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


Every man is a hypocrite.

Frederick IV.

Trust not him that seems a saint.


Sin is not so sinful as hypocrisy.

Mme. de Maintenon.

Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.

La Rochefoucauld.

Saint abroad, and a devil at home.


Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy.


Hypocrisy is nothing, in fact, but a horrible hopefulness.

Victor Hugo.

No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.


If Satan ever laughs, it must be at hypocrites; they are the greatest dupes he has.


Hypocrites do the devil’s drudgery in Christ’s livery.

Matthew Henry.

Hypocrisy is oftenest clothed in the garb of religion.

Hosea Ballou.

No task is more difficult than systematic hypocrisy.


Oh, what may man within him hide, though angel on the outward side!


  • To wear long faces, just as if our Maker,
  • The God of goodness, was an undertaker.
  • Peter Pindar.

    If the world despises hypocrites, what must be the estimate of them in heaven?

    Madame Roland.

    To live a life which is a perpetual falsehood is to suffer unknown tortures.

    Victor Hugo.

    It will not do to be saints at meeting and sinners everywhere else.

    Henry Ward Beecher.

    God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another.


    The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.


  • There is no vice so simple, but assumes
  • Some mark of virtue on its outward parts.
  • Shakespeare.

    Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible, except to God alone.


    Whoever is a hypocrite in his religion mocks God, presenting to Him the outside and reserving the inward for his enemy.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    Hypocrisy is no cheap vice; nor can our natural temper be masked for many years together.


    The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.


    Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes, and with a virtuous vizard hide foul guile!


    A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself. He would make a dupe of himself, too, if he could.


  • The world’s all title-page; there’s no contents;
  • The world’s all face; the man who shows his heart
  • Is hooted for his nudities, and scorn’d.
  • Young.

    Hypocrisy is folly. It is much easier, safer, and pleasanter to be the thing which a man aims to appear than to keep up the appearance of being what he is not.


    When you see a man with a great deal of religion displayed in his shop window, you may depend upon it he keeps a very small stock of it within.


  • He was the mildest manner’d man
  • That ever scuttled ship, or cut a throat!
  • With such true breeding of a gentleman,
  • You never could divine his real thought.
  • Byron.

    I know of but one garment which the fashionable social life of this country borrows of Christianity; it is that ample garment of charity which covers a multitude of sins—particularly fashionable sins.

    J. G. Holland.

  • The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
  • An evil soul, producing holy witness,
  • Is like a villain with a smiling cheek;
  • A goodly apple rotten at the heart;
  • O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
  • Shakespeare.

    For every man’s nature is concealed with many folds of disguise, and covered as it were with various veils. His brows, his eyes, and very often his countenance, are deceitful, and his speech is most commonly a lie.


    Hypocrisy itself does great honor, or rather justice, to religion, and tacitly acknowledges it to be an ornament to human nature. The hypocrite would not be at so much pains to put on the appearance of virtue, if he did not know it was the most proper and effectual means to gain the love and esteem of mankind.


  • No man’s condition is so base as his;
  • None more accurs’d than he; for man esteems
  • Him hateful, ’cause he seems not what he is;
  • God hates him, ’cause he is not what he seems;
  • What grief is absent, or what mischief can
  • Be added to the hate of God and man?
  • Quarles.

    Surely the mischief of hypocrisy can never be enough inveighed against. When religion is in request, it is the chief malady of the church, and numbers die of it; though because it is a subtle and inward evil, it be little perceived. It is to be feared there are many sick of it, that look well and comely in God’s outward worship, and they may pass well in good weather, in times of peace; but days of adversity are days of trial.

    Bishop Hall.

    Lord love you! when we see what some people do all the week—people who are stanch at church, remember—I can’t help thinking there are a good many poor souls who are only Christians at morning and afternoon service.


  • All live by seeming.
  • The beggar begs with it, and the gay courtier
  • Gains land and title, rank and rule, by seeming;
  • The clergy scorn it not, and the bold soldier
  • Will eke with it his service.—All admit it,
  • All practise it; and he who is content
  • With showing what he is, shall have small credit
  • In church, or camp, or state.—So wags the world.
  • Scott.