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  • ... two things do me in: one's chocolate cake, the other's hypocrisy.

  • It is better sometimes not to follow great reformers of abuses beyond the threshold of their homes.

  • The existence of very pious feelings, in conjunction with intolerance, cruelty, and selfish policy, has never ceased to surprise and perplex those who have viewed it calmly from a distance. ... It is impossible to exaggerate the evil work theology has done in the world. What destruction of the beautiful monuments of past ages, what waste of life, what disturbance of domestic and social happiness, what perverted feelings, what blighted hearts, have always marked its baneful progress!

  • Show me one who boasts continually of his 'openness,' and I will show you one who conceals much.

  • The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.

  • Psychologically speaking, one may say that the hypocrite is too ambitious; not only does he want to appear virtuous before others, he wants to convince himself.

  • ... the Lives of Great Men are more oft' at variance with their profess'd Phillosophies than consistent with 'em ...

  • Like many Men who make a Virtue of a Vice, he put much Faith in Form and Conduct (as if indeed Vice well-perform'd were Virtue's very Self, whilst Virtue ill-perform'd were but the Essence of Vice).

  • Can one preach at home inequality of races and nations and advocate abroad good-will towards all men?

  • We can love an honest rogue, but what is more offensive than a false saint?

  • I've done more harm by the falseness of trying to please than by the honesty of trying to hurt.

  • The best thing for you, my children, is to serve God from your heart, without falsehood or shame, not giving out to people that you are one thing while, God forbid, in your heart you are another.

  • A lady, that is an enlightened, cultivated, liberal lady — the only kind to be in a time of increasing classlessness — could espouse any cause: wayward girls, social diseases, unmarried mothers, and/or birth control with impunity. But never by so much as the shadow of a look should she acknowledge her own experience with the Facts of Life.

  • All intellectual missionaries tend to lechery.

  • If there is one fault more than any other of which most people naïvely believe themselves free, that fault undoubtedly is hypocrisy.

  • A criminal is twice a criminal when he adds hypocrisy to his crime.

  • I know you! Your motto is 'Silk socks and dubious feet.'

  • Now I had lived long enough and had heard enough from urchins my age and from other slaves, to distrust the person who calls himself merciful, or just, or kindly. Usually these are the most cruel, niggardly and selfish people, and slaves learn to fear the master who prefaces his remarks with tributes to his own virtues.

  • Extreme concupiscence may be found under extreme austerity.

    • Marguerite de Valois,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • What's terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.

  • [On Christianity:] Its lip-service and its empty rites have made it the easiest of all tasks for the usurer to cloak his cruelties, the miser to hide his avarice, the lawyer to condone his lies, the sinner of all social sins to purchase the social immunity from them by outward deference to churches.

    • Ouida,
    • "The Failure of Christianity," Views and Opinions ()
  • ... it is impossible for any mind of common honesty not to be revolted by the contradictions in their principles and practice. They inveigh against the governments of Europe, because, as they say, they favor the powerful and oppress the weak. ... [yet] you will see them with one hand hoisting the cap of liberty, and with the other flogging their slaves. You will see them one hour lecturing their mob on the indefeasible rights of man, and the next driving from their homes the children of the soil, whom they have bound themselves to protect by the most solemn treaties.

  • ... when a swinging sin is to be committed, there is nothing like a gown and a cassock to cover it.

  • I am convinced that hypocrisy, the lie, is the true sister of evil, intolerance and cruelty.

  • There never was a hypocrite so disguised, but he had some mark or other still by which he might be known.

  • The liar was the hottest to defend his veracity, the coward his courage, the ill-bred his gentlemanliness, and the cad his honor.