Vanity, or to call it by a gentler name, the desire of admiration and applause, is, perhaps, the most universal principle of humanactions.... Where that desire is wanting, we are apt to be indifferent, listless, indolent, and inert.... I will own to you, under the secrecy of confession, that my vanity has very often made me take great pains to make many a woman in love with me, if I could, for whose person I would not have given a pinch of snuff.
What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. (APPLAUSE) That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The teacher always used me as an example to the class of good English and good storytelling because we all had to write the same stories. But she used to make me go out front - which I hated - and read my story to the class and I would get huge applause. Not because of who I was but because they truly enjoyed the stories I wrote.
The scent organ was playing a delightfully refreshing Herbal Capriccio - rippling arpeggios of thyme and lavender, of rosemary, basil, myrtle, tarragon; a series of daring modulations through the spice keys into ambergris; and a slow return through sandalwood, camphor, cedar and newmown hay (with occasional subtle touches of discord - a whiff of kidney pudding, the faintest suspicion of pig's dung) back to the simple aromatics with which the piece began. The final blast of thyme died away; there was a round of applause; the lights went up.
Comedy crowds - we always want to come out and ask you, 'How you feeling?' We always say that, 'By a round of applause, how do you feel?' Right? 'By a round of applause, how you feeling?' It's the only place in the world that you judge how you're feeling by a round of applause... There's never like a car accident, people all over the ground, people running over - 'Ma'am! Ma'am! By a round of applause, how do you feel? By a round of applause - she's not clapping!
I do not know whether anyone has ever succeeded in not enjoying praise. And, if we enjoy it, we naturally wants to receive it. And if we want to receive it, we cannot help but being distraught at losing it. Those who are in love with applause have their spirits starved not only when they are blamed off-hand, but even when they fail to be constantly praised.
People come into public life for different reasons. None of us are ego-challenged, I think, or we probably wouldn't be doing what we're doing, so if anyone tells you that they don't like the sound of the applause and the ego gratification, I don't think they're being straight with you.