But whether because stupidity was just what was needed to run such a salon, or because those who were deceived found pleasure in the deception, at any rate it remained unexposed and Helene Bezukhova’s reputation as a lovely and clever woman became so firmly established that she could say the emptiest and stupidest things and yet everybody would go into raptures over every word of hers and look for a profound meaning in it of which she herself had no conception.

(VI.4, War and Peace)