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Nothing is more embarrassing in the ordinary intercourse of life than this irritable patriotism of the Americans. A stranger may be well inclined to praise many of the institutions of their country, but he begs permission to blame some of the peculiarities which he observes — a permission which is however inexorably refused.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French writer, diplomat, politician
Democracy in America, Vol. 1, “Public Spirit in the United States” (1835) [tr. Reeve (1839)]
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Added on 21-Nov-18 | Last updated 21-Nov-18
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Guilt hath very quick ears to an accusation.

Henry Fielding (1707-1754) English novelist, dramatist, satirist
Amelia, ch. 11 (1751)
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Added on 8-Jun-17 | Last updated 8-Jun-17
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Just because you’re offended, doesn’t mean you’re right.

Ricky Gervais (b. 1961) English comedian, actor, director, writer
Tweet (12 Oct 2013)
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Added on 8-Sep-16 | Last updated 8-Sep-16
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It really hurts me very much to suppose that I have wronged anybody on earth.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Quincy, Illinois (13 Oct 1858)
Added on 4-Jan-16 | Last updated 4-Jan-16
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Stupidity often saves a man from going mad.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) American poet, essayist, scholar
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, ch. 2 (1858)
Added on 18-Dec-14 | Last updated 18-Dec-14
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Other nations have been called thin-skinned, but the citizens of the Union have, apparently, no skins at all; they wince if a breeze blows over them, unless it be tempered with adulation.

Frances Trollope (1779-1863) English novelist and writer
Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832)
Added on 25-Jun-14 | Last updated 25-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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Every man who attacks my belief, diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy; and I am angry with him who makes me uneasy.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (3 Apr 1775)

In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
Added on 11-Apr-14 | Last updated 11-Apr-14
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