Crime butchers innocence to secure a throne, and innocence struggles with all its might against the attempts of crime.
—Maximilien Robespierre (1758–94) French Revolutionary
I am to be broken. I am to be derided all my life. I am to be cast up and down among these men and women, with their twitching faces, with their lying tongues, like a cork on a rough sea. Like a ribbon of weed I am flung far every time the door opens.
—Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) English Novelist
We can catch buses and count our change and cross the roads and talk real sentences. But our innocence goes awfully deep, and our discreditable secret is that we don’t know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don’t care that we don’t.
—Dylan Thomas (1914–53) Welsh Poet, Author
He is armed without who is innocent within, be this thy screen, and this thy wall of brass.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
The innocence that feels no risk and is taught no caution is more vulnerable than guilt, and oftener assailed.
—Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–67) American Poet, Playwright, Essayist
Justice while she winks at crimes, Stumbles on innocence sometimes.
Innocence is but a poor substitute for experience.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803–73) British Novelist, Poet, Politician
Innocence can be redefined and called stupidity. Honesty can be called gullibility. Candor becomes lack of common sense. Interest in your work can be called cowardice. Generosity can be called soft-headedness, and observe: the former is disturbing.
—Abraham Maslow (1908–70) American Psychologist, Academic, Humanist
Innocence in genius, and candor in power, are both noble qualities.
—Anne Louise Germaine de Stael (1766–1817) French Woman of Letters
Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
O, innocence, the sacred amulet against all the poisons of infirmity, and all misfortunes, injury, and death.
—George Chapman (c.1560–1634) English Poet, Playwright
Against the head which innocence secures, insidious malice aims her darts in vain; turned backward by the powerful breath of heaven.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Prudishness is pretense of innocence without innocence. Women have to remain prudish as long as men are sentimental, dense, and evil enough to demand of them eternal innocence and lack of education. For innocence is the only thing which can ennoble lack of education.
—Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829) German Man of Letters, Critic
Innocence is ignorance.
—Delphine de Girardin (1804–55) French Novelist, Author
People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.
—James Baldwin (1924–87) American Novelist, Social Critic
Now my innocence begins to weigh me down.
—Jean Racine (1639–1699) French Dramatist
There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the law, would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
Innocence is like polished armor; it adorns and defends.
—Robert South (1634–1716) English Theologian, Preacher
But innocence has nothing to dread.
—Jean Racine (1639–1699) French Dramatist
The essential self is innocent, and when it tastes its own innocence knows that it lives for ever.
—John Updike (1932–2009) American Novelist, Poet, Short-Story Writer
It’s innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn’t.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
Nothing looks so like innocence as an indiscretion.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
They that know no evil will suspect none.
—Ben Jonson (1572–1637) English Dramatist, Poet, Actor
Innocence alone dares commit certain acts of audacity. Virtue, when tutored, is as calculating as vice.
—Honore de Balzac (1799–1850) French Novelist
It is well for the heart to be naive and for the mind not to be.
—Anatole France (1844–1924) French Novelist
All things truly wicked start from an innocence.
—Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) American Author, Journalist, Short Story Writer
Unstained thoughts do seldom dream on evil.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Ignorance is not innocence but sin.
—Robert Browning (1812–89) English Poet
To vice, innocence must always seem only a superior kind of chicanery.
—Ouida (Maria Louise Rame) (1839–1908) English Novelist
To be innocent is to be not guilty; but to be virtuous is to overcome our evil inclinations.
—William Penn (1644–1718) American Entrepreneur, Political leader, Philosopher