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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 ]

It is the act of a bad man to deceive by falsehood.
  [Lat., Improbi hominis est mendacio fallere.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        Oratio Pro Murena (XXX)

Dissimulation was his masterpiece; in which he so much excelled that men were not ashamed of being deceived but twice by him.
      - Lord Clarendon, Edward Hyde

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.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

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 stratagems may be compared to the stars; they are discoverable by darkness and hidden only by light.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

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.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Yet still we hug the dear deceit.
      - Nathaniel Cotton

Nothing is more easy than to deceive one's self, as our affections are subtle persuaders.
      - Demosthenes

Trial by jury itself, instead of being a security to persons who are accused, shall be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
      - Thomas Denman, 2nd Baron Denman,
        O'Connell vs. the Queen,
        II Clark and Finnelly Reports 351

If a misplaced admiration shows imbecility, an affected criticism shows vice of character. Expose thyself rather to appear a beast than false.
      - Denis Diderot

With such deceits he gained their easy hearts, too prone to credit his perfidious arts.
      - John Dryden

But Esau's hands suit ill with Jacob's voice.
      - John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel
         (pt. I, l. 982)

There is no killing the suspicion that deceit has once begotten.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

The cunning man uses deceit, but the more cunning man shuns deception.
      - Adam Ferguson (Ferguson of Raith)

Of all the evil spirits abroad at this hour in the world, insincerity is the most dangerous.
      - James Anthony Froude

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.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Trust not in him that seems a saint.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

I hate all explanations; they who make them deceive either themselves or the other party,-generally both.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are our own aptest deceiver.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves.
  [Ger., Man wird betrogen, man betrugt sich selbst.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Spruche in Prosa (III)

Pretexts are not wanting when one wishes to use them.
  [It., Non mancano pretesti quando si vuole.]
      - Carlo Goldoni, La Villeggiatura (I, 12)

No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself.
      - Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, Lord Brooke

Which I wish to remark--
  And my language is plain,--
    That for ways that are dark
      And for tricks that are vain,
        The heathen Chinee is peculiar.
      - Bret Harte (Francis Bret Harte),
        Plain Language from Truthful James,
        (Heathen Chinee)

The angel answer'd, "Nay, said soul; go higher!
  To be deceived in your true heart's desire
    Was bitterer than a thousand years of fire!"
      - John Hay, A Woman's Love

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

Hateful to me as are the gates of hell,
  Is he who, hiding one thing in his heart,
    Utters another.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. IX, l. 386), (Bryant's translation)

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