Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Falsehood

"Falsehood and death are synonymous." - George Bancroft

"Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame. It degrades parts and learning obscures the luster of every accomplishment and sinks us into contempt. The path of falsehood is a perplexing maze. After the first departure from sincerity, it is not in our power to stop; one artifice unavoidably leads on to another, till, as the intricacy of the labyrinth increases, we are left entangled in our snare." - Hugh Blair

"All the sin that has darkened human life an saddened human history began in believing in a falsehood." - John Albert Broadus

"We never deceive for a good purpose; knavery adds malice to falsehood." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as oil does above water." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Falsehood is never so false as when it is nearly true." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"A simple heart will love all that is most precious on earth, husband or wife, parent or child, brother or friend, without marring its singleness; external things will have no attraction save inasmuch as they lead souls to Him; all exaggeration or unreality, affection and falsehood must pass away from such a one, as the dews dry up before the sunshine. The single motive is to please God, and hence arises total indifference as to what others say and think, so that words and actions are perfectly simple and natural, as in his sight." - N. Grou

"There is no merit where there is no trial; and, till experience stamps the mark of strength, cowards may pass for heroes, faith for falsehood." - Aaron Hill

"To live a life which is a perpetual falsehood is to suffer unknown tortures." - Victor Hugo

"Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. Now ‘tis evident our passions, volitions, and actions, are not susceptible of any such agreement or disagreement; being original facts and realities, complete in themselves, and implying no reference to other passions, volitions, and actions. ‘Tis impossible, therefore, they can be pronounced either true or false, and be either contrary or conformable to reason." - David Hume

"Half a fact is a whole falsehood. He who gives the truth a false coloring by his false manner of telling it, is the worst of liars." - Elias L. Magoon

"Falsehood is a hurry; it may be at any moment detected and punished; truth is calm, serene; its judgment is on high; its king cometh out of the chambers of eternity." - Joseph Parker

"It is perilous to separate thinking rightly, from acting rightly. He is already half false who speculates on truth and does not do it. The penalty paid by him who speculates on truth without doing it, is, that by degrees the very truth he holds becomes a falsehood." -

"A peace-mingling falsehood is preferable to a mischief-stirring truth." -

"Delicacy is the coquetry of truth; fastidiousness is the prudery of falsehood." -

"Regardless of how much honor he receives, an honor-seeker will feel upset if even one person does not show him the honor and approval he demands. There will never be an amount of honor that will satisfy him. Physical desires have a saturation point, but the desire for honor is based on falsehood and illusion and is really nothing in itself." - Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz

"Whatever convenience may be thought to be in falsehood and dissimulation, it is soon over; but the inconvenience of it is perpetual, because it brings a man under everlasting jealousy and suspicion, so that he is not believed when he speaks the truth, nor trusted when perhaps he means honestly." - John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury

"When a man has once forfeited the reputation of his integrity, he is set fast, and nothing will then serve his turn, neither truth nor falsehood." - John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury

"Better is the wrong with sincerity, than the right with falsehood." -

"Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence." -

"Truth always rises above falsehood, as oil rises above water." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Most of our censure of others is only oblique praise of self, uttered to show the wisdom and superiority of the speaker. It has all the invidiousness of self-praise, and all the ill-desert of falsehood." - Tyron Edwards

"Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"All censure of a man's self is oblique praise. It is in order to show how much he can spare. It has all the invidiousness of self-praise, and all the reproach of falsehood." -

"Death is an illusion; its ritual uncleanness is the symbol of falsehood. What people call death is the intensification and reinvigoration of life." - Abraham Isaac Kook

"Falsehood is for a season." - Walter Savage Landor

"If an ingenuous detestation of falsehood be but carefully and early instilled, that is the true and genuine method to obviate dishonesty." - John Locke

"Falsehood playes a larger part in the world than truth." - Thomas Overbury, fully Sir Thomas Overbury

"The more weakness the more falsehood; strength goes straight; every cannon-ball that has in its hollows and holes goes crooked. Weaklings must lie." -

"Astronomy was born of superstition; eloquence of ambition, hatred, falsehood, and flattery; geometry of avarice; physics of an idle curiosity; and even moral philosophy of human pride. Thus the arts and sciences owe their birth to our vices." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The telling of a falsehood is like the cut of a sabre; for though the wound may heal, the scar of it will remain." - Sa'di (or Saadi), pen name of Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, born Muslih-uddin NULL

"To tell a falsehood is like the cut of a sabre; for though the wound may heal, the scar of it will remain." - Sa'di (or Saadi), pen name of Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, born Muslih-uddin NULL

"A liar with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood." - William Shenstone

"Errors to be dangerous must have a great deal of truth mingled with them; it is only from this alliance that they can ever obtain an extensive circulation; from pure extravagance, and genuine, unmingled falsehood, the world never has, and never can sustain any mischief." - Sydney Smith

"The home... is the lens through which we get our first look at marriage and all civic duties; it is the clinic where, by conversation and attitude, impressions are created with respect to sobriety and reverence; it is the school where lessons of truth or falsehood, honesty or deceit are learned; it is the mold which ultimately determines the structure of society." - Perry F. Webb, fully Perry Flynt Webb or Perry Flint Webb

"Falsehood, like poison, will generally be rejected when administered alone; but when blended with wholesome ingredients, may be swallowed unperceived." - Richard Whately

"Error, falsehood, evil are cosmic powers, but relative in their nature, not absolute, since they depend for existence upon the perversion or contradiction of their opposites, and are not like truth and good, self-existing absolutes, inherent aspects of the Supreme Self-Existent." -

"Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another." - Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, nicknamed Frater Perdurabo and The Great Bea

"Basic axiomatic positionalities of the ego: (1) Phenomena are either good or bad, right or wrong, just or unjust, fair or unfair. (2) The `bad’ deserve to be punished and the `good’ rewarded. (3) Things happen by accident or else they are the fault of somebody else. (4) the mind is capable of comprehending and recognizing truth from falsehood. (5) The word causes and determines one’s experiences. (6) Life is unfair because the innocent suffer while the wicked go unpunished. (7) People can be different than they are. (8) It is critical and necessary to be right. (9) It is critical and necessary to win. (10) Wrongs must be righted. (11) Righteousness must prevail. (12) Perceptions represent reality." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"One falsehood spoils a thousand truths." - Ashanti Proverbs

"God is Truth. To be true, to hate every form of falsehood, to live a brave, true, real life – that is to love God." -

"A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood." - William Shenstone

"The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, inexactly the same way: “Is that so?” He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so does not become a participant in human drama. To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalized. He is nobody’s victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness." - Eckhart Tolle, born Ulrich Leonard Tolle

"Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into a liar than into a person telling the truth. Truth, like light, is blinding. Falsehood, on the other hand, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object." - Albert Camus

"Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into a liar than into a person telling the truth. Truth, like light, is blinding. Falsehood, on the other hand, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object." -

"All that one gains by falsehood is, not to be believed when he speaks the truth." - Aristotle NULL

"Human life is thus only a perpetual illusion; men deceive and flatter each other. No one speaks of us in our presence as he does of us in our absence. Human society is founded on mutual deceit; few friendships would endure if each knew what his friend said of him in his absence, although he then spoke in sincerity and without passion. Man is, then, only disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in himself and in regard to others. He does not wish any one to tell him the truth; he avoids telling it to others, and all these dispositions, so removed from justice and reason, have a natural root in his heart. I set it down as a fact that if all men know what each said to the other, there would not be four friends in the world." - Blaise Pascal

"All err the more dangerously because each follows the truth. Their mistake lies not in following a falsehood but in not following another truth." - Blaise Pascal

"Falsehood is often rocked by truth; but she soon outgrows her cradle and discards her nurse." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth, and no opinions so fatally mislead us as those that are not wholly wrong, as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer as those that are sometimes right." - Charles Caleb Colton