Let flattery, the handmaid of the vices, be far removed.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
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 (1887–1964) British Poet, Literary Critic
We sometimes think we hate flattery, when we only hate the manner in which we have been flattered.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Flattery is from the teeth out. Sincere appreciation is from the heart out.
—Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) American Self-Help Author
The reason that adulation is not displeasing is that, though untrue, it shows one to be of consequence enough, in one way or other, to induce people to lie.
—Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) (1788–1824) English Romantic Poet
The lie that flatters I abhor the most.
—William Cowper (1731–1800) English Anglican Poet, Hymn writer
Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver; and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings.
—Edmund Burke (1729–97) British Philosopher, Statesman
Flatterers are the worst kind of enemies.
—Tacitus (56–117) Roman Orator, Historian
Baloney is flattery laid on so thick it cannot be true, and blarney is flattery so thin we love it.
—Fulton J. Sheen (1895–1979) American Catholic Religious Leader, Theologian
The flattery of posterity is not worth much more than contemporary flattery, which is worth nothing.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.
—William Arthur Ward (1921–94) American Author
Flattery is like cologne water, to be smelt of, not swallowed.
—Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–85) American Humorist, Author, Lecturer
The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them; it is by excusing nothing that pure love shows itself.
—Moliere (1622–73) French Playwright
None are more taken in by flattery than the proud, who wish to be the first and are not.
—Baruch Spinoza (1632–77) Dutch Philosopher, Theologian
Flatter not thyself in thy faith in God, if thou hast not charity for thy neighbor; I think not thou hast charity for thy neighbor, if thou wantest faith in God. — Where they are not both together, they are both wanting; they are both dead if once divided.
—Francis Quarles (1592–1644) English Religious Poet
I would rather hear the pleased laugh of a child over some feature of my exhibition than receive as I did the flattering compliments of the Prince of Wales.
—P. T. Barnum (1810–91) American Businessperson, Entertainer
We swallow with one gulp the lie that flatters us, and drink drop by drop the truth which is bitter to us.
—Denis Diderot (1713–84) French Philosopher, Writer
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.
—Martin Farquhar Tupper (1810–89) English Poet, Writer