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...always raised by advice, however soft, benevolent, and reasonable. But flattery, if its operation be nearly examined, will be found to owe its acceptance, not to our ignorance, but knowledge of our failures, and to delight us rather as it consoles our wants than displays our possessions. He that shall solicit the favour of his patron by praising him for qualities which he can find in himself, will be defeated by the more daring panegyrist who enriches him with adscititious excellence.Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.The acknowledgment of those virtues on which conscience congratulates us, is a tribute that we can at any time exact with confidence; but the celebration of those which we only feign, or desire without any vigorous endeavours to attain them, is received as a confession of sovereignty over regions never conquered, as a favourable decision of disputable claims, and is more welcome as it is more gratuitous.
Advice is offensive, not because it lays us open to unexpected regret, or... Johnson, Samuel
Excerpt from The Works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 03 The Rambler, Volume II · This quote is about flattery · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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