I love to read the dedications of old books written in monarchies for they invariably honor some (usually insignificant) knight or duke with fulsome words of sycophantic insincerity, praising him as the light of the universe (in hopes, no doubt, for a few ducats to support future work); this old practice makes me feel like such an honest and upright man, by comparison, when I put a positive spin, perhaps ever so slightly exaggerated, on a grant proposal.
Morris read through the letter. Was it a shade too fulsome? No, that was another law of academic life: it is impossible to be excessive in flattery of one’s peers .
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