Quotations about   praise

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We do what we must, and call it by the best names we can, and would fain have the praise of having intended the result which ensues.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Experience,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
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Added on 2-Feb-19 | Last updated 2-Feb-19
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You can tell the character of every man when you see how he gives and receives praise.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Letters to Lucilius [Epistulae morales ad Lucilium], Letter 52 “On choosing our teachers,” Sec. 12
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Added on 17-Oct-17 | Last updated 17-Oct-17
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Glory paid to ashes comes too late.

[Cineri gloria sera venit.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 1, Epigram 25 “To Faustinus”

Alt. trans.:
  • To the ashes of the dead glory comes too late. [Ker (1919)]
  • Glory comes too late, when paid only to our ashes. [Bohn (1871)]
  • Too late men praise unto our ashes give. [Anon., (1695)]
  • For honours after death too late arrive. [Hay]
Added on 23-Aug-17 | Last updated 23-Aug-17
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Do not fancy, as too many do, that thou canst praise God by singing hymns to Him in church once a week, and disobeying Him all the week long. … Dost thou fancy as the heathen do, that God needs to be flattered with fine words? or that thou wilt be heard for thy much speaking, and thy vain repetitions? He asks of thee works as well as words; and more, He asks of thee works first and words after.

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) English clergyman, historian, essayist, novelist (pseud. "Parson Lot")
The Good News of God, Sermon 4 “The Song of the Three Children (Daniel 3:16-18)” (1881)
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Added on 20-Jun-17 | Last updated 20-Jun-17
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A man should fear when he enjoys only what good he does publicly. Is it not the publicity, rather than the charity, that he loves?

Beecher - what good he does publicly - wist_info quote

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
In Henry Ward Beecher and Edna Dean Proctor, Life Thoughts: Gathered From the Extemporaneous Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher (1858)

See Matthew.
Added on 8-Jul-16 | Last updated 8-Jul-16
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I live my life in celebration and in praise of the life I’m living. What you focus on expands. The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. The more you complain, the more you find fault, the more misery and fault you will have to find.

Oprah Winfrey (b. 1954) American TV personality, actress
“Words of the Week,” Jet (27 Oct 1986)
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Added on 13-May-16 | Last updated 13-May-16
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LADY MACBETH: Whither should I fly?
I have done no harm. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world; where to do harm
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Macbeth, Act 4, scene 2, l. 74 (1605)
Added on 22-Mar-16 | Last updated 18-Mar-16
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Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Speech, Guildhall, London (12 Jun 1945)
Added on 23-Feb-16 | Last updated 23-Feb-16
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The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.

Charles Lamb (1775-1834) Welsh-English essayist
“Table Talk, by the Late Elia,” London Athenaeum (4 Jan 1834)
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Added on 13-Jul-15 | Last updated 13-Jul-15
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Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Rambler, #127 (6 Jun 1751)
Added on 24-Jun-15 | Last updated 24-Jun-15
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There are reproaches that compliment, and compliments that disparage.

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Maxims], #148 (1665) [tr. Kronenberger (1959)]
Added on 17-Jun-15 | Last updated 17-Jun-15
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Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet
“Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot” (1734)
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Added on 10-Jun-15 | Last updated 10-Jun-15
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Let us believe neither half of the good people tell us of ourselves, nor half the evil they say of others.

Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn (1792-1870) French-Swiss poet
(Attributed)
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Added on 5-Jun-15 | Last updated 6-Jun-15
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Neither praise, nor dispraise thyself; thy Actions will do it enough.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 338 (1731)
Added on 27-May-15 | Last updated 27-May-15
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Watch how a man takes praise, and there you have the measure of him.

Thomas Burke (1886-1945) British author
In T.P.’s Weekly (8 Jun 1928)
Added on 13-May-15 | Last updated 13-May-15
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Accepting praize that iz not our due iz not mutch better than tew be a receiver of stolen goods.

[Accepting praise that is not our due is not much better than to be a receiver of stolen goods.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Stray Children” (1874)
Added on 29-Apr-15 | Last updated 29-Apr-15
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When friends and acquaintances are telling you you are a genius, before you accept their opinion, take a moment to remember what you always thought of their opinions in the past.

Carl Icahn (b. 1936) American businessman and investor
In “The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got (or Gave),” Wall Street Journal (6 Jan 2014)
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Added on 20-Apr-15 | Last updated 20-Apr-15
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Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (8 May 1750)
Added on 23-Mar-15 | Last updated 23-Mar-15
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You’re the top!
You’re the Colosseum.
You’re the top!
You’re the Louvre Museum.
You’re a melody from a symphony by Strauss,
You’re a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeare sonnet,
You’re Mickey Mouse.

You’re the Nile,
You’re the Tow’r of Pisa,
You’re the smile
On the Mona Lisa.
I’m a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I’m the bottom
You’re the top!

Cole Porter (1891-1964) American composer and songwriter
“You’re the Top” (1934)
Added on 1-Dec-14 | Last updated 1-Dec-14
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We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don’t care for.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916) Austrian writer
Aphorisms (1905)
Added on 24-Nov-14 | Last updated 24-Nov-14
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Every man supposes himself not to be fully understood or appreciated.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (6 May 1840)
Added on 13-Oct-14 | Last updated 13-Oct-14
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For I know not why we should delay our tokens of respect to those who deserve them, until the heart that our sympathy could have gladdened has ceased to beat. As men cannot read the epitaphs inscribed upon the marble that covers them, so the tombs that we erect to virtue often only prove our repentance that we neglected it when with us.

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) English novelist and politician
Letter to F. T. Mappin (25 Sep 1855)
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Quoted in The Illustrated London News, Vol. 27 (6 Oct 1855)
Added on 6-Oct-14 | Last updated 6-Oct-14
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Carve not upon a stone when I am dead,
The praises which remorseful mourners give
To women’s graves — a tardy recompense,
But speak them while I live.

Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832-1911) American author, journalist, poet
“Until Death”

Published anonymously in William Cullen Bryant (ed.), A New Library of Poetry and Song (1876)
Added on 15-Sep-14 | Last updated 15-Sep-14
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We protest against unjust criticism, but we accept unearned applause.

José Narosky (b. 1930) Argentine aphorist and writer
Si Todos Los Sueños (1993)
Added on 1-Sep-14 | Last updated 1-Sep-14
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He that applauds him who does not deserve praise, is endeavoring to deceive the public; he that hisses in malice or sport, is an oppressor and a robber.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Idler (7 Oct 1758)
Added on 25-Aug-14 | Last updated 25-Aug-14
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When the million applaud you, seriously ask yourself what harm you have done; when they censure you, what good!

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #183 (1821 ed.)
Added on 4-Aug-14 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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Never fish for praise; it is not worth the bait.

James Burgh (1714-1775) British politician and writer
The Dignity of Human Nature, Sec. 5 “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Prudence in Conversation” (1754)
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Added on 17-Jul-14 | Last updated 17-Jul-14
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Praise your friends, and let your friends praise you.

James Burgh (1714-1775) British politician and writer
The Dignity of Human Nature, Sec. 5 “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Prudence in Conversation” (1754)
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Added on 19-Jun-14 | Last updated 19-Jun-14
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The Americans, in their intercourse with strangers, appear impatient of the smallest censure and insatiable of praise.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French writer, diplomat, politician
Democracy in America, Vol. 2, sec. 3, ch. 16 (1840)
Added on 18-Jun-14 | Last updated 18-Jun-14
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Do not be hasty to praise or blame; speak always as though you were giving testimony before the judgment seat of the gods.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Essays, “De moribus,” 76
Added on 26-May-14 | Last updated 26-May-14
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“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 6:1-6 (NIV)
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KJV:  "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Added on 11-Mar-10 | Last updated 8-Jul-16
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I praise loudly, I blame softly.

Catherine II (1762-1796) Russian empress [Catherine the Great]
Letter (23 Aug. 1794)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-Jan-16
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Blame-all and Praise-all are two blockheads.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard’s Almanack (Feb. 1734)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-Feb-16
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My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that’s nice too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about the success.

Helen Hayes (1900-1993) American actress
Reader’s Digest (1958)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Jun-17
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