Glory is safe when it is deserved; it is not so with popularity; one lasts like a mosaic; the other is effaced like a crayon drawing.
The great secrets of being courted, are, to shun others and to seem delighted with yourself.
Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world.
The only popularity worth aspiring after, is the popularity of the heart—the popularity that is won in the bosom of families, and at the side of death beds.—There is another,—a high and far sounding popularity, which is, indeed, a most worthless article—a popularity which with its head among storms, and its feet on treacherous quicksands, has nothing to lull the agonies of its tottering existence but the hosannas of a drivelling generation.
It is not so difficult a task to plant new truths as to root out old errors; for there is this paradox in men,—they run after that which is new, but are prejudiced in favor of that which is old.
O popular applause! what heart of man is proof against thy sweet seducing charms? The wisest and the best feel urgent need of all their caution in thy gentlest gales; but swell'd into a gust—who then, alas! with all his canvas set, and inexpert, and therefore heedless, can withstand thy power?
Applause waits on success; the fickle multitude, like the light straw that floats along the stream, glides with the current still, and follows fortune.
I put no account on him who esteems himself just as the popular breath may chance to raise him.
Those who are commended by everybody must be very extraordinary men, or, which is more probable, very inconsiderable men.
The common people are but ill judges of a man's merits; they are slaves to fame, and their eyes are dazzled with the pomp of titles and large retinue. No wonder, then, that they bestow their honors on those who least deserve them.
A generous nation is grateful even for the preservation of its rights, and willingly extends the respect due to the office of a good prince into an affection for his person.
Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of the few: and number not voices, but weigh them.
The greatness of a popular character is less according to the ratio of his genius than the sympathy he shows with the prejudices and even the absurdities of his time. Fanatics do not select the cleverest, but the most fanatical leaders; as was evidenced in the choice of Robespierre by the French Jacobins, and in that of Cromwell by the English Puritans.
Whatever is popular deserves attention.
True popularity is not the popularity which is followed after, but the popularity which follows after.
The vulgar and common esteem is seldom happy in hitting right; and I am much mistaken, if, amongst the writings of my time, the worst are not those which have most gained the popular applause.
Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit.
Be as far from desiring the popular love as fearful to deserve the popular hate; ruin dwells in both; the one will hug thee to death; the other will crush thee to destruction: to escape the first, be not ambitious; avoid the second, be not seditious.
As inclination changes; thus ebbs and flows the unstable tide of public judgment.
A habitation giddy and unsure hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
The love of popularity seems little else than the love of being beloved; and is onty blamable when a person aims at the affections of a people by means in appearance honest, but in their end pernicious and destructive.