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Quotations about Honesty


Related Quotes      Trust      Integrity      Relationships      Promises


It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place. ~H. L. Mencken, A Little Book in C Major, 1916


If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain, 1894


Who lies for you will lie against you. ~Bosnian proverb


Grant us the truth in creed, in trade and state,
The truth in systems, methods, laws, innate,
Falsehoods, illusions, myths may sound more sweet,
Fallacious, false, framed but to dupe and cheat.
The weak may hug a lie and call it good,
Yet truth is right, when fully understood.
~Lydia Platt Richards


A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb


Every lie is two lies — the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Those that think it permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind. ~Austin O'Malley


Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it. ~Mark Twain


I said, and said, and said those words.
I said them. But I lied them.
~Dr. Seuss, "What was I Scared of?," Sneetches and Other Stories, 1961


One Lying Argument may wreck your Plea,
However Strong in Truth your Cause may be.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Argument," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


Worse than telling a lie is spending the rest of your life staying true to a lie. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
~William Blake (1757-1827), "Auguries of Innocence"


Falsehood is Poison — dangerous when placed
In Truth enough to hide the Bitter Taste.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Falsehood," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


Whether the succeeding generation is to be more virtuous than their predecessors I cannot say; but I am sure they will have more worldly wisdom, and enough, I hope, to know that honesty is the 1st chapter in the book of wisdom. ~Thomas Jefferson, 1819


I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951


When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. ~Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner, 2003


Alternative facts are not facts, they're falsehoods. ~Chuck Todd, 2017 January 22nd, to Kellyanne Conway, Meet the Press (NBC)


Every good lie gets bad when told. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened. ~Winston Churchill, “ear-witness” quoting c.1936 about Stanley Baldwin, per Kay Halle’s Irrepressible Churchill: A Treasury of Winston Churchill’s Wit [quoteinvestigator.com/2012/05/26/stumble-over-truth]


If you want to ruin the truth, stretch it. ~Author unknown


Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, his
sworn brother, a very simple gentleman!
~William Shakespeare, Winter's Tale, c.1610  [IV, 4, Autolycus]


I may be a liar, but at least I'm a gentleman. ~W. C. Fields


Always telling the truth is no doubt better than always lying, although equally pathological. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Truth is the diamond of the soul... Be truthful, and like the clear diamond shall your light shine. ~Ouina (Cora L. V. Scott Richmond), given through her Medium "Water Lily," "Diamond Drops," Ouina's Canoe, 1882


Whitewashing always comes off. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness' sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960


Advertising a lie makes it bigger. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Honesty doesn't always pay, but dishonesty always costs. ~Michael Josephson, whatwillmatter.com


A lie is just the truth waiting to be itself. ~Terri Guillemets


Beware of the half-truth; you may have gotten hold of the wrong half. ~Author unknown, 1930s


Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it. ~Emily Dickinson


A little candor never leaves me. It is what protects me. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


Cherish the friend who tells you a harsh truth, wanting ten times more to tell you a loving lie. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so. ~Mark Twain, 1898


The highest compact we can make with our fellow, is, — 'Let there be truth between us two forevermore.' ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth. ~Mark Twain, Following the Equator


As important in a trusting relationship as the truths you share are the lies you never have to tell. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. ~Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist"


Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


The truth needs so little rehearsal. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams, 1990


Somewhere between the honest truth and the deceptive lie is the deceptive truth and the honest lie. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Marge, it takes two to lie — one to lie and one to listen. ~Homer Simpson (Matt Groening), The Simpsons, "Colonel Homer," 1992  [S3, E20]


Someday a computer will give a wrong answer to spare someone's feelings, and man will have invented artificial intelligence. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Yes, it is always the best policy to speak the truth — unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar. ~Jerome K. Jerome, 1892


Am I lying to you if I tell you the same lie I tell myself? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


...and it often happens, that if a lie be believed only for an hour, it hath done its work... Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale has had its effect: like a man, who has thought of a good repartee, when the discourse has changed; or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead. ~Jonathan Swift, 1710



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