Hypocrisy Watch

Sunday, March 8, 2009 – Hypocrisy Watch

 

A hypocrite is a person who – but who isn’t? ~ Don Marquis

 

Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins. We parry and fend the approach of our fellow-man by compliments, by gossip, by amusements, by affairs. We cover up our thought from him under a hundred folds. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Friendship,” Essays, 1841

 

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. ~ Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, 1963

 

Because hypocrisy stinks in the nostrils one is likely to rate it as a more powerful agent for destruction than it is. ~ Rebecca West, The Strange Necessity, 1928

 

All reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for. ~ Logan Pearsall Smith

 

The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself. ~ Jane Addams

 

That which we call sin in others is experiment for us. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience,” Essays, 1844

 

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. ~ H. G. Wells

 

All of us are experts at practicing virtue at a distance. ~ Theodore M. Hesburgh

 

Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy. ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

 

Man is the only animal that learns by being hypocritical. He pretends to be polite and then, eventually, he becomes polite. ~ Jean Kerr

 

Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job. ~ W. Somerset Maugham

 

If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners – let us thank heaven for hypocrisy. ~ Aldous Huxley

 

We are not hypocrites in our sleep. ~ William Hazlitt

 

Children lack morality, but they also lack fake morality. ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

 

When you say that you agree with a thing in principle you mean that you have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice. ~ Otto von Bismarck

 

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. ~ George Bernard Shaw

 

Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person. ~ Mark Twain

 

To be pleased with one’s limits is a wretched state. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Many a man’s reputation would not know his character if they met on the street. ~ Elbert Hubbard

 

If there existed no external means for dimming their consciences, one-half of the men would at once shoot themselves, because to live contrary to one’s reason is a most intolerable state, and all men of our time are in such a state. ~ Leo Tolstoy

 

Be what you would seem to be – or, if you’d like it put more simply – never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

A hypocrite is in himself both the archer and the mark, in all actions shooting at his own praise or profit. ~ Thomas Fuller, Holy and Profane States – The Hypocrite (maxim I, bk. V, ch. VIII)

 

Hypocrisy is the homage which vice renders to virtue. [L’hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend a la vertu.] ~ Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld. Maximes (218)

 

We ought to see far enough into a hypocrite to see even his sincerity. ~ G. K. Chesterton

 

Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

 

A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself. He would make a dupe of himself too, if he could. ~ William Hazlitt

 

An ounce of hypocrisy is worth a pound of ambition. ~ Michael Korda