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


When half-gods go, the gods arrive.


The more honesty a man has, the less he affects the air of a saint.


Pretences go a great way with men that take fair words and magisterial looks for current payment.


One who preserves all the exterior decencies of ignorance.

Samuel Foote.

For in religion as in friendship, they who profess most are ever the least sincere.


Who makes the fairest show means most deceit.


We are only vulnerable and ridiculous through our pretensions.

Mme. de Girardin.

The higher the rank the less pretence, because there is less to pretend to.


Pretension almost always overdoes the original, and hence exposes itself.

Hosea Ballou.

The desire of appearing clever often prevents our becoming so.

La Rochefoucauld.

He who gives himself airs of importance, exhibits the credentials of impotence.


Where there is much pretension, much has been borrowed: nature never pretends.


A snob is that man or woman who is always pretending to be something better—especially richer or more fashionable—than he is.


Hearts may be attracted by assumed qualities, but the affections are not to be fixed but by those which are real.

De Moy.

True glory strikes root, and even extends itself; all false pretensions fall as do flowers, nor can anything feigned be lasting.


Those who quit their proper character to assume what does not belong to them are, for the greater part, ignorant of both the character they leave and of the character they assume.


Some pretences daunt and discourage us, while others raise us to a brisk assurance.


It is no disgrace not to be able to do everything; but to undertake, or pretend to do what you are not made for, is not only shameful, but extremely troublesome and vexatious.


The greatest cosmopolites are generally the neediest beggars, and they who embrace the entire universe with love, for the most part, love nothing but their narrow self.


The most accomplished way of using books at present is to serve them as some do lords, learn their titles, and then boast of their acquaintance.


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.


It is worth noticing that those who assume an imposing demeanor and seek to pass themselves off for something beyond what they are, are not unfrequently as much underrated by some they are overrated by others.


It is the care of a very great part of mankind to conceal their indigence from the rest. They support themselves by temporary expedients, and every day is lost in contriving for to-morrow.


A man who knows the world will not only make the most of everything he does know, but of many things he does not know, and will gain more credit by his adroit mode of hiding his ignorance than the pedant by his awkward attempt to exhibit his erudition.


Some are so close and reserved that they will not show their wares but by a dark light, and seem always to keep back somewhat; and when they know within themselves they speak of that which they do not well know, would nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may not well speak.


As a general rule, people who flagrantly pretend to anything are the reverse of that which they pretend to. A man who sets up for a saint is sure to be a sinner; and a man who boasts that he is a sinner is sure to have some feeble, maudlin, snivelling bit of saintship about him which is enough to make him a humbug.