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PRETENSION
[ Also see Affectation Boasting Cant Conceit Dishonesty Falsehood Fraud Insincerity Lying Modesty Ostentation Quackery Snobs Vanity ]

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.
      - Aesop

Some are so close and reserved that they will not show their wares but by a dark light, and seem always to keep back somewhat; and when they know within themselves they speak of that which they do not well know, would nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may not well speak.
      - Francis Bacon

Pretension almost always overdoes the original, and hence exposes itself.
      - Hosea Ballou

The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.
      - Ambrose Bierce

As a general rule, people who flagrantly pretend to anything are the reverse of that which they pretend to. A man who sets up for a saint is sure to be a sinner; and a man who boasts that he is a sinner is sure to have some feeble, maudlin, snivelling bit of saintship about him which is enough to make him a humbug.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

The higher the rank the less pretence, because there is less to pretend to.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

True glory strikes root, and even extends itself; all false pretensions fall as do flowers, nor can anything feigned be lasting.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

When half-gods go, the gods arrive.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike.
      - Margot Fonteyn

One who preserves all the exterior decencies of ignorance.
      - Samuel Foote

We are only vulnerable and ridiculous through our pretensions.
      - Madame Delphine Gay de Girardin

Some pretences daunt and discourage us, while others raise us to a brisk assurance.
      - Joseph Glanvill

The greatest cosmopolites are generally the neediest beggars, and they who embrace the entire universe with love, for the most part, love nothing but their narrow self.
      - Johann Gottfried von Herder

To give up pretensions is as blessed a relief as to get them gratified.
      - William James

It is the care of a very great part of mankind to conceal their indigence from the rest. They support themselves by temporary expedients, and every day is lost in contriving for to-morrow.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The desire of appearing clever often prevents our becoming so.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Pretences go a great way with men that take fair words and magisterial looks for current payment.
      - Sir Roger L'Estrange

Hearts may be attracted by assumed qualities, but the affections are not to be fixed but by those which are real.
      - Charles Alexandre de Moy

It is no disgrace not to be able to do everything; but to undertake, or pretend to do, what you are not made for, is not only shameful, but extremely troublesome and vexatious.
      - Plutarch

Who makes the fairest show means most deceit.
      - William Shakespeare

For in religion as in friendship, they who profess most are ever the least sincere.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

When you see a man with a great deal of religion displayed in his shop window, you may depend upon it he keeps a very small stock of it within.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The most accomplished way of using books at present is to serve them as some do lords, learn their titles, and then boast of their acquaintance.
      - Jonathan Swift

A snob is that man or woman who is always pretending to be something better--especially richer or more fashionable--than he is.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

It is worth noticing that those who assume an imposing demeanor and seek to pass themselves off for something beyond what they are, are not unfrequently as much underrated by some as overrated by others.
      - Archbishop Richard Whately


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