Flattery in the Past and at Present
Though flattery is purely insincere praise on somebody, it was used as a harmless weapon mostly by a poet to find favor with a king in his court or any rich man at his house.Therefore, flattery prevailed when the monarchy was in existence.
In other words, from the flattery heaped on a person, you have no chance to know the real character or personality of a person.
It was customary even though the king was an ordinary person with mediocre talent, the poets freely used flattery on him just to please him and milk him as much as possible in return for the flattery.
In those days, a story on flattery was floated like this:
A poet entered the house of a rich landlord without knowing him that he was a miser. When the poet entered the landlord’s house, the landlord welcomed him with a large grin.The poet began addressing the landlord as if he was a philanthropist.The landlord was pleased much.The poet stopped for a while.It was the turn of the landlord.
‘Is anybody there? Serve this poet with a delicious meal.”
The poet was pleased much. He could even feel the secretion of more saliva in his mouth and the taste buds of his tongue were ready for the feast. Encouraged by the prospect of having a delicious feast, he also stepped up his flattery on the rich landlord as if he was a person recently descended from the heaven..The rich landlord huddled in his easy chair.He just raised his head and ordered as follows:
‘Is anybody there?Bring 1000 gold coins for the poet.’
The poet’s joy knew no bounds. He was elated at the prospect of getting 1000 gold coins.He became more enthusiastic and virtually sang as many songs as possible highly eulogizing him. He gasped and stopped for a while. The landlord was happy and said, ‘Is anybody there? Get a golden shawl for the poet.’
The poet virtually felt as if he was in heaven. He again praised the landlord, as if he was a Godly man.
After a few minutes, the poet stopped his flattery and simply waited for his delicious meal along with 1000 gold coins and the golden shawl,But there was no sign of their arrival.The poet was very anxious and he could not hide his feelings.At last, he even asked the landlord about those presents that he ordered for him. The landlord laughed at him and said,’ Just like you poured your flattery on me to entertain me, I just ordered a few things for you so as to make you feel happy.That’s all ! You can take leave now.’The poet almost got swooned and returned a dejected man. Thus in those days flattery was used as an instrument of outwitting each other.
In the modern days, the monarchy was changed into democracy, in which party system plays a vital role.The poets had gone and fell into oblivion.However, the nature of the flattery remains same. To please a leader of a political party and find his favor flattery is being used in different formats and in different contexts. They pay them respects simply by falling on their feet.They eulogize him through newspaper advertisements and inside the house of parliament or in the state legislature, they invariably address their party leader at first heaping heavy praise on them and then proceed to address the issue.
Thus flattery has become a necessary evil among the human beings whether you like it or not and the human beings will use it freely as long as the human civilization exists.