They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. There must be a moral bond first. All a man can betray is his conscience…
—Joseph Conrad (1857–1924) Polish-born British Novelist
Love is whatever you can still betray … Betrayal can only happen if you love.
—John le Carre (1931–2020) English Spy Thriller Novelist
When a woman wants to betray her husband, her actions are almost invariably studied but they are never reasoned.
—Honore de Balzac (1799–1850) French Novelist
Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.
—Arthur Miller (1915–2005) American Playwright, Essayist
It is all right to rat, but you can’t re-rat.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author
Betrayal does that—betrays the betrayer.
—Erica Jong (b.1942) American Novelist, Feminist
I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a ‘mistake’ is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown.
—Hugh Prather (b.1938) American Christian Author, Minister, Counselor
Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven, but not those who lack the courage of their own greatness.
—Ayn Rand (1905–82) Russian-born American Novelist, Philosopher
No soul of high estate can take pleasure in slander. It betrays a weakness.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side.
—Barbara Kingsolver (b.1955) American Novelist, Essayist, Poet
We have to distrust each other. It is our only defense against betrayal.
—Tennessee Williams (1911–83) American Playwright
I hate the idea of causes, and if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.
—E. M. Forster (1879–1970) English Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist
O lovers! Be careful in those dangerous first days! Once you’ve brought breakfast in bed you’ll have to bring it forever, unless you want to be accused of lovelessness and betrayal.
—Milan Kundera (b.1929) Czech Novelist
In politics it is necessary either to betray one’s country or the electorate. I prefer to betray the electorate.
—Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970) French General, Statesman