Quotes on Deceit
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347. Deceit
"Cunning has effect from the credulity of others, rather than from the abilities of those who are cunning. It requires no extraordinary talents to lie and deceive."
Boswell: Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

495. Deceit
"All imposture weakens confidence and chills benevolence."
Johnson: Rasselas [Rasselas]
Note: If you haven't read it yet, please read this note of caution regarding quotes from Rasselas.

895. Deceit; History; Innocence
"Historians are certainly chargeable with the depravation of mankind, when they relate, without censure, those stratagems of war by which the virtues of an enemy are engaged to his destruction. A ship comes before a port, weather-beaten and shattered, and the crew implore the liberty of repairing their breaches, supplying themselves with necessaries, or burying their dead. The humanity of the inhabitants inclines them to consent, the strangers enter the town with weapons concealed, fall suddenly upon their benefactors, destroy those that make resistance, and become masters of the place; they return home rich with plunder, and their success is recorded to encourage imitation."
Johnson: Rambler #79 (December 18, 1750)

897. Community; Deceit; Society
"Whoever commits a fraud is guilty not only of the particular injury to him who he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes not only the ease but the existence of society."
Johnson: Rambler #79 (December 18, 1750)

953. Deceit; Truth
"Falsehoods of convenience or vanity, falsehoods from which no evil immediately visible ensues, except the general degradation of human testimony, are very lightly uttered, and once uttered are sullenly supported."
Johnson: Congreve (Lives of the Poets)

1,305. Appropriateness; Deceit; Vanity
On why there is not always a natural fit between the available work and the available labor supply: "...the benefit of this adaptation of men to things is not always perceived. The folly or indigence of those who set their services to sale inclines them to boast of qualifications which they do not possess, and attempt business which they do not understand; and they who have the power of assigning to others the task of life are seldom honest or seldom happy in their nominations."
Johnson: Rambler #160 (September 28, 1751)

1,803. Deceit
"Though I love to spend, I hate be cheated, and I found that to build is to be robbed."
Johnson: Idler #62 (June 23, 1759): from a fictional correspondent, Tim Ranger

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