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


There is no possible excuse for a guarded lie. Enthusiastic and impulsive people will sometimes falsify thoughtlessly, but equivocation is malice prepense.

Hosea Ballou.

  • To doubt the Equivocation of the fiend,
  • That lies like truth: Fear not, till Birnam wood
  • Do come to Dunsinane.
  • Shakespeare.

    A sudden lie may be sometimes only manslaughter upon truth; but by a carefully constructed equivocation, truth always is with malice aforethought deliberately murdered.


  • But yet,—
  • I do not like but yet, it does allay
  • The good precedence; fye upon but yet;
  • But yet is as a gaoler to bring forth
  • Some monstrous malefactor.
  • Shakespeare.

    Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven.