display intended to excite admiration or applause

Ostentation is display intended to excite admiration or applause.

Quotes edit

  • Never call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about theorems, but act conformably to them. Thus, at an entertainment, don’t talk how persons ought to eat, but eat as you ought. For remember that in this manner Socrates also universally avoided all ostentation. And when persons came to him and desired to be recommended by him to philosophers, he took and recommended them, so well did he bear being overlooked. So that if ever any talk should happen among the unlearned concerning philosophic theorems, be you, for the most part, silent. For there is great danger in immediately throwing out what you have not digested. And, if anyone tells you that you know nothing, and you are not nettled at it, then you may be sure that you have begun your business. For sheep don’t throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk. Thus, therefore, do you likewise not show theorems to the unlearned, but the actions produced by them after they have been digested.

  • Our society has been prepared to appreciate nothing but ostentation: nowadays you can fill men up with nothing but wind and then bounce them about like balloons. But this man, Socrates, did not deal with vain notions: his aim was to provide us with matter and precepts which genuinely and intimately serve our lives.
    • Michel de Montaigne, Essays, M. Screech, trans. (1991), Book III, Chapter 12, “Of Physiognomy,” p. 1173

  • For my part, the thing I would wish to obtain from money would be leisure with security. But what the typical modern man desires to get with it is more money, with a view to ostentation, splendour, and the outshining of those who have hitherto been his equals.

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