C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Affectation is the product of falsehood.


There is a pleasure in affecting affectation.


Die of a rose in aromatic pain.


Affectation hides three times as many virtues as charity does sins.

Horace Mann.

Affectation is a greater enemy to the face than the small-pox.

St. Evremond.

All affectation is the vain and ridiculous attempt of poverty to appear rich.


Affectation is as necessary to the mind as dress is to the body.


Great affectation and great absence of it are at first sight very similar.


  • On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe,
  • Wrapt in a gown, for sickness and for show.
  • Pope.

    We are never so ridiculous from the habits we have as from those we affect to have.

    La Rochefoucauld.

  • There affectation, with a sickly mien,
  • Shows in her cheek the roses of eighteen.
  • Pope.

  • By giving sixty-five’s pale wither’d mien,
  • The blooming roses of sixteen.
  • Wolcot.

  • All affectation; ’tis my perfect scorn;
  • Object of my implacable disgust.
  • Cowper.

    Affectation discovers sooner what one is than it makes known what one would fain appear to be.


    Affectation is the wisdom of fools, and the folly of many a comparatively wise man.

    Author Unknown.

    ’T is too much proved that with devotion’s visage and pious action we do sugar o’er the devil himself.


    Hearts may be attracted by assumed qualities, but the affections are only to be fixed by those that are real.

    De Moy.

    Affectation endeavors to correct natural defects, and has always the laudable aim of pleasing, though it always misses it.


    It is remarkable that great affectation and great absence of it (unconsciousness) are at first sight very similar; they are both apt to produce singularity.

    Bishop Whately.

    Affectation is certain deformity; by forming themselves on fantastic models, the young begin with being ridiculous, and often end in being vicious.


    Great vices are the proper objects of our detestation, smaller faults of our pity, but affectation appears to be the only true source of the ridiculous.


    Affectation in any part of our carriage is lighting up a candle to see our defects, and never fails to make us taken notice of, either as wanting sense or sincerity.


    Avoid all affectation and singularity. What is according to nature is best, and what is contrary to it is always distasteful. Nothing is graceful that is not our own.

    Jeremy Collier.

    In all the professions every one affects a particular look and exterior, in order to appear what he wishes to be thought; so that it may be said the world is made up of appearances.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Affectation is an awkward and forced Imitation of what should be genuine and easy, wanting the Beauty that accompanies what is natural.


    Among the numerous stratagems by which pride endeavors to recommend folly to regard, there is scarcely one that meets with less success than affectation, or a perpetual disguise of the real character by fictitious appearances.


    Paltry affectation, strained allusions, and disgusting finery are easily attained by those who choose to wear them; they are but too frequently the badges of ignorance or of stupidity, whenever it would endeavor to please.


    Affectation naturally counterfeits those excellences which are placed at the greatest distance from possibility of attainment, because, knowing our own defects, we eagerly endeavor to supply them with artificial excellence.


    When Cicero consulted the oracle at Delphos, concerning what course of studies he should pursue, the answer was, “Follow Nature.” If every one would do this, affectation would be almost unknown.

    J. Beaumont.

    Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep: so that scarcely can two persons meet but one is offended or diverted by the ostentation of the other.

    Dr. Johnson.

    There is a false gravity that is a very ill symptom; and it may be said that as rivers, which run very slowly, have always the most mud at the bottom, so a solid stiffness in the constant course of a man’s life is a sign of a thick bed of mud at the bottom of his brain.


    Affectation is to be always distinguished from hypocrisy, as being the art of counterfeiting those qualities, which we might with innocence and safety, be known to want. Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villany; affectation part of the chosen trappings of folly.


    Affectation proceeds from one of these two causes,—vanity or hypocrisy; for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters, in order to purchase applause; so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavor to avoid censure, by concealing our vices under an appearance of their opposite virtues.


    I will not call vanity and affectation twins, because, more properly, vanity is the mother, and affectation is the darling daughter. Vanity is the sin, and affectation is the punishment; the first may be called the root of self-love, the other the fruit. Vanity is never at its full growth till it spreadeth into affectation, and then it is complete.

    Sir H. Saville.