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he pleasure of conceit is not only real; it is also, for the most part, pure. This will be admitted, if the reader has distinctly apprehended bow much is implied in conceit. The pleasures of hope, of memory, of imagination, are comprised under the more general name of conceit. We think of pleasure—whether past, present, or to come—as ours, and ours it instantly becomes by the mere conceit. Now, the pleasures of memory, of imagination, and of hope, which I have comprised under the general name of conceit, are confessedly the highest and purest of which the human mind is capable. It would be too much to say that they are always, but they are for the most part, painless; and we are most happy in conceit. The highest ideal of earthly happiness which our poets have conceived is that of a lover who is beloved by the object of his affections. But can there be a clearer case of conceit than the happiness of this love? [11. 90-91]


Dallas, Eneas Sweetland . The Gay Science. 2 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1866. A HathiTrust online version of a copy in the Harvard University Library. Web. 30 April 2022.

Created 3 May 2022

Last modified 23 January 2024