On flattery

by look i have opinions

“Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery. If there’s the hundredth part of a false note in speaking the truth, it leads to a discord, and that leads to trouble. But if all, to the last note, is false in flattery, it is just as agreeable, and is heard not without satisfaction. It may be a coarse satisfaction, but still a satisfaction. And however coarse the flattery, at least half will be sure to seem true.”

—Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigaïlov in Crime and Punishment (Constance Garnett’s translation)

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