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


Treason seldom dwells with courage.

Sir Walter Scott.

Rebellion must be managed with many swords; treason to his prince’s person may be with one knife.

Thomas Fuller.

Treason pleases, but not the traitor.


Treason must be made odious.

Andrew Johnson.

  • Treason is not own’d when ’tis descried;
  • Successful crimes alone are justified.
  • Dryden.

  • For while the treason I detest,
  • The traitor still I love.
  • Hoole.

    In the clear mind of virtue treason can find no hiding-place.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    Treason, which begins by being cautious, ends by betraying itself.


  • This principle is old, but true as fate,
  • Kings may love treason, but the traitor hate.
  • Thomas Dekker.

  • The man who pauses on the paths of treason,
  • Halts on a quicksand, the first step engulfs him.
  • Aaron Hill.

    Fellowship in treason is a bad ground of confidence.


  • Tellest thou me of “ifs”? Thou art a traitor:
  • Off with his head!
  • Shakespeare.

    Treason is like diamonds; there is nothing to be made by the small trader.

    Douglas Jerrold.

  • Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant;
  • Too good to be so, and too bad to live.
  • Shakespeare.

  • So Judas kiss’d his Master,
  • And cried—All hail! when as he meant—all harm.
  • Shakespeare.

    Love of country is one of the loftiest virtues which the Almighty has planted in the human heart, and so treason against it has been considered among the most damning sins.

    Emery A. Storrs.

    It is the just decree of Heaven that a traitor never sees his danger till his ruin is at hand.


    Treason and murder ever kept together, as two yolk-devils sworn to either’s purpose.


    Though those that are betrayed do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor stands in worse case of woe.


    Treason doth never prosper; what is the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

    Sir John Harrington.

  • Treason is but trusted like the fox;
  • Who, ne’er so tame, so cherished, and lock’d up,
  • Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Some guard these traitors to the block of death;
  • Treason’s true bed and yielder up of breath.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Is there not some chosen curse,
  • Some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven,
  • Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man
  • Who owes his greatness to his country’s ruin?
  • Addison.

  • Oh, for a tongue to curse the slave,
  • Whose treason, like a deadly blight,
  • Comes o’er the councils of the brave,
  • And blasts them in their hour of might—!
  • Moore.

    The man was noble, but with his last attempt he wiped it out, destroyed his country; and his name remains to the ensuing age abhorred.


  • I know that there are angry spirits
  • And turbulent mutterers of stifled treason,
  • Who lurk in narrow places, and walk out
  • Muffled to whisper curses to the night;
  • Disbanded soldiers, discontented ruffians,
  • And desperate libertines who brawl in taverns.
  • Byron.

  • With evil omens from the harbor sails
  • The ill-fated ship that worthless Arnold bears;
  • God of the southern winds, call up thy gales,
  • And whistle in rude fury round his ears.
  • Philip Freneau.

    Cæsar had his Brutus—Charles the First, his Cromwell and George the Third (“Treason!” cried the speaker)—may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.

    Patrick Henry.

  • Oh, colder than the wind that freezes
  • Founts, that but now in sunshine play’d,
  • Is that congealing pang which seizes
  • The trusting bosom, when betray’d.
  • Moore.

  • The traitor to Humanity is the traitor most accursed;
  • Man is more than Constitutions; better rot beneath the sod,
  • Than be true to Church and State while we are doubly false to God.
  • Lowell.