“Vanity.—How wonderful it is that a thing so evident as the vanity of the world is so little known, that it is a strange and surprising thing to say that it is foolish to seek greatness! 162 He who will know fully the vanity of man has only to consider the causes and effects of love. The cause is a je ne sais quoi (Corneille), and the effects are dreadful. This je ne sais quoi, so small an object that we cannot recognise it, agitates a whole country, princes, armies, the entire world.
Cleopatra's nose: had it been shorter, the whole aspect of the world would have been altered. 163 Vanity.—The cause and the effects of love: Cleopatra. 164 He who does not see the vanity of the world is himself very vain.”