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[ Also see Adulation Applause Blandishment Censure Compliments Coquette Court Courtiers Courtship Gallantry Imitation Praise Slander Vanity ]

We must suit the flattery to the mind and taste of the recipient. We do not put essences into hogsheads, nor porter into phials. Delicate minds may be disgusted by compliments that would please a grosser intellect; as some fine ladies who would be shocked at the idea of a dram will not refuse a liqueur.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.
      - Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon (p. 127)

The lie that flatters I abhor the most.
      - William Cowper

Let the passion of flattery be ever so inordinate, the supply can keep pace with the demand, and in the world's great market, in which wit and folly drive their bargains with each other, there are traders of all sorts.
      - Richard Cumberland, Bishop of Peterborough (1)

Flattery, the dangerous nurse of vice.
      - Samuel Daniel

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
      - Denis Diderot

Women swallow at one mouthful the lie that flatters, and drink drop by drop the truth that is bitter.
      - Denis Diderot

If you tell a woman she is beautiful, whisper it softly, for if the devil hears, he will echo it many times.
      - Francis Alexander Durivage

We love flattery, even though we are not deceived by it, because it shows that we are of importance enough to be courted.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no detraction worse than to overpraise a man, for if his worth proves short of what report doth speak of him, his own actions are ever giving the lie to his honor.
      - Owen Felltham (Feltham)

Beware of flattery, 'tis a weed
  Which oft offends the very idol--vice,
    Whose shrine it would perfume.
      - Elijah Fenton

Flattery is never so agreeable as to our blind side; commend a fool for his wit, or a knave for his honesty, and they will receive you into their bosoms.
      - Henry Fielding

Christian! thou knowest thou carriest gunpowder about thee. Desire them that carry fire to keep at a distance. It is a dangerous crisis when a proud heart meets with flattering lips.
      - Rev. John Flavel (2)

A man finds no sweeter voice in all the world than that which chants his praise.
      - Bernard de Bovier de Fontenelle

If any man flatters me, I'll flatter him again, though he were my best friend.
      - Benjamin Franklin

Praise not people to their faces, to the end that they may pay thee in the same coin. This is so thin a cobweb that it may with little difficulty be seen through; it is rarely strong enough to catch flies of any considerable magnitude.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

For praise too dearly lov'd, or warmly sought,
  Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;
    And the weak soul within itself unblest,
      Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,
  And the puff a dunce, he mistook it for fame;
    Till his relish grown callous, almost to displease,
      Who pepper'd the highest was surest to please.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Retaliation (l. 109)

There is no flattery so adroit or effectual as that of implicit assent.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Flattery pleases very generally. In the first place, the flatterer may think what he says to be true, but, in the second place, whether be thinks so or not, he certainly thinks those whom be flatters of consequence enough to be flattered.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

He that is much flattered soon learns to flatter himself.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it; for no species of falsehood is more frequent than flattery, to which the coward is betrayed by fear, the dependent by interest, and the friend by tenderness. Those who are neither servile nor timorous are yet desirous to bestow pleasure; and while unjust demands of praise continue to be made, there will always be some whom hope, fear, or kindness will dispose to pay them.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

It is scarcely credible to what degree discernment may be dazzled by the mist of pride, and wisdom infatuated by the intoxication of flattery; or how low the genius may descend by successive gradations of servility, and how swiftly it may fall down the precipice of falsehood.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

It requires but little acquaintance with the heart to know that woman's first wish is to be handsome; and that, consequently, the readiest method of obtaining her kindness is to praise her beauty.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

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