W. Somerset Maugham, "Augustus," The Vagrant Mood: Six Essays
(London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1922), pp. 1-50 (at 3-4; on Augustus Hare):
I was accustomed to family prayers and I noticed that
some of the prayers Augustus read sounded strangely
in my ears. Then I discovered that he had neatly inked
out many lines in the Prayer Book he read from. I
asked him why.
'I've crossed out all the passages in glorification of
God,' he said. 'God is certainly a gentleman, and no
gentleman cares to be praised to his face. It is tactless,
impertinent and vulgar. I think all that fulsome adulation must be highly offensive to him.'
At the time this notion seemed odd to me and even
comic, but since then I have come to think that there
was some sense in it.