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Quotations about Honesty




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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.  ~Henry Louis Mencken, A Little Book in C Major, 1916


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


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


No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.  ~Abraham Lincoln


Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.  ~Thomas Carlyle


A half truth is a whole lie.  ~Yiddish Proverb


A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie.  ~Charles Edward Montague, Disenchantment


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


A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.  ~William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence," Poems from the Pickering Manuscript


The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.  ~Aristotle


The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.  ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


Dare to be true:  nothing can need a lie:  A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.  ~George Herbert


With lies you may get ahead in the world - but you can never go back.  ~Russian proverb


Honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess, and yet all the honesty in the world ain't lawful tender for a loaf of bread.  ~Josh Billings


The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.  ~Ambrose Bierce


A lie has speed, but truth has endurance.  ~Edgar J. Mohn


When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback.  ~Bill Copeland


Truth is the most valuable thing we have, so I try to conserve it.  ~Mark Twain


Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays, 1911


A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.  ~Author Unknown


We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us.  But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.  ~Tad Williams


Truth fears no questions.  ~Unknown


There are only two ways of telling the complete truth - anonymously and posthumously.  ~Thomas Sowell


Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.  ~Thomas Jefferson


I don't mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.  ~Samuel Butler, Note-Books, 1912


There is no well-defined boundary between honesty and dishonesty.  The frontiers of one blend with the outside limits of the other, and he who attempts to tread this dangerous ground may be sometimes in one domain and sometimes in the other.  ~O. Henry, Rolling Stones, 1912


Pretty much all the honest truth telling in the world is done by children.  ~Oliver Wendell


The truth brings with it a great measure of absolution, always.  ~R.D. Laing


Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.  ~Winston Churchill


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


The truth is more important than the facts.