Be the Bearer of Praise.

Be the Bearer of Praise. This increases our credit for good taste, since it shows that we have learnt elsewhere to know what is excellent, and hence how to prize it in the present company. It gives material for conversation and for imitation, and encourages praiseworthy exertions. We do homage besides in a very delicate way to the excellences before us. Others do the opposite; they accompany their talk with a sneer, and fancy they flatter those present by belittling the absent. This may serve them with superficial people, who do not notice how cunning it is to speak ill of every one to every one else. Many pursue the plan of valuing more highly the mediocrities of the day than the most distinguished exploits of the past. Let the cautious penetrate through these subtleties, and let him not be dismayed by the exaggerations of the one or made over-confident by the flatteries of the other; knowing that both act in the same way by different methods, adapting their talk to the company they are in.