I had read something

I could talk very easily so far as I had read, and then I was very careful to stop. Thus greater credit was given me for extensive and accurate knowledge than I really possessed.”

It may be remarked generally that men of great abilities are more likely to be modest than third-rate men, who are very much afraid that they will not be rated as high as they should be. There are indeed exceptions, and those of a conspicuous character. The poet Wordsworth had a comfortable consciousness of his superiority to his contemporaries, and on one occasion, when he was asked if he had read the poems of such a one (a prominent poet), he answered, “I never read any poetry except my own.”

It is a safe rule to let the world pronounce you great before you call attention to your own greatness.