved. But the Chief Justice would agree to nothing more than an extension of the armistice, and graciously consented that Dic might visit the family at Indianapolis ...
— A Forest Hearth: A Romance of Indiana in the Thirties • Charles Major

... ample, they determined that Swiftmouth College should have the distinction of calling me one of her sons, and accordingly I was in due time sent for preparation to a neighboring academy. Years of study and hard fare in country boarding-houses told upon my self-importance as the descendant of a great Englishman, notwithstanding all my letters from the honored three came with counsel to "respect myself and keep up the dignity of the family." Growing-up man forgets good counsel. The Arcadia of respectability is apt to give place to the levity of football ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume I. (of X.) • Various

... understanding nor temper. While well, and happy, and properly attended to, she had great good humour and excellent spirits; but any indisposition sunk her completely. She had no resources for solitude; and inheriting a considerable share of the Elliot self-importance, was very prone to add to every other distress that of fancying herself neglected and ill-used. In person, she was inferior to both sisters, and had, even in her bloom, only reached the dignity of being "a fine girl." She was now lying on the faded sofa of the ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... excitement, but also a sense of discontent. And John Walden, keenly alive to every touch of feeling, was more conscious of the change than many another man would have been who was not endowed with so quick and responsive a nature. He noted the quaint self-importance of Mrs. Tapple with a kindly amusement, not altogether unmixed with pain,—he watched regretfully the attempts made by the young girls of his little parish to trick themselves out with cheap finery imported from the town of Riversford, in order to imitate in some fashion, ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... true that they had such a proverb. They were as remarkable, it seems, in those days as they are now for their national self-importance and vanity. ...
— Genghis Khan, Makers of History Series • Jacob Abbott

... with the usual large family in inverse proportion to his means. That she unexpectedly made a good match with a very wealthy manufacturer who had raised himself; and that she was puffed up accordingly with a sense of self-importance." ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... squatting humbly in the secret compartment: a fat little canvas bag, considerably soiled from much handling, such as is used by banks for coin, a sturdy, matter-of-fact, every-day sort of canvas bag, with nothing about it of hauteur, no air of self-importance or ostentation, to betray the fact that it was the ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... of our gravitation are to be abolished, and we flung forth into chaos, a hurlyburly of jostling and splintering stars, whenever Robert Toombs or Robert Rhett, or any other Bob of the secession kite, may give a flirt of self-importance. The first and greatest benefit of government is that it keeps the peace, that it insures every man his right, and not only that, but the permanence of it. In order to this, its first requisite is stability; and this once firmly settled, the greater ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 40, February, 1861 • Various

... consequence of their unripe age, generally deformed in character. But thou, O Pritha, art born in a royal race, and thy beauty also is extraordinary. And then, O girl, thou art endued with every accomplishment. Do thou, therefore, O damsel, renouncing pride and haughtiness and a sense of self-importance, wait upon and worship the boon-giving Brahmana, and thereby attain, O Pritha, to an auspicious state! By acting thus, O auspicious and sinless girl, thou wilt surely attain to auspiciousness! But if on the ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2 • Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... blue garments fitting them so close as to impede their walking; yet as one of them bore his master's paper sunshade and ample cloak, and the other a cushion bloated into the proportions of a huge pillow, they were by no means wanting in self-importance. Syama, similarly attired, though in richer material, walked at the side of the sedan, ready to open the door or answer such signal as he might ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace

... report, that Morrison was advancing. His mind was wholly engrossed by the sense of injury—injury sustained from a friend; and by the desire of vengeance on one whom he now accounted his most bitter enemy. The treasured ideas of self-importance and self-opinion—of ideal birth and quality, had become more precious to him, (like the hoard to the miser) because he could only enjoy them in secret. But that hoard was pillaged—the idols which he had secretly worshipped ...
— Chronicles of the Canongate • Sir Walter Scott

... been thwarted, beaten, and habitually insulted! What a gloom lay on the features of those famous chieftains, Calhoun, Clay, and Webster; what varied expression of defeat and unsatisfied desire; what a sense of self-importance and senatorial magniloquence; what a craving for flattery; what despair at the sentence of fate! And what did they amount ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... everyone to understand that they preferred the company of each other, which did not tend to their popularity on board. Amongst the passengers was a young man who rejoiced in the high-sounding name of Hugh St. John Wilson-Mainwaring, and whose sense of self-importance was as extensive as his appellation. He was the younger son of a bishop, and intended to tour the Colonies at the expense of the inhabitants, feeling satisfied that he had only to make it known that his father was the Bishop of Doseminster to have the door of ...
— Australia Revenged • Boomerang

... I dimly gathered that he thought me ill. I combined this in my mind with a speech of my nurse's that I had overheard, and which gave me the horrors at the time—"He's got the look! It's his poor ma over again!"—and I felt a sort of melancholy self-importance not uncommon with children who are out ...
— A Flat Iron for a Farthing - or Some Passages in the Life of an only Son • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... circle. Above all, he was glad to escape from the clear-sighted, critical eyes of Madame de Nailles. On the other hand, to be sent off to the girls' corner, after being insulted by being told he had not grown, hurt his sense of self-importance. ...
— Jacqueline, v1 • Th. Bentzon (Mme. Blanc)

... a very pompous man, and the document he had just discovered on the priest added to his sense of self-importance. When, therefore, a large, carefully folded paper was produced from the neighbourhood of Valeria's lovely bosom, his eyes sparkled with anticipation. "Ho, ho!" he exclaimed, as he clutched it eagerly, ...
— Fashionable Philosophy - and Other Sketches • Laurence Oliphant

... following may seem to illustrate the self-importance of the betheral tribe. The Rev. Dr. Hugh Blair was one Sunday absent from his pulpit, and next morning meeting his beadle in the street he inquired how matters went in the High Church on Sabbath. "'Deed, I dare say no ...
— Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character • Edward Bannerman Ramsay

... in all the self-importance of one who prided himself on the practical, "I do not see that Miss Clare has proposed any remedy for the state of things concerning the evil of which we are all agreed. What is to be done? What can I do now? ...
— The Vicar's Daughter • George MacDonald

... remark, smiled with conscious self-importance; but Marjorie's thoughts flew back to the time when she was in Florence's place: a freshman eager to make good among the upper classmen. But then it was a question of popularity and personal favoritism; now everything ...
— The Girl Scouts' Good Turn • Edith Lavell

... indeed, an artificial place; it is so by our choice and for our sins. The subjection of women; the ideal imposed upon them from the cradle, and worn, like a hair-shirt, with so much constancy; their motherly, superior tenderness to man's vanity and self-importance; their managing arts - the arts of a civilised slave among good-natured barbarians - are all painful ingredients and all help to falsify relations. It is not till we get clear of that amusing artificial scene that genuine relations are founded, or ideas ...
— Memories and Portraits • Robert Louis Stevenson

... a person fitted by education perhaps to sign papers in an office and to give orders, but otherwise of no use whatever, and something of a fool. The necessity of winding round his little finger, almost daily, the pompous and testy self-importance of the old seaman had grown irksome with use to Nostromo. At first it had given him an inward satisfaction. But the necessity of overcoming small obstacles becomes wearisome to a self-confident personality as much by the certitude of success as by the monotony of effort. He mistrusted ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... give him the right of dealing ex officio, not as a mere man among men. And the consciousness of such apparent superfluities, whether they be the expression of wealth or of hierarchy, of fashion or of caste, gives to their possessor that additional self-importance which is quite as much wanted by the ungainly or diffident moral man as the additional warmth of his more obviously needed raiment is by the poor, chilly, bodily human being. I will not enlarge upon the practical uses which recent ethnology has discovered in the tattooing, ...
— Laurus Nobilis - Chapters on Art and Life • Vernon Lee

... Bennett who spoke; her upright carriage, thin nose, and clear even voice, carried always the suggestion of mild but obstinate self-importance. ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... toys and never allowed to accept presents. No fuss was made over the little accidents inevitable to childhood and in every way life was kept devoid of state formality, or anything that would breed a sense of childish self-importance. When the Prince and Princess were away from home, as they frequently had to be, letters were daily exchanged with the head nurse. The result of this general system and of the later plan of making the young ...
— The Life of King Edward VII - with a sketch of the career of King George V • J. Castell Hopkins

... the world; he is to seek in the characters of individuals. He sees no beauty in the face of nature or of art. To him 'the mighty world of eye and ear' is hid; and 'knowledge,' except at one entrance, 'quite shut out.' His pride takes part with his ignorance; and his self-importance rises with the number of things of which he does not know the value, and which he therefore despises as unworthy of his notice. He knows nothing of pictures,—'Of the colouring of Titian, the grace of Raphael, the purity of Domenichino, ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... reinforced by a number of friends, and then conduct the party to the house of another kinsman, where he would give them an evening of delight. He did not give notice of these gracious recognitions, preferring to make the event sweeter with surprise. On his part it was a generous forgetfulness of self-importance—it was as if a placid and beneficent moon had come to beam upon a cluster of stars. To the men he would quote stocks, as if, a lover of letters, he were giving a poem to a "mite society." Upon the ladies he would smile and throw off vague hints of ...
— Old Ebenezer • Opie Read

... more than a village in itself, but, being the chief place of its neighbourhood, it supports enough municipal and other dignitaries to set up an Imperial Court. Never was such wisdom—never such pompous solemnity. The Burgomeister of Bergsdorf was a great elephant of a man. He went abroad radiating self-importance. He perspired wisdom on the coldest day. The other officials imitated the Burgomeister in so far as their corporeal condition allowed. The cure only was excepted. He was a thin, spare man with an ascetic ...
— Bog-Myrtle and Peat - Tales Chiefly Of Galloway Gathered From The Years 1889 To 1895 • S.R. Crockett

... these personal characteristics have nothing to do with Edison's position in the world of affairs. They show him to be a plain, easy-going, placid American, with no sense of self-importance, and ready at all times to have his mind turned into a lighter channel. In private life they show him to be a good citizen, a good family man, absolutely moral, temperate in all things, and of great charitableness to all mankind. But what of his position in the age in which he lives? Where does he ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... at this point that Juliet came upon the scene, walking up from the shore with her hair blowing in the breeze. She carried a towel and a bathing dress on her arm. Columbus trotted beside her, full of cheery self-importance. ...
— The Obstacle Race • Ethel M. Dell

... offices were jealously kept apart, and when one monarch, in a fit of overweening self-importance, tried to unite in his own person the kingly and the priestly functions, 'the leprosy rose up in his forehead,' even as he stood with the censer in his hand, and 'Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death.' And the history of the world ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... Cockney. It simply defies accurate delineation. Dickens has attempted to paint the portrait of such a character in "Bleak House"; but Sir Leicester Dedlock, even in the hands of this great artist, is not a success,—merely because, in the case of the Baronet, selfishness and self-importance are only a superficial crust, while with your true Chesterton these attributes penetrate to the core and are as much a part of the man as any limbs or any feature of his face. A genuine Chesterton is as unlike his stupid caricature in our own theaters in the person of "Lord ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... Japanisation of China as one of the inevitable results of the recent conflict in the Far East. To a certain extent the Japanisation of China has commenced, but at the same time one cannot be oblivious of the fact that the Chinese, with their traditions and sense of self-importance, have not the slightest intention of slavishly following in the lead of those islanders whom they have always contemned, but mean to strike out a line for themselves. If what we believe to be civilisation ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... against the wind, was now completely over and done with, and would never be heard of again. Or such at least, he added, was the earnest hope of the law-abiding community. This irritated Purdy, who was spumy with the self-importance of one who has stood in the thick of the fray. He answered hotly, and ended by rapping out with a contemptuous click of the tongue: "Upon my word, Dick, you look at the whole thing like the tradesman ...
— Australia Felix • Henry Handel Richardson

... Sharp's earliest thoughts, the next morning, were given to Caterina whom she had not been able to visit the evening before, and whom, from a nearly equal mixture of affection and self-importance, she did not at all like resigning to Mrs. Bellamy's care. At half-past eight o'clock she went up to Tina's room, bent on benevolent dictation as to doses and diet and lying in bed. But on opening the door she found the bed smooth and empty. Evidently it had not ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... If I have written dull Essays, they have hitherto treated them as dull Essays. Thus far we are at least upon par, and until they think fit to make me their humble debtor by praise, I am resolved not to lose a single inch of my self-importance. Instead, therefore, of attempting to establish a credit amongst them, it will perhaps be wiser to apply to some more distant correspondent; and as my drafts are in some danger of being protested at home, ...
— Goldsmith - English Men of Letters Series • William Black

... Hilda, with a slight feeling of that pardonable self-importance which is natural to those who instruct others older than themselves, "that is ...
— Erling the Bold • R.M. Ballantyne

... "Charlotte."[23] Hogg wrote certain short poems, the beauty of which in their kind Sir Walter himself never approached; but he was a man almost without self-restraint or self-knowledge, though he had a great deal of self-importance, and hardly knew how much he owed to Scott's magnanimous and ever-forbearing kindness, or if he did, felt the weight of gratitude a burden on his heart. Very different was William Laidlaw, a farmer on the banks of the Yarrow, always Scott's ...
— Sir Walter Scott - (English Men of Letters Series) • Richard H. Hutton

... rapidly away, and every day added to my self-importance, and brought with it fresh opportunities of enlarging the circle of my friends, and of acquiring a competent knowledge of the conventional rules of society. Though naturally fond of company, I hated dissipation, and those low vices which many young men designate as pleasure, ...
— The Monctons: A Novel, Volume I • Susanna Moodie

... creature trembling flies; The lion, practised in his trade, Had soon abundant carnage made; Satiate with spoil, the ass he calls, And bid him cease his hideous brawls. The king he found with slaughter weary, Surrounded by his noble quarry, And, puffed with self-importance, said: "Sir, to some purpose I have bray'd!" "No ass more famously could do," The lion says, "but thee I knew, Or I might have ...
— Aesop, in Rhyme - Old Friends in a New Dress • Marmaduke Park

... this Butterfly, Young reader; I will tell you why. At first, goodnature seems a cause, Why she should merit your applause; But 'twas conceit that filled her breast: Her self-importance made a jest Of what might otherwise have claimed Your praise,—but now she must be blamed. Should any case occur, when you May have some friendly act to do; Give all your feeble aid—as such, But estimate ...
— Favourite Fables in Prose and Verse • Various

... "My honest debts first, buen Cura," he said sturdily. And throwing back his shoulders he strutted about the room with the air of a plutocrat. With his bare feet, his soiled, flapping attire, and his swelling sense of self-importance he ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... for the sovereignty, it seems, is not to be hereditary. One view of their F'ete of the 14th,(693) I suppose, is to draw money to Paris; and the consequence will be, that the deputies will return to the provinces drunk with independence and self-importance, and will commit fifty times more excesses, massacres, and devastations, than last year. George Selwyn says, that Monsieur, the King's brother, is the only man of rank from whom ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... him throw off all the restraints of official decorum, in the expectation that he would find duplicates of himself in the crowds he addressed, and that mob diffused would heartily sympathize with Mob impersonated. Never was blustering demagogue led by a distempered sense of self-importance into a more fatal error. Not only was the great body of the people mortified or indignant, but even his "satraps and dependents," even the shrewd politicians—accidents of an Accident and shadows of a shade—who had labored so hard at Philadelphia to weave a cloak of plausibilities ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... in a month's time Vera's beauty had made her house the most popular one in London, and that people struggled for her invitation-cards and prayed to be introduced to her, Mrs. Hazeldine was at the zenith of her delight and self-importance. If only Vera herself had been a little ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... at him at first in surprise and some displeasure, but in a moment or two his gaze was changed into a kindly smile. He read well the youth before him, his amusing confidence, his eagerness, and his self-importance, that had not ...
— The Candidate - A Political Romance • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... Our self-importance as Arctic heroes of the first water received a sad downfall when we were first asked by a kind friend, what the deuce we came home for? We had a good many becauses ready, but he overturned them altogether; ...
— Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal; • Sherard Osborn

... in his chair, the fear—which Tavannes had shrewdly instilled into his mind—that he might be disowned if he carried out his instructions, struggling with his avarice and his self-importance. He was rather crafty than bold; and such things had been, he knew. Little by little, and while he sat gloomily debating, the notion of dealing with one or two and holding the body of the Huguenots to ransom—a notion which, in spite of everything, was to bear good fruit for Angers—began to ...
— Count Hannibal - A Romance of the Court of France • Stanley J. Weyman

... up and gave her an excellent supper; and putting her into a first-class compartment labelled "Reserved," sent her back to Waterloo, and thence in a cab to Gough Square, where she arrived about midnight, suffering from a sense of self-importance, traces of which to ...
— Tommy and Co. • Jerome K. Jerome

... head, which nodded with self-importance; the features, in which an irritable peevishness, acquired by habit and indulgence, strove with a temper naturally affectionate and good-natured; the coif; the apron; the blue-checked gown,—were all those of old Ailie; but laced pinners, hastily ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... is will generally be thought nothing of. We habitually make such large deductions for pretence and imposture that no real merit will stand against them. It is necessary to set off our good qualities with a certain air of plausibility and self-importance, as some ...
— Book of Wise Sayings - Selected Largely from Eastern Sources • W. A. Clouston

... reader to understand why it is that a man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificant by and by. The Alps and the glaciers together are able to take every bit of conceit out of a man and reduce his self-importance to zero if he will only remain within the influence of their sublime presence long enough to give it a fair and reasonable ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... fashion of all the false prophets who have deluded themselves and others, drew new faith in his own lie from the credulity of his disciples. His countenance, his voice, his gestures, indicated boundless self-importance. When he appeared in public he looked,—such is the language of one who probably had often seen him,—like Atlas conscious that a world was on his shoulders. But the airs which he gave himself only ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 5 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... procession seen in its passage through narrow streets. The spectator feels it to be fool's play, when he can distinguish the tedious commonplace of each man's visage, with the perspiration and weary self-importance on it, and the very cut of his pantaloons, and the stiffness or laxity of his shirt-collar, and the dust on the back of his black coat. In order to become majestic, it should be viewed from some vantage point, ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... Indians, Curly came to my tepee when we were camped on the Little Big Horn. The whole company were greatly agitated because an Indian possessed with the spirit of self-importance had gone to Washington to make war against other Indians in the tribe who were industrious and loyal home builders. They all made speeches around the campfire, asking my interposition at Washington. ...
— The Vanishing Race • Dr. Joseph Kossuth Dixon

... every turn. What would he not give now to be restored to his old, balanced, easy life, with its little friendships and duties. How fantastic and unreal his aunt's theories seemed to him, reveries contrived just to gild the gaps of a broken life, a dramatisation of emptiness and self-importance. At every moment the face and figure of Maud came before him in a hundred sweet, spontaneous movements—the look of her eyes, the slow thrill of her voice. He needed her with all his soul—every fibre of his being cried out for her. And then the thought ...
— Watersprings • Arthur Christopher Benson

... Pickwick) would not deny that he was influenced by human passions, and human feelings, (cheers)—possibly by human weaknesses—(loud cries of "No"); but this he would say, that if ever the fire of self-importance broke out in his bosom, the desire to benefit the human race in ...
— The Ontario High School Reader • A.E. Marty

... contract the mind. But this is not the most serious objection to the publication of these worthless details. It cultivates self-consciousness in the community, and love of notoriety; it develops vanity and self-importance, and elevates the trivial in life ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... self-importance mixed with his grief. "You are big now," he said to himself, "for you go to school. And if you were to undertake your pilgrimage now, nobody ...
— Dame Care • Hermann Sudermann

... generated in him by the deep and awful respect for navigation that the layman has seen displayed by navigators. I have known frank, ingenuous, and modest young men, open as the day, to learn navigation and at once betray secretiveness, reserve, and self-importance as if they had achieved some tremendous intellectual attainment. The average navigator impresses the layman as a priest of some holy rite. With bated breath, the amateur yachtsman navigator invites one in to look at his chronometer. ...
— The Cruise of the Snark • Jack London

... other boys obeyed their parents' commands, the shepherds, who well knew that the flocks they tended belonged to him, called him their young master, and first in jest, then in earnest, paid him all the honor due a ruler, which prematurely increased his self-importance and made him ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... Kent, on Delaware bay, in Maryland, where, having no pass, and not being able to give any account of himself, he was taken up as a fugitive slave, and put into prison. While there, his behavior attracted more than common notice. Besides a stateliness of bearing, and an air of self-importance, which shew that he could be no ordinary person, he was observed to use prostrations at regular periods of the day, and to repeat sentences with great solemnity and earnestness. Curiosity attracted to the prison certain English merchants, among whom Mr. Thomas Bluet was the most inquisitive. He ...
— Biographical Memorials of James Oglethorpe • Thaddeus Mason Harris

... saluted with due ceremony. Shih Jung, who was seated in his sedan chair, made a bow and returned their salutations with a smile, proceeding to address them and to treat them, as he had done hitherto, as old friends, without any airs of self-importance. ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... her father with never flagging tongue, and Jamie carried everything he could lift to and fro, regardless of whether he was bringing or taking away. Vada chid him in her childishly superior way, but her efforts were quite lost on his delicious self-importance. Nor could there be any doubt that, in his infantile mind, he was quite assured that his ...
— The Twins of Suffering Creek • Ridgwell Cullum

... since his earliest lieutenant days. He knew that as he acted, looked, and spoke, so would the image of his country be stamped upon the minds of a hundred thousand and their children's children. There was no vanity, no self-importance in this conception of his duty. It was a stern, unbending acceptance of his responsibility; and as in the lonely fort upon the frontier where he had dominated, unaided, month after month, over wild, antagonistic ...
— The Native Born - or, The Rajah's People • I. A. R. Wylie

... Gazette peruse; Smoke, nod, and talk with voice profound, And fix the fate of Europe round. 10 Sheaves piled on sheaves, hid all the floor; At dawn of morn, to view his store The farmer came. The hooting guest His self-importance thus express'd: 'Reason in man is mere pretence: How weak, how shallow is his sense! To treat with scorn the bird of night, Declares his folly, or his spite. Then too, how partial is his praise! The lark's, the linnet's chirping lays 20 To his ill-judging ears are fine; And nightingales ...
— The Poetical Works of Addison; Gay's Fables; and Somerville's Chase • Joseph Addison, John Gay, William Sommerville

... steady, truthful gaze of the blue-grey eyes seeming a direct appeal from the upright spirit within. Gordon's usual manner charmed by its simple, unaffected courtesy, but although utterly devoid of self-importance he had plenty of quiet dignity, or even of imperious authority at command when required. With his friends he had a fund of innocent gaiety that seemed to spring from his impulsiveness, while his strong sense of humour often enabled him to relieve his impatience ...
— The Life of Gordon, Volume I • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... and he was feasted and flattered by wits, beaux, courtiers, politicians, and titled-lady lion-hunters as sedulously as ever. His letters, especially those to his friends the Crofts, of Stillington, abound, as before, in touches of the same amusing vanity. With how delicious a sense of self-importance must he have written these words: "You made me and my friends very merry with the accounts current at York of my being forbad the Court, but they do not consider what a considerable person they make of me when they suppose either my going or not going there is a point that ever ...
— Sterne • H.D. Traill

... struck the chaplain as soon as he collected himself from his first surprise. It never would do for him to look as if he had any thing to be ashamed of; so, summoning to his aid all the dignity of his office and his own self-importance, with a great effort, he ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... allowed himself to be placed upon it in a reclining position; and its swinging motion, as his friends carried it along, nearly rocked him to sleep. The fear of death was but vaguely present to his mind; but his self-importance grew with every moment, as he saw his blood trickle through the leaves and drop at the roadside. He appeared to himself a brave Norse warrior who was being carried by his comrades from the battle-field, where he had greatly distinguished himself. And now to be going, to the witch ...
— Boyhood in Norway • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... gossip is often turned into solemn verdicts. Young women are seldom seen there; when they come it is to seek approbation of their conduct,—a consecration of their self-importance. This supremacy granted to one house is apt to wound the sensibilities of other natives of the region, who console themselves by adding up the cost it involves, and by which they profit. If it so happens that there is no fortune large enough to keep open house in ...
— An Old Maid • Honore de Balzac

... so changed as scarcely to be recognizable. He was no longer the happy man of the world, with smiling face, firm look, the pride of which betrayed plainly his self-importance and prosperity. In a few hours he had grown twenty years older. He was broken, overwhelmed; his thoughts wandered in a sea of bitterness. He could only ...
— The Mystery of Orcival • Emile Gaboriau

... main idea?" asked the boy, much intrigued by the beauty of the dye on Higham's fingers; and squirming with embarrassed self-importance at the man's flattering tone. "I'll help ...
— Further Adventures of Lad • Albert Payson Terhune

... a distaste to new faces, to new books, to new buildings, to new customs. He is shy of all imposing appearances, of all assumptions of self-importance, of all adventitious ornaments, of all mechanical advantage, even to a nervous excess. It is not merely that he does not rely upon or ordinarily avail himself of them; he holds them in abhorrence, he utterly abjures ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... suppose his placing me with Cousin Monica constituted her my guardian? Why, he must fancy me the merest baby. There was a kind of stupid cunning in this that disgusted my good-nature and outraged my self-importance. ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... ornamented with Eastern decorations, which harmonized with the domes and minarets of the exterior. A number of people were moving quietly about, forming into groups and whispering to each other. One of these, a short, burly, red-faced man, full of fuss and self-importance, came hurrying up ...
— Rodney Stone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... the level of the pavement as he did this, and a man ascended, bearing in his hand a torch. This figure unlocked and held open the grating as for the passage of another, who presently appeared, in the form of a young man of small stature and uncommon self-importance, dressed in an obsolete and ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... toast, in unison with the sparkling glass, followed each other in rapid succession. During which, our elegant London visitor favoured the company with the following effusion, sung in a style equal to (though unaccompanied with the affected airs and self-importance of) ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... assistance to the Infantry is frequently shown. After his training in England "NIGHT HAWK" was attached as an observer to a night-flying squadron in France, and he tells us of his adventures with no sense of self-importance but with an honest appreciation of their value to the general scheme of operations. He has also a keen eye for the humours of life, and can make his jest with most admirable brevity. "Doubtless," he says in a foreword, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Feb. 19, 1919 • Various

... thinking over the opportunity that offered, and the instrument that presented itself? What chances might lie in Sir Winterton's dogged honour and tender sensitiveness on the one hand, and on the other in that conscience of little Japhet's, stronger now in its alliance with hurt pride and outraged self-importance! And nobody could say that Quisante himself had had any part in it; he had spoken to nobody except Foster, and he had told Foster most plainly that he would have nothing to do with such a matter. There he lay, ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... baths, and fairs. All misbehaviour is punished by him. It is the hope of every well-meaning German boy and girl to please the police. To be smiled at by a policeman makes it conceited. A German child that has been patted on the head by a policeman is not fit to live with; its self-importance ...
— Three Men on the Bummel • Jerome K. Jerome

... the self-importance of the miserable cut-throats belonging to Koorshid's party, who, far too great to act as common soldiers, swagger about with little slave-boys in attendance, who carry their muskets. I often compare the hard lot of our honest poor in England with that of these scoundrels, whose courage ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... startled out of their senses to find themselves in the presence of a stern and awesome dignitary of the Church, who immediately began to lecture the Abbot for his unseemly conduct the previous day, ordering him to undergo such penance as eventually, robbing him of half his size and all his self-importance, ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... Roger looked him squarely in the eye. In Roger's own eyes there was the glint of his old humorous twinkle, and I knew that the young man's bustling self-importance ...
— The Mutineers • Charles Boardman Hawes

... of bounds through inadvertence. One would have thought his place was in the clubs of Piccadilly if not (at that particular hour) at a tea table on the river terrace of the Houses of Parliament. On the other hand, there wasn't a trace of self-importance in his habit, it achieved distinction solely through the unpretending dignity of a ...
— Red Masquerade • Louis Joseph Vance

... we were in occupation of a border town. Behind us lay India; in front, the Unknown. The garrison of Capoo was small and self-important, but sickness made itself conspicuous among its members. Their doctor— poor young Barber—died, and the self-importance of the Capoo garrison oozed out of their finger-ends. They sent down post-haste to us for help, and a special letter addressed to me detailed ...
— Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories • Henry Seton Merriman

... was far most to be pitied, although the situation was the direct result of his own arrogance and self-importance; but arrogance and self-importance were as essential ingredients of his character as was humour of Aunt Barbara's. They were very awkward and tiresome qualities, but this particular Lord Ashbridge would have no existence ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... that time the woman is the object of a devotion to which she has as yet conceded nothing. She is still at liberty to weigh and choose, to compare her lover to other men, while the knowledge that she is the ultimate girl that some man is trying to win gives her a pretty sense of self-importance and a feeling that she has come ...
— The Handy Cyclopedia of Things Worth Knowing - A Manual of Ready Reference • Joseph Triemens

... and hymns preparatory to the First Communion. Intoxication with the music of chants and organ, drowned in the scent of incense and flowers, hung about with scapularies, rosaries, consecrated medals, and holy images, he, like his companions, assumed a certain air of self-importance and wore a smug, sanctified look. He was cold and unbending towards his aunt, who spoke with far too much unconcern about the "great day." Though she had long been in the habit of taking her nephew ...
— The Aspirations of Jean Servien • Anatole France

... King is guilty, recommends that they may instantly proceed to his trial. But, after all this tremendous eloquence, perhaps Mr. Paine had no malice in his heart: he may only be solicitous to preserve his reputation from decay, and to indulge his self-importance by assisting at the trial of a Monarch whom he may not wish to suffer.—I think, therefore, I am not wrong in asserting, that Vanity ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... of a more steely hue than his brother's, striking fire readily and showing all manner of flinty lights, who had a downright talent for mimicry, and a small share of juvenile self-importance, came in for regard of a more ...
— Camp and Trail - A Story of the Maine Woods • Isabel Hornibrook

... line, and society had become patronymic instead of metronymic. It must not be supposed that this change occurred very suddenly. It may have taken many centuries to bring it about, but as the man learned his part in procreation and his power in society, he delighted in his self-importance to lord it over the woman and her children. The marriage relation ceased to be free and reciprocal. The wife no longer had a choice in marriage. Bought or captured, she was no longer wooed for a companion, but was valued according ...
— Society - Its Origin and Development • Henry Kalloch Rowe

... rallied for a while, and recognized Ariel at his bedside. He feebly pronounced her name, and looked at her, and asked for me. They thought of sending for me, but it was too late. Before the messenger could be dispatched, he said, with a touch of his old self-importance, "Silence, all of you! my brains are weary; I am going to sleep." He closed his eyes in slumber, and never awoke again. So for this man too the end came mercifully, without grief or pain! So that strange and many-sided life—with its guilt and its misery, ...
— The Law and the Lady • Wilkie Collins

... he conjured up the vision of some grim-faced spinster-subscriber in a desolate country town starting out at last for the first time in her life, with real, cheery self-importance, rain or shine, to join the laughing, jostling, deliriously human Saturday night crowd at the village post-office—herself the only person whose expected letter never failed to come! From Squirrel or Pirate or Hopping Hottentot—what ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... faith in his eyes, the men solemnly marched to St. Ethelburga Church, off Bishopsgate Street, London, to partake of Holy Communion and ask God's aid. Back to the muddy water front, opposite the Tower, a hearty God-speed from the gentlemen of the Muscovy Company, pompous in self-importance and lace ruffles—and the little crew steps into a clumsy river-boat ...
— A Book of Discovery - The History of the World's Exploration, From the Earliest - Times to the Finding of the South Pole • Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge

... walk up and down the verandah, putting his foot down firmly. His loose linen suit was smart enough: his complexion had been improved by the sun. The consciousness that his business affairs were promising well did not lessen his sense of self-importance. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88 • Various

... rather at an unnecessary distance. Then, too, the fact of his house being called after New Zion seemed to impose a sort of obligation towards the sad old chapel. Besides, Mr. Moggridge was not inhumanly above the pleasures of self-importance, and though he did not express it in just those words, or indeed in any words at all, the idea of his being the Maecenas of New Zion was suddenly ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... circle for fine, were not far from the house. At five minutes before eleven the girls who were to have their Saturday morning lessons prior to the ride in the afternoon, went over to the school and an electric bell notified Dawson that his young ladies awaited their mounts. With due decorum and self-importance he and Henry, the groom, led the horses from the stable, ...
— Peggy Stewart at School • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... Horror, homaged thus By frenzied eagerness and foolish fuss, Swells to a hideous self-importance, struts In conscious dignity, and gladly gluts With vanity's fantastic tricks the herd Whose pulses first by murderous crime it stirred. Narcissus-like, the slayer bends to trace Within Sensation's flowing stream its face, And, self-enamoured, smiles a loathsome smile Of fatuous ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 102, April 23, 1892 • Various

... is it real?" could possibly be considered a gentleman. But Miss Belsize had laughed long and laughed loud; and—well, I will not labour the point. In due course our superior one found himself in the haunt of death I have briefly described above, still full of self-importance and as inconceivably ignorant as the majority are who come for the first time to ...
— No Man's Land • H. C. McNeile

... argument took place between Sam and Penrod, the point at issue being settled, finally, by the drawing of straws; whereupon Penrod, with pardonable self-importance—in the presence of an audience now increased to nine—slowly painted the ...
— Penrod • Booth Tarkington

... The self-importance of Bobadilla was incensed at this non-compliance, especially as he saw it had some effect upon the populace, who appeared to doubt his authority. He now produced the third mandate of the crown, ordering Columbus and his brothers to deliver up all fortresses, ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... found that avoiding one extreme I encountered the other. As most men, induced by their self-importance, expect that their feelings should interest, and their situations arrest the attention of those that surround them; so I having detected their error counted upon less benevolence and looked for less friendship than I have found. My Rinaldo demanded to be pardoned for having neglected my advice, ...
— Italian Letters, Vols. I and II • William Godwin

... valueless existence was the pride of the Hurdlestone family. Their wealth gained for them the respect of the world; their ancient name the respect of those who place an undue importance on such things; and their own vanity and self-importance maintained the rank and consequence which they ...
— Mark Hurdlestone - Or, The Two Brothers • Susanna Moodie



Words linked to "Self-importance" :   pridefulness, ego, vanity, self-important, conceit, conceitedness, pride



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