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COMPLIMENTS
[ Also see Applause Courtship Flattery Gallantry Insult Popularity Praise Vanity ]

Banish all compliments but single truth,
  From every tongue, and every shepherd's heart,
    Let them use still persuading, but no art.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

Compliments of congratulation are always kindly taken, and cost nothing but pen, ink and paper. I consider them as draughts upon good breeding, where the exchange is always greatly in favor of the drawer.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope

He who sports compliments, unless he takes good aim, may miss his mark, and be wounded by the recoil of his own weapon.
      - Thomas Chandler Haliburton (used pseudonym Sam Slick)

A compliment is usually accompanied with a bow, as if to beg pardon for paying it.
      - A.W. Hare and J.C. Hare, Guesses at Truth

What honour that,
  But tedious waste of time, to sit and hear
    So many hollow compliments and lies.
      - John Milton, Paradise Regained
         (bk. IV, l. 122)

When two people compliment each other with the choice of anything, each of them generally gets that which he likes least.
      - Alexander Pope

'Twas never merry world
  Since lowly feigning was called compliment.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Olivia at III, i)

Deference is the most complicate, the most indirect, and the most elegant of all compliments.
      - William Shenstone

Compliments are only lies in court clothes.
      - John Sterling

A woman . . . always feels herself complimented by love, though it may be from a man incapable of winning her heart, or perhaps even her esteem.
      - Abel Stevens, Life of Madame de Stael
         (ch. III)

Current among men,
  Like coin, the tinsel clink of compliment.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Princess
         (pt. II, l. 40)

Compliments and flattery oftenest excite my contempt by the pretension they imply; for who is he that assumes to flatter me? To compliment often implies an assumption of superiority in the complimenter. It is, in fact, a subtle detraction.
      - Henry David Thoreau


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