[R565 : page 5]


Of all the empty people, there are few more pitiable than those who are filled with self. Who has not seen persons who seemed to know nothing but self, and whose first ambition on meeting strangers, seems to be to inform them where they had been and what they had done, and how much they knew. Good old John Bunyan tells us of a man named Ignorance who came "from the country of conceit;" and surely this country has furnished a very large emigration of self-filled egotists.

We never shall amount to much in this world or the next so long as we are filled with self. If we think that we are the central figures in the universe, and that everybody is interested in hearing our talk and of our exploits, we shall win the pity of the judicious, and the contempt of the less considerate. Who has not seen grave, godly, intelligent men and women sit in painful silence and listen to the empty rattle of some conceited person, who could only talk of himself and of things which personally concerned him. He who has only himself to talk about, may very properly question whether he had best talk at all, and may find that, much as he values the privilege of speech, his reputation would be enhanced by judicious bursts of silence; which would allow people to collect their thoughts, and listen to those who might have something to say worth hearing.—Christian.