The art of using deceit and cunning grow continually weaker and less effective to the user.
Everyone is born sincere and die deceivers.
—Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues (1715–47) French Moralist, Essayist, Writer
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
Life is the art of being well deceived.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
All deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.
—Robert South (1634–1716) English Theologian, Preacher
Men still have to be governed by deception.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–99) German Philosopher, Physicist
We often shed tears that deceive ourselves after deceiving others.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
The crafty person is always in danger; and when they think they walk in the dark, all their pretenses are transparent.
Deceive not thy physician, confessor, nor lawyer.
—George Herbert (1593–1633) Welsh Anglican Poet, Orator, Clergyman
Man’s mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth.
—Desiderius Erasmus (c.1469–1536) Dutch Humanist, Scholar
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
He who has made it a practice to lie and deceive his father, will be the most daring in deceiving others.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
Better to be occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
Whatever deceives men seems to produce a magical enchantment.
—Plato (428 BCE–347 BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Mathematician, Educator
Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
Whenever, therefore, people are deceived and form opinions wide of the truth, it is clear that the error has slid into their minds through the medium of certain resemblances to that truth.
—Socrates (469BCE–399BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher
The essence of lying is in deception, not in words.
—John Ruskin (1819–1900) English Writer, Art Critic
Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
We like to be deceived.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
It is twice the pleasure to deceive the deceiver.
—Jean de La Fontaine (1621–95) French Poet, Short Story Writer
Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will.
—Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658) British Head of State, Military Leader
Half the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not.
—Elias Root Beadle (1812–65) American Clergyman
No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself.
—George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1746–1816) British Nobleman, Politician
The people of the world having once been deceived, suspect deceit in truth itself.
—The Hitopadesha Indian Collection of Fables
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature, to make any man’s virtues the means of deceiving him.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
The craftiest trickery are too short and ragged a cloak to cover a bad heart.
—Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741–1801) Swiss Theologian, Poet
It is very noble hypocrisy not to talk of one’s self.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
All war is based on deception.
—Sun Tzu (fl. c.544–496 BCE) Chinese General, Military Theorist