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


To know to dissemble is the knowledge of kings.


Artifice is allowed to deceive a rival; we may employ everything against our enemies.


The ordinary employment of artifice is the mark of a petty mind; and it almost always happens that he who uses it to cover himself in one place uncovers himself in another.

La Rochefoucauld.

  • Shallow artifice begets suspicion,
  • And like a cobweb veil, but thinly shades
  • The face of thy design, alone disguising
  • What should have ne’er been seen, imperfect mischief.
  • Congreve.

    Nature is mighty. Art is mighty. Artifice is weak. For nature is the work of a mightier power than man. Art is the work of man under the guidance and inspiration of a mightier power. Artifice is the work of mere man, in the imbecility of his mimic understanding.


    It is sometimes necessary to play the fool to avoid being deceived by cunning men.

    La Rochefoucauld.