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