The most skilful flattery is to let a person talk on, and be a listener.
It is better to fall among crows than flatterers; for those devour only the dead—these the living.
It has well been said that the arch-flatterer, with whom all petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man's self.
There is no tongue that flatters like a lover's; and yet in the exaggeration of his feelings, flattery seems to him commonplace.
A fool flatters himself; the wise man flatters the fool.
Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver; and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings.
Flattery, though a base coin, is the necessary pocket-money at court; where, by custom and consent, it has obtained such a currency, that it is no longer a fraudulent, but a legal payment.
Some there are who profess to despise all flattery, but even these are, nevertheless, to be flattered, by being told that they do despise it.
Adroit observers will find that some who affect to dislike flattery may yet be flattered indirectly by a well-seasoned abuse and ridicule of their rivals.
Flattery is often a traffic of mutual meanness, where, although both parties intend deception, neither are deceived.
Imitation is the sincerest flattery.
The lie that flatters I abhor the most.
When flatterers meet the devil goes to dinner.
We love flattery, even when we see through it, and are not deceived by it, for it shows that we are of importance enough to be courted.
There is no detraction worse than to overpraise a man; for if his worth prove short of what report doth speak of him, his own actions are ever giving the lie to his honor.
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 bosom.
There is scarcely any man, how much soever he may despise the character of a flatterer, but will condescend in the meanest manner to flatter himself.
It is a dangerous crisis when a proud heart meets with flattering lips.
There is no flattery so adroit or effectual as that of implicit assent.
He that is much flattered soon learns to flatter himself.—We are commonly taught our duty by fear or shame, but how can they act upon a man who hears nothing but his own praises?
To be flattered is grateful, even when we know that our praises are not believed by those who pronounce them; for they prove at least our power, and show that our favor is valued, since it is purchased by the meanness of falsehood.
Of all wild beasts preserve me from a tyrant; and of all tame, from a flatterer.
A death-bed flattery is the worst of treacheries. Ceremonies of mode and compliment are mightily out of season when life and salvation come to be at stake.
The art of flatterers is to take advantage of the foibles of the great, to foster their errors, and never to give advice which may annoy.
Adulation is the death of virtue.—Who flatters, is, of all mankind, the lowest, save he who courts the flattery.
The most subtle flattery a woman can receive is that conveyed by actions, not by words.
There is an oblique way of reproof, which takes off the sharpness of it, and an address in flattery, which makes it agreeable, though never so gross; but of all flatterers, the most skilful is he who can do what you like, without saying anything which argues he does it for your sake.
Flatterers are the worst kind of traitors for they will strengthen thy imperfections, encourage thee in all evils, correct thee in nothing, but so shadow and paint all thy vices and follies as thou shalt never, by their will, discern good from evil, or vice from virtue.
Men find it more easy to flatter than to praise.
Flattery is a base coin which gains currency only from our vanity.
We sometimes think we hate flattery, when we only hate the manner in which we have been flattered.
Self-love is the greatest of flatterers.
If we would not flatter ourselves, the flattery of others could not harm us.
You play the spaniel, and think with wagging of your tongue to win me.
Deference before company is the genteelest kind of flattery. The flattery of epistles affects one less, as they cannot be shown without an appearance of vanity. Flattery of the verbal kind is gross. In short, applause is of too coarse a nature to be swallowed in the gross, though the extract of tincture be ever so agreeable.
Allow no man to be so free with you as to praise you to your face.—Your vanity, by this means, will want its food, but at the same time your passion for esteem will be more fully gratified; men will praise you in their actions; where you now receive one compliment, you will then receive twenty civilities.
Nothing is so great an instance of ill-manners as flattery. If you flatter all the company, you please none; if you flatter only one or two, you affront the rest.
The only benefit of flattery is that by hearing what we are not, we may be instructed what we ought to be.
'Tis an old maxim in the schools, that flattery is the food of fools.—Yet now and then your men of wit will condescend to take a bit.
Flatterers are the worst kind of enemies.
The rich man despises those who flatter him too much, and hates those who do not flatter him at all.
No man flatters the woman he truly loves.
Know thyself, thine evil as well as thy good, and flattery shall not harm thee; her speech shall be a warning, a humbling, and a guide; for wherein thou lackest most, there chiefly will thy sycophant commend thee.