Know the difference of evasion. It is the prudent person’s way of keeping out of trouble. With the gallantry of a witty remark one is able to extricate oneself from the most intricate of labyrinths, to emerge gracefully from the bitterest encounter and with a smile. It was to this that the greatest of the great captains ascribed his power. A courteous way of saying no is to change the conversation, nor is there greater politeness than that of not being able to understand.
~ Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)