Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Nothing Is Harder

Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, 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.  That's so for all stages of development and classes of society.

-- Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881), Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher whose works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia, Crime And Punishment (1866), Part VI, Chapter 4, p. 471

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