social emotion
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Admiration is a feeling of delighted approval, judgment and liking.


  • Admiration is a very short-lived passion that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object, unless it be still fed with fresh discoveries, and kept alive by a new perpetual succession of miracles rising up to its view.
  • Between flattery and admiration there often flows a river of contempt.
    • Minna Antrim, Naked Truth and Veiled Allusions (1901), p. 1061.
  • Admiration, n Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l'admire.
    • A fool always finds one still more foolish to admire him.
    • A fool can always find a greater fool to admire him.
    • Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, L'Art Poétique (1674), Canto I, l. 232.
  • The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring. And that is not happiness.
  • No nobler feeling than this, of admiration for one higher than himself, dwells in the breast of man. It is to this hour, and at all hours, the vivifying influence in man's life.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero-Worship (1840), Lecture 1: "The Hero As Divinity" (5 May 1840).
  • Let others hail the rising sun:
    I bow to that whose course is run.
    • David Garrick, On the Death of Mr. Pelham (1754), as reprinted in Arthur Murphy, The life of David Garrick (1801), Vol. 1, p. 485.
  • The staleness of custom weakens admiration, and a mediocrity that's new often eclipses the highest excellence grown old.
    • Baltasar Gracián, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647), Maxim 81; tr. Joseph Jacobs (1892), pp. 47–48
    • Variant: Custom wears down our admiration, and a mediocre novelty can conquer the greatest eminence in its old age.
      • tr. Christopher Maurer (1992).
  • Admiration is the emotion furthest from comprehension.
  • Where none admire, 't is useless to excel;
    Where none are beaux, 't is vain to be a belle.
    • George Lyttleton, Soliloquy on a Beauty in the Country; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Few men have been admired by their own households.
    • Michel de Montaigne, Essais (c. 1592), Book III, ch. 2, "Of Repentance"
    • Variant translation: Few men are admired by their servants.
  • How vain painting is, exciting admiration by its resemblance to things of which we do not admire the originals.
  • For fools admire, but men of sense approve.
  • You always admire what you really don't understand.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 9.
  • "Not to admire, is all the art I know
    (Plain truth, dear Murray, needs few flowers of speech)
    To make men happy, or to keep them so,"
    (So take it in the very words of Creech)
    Thus Horace wrote we all know long ago;
    And thus Pope quotes the precept to re-teach
    From his translation; but had none admired,
    Would Pope have sung, or Horace been inspired?
  • To admire nothing, (as most are wont to do;)
    Is the only method that I know,
    To make men happy, and to keep them so.
  • Heroes themselves had fallen behind!
    —Whene'er he went before.
  • On dit que dans ses amours
    Il fut caressé des belles,
    Qui le suivirent toujours,
    Tant qu'il marcha devant elles.
  • The king himself has follow'd her
    When she has walk'd before.
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