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[ Also see Affectation Emulation Example Fashion Flattery Hypocrisy Individuality Originality Plagiarism ]

For imitation is natural to man from his infancy. Man differs from other animals particularly in this, that he is imitative, and acquires his rudiments of knowledge in this way; besides, the delight in it is universal.
      - Aristotle

You may imitate, but never counterfeit.
      - Honore de Balzac

Imitation belittles.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

No single character is ever so great that a nation can afford to form itself upon it. Imitation belittles. This appears in the instance of the Chinese. The Chinese are so many Confucii; in miniature. And so with the Jews. Moses, the lawgiver, is poorly represented by Moses, the old clothesman ; or even by Dives, the hanker.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more effectually, but more pleasantly.
      - Edmund Burke

Imitation pleases, because it affords matter for inquiring into the truth or falsehood of imitation, by comparing its likeness or unlikeness with the original.
      - John Dryden

Imitators are but a servile kind of cattle.
      - John Dryden

Since a true knowledge of nature gives us pleasure, a lively imitation of it, either in poetry or painting, must produce a much greater; for both these arts are not only true imitations of nature, but of the best nature.
      - John Dryden

Insist on yourself; never imitate.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men are so constituted that every one undertakes what he sees another successful in, whether he has aptitude for it or not.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I hardly know so true a mark of a little mind as the servile imitation of others.
      - Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, Lord Brooke

He who imitates what is evil always goes beyond the example that is set; on the contrary, he who imitates what is good always falls short.
  [It., L'imitazione del male supera sempre l'esempio; comme per il contrario, l'imitazione del bene e sempre inferiore.]
      - Franceso Guicciardini, Storia d' Italia

It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.
      - Eric Hoffer

O imitators, a servile race, how often have your attacks roused my bile and often my laughter!
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

I would advise him who wishes to imitate well, to look closely into life and manners, and thereby to learn to express them with truth.
  [Lat., Respicere exemplar vitae morumque jubebo
    Doctum imitatorem, et veras hinc ducere voces.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Ars Poetica (CCCXVII)

He who studies to imitate the poet Pindar, O Julius, relies on artificial wings fastened on with wax, and is sure to give his name to a glassy sea.
  [Lat., Pindarum quisquis studet aemulari,
    Iule ceratis ope Daedalea
      Nititur pennis, vitreo daturus
        Nomina ponto.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Carmina
         (IV, 2, 1)

Each of us is in fact what he is almost exclusively by virtue of his imitativeness.
      - William James

Human reason borrowed many arts from the instinct of animals.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

We are all easily taught to imitate what is base and depraved.
  [Lat., Dociles imitandis
    Turpibus ac pravis omnes sumus.]
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
         (XIV, 40)

Even a man's exact imitation of the song of the nightingale displeases us when we discover that it is a mimicry, and not the nightingale.
      - Immanuel Kant

Imitators are a slavish herd and fools in my opinion.
  [Fr., C'est un betail servile et sot a mon avis
    Que les imitateurs.]
      - Jean de la Fontaine, Clymene (v. 54)

Borrowed wit is the poorest wit.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation.
      - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

We do not imitate, but are a model to others.
      - Pericles

To be as good as our fathers, we must be better. Imitation is not discipleship. When some one sent a cracked plate to China to have a set made, every piece in the new set had a crack in it.
      - Wendell Phillips

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