There is no other way of guarding one’s self against flattery than by letting men understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth.
Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing easier than flattery.[Нет ничего в мире труднее прямодушия, и нет ничего легче лести.]
Flattery never emanates from noble souls; it is the gift of little minds, who thus still further belittle themselves to worm their way into the vital being of the persons around whom they crawl. Flattery means self-interest.