Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket, and do not pull it out and strike it merely to show you have one. If you are asked what o'clock it is, tell it, but do not proclaim it hourly and unasked, like the watchman.
Real merit of any kind cannot long be concealed; it will be discovered, and nothing can depreciate it but a man exhibiting it himself. It may not always be rewarded as it ought; but it will always be known.
I knew once a very covetous, sordid *fellow, who used to say, "Take care of the pence, for the pounds will take care of themselves." [of W. Lowndes, Secretary of the Treasury in the reigns of King William, Queen Anne, and King George the Third.]
Men have various subjects in which they may excel, or at least would be thought to excel, and though they love to hear justice done to them where they know they excel, yet they are most and best flattered upon those points where they wish to excel and yet are doubtful whether they do or not.
Great merit, or great failings, will make you respected or despised; but trifles, little attentions, mere nothings, either done or neglected, will make you either liked or disliked in the general run of the world.