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[ Also see Bribery Conscience Corruption Crime Error Evil Faults Innocence Judges Knavery Law Murder Prison Punishment Remorse Repentance Shame Sin Temptation Vice Villainy Wickedness ]

Where all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing.
      - Hannah Arendt

For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.
      - Bible, Job (ch. XXIV, v. 17)

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.
      - Bible, Numbers (ch. XXXII, v. 23)

Guilt soon learns to lie.
      - Mary Elizabeth Braddon

God hath yoked to guilt her pale tormentor,--misery.
      - William Cullen Bryant

Beside one deed of guilt, how blest is guiltless woe!
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Guilt was never a rational thing; it distorts all the faculties of the human mind, it perverts them, it leaves a man no longer in the free use of his reason, it puts him into confusion.
      - Edmund Burke

However boldly their warm blood was spilt,
  Their life was shame, their epitaph was guilt;
    And this they knew and felt, at least the one,
      The leader of the hand he had undone,--
        Who, born for better things, had madly set
          His life upon a cast, which linger'd yet.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Thou need'st not answer; thy confession speaks,
  Already redd'ning in thy guilty cheeks.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

To what gulfs
  A single deviation from the track
    Of human duties leads even those who claim
      The homage of mankind as their born due,
        And find it, till they forfeit it themselves!
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

The ghostly consciousness of wrong.
      - Thomas Carlyle

The greatest incitement to guilt is the hope of sinning with impunity.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

Wickedness consists in the very hesitation about an act, even though it be not perpetrated.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

Guilt is present in the very hesitation, even though the deed be not committed.
  [Lat., In ipsa dubitatione facinus inest, etiamsi ad id non pervererint.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Officiis (III, 8)

Guilt is a timorous thing ere perpetration; despair alone makes guilty men be bold.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Guilt is ever at a loss, and confusion waits upon it.
      - William Congreve

He that commits a sin shall find the pressing guilt lie heavy on his mind.
      - Thomas Creech

He swears, but he, is sick at heart;
  He laughs, but he turns deadly pale;
    His restless eye and sudden start--
      These tell the dreadful tale
        That will be told: it needs no words from thee
          Thou self-sold slave to guilt and misery.
      - Richard Henry Dana, Sr.

My hands are guilty, but my heart is free.
      - John Dryden

Thoughts cannot form themselves in words so horrid
  As can express my guilt.
      - John Dryden

Fraud and falsehood are his weak and treacherous allies; and he lurks trembling in the dark, dreading every ray of light, lest it should discover him, and give him up to shame and punishment.
      - Henry Fielding

Guilt has very quick ears to an accusation.
      - Henry Fielding

Every man bears something within him that, if it were publicly announced, would excite feelings of aversion.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Let no guilty man escape, if it can be avoided. No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty.
      - Ulysses Simpson Grant,
        indorsement of a letter relating to the Whiskey Ring

Think not that guilt requires the burning torches of the Furies to agitate and torment it. Their own frauds, their crimes, their remembrances of the past, their terrors of the future,--these are the domestic furies that are ever present to the mind of the impious.
      - Robert Hall

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