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  • There's a strong aroma of sawn lady about this.

  • No one is ever warmed by wool pulled over his eyes.

  • There is no killing the suspicion that deceit has once begotten.

  • Harry was extremely liberal with free pills, diagnoses and advice. On occasion, he was more effective than a regular doctor, since he was unhampered by training, medical ethics or caution, and some of his cures were miraculously quick. These were the ones his friends remembered.

  • Deceit is a kind of garment that conceals the soul. It might even be compared to a whole wardrobe, so many are its guises.

  • ... the old fellow seemed to spot deceit as if it reeked like a goat.

  • Nothing ruins a face so fast as double-dealing. Your face telling one story to the world. Your heart yanking your face to pieces, trying to let the truth be known. One eyelid'll hang down lower than the other, one side of your mouth'll stay stiff while the other smiles. I know a dozen cases like that.

  • Since there is no such entity as 'the public,' since the public is merely a number of individuals, any claimed or implied conflict of 'the public interest' with private interests means that the interests of some men are to be sacrificed to the interests and wishes of others. Since the concept is so conveniently undefinable, its use rests only on any given gang's ability to proclaim that 'The public, c'est moi — and to maintain the claim at the point of a gun.

  • Deceit and violence — these are the two forms of deliberate assault on human beings.

  • A theme is always necessary, a plain, simple, unadorned theme to confuse the ignorant.

  • Fortunately, the mind is restless; when it uncovers a layer of its own deception, gives up an illusion, exposes a lie, it does not stand idle for long before the collapse of its earlier assumptions.

  • For of all hard things to bear and grin, / The hardest is knowing you're taken in.

    • Phoebe Cary,
    • "Kate Ketchem," The Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary ()
  • ... deception and 'con games' are a way of life in all species and throughout nature. Organisms that do not improve their ability to deceive — and to detect deception — are less apt to survive.

  • Never tell a loved one of an infidelity: you would be badly rewarded for your trouble. Although one dislikes being deceived, one likes even less to be undeceived.

  • We tend to tell strangers what we think will make us sound good. I myself, to my utter amazement, informed a telephone pollster that I exercised regularly, a bare-faced lie.

  • It is quite as ignominious to allow oneself to be deceived as to deceive.

    • Queen Christina,
    • in Margaret Goldsmith, Christina of Sweden: A Psychological Biography ()
  • Lying is common because, in general, the ability to deceive is better than the ability to perceive.

  • I am so wily and feminine that I could live by your side for a lifetime and deceive you afresh each day.

    • Jane Bowles,
    • letter to husband Paul, in Millicent Dillon, ed., Out in the World: Selected Letters of Jane Bowles 1935-1970 ()
  • The assumption that seeing is believing makes us susceptible to visual deception.

  • ... in politics as in life, what is known is not necessarily what is believed, what is shown is not necessarily what is seen, and what is said is not necessarily what is heard.

  • A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths.

  • Let us hide nothing, and we shall not be afraid of being found out.

  • To deceive gracefully is the very essence of social life. One must start by deceiving oneself, and make a lifelong practice of deceiving others; if one does it well enough, in time one might even become an artist, the greatest illusionists of all.

  • There is more here than meets the eye ...

  • The practice of deception was so constant with her that it got to be a kind of truth.

  • 'Spin' is a polite word for deception. Spinners mislead by means that range from subtle omissions to outright lies. Spin paints a false picture of reality by bending facts, mischaracterizing the words of others, ignoring or denying crucial evidence, or just 'spinning a yarn' — by making things up.

    • Kathleen Hall Jamieson,
    • in Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, UnSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation ()
  • You tell those newspaper people that they may be smart, but I'm smarter. They deal with words. Some folks say that words were made to reveal thoughts. That ain't so. Words were made to conceal thoughts.

  • Rarely do those whom we love deceive us, / it is we who deceive ourselves in them.