Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (21)

When I admire someone, I try at once to resemble him. So I also imitated Malfenti. I wanted to be very clever, and I felt that I was. Indeed, I once dreamed I was smarter than he. I thought I had discovered a flaw in his business organization: I decided to tell him immediately in order to win his esteem. One day at the Tergesteo table I stopped him when, in a business argument, he was calling his interlocutor a jackass. I told him I thought it a mistake for him to proclaim his cleverness far and wide. In my view the truly clever man in business matters should take care to appear foolish.