Quote by Francois de La Rochefoucauld
When we disclaim praise, it is only showing our desire to be praised a second time.
This quote suggests that when we deny or downplay praise given to us, it is essentially a way of seeking further recognition or affirmation. It implies that by disclaiming praise, we are hoping that others will shower us with even more praise and validation. Instead of graciously accepting the compliments, this implies that we may be seeking validation and seeking to satisfy our ego by seeking additional praise.
It's part of a writer's profession, as it's part of a spy's profession, to prey on the community to which he's attached, to take away information - often in secret - and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it's his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely.