Whatever is beautiful at all is beautiful in itself. Its beauty ends there, and praise has no part in it. Nothing is the better or the worse for being praised. Thus true beauty needs nothing beyond itself, any more than law, or truth, or kindness, or honor. For none of these gets a single grace from praise or one blot from censure. Does the emerald lose its virtue if one praise it not? Can one, by withholding praise depreciate gold, ivory, or purple, a lyre or a dagger, a flower or a shrub? Marcus Aurelius.

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