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


Villainy that is vigilant will be an overmatch for virtue, if she slumber at her post.


Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix.


He hath out-villained villainy so far, that the rarity redeems him.


Villainy, when detected, never gives up, but boldly adds impudence to imposture.


  • Why here’s a villain,
  • Able to corrupt a thousand by example.
  • Massinger.

  • A fellow by the hand of nature mark’d,
  • Quoted, and sign’d, to do a deed of shame.
  • Shakespeare.

  • The multiplying villainies of nature
  • Do swarm upon him.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O villainy! Ho! let the door be lock’d;
  • Treachery! seek it out.
  • Shakespeare.

    The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.


  • Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes;
  • That when I note another man like him
  • I may avoid him.
  • Shakespeare.

    The most stormy ebullitions of passion, from blasphemy to murder, are less terrific than one single act of cool villainy; a still rabies is more dangerous than the paroxysms of a fever. Fear the boisterous savage of passion less than the sedately grinning villain.


    Villains are usually the worst casuists, and rush into greater crimes to avoid less. Henry VIII. committed murder to avoid the imputation of adultery; and in our times, those who commit the latter crime attempt to wash off the stain of seducing the wife by signifying their readiness to shoot the husband.