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  • Flattery, of a tactful sort, is sometimes useful in conversation. But too much flattery is like too much sugar: it sickens.

  • Flattery, if judiciously administered, is always acceptable, however much we may despise the flatterer.

  • Flattery was such a rare treat to Ethel that she ate it up raw like caviar.

  • Invitation is the sincerest flattery.

  • ... it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?

  • Now flattery can never do good; twice cursed in the giving and the receiving, it ought to be.

    • Maria Edgeworth,
    • 1831, in Augustus J.C. Hare, ed., The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, vol. 2 ()
  • ... Emily heard a great deal of conversation, of which conceit was the canvas, while flattery laid on the colors.

  • He soft-soaped her until she couldn't see for the suds.

  • ... flattery would be worse than vain; there is no consolation in flattery.

    • Charlotte Brontë,
    • to George Henry Lewes (1849), in Muriel Spark, ed., The Letters of The Brontës: A Selection ()
  • No adulation; 'tis the death of virtue; / Who flatters is of all mankind the lowest, / Save he who courts flattery.

  • Flattery makes fools of the best of us.

  • The same old charitable lie, / Repeated as the years scoot by, / Perpetually makes a hit — / 'You really haven't changed a bit!'

  • Oh, I do like it when young men flatter me. Of course it's all flummery but a harmless enough pleasure — less expensive than cards and far better for the complexion than Madeira.

  • I long ago exhausted the English language in commendation of her efforts. Nothing is so wearing on one as continual demand for praise ...

  • Flattery is so necessary to all of us that we flatter one another just to be flattered in return.

    • Marjorie Bowen,
    • "The Art of Flattery," World's Wonder and Other Essays ()
  • You ask what kind of letters I like. What can I say but one thing? Of course what I really like is flattery and affection ...

    • Vanessa Bell,
    • to her sister Virginia Stephen (1908), in Regina Marler, ed., Selected Letters of Vanessa Bell ()
  • Flattery is praise without foundation.

  • Flattery is like false money: it impoverishes those who receive it.

    • Madame Voillez,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • 'You are like me!' The deepest flattery one creature pays its fellow, the cry which is uttered when another enters 'our country.'

  • I think it's an American curse that most of us think we are special. ... everyone believes themselves to be superior to the majority of the population in some way. Sometimes it's their looks, other times their perceived sex appeal (often in obvious defiance of their looks), and other times it is their real or imagined talent for acting, writing, painting or banging on the drums. And because people are so susceptible to flattery, there exists an entire industry made up of scam artists whose sole goal is to fleece the flatterable.

  • Attention is a silent and perpetual flattery.

  • The aim of flattery is to soothe and encourage us by assuring us of the truth of an opinion we have already formed about ourselves.

    • Edith Sitwell,
    • in Elizabeth Salter, The Last Years of a Rebel ()
  • ... I struck the usual bargain, paying for flattery by calling it insight.

  • If a gentleman approaches you with words of flattery, and profuse attentions, especially after a short acquaintance, extend no encouraging smile or word; for a flatterer can never be otherwise than an unprofitable companion.

  • Sweet words are like honey, a little may refresh, but too much gluts the stomach.

    • Anne Bradstreet,
    • "Meditations Divine and Moral" (1664), in John Harvard Ellis, ed., The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse ()
  • Probably one of the reasons why gushing is so unattractive is that it leaves nothing for the listener to do.

  • If a man is vain, flatter. If timid, flatter. If boastful, flatter. In all history, too much flattery never lost a gentleman.