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


Truth is mighty and it will prevail.


Sacrifice life to truth.


Pure truth is for God alone.


The language of truth is simple.


Abstract truth is the eye of reason.


Truth and justice are the immutable laws of social order.


Truth needs no color; beauty, no pencil.


Truth is always straightforward.


Truth is truth to the end of reckoning.


Truth hath a quiet breast.


All truth contains an echo of sadness.

F. W. Trafford.

Arm thyself for the truth!


The jealous keys of truth’s eternal doors.


Truth is the summit of being.


The naked truth.


Endless is the search of truth.


The expression of truth is simplicity.


Truth needs no flowers of speech.


Truth is the edict of God.

H. W. Shaw.

Truth alone wounds.

Napoleon I.

O mighty power of truth!


Truth is truth howe’er it strike.

Robert Browning.

How sweet the words of truth breathed from the lips of love!

James Beattie.

There is no need of words; believe facts.


The truth of truths is love.


For truth is unwelcome, however divine.


Whoever lives true life will love true love.

E. B. Browning.

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


There is but one poetry,—true poetry.


Verity is nudity.

Alfred de Musset.

At times truth may not seem probable.


Truth hates delays.


History has its truth; Legend has hers.

Victor Hugo.

Peace, if possible, but the truth at any rate.

Martin Luther.

Truth is the root of all the charities.


Truths that wake to perish never.


Truth takes no account of centuries.


God’s word lasts forever.

Ulric von Würtemberg.

Truth has rough flavors if we bite it through.

George Eliot.

Truth is more than a dream and a song.


Truth for authority, not authority for truth.

Lucretia Mott.

The genuine essence of truth never dies.


  • I am as true as truth’s simplicity,
  • And simpler than the infancy of truth.
  • Shakespeare.

    Truth is the daughter of Time.


    Lay thy face low on the threshold of truth.


    The nobler the truth or sentiment, the less imports the question of authorship.


    O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the devil.


    To truth belongs freedom.


    Point thy tongue on the anvil of truth.


    What we have in us of the image of God is the love of truth and justice.


    Individuals may perish; but truth is eternal.

    Joseph Gerrald.

    Our minds possess by nature an insatiable desire to know the truth.


    Truth illuminates and gives joy; and it is by the band of joy, not of pleasure, that men’s spirits are indissolubly held.

    Matthew Arnold.

    If I held all of truth in my hand I would beware of opening it to men.


    My cares and my inquiries are for decency and truth, and in this I am wholly occupied.


    Truth is sensitive and jealous of the least encroachment upon its sacredness.

    A. Bronson Alcott.

    Truth does not do so much good in the world as the appearance of it does evil.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    The opposite of what is noised about concerning men and things is often the truth.

    La Bruyère.

    Every man seeks for truth; but God only knows who has found it.


    Truth is inclusive of all the virtues, is older than sects and schools, and, like charity, more ancient than mankind.

    A. Bronson Alcott.

    Truth is always present; it only needs to lift the iron lids of the mind’s eye to read its oracles.


  • The dignity of truth is lost
  • With much protesting.
  • Jonson.

    Truth is a good dog; but beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out.


  • Dare to be true. Nothing can need a lie;
  • A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.
  • Herbert.

    Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.


  • A good man, through obscurest aspirations,
  • Has still an instinct of the one true way.
  • Goethe.

    But there is no veil like light—no adamantine armor against hurt like the truth.

    George MacDonald.

    Truth, when not sought after, sometimes comes to light.


    Truth forever on the scaffold. Wrong forever on the throne.


    Who ever knew truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?


  • Lest men suspect your tale untrue,
  • Keep probability in view.
  • Gay.

  • True as the dial to the sun,
  • Although it be not shin’d upon.
  • Butler.

  • All that I know is, that the facts I state
  • Are true as truth has ever been of late.
  • Byron.

    Truth is strengthened by observation and time, pretences by haste and uncertainty.


    The thing is not only to avoid error, but to attain immense masses of truth.


    Truth, such as is necessary to the regulation of life, is always found where it is honestly sought.


    Truth sometimes comes unawares upon Caution, and sometimes speaks in public as unconsciously as in a dream.


    Truth only smells sweet forever, and illusions, however innocent, are deadly as the canker worm.


    Truth, like the sun, submits to be obscured; but, like the sun, only for a time.


    Truth shall never strike her top-sails in compliment to ignorance or sophistry.

    Father Taylor.

    Truth irritates those only whom it enlightens but does not convert.


    Truly, I see he that will but stand to the truth, it will carry him out.

    George Fox.

    All truth is precious, if not all divine; and what dilates the powers must needs refine.


    Veracity is a plant of Paradise, and the seeds have never flourished beyond the walls.

    George Eliot.

    Old truths are always new to us, if they come with the smell of heaven upon them.


    Nothing is really beautiful but truth, and truth alone is lovely.


    Truth will be uppermost one time or another, like cork, though kept down in the water.

    Sir W. Temple.

    Truth is too simple for us; we do not like those who unmask our illusions.


    Truth is truth, though from an enemy, and spoken in malice.

    G. Lillo.

    He who seeks the truth should be of no country.


    The greatest truths are commonly the simplest.


    Blessed be the God’s voice; for it is true, and falsehoods have to cease before it!


    A departure from the truth was hardly ever known to be a single one.


    There are few persons to whom truth is not a sort of insult.


    As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.

    H. W. Shaw.

    If thou art wise, incline to truth; for truth, not the semblance, remains in its place.


    O truth divine! enlightened by thy ray, I grope and guess no more, but see my way.


    It is easier to be mistaken about the true than the beautiful.


    Truth is the highest thing that man may keep.


    Truth is only developed in the hour of need; time, and not man, discovers it.


    It is strange, but true; for truth is always strange, stranger than fiction.


    The advent of truth, like the dawn of day, agitates the elements, while it disperses the gloom.

    E. L. Magoon.

    Truth will ever be unpalatable to those who are determined not to relinquish error.

    E. W. Montagu.

    We must never throw away a bushel of truth because it happens to contain a few grains of chaff.

    Dean Stanley.

    We must not let go manifest truths because we cannot answer all questions about them.

    Jeremy Collier.

    No truth can be said to be seen as it is until it is seen in its relation to all other truths. In this relation only is it true.

    Elizabeth Prentiss.

    Truth does not consist in minute accuracy of detail; but in conveying a right impression.

    Dean Alford.

  • The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness,
  • And time to speak it in; you rub the sore,
  • When you should bring the plaster.
  • Shakespeare.

    Truth makes on the ocean of nature no one track of light—every one looking on finds its own.


    The golden beams of truth and the silken cords of love, twisted together, will draw men on with a sweet violence whether they will or not.


  • If circumstances lead me, I will find
  • Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
  • Within the centre.
  • Shakespeare.

  • This is all as true as it is strange;
  • Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth
  • To th’ end of reckoning.
  • Shakespeare.

    Give us that calm certainty of truth, that nearness to Thee, that conviction of the reality of the life to come, which we shall need to bear us through the troubles of this.

    H. W. Beecher.

    Pray over every truth; for though the renewed heart is not “desperately wicked,” it is quite deceitful enough to become so, if God be forgotten a moment.

    Charles Kingsley.

    An unproductive truth is none. But there are products which cannot be weighed even in patent scales, nor brought to market.

    John Sterling.

    The man who loves with his whole heart truth will love still more he who suffers for truth.


    There is small chance of truth at the goal, where there is not childlike humility at the starting-post.


  • Thy actions to thy words accord; they words
  • To thy large heart give utterance due; thy heart
  • Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.
  • Milton.

    To love truth for truth’s sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.

    John Locke.

    If I had a device, it would be the true, the true only, leaving the beautiful and the good to settle matters afterwards as best they could.


    I have found out the art of deceiving diplomatists; I speak the truth, and I am certain they will not believe me.

    Count Cavour.

    You need not tell all the truth, unless to those who have a right to know it; but let all you tell be truth.

    Horace Mann.

    Whenever you look at human nature in masses, you find every truth met by a counter truth, and both equally true.

    Charles Buxton.

    It is only when one is thoroughly true that there can be purity and freedom. Falsehood always punishes itself.


    Liars act like the salt miners; they undermine the truth, but leave just so much standing as is necessary to support the edifice.


    God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please, and you can never have both.


    One truth discovered is immortal, and entitles its author to be so; for, like a new substance in nature, it cannot be destroyed.


    Truth never turns to rebuke falsehood; her own straightforwardness is the severest correction.


    All high truth is poetry. Take the results of science: they glow with beauty, cold and hard as are the methods of reaching them.

    Charles Buxton.

    In all nations truth is the most sublime, the most simple, the most difficult, and yet the most natural thing.

    Mme. de Sévigné.

    Truth is so great a perfection that if God would render himself visible to men, he would choose light for his body and truth for his soul.


    If an offence come out of the truth better is it that the offence come, than the truth be concealed.

    St. Jerome.

    Truth is a torch, but a terrific one; therefore we all try to reach it with closed eyes, lest we should be scorched.


    Some modern zealots appear to have no better knowledge of truth, nor better manner of judging it, than by counting noses.


    The face of Truth is not less fair and beautiful for all the counterfeit visors which have been put upon her.


    Theory is continually the precursor of truth; we must pass through the twilight and its shade, to arrive at the full and perfect day.

    James Douglas.

    Truth and reason are common to everyone, and are no more his who spake them first than his who speaks them after.


    The smallest pebble in the well of truth has its peculiar meaning, and will stand when man’s best monuments have passed away.


    Truth is the ground of science, the centre wherein all things repose, and is the type of eternity.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    The usefullest truths are plainest; and while we keep to them, our differences cannot rise high.

    William Penn.

    O man, little hast thou learnt of truth in things most true, and how therefore shall thy blindness wot of truth in things most fallen?


    Truth is a queen who has her eternal throne in heaven, and her seat of empire in the heart of God.


    Truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as oil does above water.


    When the truth offends no one it should come from our lips as naturally as the air we breathe.


    I will be mindful of the truth, so long as I shall be able. Mayest thou grant me the truth, tell me the best to be done.

    Zend Avesta.

    Childhood often holds a truth with its feeble fingers, which the grasp of manhood cannot retain,—which it is the pride of utmost age to recover.


    Scientific truth is marvellous, but moral truth is divine; and whoever breathes its air and walks by its light has found the lost paradise.

    Horace Mann.

    Truth will never be tedious unto him that travelleth in the secrets of nature; there is nothing but falsehood that glutteth us.


    Knowledge, or more expressively truth,—for knowledge is truth received into our intelligence,—truth is an ideal whole.

    John Sterling.

    Truth is a gem that is found at a great depth; whilst on the surface of this world all things are weighed by the false scale of custom.


    General abstract truth is the most precious of all blessings; without it, man is blind; it is the eye of reason.


    Great truths always dwell a long time with small minorities, and the real voice of God is often that which rises above the masses, not that which follows them.

    Francis Lieber.

    The firmest and noblest ground on which people can live is truth; the real with the real; a ground on which nothing is assumed.


    Truth takes the stamp of the souls it enters. It is rigorous and rough in arid souls, but tempers and softens itself in loving natures.


    There are truths that shield themselves behind veils, and are best spoken by implication. Even the sun veils himself in his own rays to blind the gaze of the too curious starer.

    A. Bronson Alcott.

    Truth is like a pearl: he alone possesses it who has plunged into the depths of life and torn his hands on the rocks of Time.


    He who has once deviated from the truth usually commits perjury with as little scruple as he would tell a lie.


  • Oh truth,
  • Thou art, whilst tenant in a noble breast,
  • A crown of crystal in an iv’ry chest!
  • Davenport.

  • Vice for a time may shine, and virtue sigh;
  • But truth, like heav’n’s sun, plainly doth reveal,
  • And scourge or crown, what darkness did conceal.
  • Davenport.

    I have seldom known any one who deserted truth in trifles that could be trusted in matters of importance.


    The greatest friend of truth is time; her greatest enemy is prejudice; and her constant companion is humility.


    While we are examining into everything we sometimes find truth where we least expected it.


    A man protecting against error is on the way towards uniting himself with all men that believe to truth.


  • But what is truth? ’Twas Pilate’s question put
  • To Truth itself, that deign’d him no reply.
  • Cowper.

    Love of truth will bless the lover all his days; yet when he brings her home, his fair-faced bride, she comes empty-handed to his door, herself her only dower.

    Theodore Parker.

    A man has no more right to utter untruths to his own disparagement than to his own praise. Truth is absolute. It is obligatory under all circumstances, and in all relations.

    Dr. Kitto.

    Some men are more beholden to their bitterest enemies than to friends who appear to be sweetness itself. The former frequently tell the truth, but the latter never.


    A truth which one has never heard causes the soul surprise at first, which touches it keenly; but when it is accustomed to it, it becomes very insensible there.


    Truth can hardly be expected to adapt herself to the crooked policy and wily sinuosities of worldly affairs; for truth, like light, travels only in straight lines.


    Truth is a naked and open daylight, that doth not show the masks and mummeries of the world half so stately and daintily as candlelights.


    But God himself is truth; in propagating which, as men display a greater integrity and zeal, they approach nearer to the similitude of God, and possess a greater portion of his love.


    But yet, I say, if imputation and strong circumstances, which lead directly to the door of truth, will give you satisfaction, you may have it.


  • When by night the frogs are croaking, kindle but a torch’s fire;
  • Ha! how soon they all are silent! Thus Truth silences the liar.
  • Friedrich von Logau.

  • ’Tis not enough your counsel still be true,
  • Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods do.
  • *****
  • Without good breeding, truth is disapprov’d;
  • That only makes superior sense belov’d.
  • Pope.

  • Truth crushed to earth shall rise again:
  • The eternal years of God are hers;
  • But Error, wounded, writhes with pain,
  • And dies among his worshippers.
  • William Cullen Bryant.

  • Get but the truth once uttered, and ’tis like
  • A star new-born that drops into its place
  • And which, once circling in its placid round,
  • Not all the tumult of the earth can shake.
  • Lowell.

    Truth is the object of our understanding, as good is of our will; and the understanding can no more be delighted with a lie than the will can choose an apparent evil.


    The best way to come to truth being to examine things as really they are, and not to conclude they are, as we fancy of ourselves, or have been taught by others to imagine.


  • Put golden padlocks on Truth’s lips, be callous as ye will,
  • From soul to soul, o’er all the world, leaps one electric thrill.
  • Lowell.

    Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day, like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

    O. W. Holmes.

  • Though love repine and reason chafe,
  • There came a voice without reply,
  • “’Tis man’s perdition to be safe,
  • When for the truth he ought to die.”
  • Emerson.

  • Truth is one;
  • And, in all lands beneath the sun,
  • Whoso hath eyes to see may see
  • The token of its unity.
  • Whittier.

    Attach thyself to truth; defend justice; rejoice in the beautiful. That which comes to thee with time, time will take away; that which is eternal will remain in thy heart.

    Esaias Tegnet.

    In order to discover truth, we must be truthful ourselves, and must welcome those who point out our errors as heartily as those who approve and confirm our discoveries.

    Max Müller.

    Truth, like the juice of the poppy, in small quantities, calms men; in large, heats and irritates them, and is attended by fatal consequences in excess.


    Truth is the source of every good to gods and men. He who expects to be blessed and fortunate in this world should be a partaker of it from the earliest moment of his life.


    Truth only needs to be for once spoken out; and there’s such music in her, such strange rhythm, as makes men’s memories her joyous slaves.


    The way of truth is like a great road. It is not difficult to know it. The evil is only that men will not seek it. Do you go home and search for it.


    Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Truth is congenial to man. Moral truth is then most consummate when, like beauty, it commends itself without argument. The righteous not only does right, but loves to do right.

    F. W. Newman.

    O Truth! pure and sacred virgin, when wilt thou be worthily revered? O Goddess, who instructs us, why didst thou put thy palace in a well?


    Clear and round dealing is the honor of man’s nature; the mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it.


    The greatest truths are wronged if not linked with beauty, and they win their way most surely and deeply into the soul, when arranged in this their natural and fit attire.


    The golden beams of truth and the silken cords of love, twisted together, will draw men on with a sweet violence whether they will or no.


    Of all the duties, the love of truth, with faith and constancy in it, ranks first and highest. Truth is God. To love God and to love truth are one and the same.

    Silvio Pellico.

  • “Can this be true”? an arch observer cries,—
  • “Yes,” rather moved, “I saw it with these eyes.”
  • “Sir! I believe it on that ground alone;
  • I could not had I seen it with my own.”
  • Cowper.

    If you can but give to the fainting soul at your door a cup of water from the wells of truth, it shall flash back on you the radiance of God. As you save, so shall you be saved.


    Seven years of silent inquiry are needful for a man to learn the truth, but fourteen in order to learn how to make it known to his fellow-men.


  • Truths on which depend our main concern,
  • That ’tis our shame and misery not to learn,
  • Shine by the side of every path we tread
  • With such a lustre, he that runs may read.
  • Cowper.

    “Truth,” I cried, “though the heavens crush me for following her; no falsehood, though a whole celestial Lubberland were the price of apostasy!”


    Every newly discovered truth judges the world, separates the good from the evil, and calls on faithful souls to make sure of their election.

    Julia Ward Howe.

    Truth comes home to the mind so naturally that when we learn it for the first time, it seems as though we did no more than recall it to our memory.


    Certainly, truth should be strenuous and bold; but the strongest things are not always the noisiest, as any one may see who compares scolding with logic.


    Weigh not so much what men say, as what they prove; remembering that truth is simple and naked, and needs not invective to apparel her comeliness.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    Truth is the band of union and the basis of human happiness. Without this virtue there is no reliance upon language, no confidence in friendship, no security in promises and oaths.

    Jeremy Collier.

    Just as soon as any conviction of important truth becomes central and vital, there comes the desire to utter it—a desire which is immediate and irresistible. Sacrifice is gladness, service is joy, when such an idea becomes a commanding power.

    R. S. Storrs.

    The germs of all truth lie in the soul, and when the ripe moment comes, the truth within answers to the fact without as the flower responds to the sun, giving it form for heat and color for light.

    Hamilton W. Mabie.

    Truth always has a bewitching savor of newness in it, and novelty at the first taste recalls that original sweetness to the tongue; but alas for him who would make the one a substitute for the other.


    As it has been finely expressed, “Principle is a passion for truth.” And as an earlier and homelier writer hath it, “The truths we believe in are the pillars of our world.”


    Oh, how great is the power of truth! which of its own power can easily defend itself against all the ingenuity and cunning and wisdom of men, and against the treacherous plots of all the world.


    Liberty is the parent of truth, but truth and decency are sometimes at variance. All men and all propositions are to be treated here as they deserve, and there are many who have no claim either to respect or decency.


    Truth is a thing immortal and perpetual, and it gives to us a beauty that fades not away in time, nor does it take away the freedom of speech which proceeds from justice; but it gives to us the knowledge of what is just and lawful, separating from them the unjust and refuting them.


    Truth is a very different thing from fact; it is the loving contact of the soul with spiritual fact, vital and potent. It does not work in the soul independently of all faculty or qualification there for setting it forth or defending it. Truth in the inward parts is a power, not an opinion.

    George MacDonald.

    There is an inward state of the heart which makes truth credible the moment it is stated. It is credible to some men because of what they are. Love is credible to a loving heart; purity is credible to a pure mind; life is credible to a spirit in which life beats strongly—it is incredible to other men.

    F. W. Robertson.

  • More proselytes and converts use t’ accrue
  • To false persuasions than the right and true;
  • For error and mistake are infinite,
  • But truth has but one way to be i’ th’ right.
  • Butler.

    Did the Almighty, holding in his right hand truth, and in his left hand search after truth, deign to proffer me the one I might prefer, in all humility, but without hesitation, I should request search after truth.


  • Ev’n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
  • When all our fathers worshipp’d stocks and stones,
  • Forget not.
  • Milton.

    The love of truth is the stimulus to all noble conversation. This is the root of all the charities. The tree which springs from it may have a thousand branches, but they will all bear a golden and generous fruitage.

    Orville Dewey.

    The dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of those pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes.

    J. Stuart Mill.

    There are those who hold the opinion that truth is only safe when diluted,—about one-fifth to four-fifths lies,—as the oxygen of the air is with its nitrogen. Else it would burn us all up.


    We have oftener than once endeavored to attach some meaning to that aphorism, vulgarly imputed to Shaftesbury, which however we can find nowhere in his works, that “ridicule is the test of truth.”


    Truth, whether in or out of fashion, is the measure of knowledge and the business of the understanding; whatsoever is besides that, however authorized by consent or recommended by rarity, is nothing but ignorance or something worse.

    John Locke.

    Morality has need, that it may be well received, of the mask of fable and the charm of poetry; truth pleases less when it is naked; and it is the only virgin whom we best like to see a little clothed.


    Truth is to be sought with a mind purified from the passions of the body. Having overcome evil things, thou shalt experience the union of the immortal divinity with the mortal man.


    Since truthfulness, as a conscious virtue and sacrifice, is the blossom, nay, the pollen, of the whole moral growth, it can only grow with its growth, and open when it has reached its height.


    It is not always necessary that truth should be embodied; enough if it hover, spirit-like, around us and produce harmony, if it float through the aid like the sweetly solemn chiming of a minster bell.


  • Jane borrow’d maxims from a doubting school,
  • And took for truth the test of ridicule;
  • Lucy saw no such virtue in a jest,
  • Truth was with her of ridicule the test.
  • Crabbe.

    Truth travels down from the heights of philosophy to the humblest walks of life, and up from the simplest perceptions of an awakened intellect to the discoveries which almost change the face of the world. At every stage of its progress it is genial, luminous, creative.

    Edward Everett.

    The confusion and undesigned inaccuracy so often to be observed in conversation, especially in that of uneducated persons, proves that truth needs to be cultivated as a talent, as well as recommended as a virtue.

    Mrs. Fry.

    For who knows not that truth is strong, next to the Almighty; she needs no politics, nor stratagems, nor licensings to make her victorious; those are the shifts and the defenses that error uses against her power: give her but room, and do not bind her when she sleeps.


    Truth gathers itself spotless and unhurt after all our surrenders and concealments and partisanship; never hurt by the treachery or ruin of its best defenders, whether Luther, or William Penn, or St. Paul.


    For all the practical purposes of life, truth might as well be in a prison as in the folio of a schoolman; and those who release her from the cobwebbed shelf, and teach her to live with men, have the merit of liberating, if not of discovering her.


    There is something very sublime, though very fanciful, in Plato’s description of the Supreme Being,—that truth is His body and light His shadow. According to this definition there is nothing so contradictory to his nature as error and falsehood.


    The very essence of truth is plainness and brightness; the darkness and crookedness is our own. The wisdom of God created understanding, fit and proportionable to truth, the object and end of it, as the eye to the thing visible. If our understanding have a film of ignorance over it, or be blear with gazing on other false glitterings, what is that to truth?


    He who seeks truth must be content with a lonely, little-trodden path. If he cannot worship her till she has been canonized by the shouts of the multitude, he must take his place with the members of that wretched crowd who shouted for two long hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” till truth, reason and calmness were all drowned in noise.

    F. W. Robertson.

    Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing.


    A writer who builds his arguments upon facts is not easily to be confuted. He is not to be answered by general assertions or general reproaches. He may want eloquence to amuse and persuade; but, speaking truth, he must always convince.


  • Truth! why shall every wretch of letters
  • Dare to speak truth against his betters!
  • Let ragged virtue stand aloof,
  • Nor mutter accents of reproof;
  • Let ragged wit a mute become,
  • When wealth and power would have her dumb.
  • Churchill.

    Truth is the beginning of every good thing, both in heaven and on earth; and he who would be blessed and happy should be from the first a partaker of the truth, that he may live a true man as long as possible, for then he can be trusted; but he is not to be trusted who loves voluntary falsehood, and he who loves involuntary falsehood is a fool.


  • The nimble lie
  • Is like the second-hand upon a clock;
  • We see it fly; while the hour-hand of truth
  • Seems to stand still, and yet it moves unseen,
  • And wins, at last, for the clock will not strike
  • Till it has reached the goal.
  • Longfellow.

    Truths of all others the most awful and interesting are too often considered as so true that they lose all the power of truth, and lie bed-ridden in the dormitory of the soul, side by side with the most despised and exploded errors.


  • The power to bind and loose to Truth is given:
  • The mouth that speaks it is the mouth of Heaven.
  • The power, which in a sense belongs to none,
  • Thus understood belongs to every one.
  • Abraham Coles.

  • He is an adorer of chaste truth,
  • And speaks religiously of ev’ry man:
  • He will not trust obscure traditions.
  • Or faith implicit, but concludes of things
  • Within his own clear knowledge: what he says
  • You may believe, and pawn your soul upon ’t.
  • Shirley.

    All that happens in the world of nature and man—every war, every peace every horn of prosperity, every horn of adversity, every election, every death, every life, every success and every failure, all change, all permanence, the perished leaf, the unutterable glory of stars—all things speak truth to the thoughtful spirit.

    Rufus Choate.

    Truth, whether in or out of fashion, is the measure of knowledge, and the business of the understanding; whatever is besides that, however authorized by consent, or recommended by rarity, is nothing but ignorance, or something worse.


    Truth has no gradations; nothing which admits of increase can be so much what it is, as truth is truth. There may be a strange thing, and a thing more strange. But if a proposition be true, there can be none more true.


    Falsehood and delusion are allowed in no case whatever; but, as in the exercise of all the virtues, there is an economy of truth. It is a sort of temperance, by which a man speaks truth with measure, that he may speak it the longer.


    Truth lies in a small compass! The Aristotelians say, all truth is contained in Aristotle, in one place or another. Galileo makes Simplicius say so, but shows the absurdity of that speech by answering all truth is contained in a lesser compass, namely, in the alphabet.


    Corrupt as men are, they are yet so much the creatures of reflection, and so strongly addicted to sentiments of right and wrong, that their attachment to a public cause can rarely be secured, or their animosity be kept alive, unless their understandings are engaged by some appearance of truth and rectitude.

    Robert Hall.

    After all, the most natural beauty in the world is honesty and moral truth; for all beauty is truth. True features make the beauty of a face, and true proportions the beauty of architecture, as true measures that of harmony and music. In poetry, which is all fable, truth still is the perfection.


    Pure truth, like pure gold, has been found unfit for circulation, because men have discovered that it is far more convenient to adulterate the truth than to refine themselves. They will not advance their minds to the standard, therefore they lower the standard to their minds.


    Each truth sparkles with a light of its own, yet it always reflects some light upon another; a truth, while lighting another, springs from one, in order to penetrate another. The first truth is an abundant sense, from which all others are colored, and each particular truth, in its turn, resembles a great river that divides into an infinite number of rivulets.


    Truth, after all, wears a different face to everybody, and it would be too tedious to wait till all are agreed. She is said to lie at the bottom of a well, for the very reason, perhaps, that whoever looks down in search of her sees his own image at the bottom, and is persuaded not only that he has seen the goddess, but that she is far better-looking than he had imagined.


    Truth should be the first lesson of the child and the last aspiration of manhood; for it has been well said that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.


    Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, and can only please by its resemblance. The appearance of reality is necessary to make any passion agreeably represented, and to be able to move others we must be moved ourselves, or at least seem to be so, upon some probable grounds.


    According to Democritus, truth lies at the bottom of a well, the depth of which, alas! gives but little hope of release. To be sure, one advantage is derived from this, that the water serves for a mirror, in which truth may be reflected. I have heard, however, that some philosophers, in seeking for truth, to pay homage to her, have seen their own image and adored it instead.


  • Not a truth has to art or to science been given,
  • But brows have ached for it, and souls toil’d and striven;
  • And many have striven, and many have fail’d,
  • And many died, slain by the truth they assail’d.
  • Lord Lytton.

  • Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,
  • Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
  • Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
  • Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.
  • Lowell.

  • Truth! Truth! where is the sound
  • Of thy calm, unflatt’ring voice to be found?
  • We may go to the Senate, where Wisdom rules,
  • And find but deceiv’d or deceiving fools:
  • Who dare trust the sages of old,
  • When one shall unsay what another has told?
  • And even the lips of childhood and youth
  • But rarely echo the tone of Truth.
  • Eliza Cook.

  • Marble and recording brass decay,
  • And, like the ’graver’s memory, pass away;
  • The works of man inherit, as is just,
  • Their author’s frailty, and return to dust;
  • But Truth divine forever stands secure,
  • Its head as guarded, as its base is sure;
  • Fixed in the rolling flood of endless years,
  • The pillar of the eternal plan appears;
  • The waving storm and dashing wave defies,
  • Built by that Architect who built the skies.
  • Cowper.