There’s nothing in the world more difficult than candor, and nothing easier than flattery. If there is only the hundredth part of a false note in candor, there is immediately a dissonance, and then—scandal. But with flattery, even if everything is false down to the last little note, it is still agreeable and is listened to not without pleasure; crude though the pleasure may be, it is still a pleasure.

— Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment