one ... the other

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littepuppy1

Senior Member
chinese-china
We easily see the absurdity of pride when it enters into the heart of a cobbler; tho in reality it is altogether as ridiculous and unreasonable, wherever it takes possession of a human creature. There is no temptation to it from the reflection upon our being in general, or upon any comparative perfection, whereby one man may excel another.The greater a man's knowledge is, the greater motive he may seem to have for pride; but in the same proportion as the one rises the other sinks, it being the chief office of wisdom to discover to us our weaknesses and imperfections.

(Richard Steele. "On Certain Symptoms of Greatness.")

what does "the one rises the other sinks" refer to?
 
  • Ginobilesse_Oblige

    New Member
    English-United States
    The greater a man's knowledge is, the greater motive he may seem to have for pride; but in the same proportion as the one rises the other sinks, it being the chief office of wisdom to discover to us our weaknesses and imperfections.
    You would expect a person to become more prideful when they gain more knowledge. In fact the opposite is true: the more knowledge a person gets (as the one rises...), the more his pride diminishes (...the other sinks) because he becomes more aware of his own faults, etc.
     
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