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LYING
  Displaying page 1 of 5    Next Page >> 
[ Also see Artifice Calumny Credulity Deceit Dishonesty Equivocation Falsehood Faults Fraud Hypocrisy Liars Lies Malice Mischief Oaths Pretension Scandal Slander Swearing Treachery Treason ]

There is no sickness worse for me than words that to be kind must lie.
      - Aeschylus

Liars are always most disposed to swear.
  [It., A giurar presti i mentitor son sempre.]
      - Vittorio Alfieri, Virginia (II, 3)

It is a hard matter for a man to lie all over, nature having provided king's evidence in almost every member. The hand will sometimes act as a vane, to show which way the wind blows, even when every feature is set the other way; the knees smite together and sound the alarm of fear under a fierce countenance; the legs shake with anger when all above us calm.
      - Washington Allston

The most intangible, and therefore the worst, kind of a lie is a half truth. This is the peculiar device of a "conscientious" detractor.
      - Washington Allston

But that he wrought so high the specious tale,
  As manifested plainly 'twas a lie.
    [Lat., Se non volea pulir sua scusa tanto,
      Che la facesse di menzogna rea.]
      - Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso
         (XVIII, 84)

A liar is a bravo towards God and a coward towards men.
      - Francis Bacon

And none speaks false, when there in none to hear.
      - James Beattie, The Minstrel
         (bk. II, st. 24)

A lie always needs a truth for a handle to it. The worst lies are those whose blade is false, but whose handle is true.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

A lie is a very short wick in a very small lamp. The oil of reputation is very soon sucked up and gone. And just as soon as a man is known to lie, he is like a two-foot pump in a hundred-foot well. He cannot touch bottom at all.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

Even a liar tells a hundred truths to one lie: he has to, to make the lie good for anything.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

The moment a man talks to his fellows he begins to lie.
      - Hilaire Belloc (Joseph Hilaire Pierre Sebastien Rene Swanton Belloc)

I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
  I said in my haste, All men are liars.
      - Bible, Psalms (ch. CXVI, v. 11)

People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.
      - Karl Otto von Schonhausen Bismarck

Never to lie is to have no lock on your door, you are never wholly alone.
      - Elizabeth Bowen

Nobody speaks the truth when there's something they must have.
      - Elizabeth Bowen

Damned good care has been taken to see that the whole truth never does emerge.
      - attributed to Norman Craven Brook, 1st Lord Normanbrook of Chelsea,
        in "The Guardian, October, 30, 1986

Do the devils lie? No; for then even hell could not subsist.
      - Sir Thomas Browne

Lied is a rough phrase; say he fell from truth.
      - Robert Browning

Resolved to die in the last dyke of prevarication.
      - Edmund Burke,
        Impeachment of Warren Hastings

Quoth Hudibras, I smell a rat;
  Ralpho, thou dost prevaricate.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. I, canto I, l. 821)

The truth in masquerade.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

I tell him, if a clergyman, he lies!
  If captains the remark, or critics, make,
    Why they lie also--under a mistake.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan

And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but
  The truth in masquerade.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto XI, st. 37)

You lie--under a mistake--
  For this is the most civil sort of lie
    That can be given to a man's face, I now
      Say what I think.
      - Pedro Calderon de la Barca,
        El Magico Prodigioso (sc. 1),
        translation by Shelley

Lies exist only to be extinguished.
      - Thomas Carlyle


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