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[ Also see Appearance Artifice Candor Cant Conspiracy Coquetry Cunning Deception Disguise Dishonesty Duplicity Equivocation Falsehood Fraud Hypocrisy Ingratitude Insincerity Knavery Lying Mischief Quackery Strategy Swearing Treachery Treason Unkindness ]

'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts,
  Or carry smiles and sunshine in my face,
    When discontent sits heavy at my heart.
      - Joseph Addison

Wiles and deceit are female qualities.
      - Aeschylus

God is not averse to deceit in a holy cause.
      - Aeschylus, Frag. Incert. (II)

It is not being deceived, but undeceived, that renders us miserable.
      - Sophie Arnould

There is a cunning which we in England call the turning of the cat in the pan.
      - Francis Bacon, Essays--Of Cunning

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, De Montfort (act I, sc. 2)

A woman's sentimental monkeyshines will always deceive her lover, who invariably waxes ecstatic where her husband necessarily shrugs his shoulders.
      - Honore de Balzac

Men are such dupes by choice, that he who would impose upon others never need be at a loss to find ready victims.
      - Honore de Balzac

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
      - P.T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum,
        often attributed to Lincoln but denied by Spofford

Never try to snow a snowman.
      - Bo Belinsky

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.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

Men, like musical instruments, seem made to be played upon.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

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.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

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.
      - Nicholas Edme Retif de la Bretonne

What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women.
      - Sir Thomas Browne, Urn Burial (ch. V)

Hateful to me as are the gates of hell is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, utters another.
      - William Cullen Bryant

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.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

The surest way of making a dupe is to let your victim suppose you are his.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

If the world will be gulled, let it be gulled.
      - Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
         (pt. III, sec. IV, memb. 1, subsect. 2)

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.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

The people wish to be deceived; let them be deceived.
  [Lat., Populus vult decipi; decipiatur.]
      - Cardinal Carlo Carafa (Caraffa),
        said to have used this expression in reference to the devout Parisians

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.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

There is less misery in being cheated than in that kind of wisdom which perceives, or thinks it perceives, that all mankind are cheats.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

A sheep in sheep's clothing.
      - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (3),
        about Clement Atlee

Dissimulation creeps gradually into the minds of men.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

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