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


Private sincerity is a public welfare.


Sincerity is the most compendious wisdom.


Weak persons cannot be sincere.

La Rochefoucauld.

Sincerity is religion personified.


Faithfulness and sincerity first of all.


Her words are trusty heralds to her mind.

John Ford.

Sweet is true love, though given in vain.


Loss of sincerity is loss of vital power.


Don’t be “consistent,” but be simply true.


Bashful sincerity and comely love.


Sincerity is the face of the soul, as dissimulation is the mask.


There is no time so miserable but a man may be true.


To God, thy country, and thy friend be true.

Henry Vaughan.

A silent address is the genuine eloquence of sincerity.


Frank sincerity, though no invited guest, is free to all, and brings his welcome with him.


Better is the wrong with sincerity, rather than the right with falsehood.


Sincerity is the way of heaven; to think how to be sincere is the way of man.


The only conclusive evidence of a man’s sincerity is that he give himself for a principle.


Sincerity is impossible unless it pervade the whole being; and the pretence of it saps the very foundation of character.


The superior man***in regard to his speech***is anxious that it should be sincere.


There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.


The true measure of life is not length, but honesty.

John Lyly.

Those who love with purity consider not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver.

Thomas à Kempis.

Never apologize for showing feeling. My friend, remember that when you do so you apologize for truth.


I should say sincerity, a deep, great, genuine sincerity, is the first characteristic of all men in any way heroic.


Sincerity is the indispensable ground of all conscientiousness, and by consequence of all heartfelt religion.


Let us then be what we are, and speak what we think, and in all things keep ourselves loyal to truth, and the sacred professions of friendship.


It is with sincere affection or friendship as with ghosts and apparitions,—a thing that everybody talks of, and scarce any hath seen.

La Rochefoucauld.

The more honesty a man has, the less he affects the air of a saint. The affectation of sanctity is a blotch on the face of piety.


Truth and fidelity are the pillars of the temple of the world; when these are broken, the fabric falls, and crushes all to pieces.

Owen Feltham.

He hath a heart as sound as a bell and his tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinks his tongue speaks.


  • Men should be what they seem;
  • Or those that be not, would they might seem none!
  • Shakespeare.

    Sincerity is to speak as we think, to do as we pretend and profess, to perform and make good what we promise, and really to be what we would seem and appear to be.


    I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain, what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an “honest man.”


    I think you will find that people who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be “consistent.”


    Sincerity is an openness of heart; it is found in a very few people, and that which we see commonly is not it, but a subtle dissimulation, to gain the confluence of others.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    An inward sincerity will of course influence the outward deportment; but where the one is wanting, there is great reason to suspect the absence of the other.


    A silent, great soul; he was one of those who cannot but be in earnest; whom Nature herself has appointed to be sincere.


  • His nature is too noble for the world:
  • He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
  • Or Jove for’s power to thunder. His heart’s his mouth;
  • What his breast forges that his tongue must vent.
  • Shakespeare.

    He that does as well in private between God and his own soul as in public hath given himself a testimony that his purposes are full of honesty, nobleness, and integrity.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    The whole faculties of man must be exerted in order to call forth noble energies; and he who is not earnestly sincere lives in but half his being, self-mutilated, self-paralyzed.


    If the show of any thing be good for any thing, I am sure sincerity is better; for why does any man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have such a quality as he pretends to?


    Sincerity and honesty carry one through many difficulties which all the arts he can invent would never help him through.


    The happy talent of pleasing either those above or below you seems to be wholly owing to the opinion they have of your sincerity***There need be no more said in honor of it than that it is what forces the approbation of your opponents.


  • You know I say,
  • Just what I think, and nothing more nor less,
  • And, when I pray, my heart is in my prayer.
  • I cannot say one thing and mean another:
  • If I can’t pray, I will not make believe!
  • Longfellow.

    Let grace and goodness, be the principal loadstone of thy affections; for love which hath ends will have an end, whereas that which is founded on true love will always continue.


    The only conclusive evidence of a man’s sincerity is that he gives himself for a principle. Words, money, all things else, are comparatively easy to give away; but when a man makes a gift of his daily life and practice, it is plain that the truth whatever it may be, has taken possession of him.


    Sincerity is the most compendious wisdom, an excellent instrument for the speedy despatch of business. It creates confidence in those we have to deal with, saves the labor of many inquiries, and brings things to an issue in few words.


    He who is sincere hath the easiest task in the world, for, truth being always consistent with itself, he is put to no trouble about his words and actions; it is like traveling in a plain road, which is sure to bring you to your journey’s end better than byways in which many lose themselves.


    No man can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself, who would not exchange the finest show for the poorest reality, who does not so love his work that he is not only glad to give himself for it, but finds rather a gain than a sacrifice in the surrender.


  • Sincerity,
  • Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave
  • Thy onward path, although the earth should gape,
  • And from the gulf of hell destruction rise,—
  • To take dissimulation’s winding way.
  • Home.

  • Sincerity’s my chief delight,
  • The darling pleasure of the mind;
  • O that I could to her invite,
  • All the whole race of human kind;
  • Take her, mortals, she’s worth more
  • Than all your glory, all your fame,
  • Than all your glittering boasted store,
  • Than all the things that you can name,
  • She’ll with her bring a joy divine,
  • All that’s good, and all that’s fine.
  • Lady Chudleigh.

    Now the best way in the world to seem to be anything is really to be what we would seem to be. Besides that it is many times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a good quality, as to have it, and if a man have it not it is ten to one but he is discovered to want it, and then all his pains and labor to seem to have it is lost.


    I remember a passage of one of Queen Elizabeth’s great men, as advice to his friend. “The advantage,” says he, “I had upon others at court was that I always spoke as I thought; which being not believed by them, I both preserved a good conscience, and suffered no damage from that freedom”; which, as it shows the vice to be older than our times, so does it that gallant man’s integrity to be the best way of avoiding it.

    William Penn.