The smooth lines of the dress flattered her petite figure, but more important was the fact that Alex liked it.
This is one rule of wisdom with regard to religion; and another equally important is to avoid superstition, which he boldly defines as the belief that God is like a hard judge who, eager to find fault, narrowly examines our slightest act, that He is revengeful and hard to appease, and that therefore He must be flattered and importuned, and won over by pain and sacrifice.
He entered into correspondence with Robespierre, who, flattered by his worship, admitted him to his friendship. Thus supported, Saint-Just became deputy of the department of Aisne to the National Convention, where he made his first speech on the condemnation of Louis XVI.
And Louis's ecclesiastical policy flattered their national pride.
In both cases he acted on personal pique, quarrelling with France because he took a sentimental interest in the Order of Malta, and then with England because he was flattered by Napoleon.