C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


The sweetest of all sounds is praise.


A man who does not love praise is not a full man.

Henry Ward Beecher.

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.


Praise undeserved is satire in disguise.


Good things should be praised.


He hurts me most who lavishly commends.


Praise is only praise when well addressed.


His praise is lost who waits till all commend.


Solid pudding against empty praise.


Praise is the best diet for us, after all.

Sydney Smith.

Earth with her thousand voices praises God.


He who praises everybody praises nobody.


The refusal of praise is only the wish to be praised twice.

La Rochefoucauld.

Praise from an enemy smells of craft.


Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.


Praise is the reflection of virtue.


False praise is always confined to the great.

Lord Kames.

What woman can resist the force of praise?


He who loves praise, loves temptation.

Thomas Wilson.

  • The love of praise, howe’er concealed by art,
  • Reigns more or less and glows in every heart.
  • Young.

    Our continual desire for praise ought to convince us of our mortality, if nothing else will.

    H. W. Shaw.

    It is not he who searches for praise who finds it.


  • For if good were not praised more than ill,
  • None would chuse goodness of his own free will.
  • Spenser.

    For the good, when praised, feel something of disgust, if to excess commended.


    Every ear is tickled with the sweet music of applause.


    He who praises you for what you have not, wishes to take from you what you have.


    The more you speak of yourself, the more you are likely to lie.


    Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.

    Dr. Johnson.

    For what are men who grasp at praise sublime, but bubbles on the rapid stream of time?


    A little praise is good for a shy temper; it teaches it to rely on the kindness of others.


    The praise of a fool is incense to the wisest of us.

    Earl of Beaconsfield.

    One self-approving hour whole years outweighs of stupid starers and of loud huzzas.


    Praise begets emulation,—a goodly seed to sow among youthful students.

    Horace Mann.

    Those who are greedy of praise prove hat they are poor in merit.


    Allow no man to be so free with you as to praise you to your face.


  • Praising what is lost,
  • Makes the remembrance dear.
  • Shakespeare.

    It is the greatest possible praise to be praised by a man who is himself deserving of praise.

    From the Latin.

    None can be pleased without praise, and few can be praised without falsehood.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • Some praise at morning what they blame at night,
  • But always think the last opinion right.
  • Pope.

    It is a great happiness to be praised of them that are most praiseworthy.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    We are all excited by the love of praise, and it is the noblest spirits that feel it most.


    Thou mayst be more prodigal of praise when thou writest a letter than when thou speakest in presence.


    Too much magnifying of man or matter doth irritate contradiction, and procure envy and scorn.


    Desert being the essential condition of praise, there can be no reality in the one without the other.

    Washington Allston.

    There can hardly, I believe, be imagined a more desirable pleasure than that of praise unmixed with any possibility of flattery.


    When thou receivest praise, take it indifferently, and return it to God, the giver of the gift, or blesser of the action.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    The commendation of adversaries is the greatest triumph of a writer, because it never comes unless extorted.


    Praise follows Truth afar off; and only overtakes her at the grave; Plausibility clings to her skirts and holds her back till then.


    We should not be too niggardly in our praise, for men will do more to support a character than to raise one.


    Praise is the symbol which represents sympathy, and which the mind insensibly substitutes for its recollection and language.


    The praises of others may be of use in teaching us, not what we are, but what we ought to be.


    Sweet is the breath of praise when given by those whose own high merit claims the praise they give.

    Hannah More.

    Commend a fool for his wit, or a knave for his honesty, and they will receive you into their bosom.


    You may be liberal in your praise where praise is due: it costs nothing; it encourages much.

    Horace Mann.

    One good deed dying tongueless slaughters a thousand waiting upon that. Our praises are our wages.


    Praise never gives us much pleasure unless it concur with our own opinion, and extol us for those qualities in which we chiefly excel.


    Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth: a stranger, and not thine own lips.


    Praise is the best auxiliary to prayer; and he who most bears in mind what has been done for him by God will be most emboldened to supplicate fresh gifts from above.

    Henry Melvill.

    Half-uttered praise is to the curious mind, as to the eye half-veiled beauty is, more precious than the whole.

    Joanna Baillie.

    It is no flattery to give a friend a due character; for commendation is as much the duty of a friend as reprehension.


    Praise has different effects, according to the mind it meets with; it makes a wise man modest, but a fool more arrogant, turning his weak brain giddy.


    What a person praises is perhaps a surer standard, even than what he condemns, of his own character, information and abilities.


    We are all excited by the love of praise, and the noblest are most influenced by glory.


    As the Greek said, “Many men know how to flatter, few men know how to praise.”

    Wendell Phillips.

  • What we admire we praise; and when we praise,
  • Advance it into notice, that its worth
  • Acknowledged, others may admire it too.
  • Cowper.

    Praise, of all things, is the most powerful excitement to commendable actions, and animates us in our enterprises.

    La Bruyère.

  • The love of praise, howe’er conceal’d by art,
  • Reigns, more or less, and glows, in ev’ry heart:
  • The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure;
  • The modest shun it, but to make it sure.
  • Young.

    Whenever you commend, add your reasons for doing so; it is this which distinguishes the approbation of a man of sense from the flattery of sycophants and admiration of fools.


    Praise, in the beginning is agreeable enough, and we receive it as a favor; but when it comes in great quantities, we regard it only as a debt, which nothing but our merit could extort.


    It is singular how impatient men are with overpraise of others, how patient of overpraise of themselves, and yet the one does them no injury, while the other may be their ruin.


    Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity. It becomes cheap as it becomes vulgar, and will no longer raise expectation or animate enterprise.


    It is always esteemed the greatest mischief a man can do to those whom he loves, to raise men’s expectations of them too high by undue and impertinent commendations.


    Words of praise, indeed, are almost as necessary to warm a child into a genial life as acts of kindness and affection. Judicious praise is to children what the sun is to flowers.


    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. He asks of thee works as well as words; and more. He asks of thee works first and words after.

    Charles Kingsley.

    The passion for praise, which is so very vehement in the fair sex, produces excellent effects in women of sense, who desire to be admired for that which only deserves admiration.


    We always make our friend appear awkward and ridiculous by giving him a laced suit of tawdry qualifications, which nature never intended him to wear.


    Speak not in high commendation of any man to his face, nor censure any man behind his back; but if thou knowest anything good of him, tell it unto others; if anything ill, tell it privately and prudently to himself.


    Be not too great a niggard in the commendations of him that professes thy own quality: if he deserve thy praise, thou hast discovered thy judgment; if not, thy modesty: honor either returns or reflects to the giver.


    There is a certain virtue in every good man, which night and day stirs up the mind with the stimulus of glory, and reminds it that all mention of our name will not cease at the same time with our lives, but that our fame will endure to all posterity.


    Praise consists in the love of God, in wonder at the goodness of God, in recognition of the gifts of God, in seeing God in all things He gives us, ay, and even in the things that He refuses to us; so as to see our whole life in the light of God; and seeing this, to bless Him, adore Him, and glorify Him.


    There are three kinds of praise,—that which we yield, that which we lend, and that which we pay. We yield it to the powerful from fear, we lend it to the weak from interest, and we pay it to the deserving from gratitude.


    What a person praises is perhaps a surer standard, even, than what he condemns, of his character, information, and abilities. No wonder, then, that in this prudent country most people are so shy of praising anything.


    There is a species of ferocity in rejecting indiscriminately all kinds of praises; we should be accessible to those which are given to us by good people, who praise in us sincerely praiseworthy things.

    La Bruyère.

    We are not fond of praising, and never praise any one except from interested motives. Praise is a clever, concealed, and delicate flattery, which gratifies in different ways the giver and the receiver. The one takes it as a recompense of his merit, and the other bestows it to display his equity and discernment.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    To be forward to praise others implies either great eminence, that can afford to part with applause; or great quickness of discernment, with confidence in our own judgments; or great sincerity and love of truth, getting the better of our self-love.


  • The rising winds
  • And falling springs,
  • Birds, beasts, all things
  • Adore him in their kinds.
  • Thus all is hurl’d
  • In sacred hymns and order, the great chime
  • And symphony of nature.
  • Henry Vaughan.

    I will not much commend others to themselves, I will not at all commend myself to others. So to praise any to their faces is a kind of flattery, but to praise myself to any is the height of folly. He that boasts his own praises speaks ill of himself, and much derogates from his true deserts. It is worthy of blame to affect commendation.

    Arthur Warwick.

  • Who would ever care to do brave deed,
  • Or strive in virtue others to excel,
  • If none should yield him his deserved meed
  • Due praise, that is the spur of doing well?
  • For if good were not praisèd more than ill,
  • None would choose goodness of his own free will.
  • Spenser.

    Among the smaller duties of life, I hardly know any one more important than that of not praising where praise is not due. Reputation is one of the prizes for which men contend: it is, as Mr. Burke calls it, “the cheap defense and ornament of nations.” It produces more labor and more talent than twice the wealth of a country could ever rear up. It is the coin of genius, and it is the imperious duty of every man to bestow it with the most scrupulous justice and the wisest economy.

    Sydney Smith.