Some dead-of-the-dark-winter thoughts from Palinurus's Unquiet Grave. On page 20: "Three faults, which are found together and which infect every activity: laziness, vanity, cowardice. If one is too lazy to think, too vain to do something badly, too cowardly to admit it, one will never attain wisdom." The idea is picked up again on page 30: "Sloth rots the intelligence, cowardice destroys all power at the source, while vanity inhibits us from facing any fact which might teach us something; it dulls all other sensation." It seems to me that Connolly here writes rather vaguely (though not falsely) about cowardice and laziness, but he sharpens a very important point about vanity. We can bring the two passages together in a single sentence: If we are not willing to do something badly we will not be sensitive to facts that might teach us something. Much more can be said on this, but the whole point of aphorism is of course to let the reader mull it over.