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Glückspilz

“Vanity and pride are different things. . . . Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”—Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice


“Vanity is a mark of humility rather than of pride.”—Jonathan Swift


 

I would have others think of me things I fear I am not.


I would have others think me virtuous.

I would have others think me good.

I would have others think me clever.

I would have others think me wise.

I would have others think me modest.

 

      In 1870, the inhabitants of a settlement on the Tuolumne River in California’s Central Valley asked permission of the financier William Chapman Ralston, director of the Central Pacific Railroad,  to name their city “Ralston” after him, but the great tycoon refused, protesting his modesty. So they named their city Modesto.

 

But I would not have others think me lucky, since I know that I am fortunate—and why should I be, rather than another?

 

Notes: Glückspilz =  lucky dog/devil; from German Glück (luck, happiness) + Pilz (mushroom, hence, “upstart”). Ralston:

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