Lovers of themselves?

(Hannah More)
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the
 last days. People will be lovers of themselves"
    2 Tim. 3:1-2

Self love is a Proteus of all shapes, shades and
complexions. It has the power of expansions and
contractions as best serves the occasion.

There is no crevice so small through which its
subtle essence cannot stretch itself to fill.

It is of all degrees of cultivation; so coarse and
hungry as to gorge itself with the grossest adulation,
so fastidious as to require a homage as refined as itself;
so deceptive as to elude the detection of ordinary
observers; so delusive as to escape the observation
of the very heart in which it reigns paramount.

Yet, though so extravagant in its appetites, self
love can adopt a moderation which imposes a
refinement which veils its deformity; an artificial
character which keeps its real one out of sight.

We are apt to speak of self love as if it were
only a symptom, whereas it is the disease itself.
It is a malignant disease which has possession
of the moral constitution and leaves nothing
uncorrupted by its touch.

This corrupting principle pollutes, by coming into
contact with it, whatever is in itself great and noble.