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Practically, then, at present, "advancement in life" means, becoming
conspicuous in life; obtaining a position which shall be
acknowledged by others to be respectable or honourable.  We do not
understand by this advancement, in general, the mere making of
money, but the being known to have made it; not the accomplishment
of any great aim, but the being seen to have accomplished it.  In a
word, we mean the gratification of our thirst for applause.  That
thirst, if the last infirmity of noble minds, is also the first
infirmity of weak ones; and, on the whole, the strongest impulsive
influence of average humanity:  the greatest efforts of the race
have always been traceable to the love of praise, as its greatest
catastrophes to the love of pleasure.

I am not about to attack or defend this impulse.  I want you only to
feel how it lies at the root of effort; especially of all modern
effort.  It is the gratification of vanity which is, with us, the
stimulus of toil and balm of repose; so closely does it touch the
very springs of life that the wounding of our vanity is always
spoken of (and truly) as in its measure MORTAL; we call it
"mortification," using the same expression which we should apply to
a gangrenous and incurable bodily hurt.  And although a few of us
may be physicians enough to recognise the various effect of this
passion upon health and energy, I believe most honest men know, and
would at once acknowledge, its leading power with them as a motive.
The seaman does not commonly desire to be made captain only because
he knows he can manage the ship better than any other sailor on
board.  He wants to be made captain that he may be CALLED captain.
The clergyman does not usually want to be made a bishop only because
he believes that no other hand can, as firmly as his, direct the
diocese through its difficulties.  He wants to be made bishop
primarily that he may be called "My Lord."  And a prince does not
usually desire to enlarge, or a subject to gain, a kingdom, because
he believes no one else can as well serve the State, upon its
throne; but, briefly, because he wishes to be addressed as "Your
Majesty," by as many lips as may be brought to such utterance.