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[ Also see Bribery Crime Justice Law Plagiarism Punishment Robbery Theft Thieves ]

'Tis bad enough in man or woman
  To steal a goose from off a common;
    But surely he's without excuse
      Who steals a common from the goose.
      - Unattributed Author, Epigram,
        in Carey's "Commonplace Book of Epigrams"

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
      - Aesop

Who steals a bugle-horn, a ring, a steed,
  Or such like worthless thing, has some discretion;
    'Tis petty larceny: not such his deed
      Who robs us of our fame, our best possession.
      - Francesco Berni, Orlando Innamorata
         (canto LV)

For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
  To call passengers who go right on their ways:
    Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
      Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
      - Bible, Proverbs (ch. IX, v. 14-17)

To keep my hands from picking and stealing.
      - Book of Common Prayer Catechism

No Indian prince has to his palace
  More followers than a thief to the gallows.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton,
        Hudibras (pt. II, canto I, l. 273)

-----To live
  On means not yours--be brave in silks and laces,
    Gallant in steeds; splendid in banquets; all
      Not yours. Given, uninherited, unpaid for;
        This is to be a trickster; and to filch
          Men's art and labour, which to them is wealth,
            Life, daily bread;--quitting all scores with "friend,
              You're troublesome!" Why this, forgive me,
                Is what, when done with a less dainty grace,
                  Plain folks call "Theft."
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton,
        Richelieu (act I, sc. 2)

Kill a man's family, and he may brook it,
  But keep your hands out of his breeches' pocket.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto X, st. 79)

Stolen sweets are best.
      - Colley Cibber, Rival Fools (act I)

The Frier preached against stealing, and had a goose in his sleeve.
  [The Friar preached against stealing, and had a goose in his sleeve.]
      - George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum

In vain we call old notions fudge
  And bend our conscience to our dealing.
    The Ten Commandments will not budge
      And stealing will continue stealing.
      - Motto, of the American Copyright League

Stolen sweets are always sweeter:
  Stolen kisses much completer;
    Stolen looks are nice in chapels:
      Stolen, stolen be your apples.
      - Thomas Randolph, Song of Fairies

A murderer and a villain,
  A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
    Of your precedent lord, a vice of kings,
      A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
        That from a shelf the precious diadem stole
          And put it in his pocket--
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, iv)

Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
  Are much condemned to have an itching palm,
    To sell and mart your offices for gold
      To undeservers.
      - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
         (Brutus at IV, iii)

A plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Falstaff at II, ii)

The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief,
  He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Duke of Venice at I, iii)

He that is robbed, not wanting what is stol'n,
  Let him not know't, and he's not robbed at all.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Othello at III, iii)

Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing.
  'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
      Robs me of that which not enriches him
        And makes me poor indeed.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Iago at III, iii)

O villain, thou hast stol'n both mine office and my name!
  The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle blame.
      - William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors
         (Dromio of Ephesus at III, i)

Do villainy, do, since you protest to do't,
  Like workmen. I'll example you with thievery:
    The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
      Robs the vast sea; the moon's an arrant thief,
        And her pale fire she snatches from the sun;
          The sea's a thief, whose liquid surges resolves
            The moon into salt tears; the earth's a thief,
              That feeds and breeds by a composture stol'n
                From gen'ral excrement.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of Timon of Athens
         (Timon at IV, iii)

Yet thanks I must you con
  That you are thieves professed, that you work not
    In holier shapes; for there is boundless theft
      In limited professions.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of Timon of Athens
         (Timon at IV, iii)

Never thrust your own sickle into another's corn.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Well, well, be it so, thou strongest their of all,
  For thou hast stolen my will, and made it thine.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, The Foresters
         (act III, sc. 1)

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