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OATHS
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[ Also see Assertions Blasphemy Curses Decision Lying Perjury Positiveness Profanity Promises Swearing Threats Vows ]

It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.
      - Aeschylus

A careless and blasphemous use of the name of the Divine Being is not only sinful, but it is also prima facie evidence of vulgar associations.
      - Hosea Ballou

In whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
      - Bible, Psalms (ch. XV, v. 4)

Of all men, a philosopher should be no swearer; for an oath, which is the end of controversies in law, cannot determine any here, where reason only must induce.
      - Sir Thomas Browne

Oaths are but words, and words but wind.
      - Samuel Butler (1)

Oaths were not purpos'd, more than law,
  To keep the Good and Just in awe,
    But to confine the Bad and Sinful,
      Like mortal cattle in a penfold.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. II, canto II, l. 197)

He that imposes an Oath makes it,
  Not he that for Convenience takes it.
    Then how can any man be said
      To break an oath he never made?
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. II, canto II, l. 377)

I will take my corporal oath on it.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote (pt. I, bk. IV, ch. X)

I have sworn with my tongue, but my mind is unsworn.
  [Lat., Juravi lingua, mentem injuratem gero.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Officiis (III, 29)

With oaths like rivets forced into your brain.
      - William Cowper

They fix attention, heedless of your pain,
  With oaths like rivets forced into the brain;
    And e'en when sober truth prevails throughout,
      They swear it, till affirmance breeds a doubt.
      - William Cowper, Conversation (l. 63)

And hast thou sworn on every slight pretence,
  Till perjuries are common as bad pence,
    While thousands, careless of the damning sin,
      Kiss the book's outside, who ne'er look'd within?
      - William Cowper, Expostulation (l. 384)

An oath! why, it is the traffic of the soul, it is law within a man; the seal of faith, the bond of every conscience; unto whom we set our thoughts like hands.
      - Thomas Dekker (Decker)

It's a hard world, neighbors, if a man's oath must be his master.
      - John Dryden

A father who whipped his son for swearing and swore at him while he whipped him, did more harm by his example than good by his correction.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Take not His name, who made thy mouth, in vain;
  It gets thee nothing, and hath no excuse.
      - George Herbert

And for the support of this declaration, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
      - Thomas Jefferson

Rash oaths, whether kept or broken, frequently produce guilt.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Boswell's Life of Johnson

Oaths are the counterfeit money with which we pay the sacrifice of love.
      - Ninon de L'Enclos (real name Anne L'Enclos)

Lord Melbourne was so accustomed to garnish his conversation in this way that Sydney Smith once said to him, "We will take it for granted that everybody is damned, and now proceed with the subject."
      - Sir Roger L'Estrange

I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution by any hypercritical rules.
      - Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

You can have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government; while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend" it.
      - Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

Recognized probity is the surest of all oaths.
      - Madame Suzanne Curchod Necker

Nay, but weigh well what you presume to swear,
  Oaths are of dreadful weight! and, if they are false,
    Draw down damnation.
      - Sir Thomas Overbury


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