Falsehood and fraud grow up in every soil, the product of all climes.
Truth is always consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware; a lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention upon the rack, and one trick needs a great many more to make it good. It is like building upon a false foundation, which continually stands in need of props to shore it up, and proves at last more chargeable than to have raised a substantial building at first upon a true and solid foundation.
The most intangible, and therefore the worst kind of a lie, is a half-truth.—This is the peculiar device of the "conscientious" detractor.
Nothing is rarer than a solitary lie; for lies breed like toads; you cannot tell one but out it comes with a hundred young ones on its back.
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 is calm.
There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame, as to be discovered in a lie; for, as Montaigne saith—"A liar would be brave toward God, while he is a coward toward men; for a lie faces God, and shrinks from man."
Never chase a lie. Let it alone, and it will run itself to death. I can work out a good character much faster than any one can lie me out of it.
When the world has once got hold of a lie, it is astonishing how hard it is to get it out of the world. You beat it about the head, till it seems to have given up the ghost, and lo! the next day it is as healthy as ever.
Every brave man shuns, more than death, the shame of lying.
A great lie is like a great fish on dry land; it may fret and fling, and make a frightful bother, but it cannot hurt you. You have only to keep still and it will die of itself.
Half the vices in the world rise out of cowardice, and one who is afraid of lying is usually afraid of nothing else.
A wilful falsehood is a cripple, not able to stand by itself without another to support it. It is easy to tell a lie, but hard to tell only one lie.
Let falsehood be a stranger to thy lips; shame on the policy that first began to tamper with the heart to hide its thoughts! and doubly shame on that unrighteous tongue that sold its honesty, and told a lie!
Habitual liars invent falsehoods not to gain any end, or even to deceive their hearers, but to amuse themselves.—It is partly practice and partly habit.—It requires an effort in them to speak the truth.
Lie not, neither to thyself, nor man, nor God.—It is for cowards to lie.
Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.
One lie engenders another.—Once committed, the liar has to go on in his course of lying; it is the penalty of his transgression.
A lie, though it be killed and dead, can sting sometimes,—like a dead wasp.
White lies are but the ushers to black ones.
After a tongue has once got the knack of lying, 'tis not to be imagined how impossible almost it is to reclaim it. Whence it comes to pass that we see some men, who are otherwise very honest, so subject to this vice.
He who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying.
Lying is a hateful and accursed vice. We have no other tie upon one another, but our word. If we did but discover the horror and consequences of it, we should pursue it with fire and sword, and more justly than other crimes.
One lie must be thatched with another, or it will soon rain through.
There are people who lie simply for the sake of lying.
When thou art obliged to speak, be sure to speak the truth; for equivocation is half way to lying, and lying is whole way to hell.
Lying is a most disgraceful vice; it first despises God, and then fears men.
The gain of lying is, not to be trusted of any, nor to be believed when we speak the truth.
Every lie, great or small, is the brink of a precipice, the depth of which nothing but Omniscience can fathom.
Lying is a certain mark of cowardice.
Lies which are told out of arrogance and ostentation, a man should detect in his own defense, because he should not be triumphed over. Lies which are told out of malice he should expose, both for his own sake and that of the rest of mankind, because every man should rise against a common enemy; but the officious liar, many have argued, is to be excused, because it does some man good, and no man hurt.
As universal a practice as lying is, and as easy a one as it seems, I do not remember to have heard three good lies in all my conversation.
If a man had the art of second-sight for seeing lies as they have in Scotland for seeing spirits, how admirably he might entertain himself by observing the different shapes, sizes, and colors of those swarms of lies, which buzz about the heads of some people, like flies about a horse's ears in summer; or those legions hovering every afternoon so as to darken the air; or over a club of discontented grandees, and thence sent down in cargoes, to be scattered at elections.
A lie that is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.
Falsehoods not only disagree with truths, but they usually quarrel among themselves.