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Quotations about
Compliments, Praise, & Flattery

There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment. ~Robert Brault,

An occasional compliment is necessary to keep up one's self-respect. The plan of the newspaper is good and wise; when you can't get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one. ~Mark Twain, 1894

Pay with compliments and you will always be wealthy. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009

'Twas never merry world
Since lowly feigning was call'd compliment...
~William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, c.1599  [III, 1, Olivia]

Like pollen on a honeybee, flattery clings to the things you tell yourself. ~Willis Goth Regier, In Praise of Flattery, 2007

What flatterers say, try to make true. ~German proverb

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

Flattery is to conversation what the kiss is to lovemaking: of the least value, but valued the most. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor

I can listen quietly and attentively when others want to talk. I can look for opportunities to give a well-deserved compliment to someone who needs it most. ~William Arthur Ward, For This One Hour, 1969

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. ~Henry David Thoreau

It is hard to resist a flatterer who gets it right. ~Robert Brault,

Compliments make me vain: & when I am vain, I am insolent & overbearing. It is a pity, too, because I love compliments. I love them even when they are not so. My child, I can live on a good compliment two weeks with nothing else to eat. ~Mark Twain, letter to Gertrude Natkin, 1906 March 2nd  [Thanks, Barbara Schmidt, of! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Flattery resembles the picture of a suit of armour in this respect, that it is calculated to yield delight, not to render any actual service. ~Demophilus, "Dialectic Similitudes," Life's Culture and Conduct  [Pythagorean philosopher, whose history is little known. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Flattery works like a drug. ~Willis Goth Regier, In Praise of Flattery, 2007

Other men it is said have seen angels but I have seen thee and thou art enough. ~George Moore

Her very frowns are fairer far,
Than smiles of other maidens are.
~Hartley Coleridge (1796–1849)

Marge, you're as pretty as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda. ~The Simpsons, "I Married Marge," 1991, written by Jeff Martin  [S3, E12, Homer —tg]

Nothing is so silly as the expression of a man who is being complimented. ~André Gide, journal, 1906, translated from the French by Justin O'Brien

Be circumspect, for to a credulous eye,
He comes invisible, veil'd with flattery,
And flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs...
~George Chapman, 1608

Modesty is the only sure bait, when you angle for praise. ~Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, 1750

It is great to get praise from the lips of taciturnity; and I know that praise rightly given, implying real success and assuring us that we have done what we strove to do, is what you say — just vital oxygen. ~John Addington Symonds

FLATTERY must be pretty thick before anybody objects to it. ~William Feather, The Business of Life, 1949

We scarcely thought in our own hall to hear
This barren verbiage, current among men,
Light coin, the tinsel clink of compliment...
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I hate careless flattery — the kind that exhausts you in your effort to believe it. ~Wilson Mizner

I suppose that is meant for a compliment. My dear... women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. ~Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband, 1893

The receiver of a flattery is usually sincere. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

A person given to barefaced flattery, will usually balance the account with interest in your absence. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

FLATTERY is like ice-cream. We want it just a little at a time, and pretty often. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague

All ears readily open to flattery. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

FLATTERY  Oral molasses for two-legged flies. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914

Flattery.... gets its kicks by flirting with insult and ridicule.~Willis Goth Regier, In Praise of Flattery, 2007

Flattery.— Throwing dust in people's eyes, generally for the purpose of picking their pockets. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824

Men prefer brief praise, pitched high; women are satisfied with praise in a lower key, just so it goes on and on. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

[F]lattery is the prolific parent of falsehood. ~Edward Gibbon

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