Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Category Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
  Life is the art of being well-deceived.
  We are our own aptest deceiver.
  We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
  It is a double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.
La Fontaine.    
  The best of women are hypocrites.
  Yet still we hug the dear deceit.
Nathaniel Cotton.    
  Wiles and deceit are female qualities.
  A pious fraud.
  Trust not in him that seems a saint.
  Trust not to outward show.
  Gold all is not that doth golden seem.
  We are easily fooled by that which we love.
  Our distrust of another justifies his deceit.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Think not I am what I appear.
  If the world will be gulled, let it be gulled.
  It is a pity that we so often succeed our endeavors to deceive each other.
Empress Irene.    
  Oh, that deceit should dwell in such a gorgeous palace!
  The cunning man uses deceit, but the more cunning man shuns deception.
Adam Ferguson.    
  Of darkness visible so much be lent, as half to show, half veil, the deep intent.
        But every thyng which schyneth as the gold,
Nis nat gold, as that I have herd it told.
  Deadly poisons are often concealed under sweet honey.
  With such deceits he gained their easy hearts, too prone to credit his perfidious arts.
  There is nothing more contemptible than a bald man who pretends to have hair.
        Perhaps it was right to dissemble your love,
But why did you kick me down stairs?
J. P. Kemble.    
        O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive.
  No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself.
Lord Greville.    
  Of all the evil spirits abroad at this hour in the world, insincerity is the most dangerous.
  Who makes the fairest show means most deceit.
  There is a demand in these days for men who can make wrong conduct appear right.
  Cheats easily believe others as bad as themselves; there is no deceiving them, nor do they long deceive.
La Bruyère.    
  We must distinguish between speaking to deceive and being silent to be reserved.
        Ah! that deceit should steal such gentle shape,
And with a virtuous visard hide deep vice.
  You should not live one way in private, another in public.
  We never deceive for a good purpose; knavery adds malice to falsehood.
La Bruyère.    
  The surest way of making a dupe is to let your victim suppose you are his.
  We deceive and flatter no one by such delicate artifices as we do our own selves.
  The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self. All sin is easy after that.
  Nothing is more easy than to deceive one’s self, as our affections are subtle persuaders.
  In olden times an enemy was sometimes poisoned by a bouquet,—deceit sugar-coated.
  People would not long remain in social life if they were not the dupes of each other.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Men, like musical instruments, seem made to be played upon.
  False face must hide what the false heart doth know.
  He carries a stone in one hand, and offers bread with the other.
  No one has deceived the whole world, nor has the whole world ever deceived any one.
Pliny the Younger.    
  It is the act of a bad man to deceive by falsehood.
  Even the world, that despises simplicity, does not profess to approve of duplicity.
        Look to her, Moor; if thou hast eyes to see:
She has deceiv’d her father, and may thee.
  You tread on smoldering fires covered by deceitful ashes.
  To know how to dissemble is the knowledge of kings.
  Pretexts are not wanting when one wishes to use them.
        Stamps God’s own name upon a lie just made,
To turn a penny in the way of trade.
  Dissimulation creeps gradually into the minds of men.
  Things are not always what they seem; first appearances deceive many.
  The smooth speeches of the wicked are full of treachery.
  It is not being deceived, but undeceived, that renders us miserable.
Mme. Sophie Arnould.    
  Hypocrisy is the homage which vice renders to virtue.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Don’t tell me of deception; a lie is a lie, whether it be a lie to the eye or a lie to the ear.
Dr. Johnson.    
  If mankind were only just what they pretend to be, the problem of the millennium would be immediately solved.
H. W. Shaw.    
        When I was stamp’d, some coiner with his tools
Made me a counterfeit.
  Hateful to me as are the gates of hell is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, utters another.
  A cunning woman is her own mistress because she confides in no one. She who deceives others anticipates deceit, and guards herself.
Ninon de Lenclos.    
  There is no quality so contrary to any nature which one cannot affect, and put on upon occasion, in order to serve an interest.
  Artifice is allowable in deceiving a rival; we may employ everything against our enemies.
  There is less misery in being cheated than in that kind of wisdom which perceives, or thinks it perceives, that all mankind are cheats.
  All deception in the course of life is, indeed, nothing else but a lie reduced to practice and falsehood passing from words into things.
  There is no killing the suspicion that deceit has once begotten.
George Eliot.    
  Though thy face is glossed with specious art, thou retainest the cunning fox beneath thy vapid breast.
  Skilled in every trick, a worthy heir of his paternal craft, he would make black look white, and white look black.
  Men are so simple, and yield so much to necessity, that he who will deceive will always find him who will lend himself to be deceived.
  Deceit is the false road to happiness; and all the joys we travel through to vice, like fairy banquets, vanish when we touch them.
Aaron Hill.    
  We are so accustomed to masquerade ourselves before others that we end by deceiving ourselves.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  It many times falls out that we deem ourselves much deceived in others because we first deceived ourselves.
Sir P. Sidney.    
  Mankind in the gross is a gaping monster, that loves to be deceived, and has seldom been disappointed.
        ’Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts,
Or carry smiles and sunshine in my face,
When discontent sits heavy at my heart.
  Cheaters must get some credit before they can cozen, and all falsehood, if not founded in some truth, would not be fixed in any belief.
  Dissimulation was his masterpiece; in which he so much excelled that men were not ashamed of being deceived but twice by him.
  I hate all explanations; they who make them deceive either themselves or the other party, generally both.
  The silly when deceived exclaim loudly; the fool complains; the honest man walks away and is silent.
La Noue.    
  There are falsehoods which represent truth so well that it would be judging ill not to be deceived by them.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  It is as easy to deceive one’s self without perceiving it as it is difficult to deceive others without their finding it out.
La Rochefoucauld.    
                        He seem’d
For dignity composed and high exploit:
But all was false and hollow.
  We have few faults that are not more excusable in themselves than are the means which we use to conceal them.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Men are such dupes by choice, that he who would impose upon others never need be at a loss to find ready victims.
                With one hand he put
A penny in the urn of poverty,
And with the other took a shilling out.
        Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigu’d I said;
Tie up the knocker, say I’m sick, I’m dead.
  You think him to be your dupe; if he feigns to be so, who is the greater dupe, he or you?
La Bruyère.    
  It is in disputes as in armies; where the weaker side sets up false lights, and makes a great noise, to make the enemy believe them more numerous and strong than they really are.
  Trust him not with your secrets, who, when left alone in your room, turns over your papers.
        Smooth runs the water, where the brook is deep;
And in his simple show he harbors treason.
The fox barks not, when he would steal the lamb.
  All false practices and affections of knowledge are more odious to God, and deserve to be so to men, than any want or defect of knowledge can be.
  If a misplaced admiration shows imbecility, an affected criticism shows vice of character. Expose thyself rather to appear a beast than false.
  There can be no greater labor than to be always dissembling; there being so many ways by which a smothered truth is apt to blaze and break out.
  Many an honest man practices upon himself an amount of deceit sufficient, if practised upon another, and in a little different way, to send him to the state prison.
  The true motives of our actions, like the real pipes of an organ, are usually concealed; but the gilded and hollow pretext is pompously placed in the front for show.
        Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea, and one on shore;
To one thing constant never.
  It is dishonorable to say one thing and think another; how much more dishonorable to write one thing and think another.
  No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.
        An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek;
A goodly apple rotten at the heart;
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
  It is a pity we so often succeed in our attempts to deceive each other, for our double-dealing generally comes down upon ourselves. To speak a lie or to act a lie is alike contemptible in the sight of God and man.
  The deceptions which the two sexes play off upon each other bring as many ill-sorted couples into the bonds of Hymen as ever could be done by the arbitrary pairing of a legal matchmaker.
  He was justly accounted a skilful poisoner who destroyed his victims by bouquets of lovely and fragrant flowers. The art has not been lost; nay, is practised every day,—by the world.
  As that gallant can best affect a pretended passion for one woman who has no true love for another, so he that has no real esteem for any of the virtues can best assume the appearance of them all.
  A false mind is false in everything, just as a cross eye always looks askant. But one may err once, nay, a hundred times, without being double-minded. There can never be mental duplicity where there is sincerity.
  The life of a woman is a long dissimulation. Candor, beauty, freshness, virginity, modesty,—woman has each of these but once. When lost, she must simulate them the rest of her life.
Rétif de la Bretonne.    
  The life even of a just man is a round of petty frauds; that of a knave a series of greater. We degrade life by our follies and vices, and then complain that the unhappiness which is only their accompaniment is inherent in the constitution of things.
  Deceit and falsehood, whatever conveniences they may for a time promise or produce, are, in the sum of life, obstacles to happiness. Those who profit by the cheat distrust the deceiver; and the act by which kindness was sought puts an end to confidence.
  Of all the agonies in life, that which is most poignant and harrowing—that which for the time annihilates reason, and leaves our whole organization one lacerated, mangled heart—is the conviction that we have been deceived where we placed all the trust of love.
  He who attempts to make others believe in means which he himself despises is a puffer; he who makes use of more means than he knows to be necessary is a quack; and he who ascribes to those means a greater efficacy than his own experience warrants is an impostor.
  I follow a more easy, and, in my opinion, a wiser course, namely—to inveigh against the levity of the female sex, their fickleness, their double-dealing, their rotten promises, their broken faith, and, finally, their want of judgment in bestowing their affections.
  For he who has acquired the habit of lying or deceiving his father, will do the same with less remorse to others. I believe that it is better to bind your children to you by a feeling of respect, and by gentleness, than by fear.
        Think’st thou there are no serpents in the world
But those who slide along the grassy sod,
And sting the luckless foot that presses them?
There are who in the path of social life
Do bask their spotted skins in Fortune’s sun,
And sting the soul.
Joanna Baillie.    
  Some frauds succeed from the apparent candor, the open confidence, and the full blaze of ingenuousness that is thrown around them. The slightest mystery would excite suspicion, and ruin all. Such strategems may be compared to the stars, they are discoverable by darkness and hidden only by light.
        The world is still deceiv’d with ornament,
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being season’d with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
        What man so wise, what earthly wit so ware,
As to descry the crafty cunning train,
By which deceit doth mask in visor fair,
And cast her colours dyed deep in grain,
To seem like truth, whose shape she well can feign,
And fitting gestures to her purpose frame,
The guiltless man with guile to entertain?
        Of Adam’s first wife, Lilith, it is told
  (The witch he loved before the gift of Eve)
  That ere the snakes, her sweet tongue could deceive
And her enchanted hair was the first gold—
And still she sits, young while the earth is old
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
  Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti.    
  Man is nothing but insincerity, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in regard to himself and in regard to others. He does not wish that he should be told the truth, he shuns saying it to others; and all these moods, so inconsistent with justice and reason, have their roots in his heart.

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