On Being Agreeable

Sunday, November 15, 2009 – On Being Agreeable

The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be. ~ Walter Bagehot

If you wish to appear agreeable in society, you must consent to be taught many things which you know already. ~ Johann Kaspar Lavater

There is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the Establishment – and nothing more corrupting. ~ A. J. P. Taylor

That character in conversation which commonly passes for agreeable is made up of civility and falsehood. ~ Alexander Pope

A companion loves some agreeable qualities which a man may possess, but a friend loves the man himself. ~ James Boswell

All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost – the most legitimate – passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one. ~ Marquis de Sade

An engaged woman is always more agreeable than a disengaged. She is satisfied with herself. Her cares are over, and she feels that she may exert all her powers of pleasing without suspicion. All is safe with a lady engaged; no harm can be done. ~ Jane Austen

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms. ~ George Eliot

Continuous eloquence wearies. Grandeur must be abandoned to be appreciated. Continuity in everything is unpleasant. Cold is agreeable, that we may get warm. ~ Blaise Pascal

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. ~ Winston Churchill

Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism. ~ Arnold Bennett

Hope, deceiving as it is, serves at least to lead us to the end of our lives by an agreeable route. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal. ~ Jane Austen

Men are much oftener thrown on their knees by the melancholy than by the agreeable passions. ~ David Hume

My dreams were at once more fantastic and agreeable than my writings. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Wit is more necessary than beauty; and I think no young woman ugly that has it, and no handsome woman agreeable without it. ~ William Wycherley

My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me. ~ Frank Moore Colby

Remember that when you meet your antagonist, to do everything in a mild agreeable manner. Let your courage be keen, but, at the same time, as polished as your sword. ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. ~ Henry James

Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure. ~ Aldous Huxley

You will find that the truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news. ~ Adlai E. Stevenson

Among well-bred people a mutual deference is affected, contempt for others is disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness. ~ David Hume

Your friends praise your abilities to the skies, submit to you in argument, and seem to have the greatest deference for you; but, though they may ask it, you never find them following your advice upon their own affairs; nor allowing you to manage your own, without thinking that you should follow theirs. Thus, in fact, they all think themselves wiser than you, whatever they may say. ~ Lord Melbourne

Deference is the most complicate, the most indirect, and the most elegant of all compliments. ~ William Shenstone

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it. ~ Thomas Jefferson

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. ~ Noel Coward