Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering teach the rest to sneer;1 Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Prologue to the Satires. Line 201.
Note 1. When needs he must, yet faintly then he praises; Somewhat the deed, much more the means he raises: So marreth what he makes, and praising most, dispraises. P. Fletcher: The Purple Island, canto vii. [back]