You can put wings on a pig, but you don’t make it an eagle.

—Bill Clinton, 1996

Anyone who’s never experienced the pleasure of betrayal doesn’t know what pleasure is.

—Jean Genet, 1986

An honest man is all right even if he’s an idiot…but a crook must have brains.

—Maxim Gorky, 1902

There was no treachery too base for the world to commit.

—Virginia Woolf, 1927

Grow your tree of falsehood from a small grain of truth.

—Czeslaw Milosz, 1946

Life is the art of being well deceived.

—William Hazlitt, c. 1817

Credulity forges more miracles than trickery could invent.

—Joseph Joubert, 1811

In most cases men willingly believe what they wish.

—Julius Caesar, 52 BC

Children and fools cannot lie. 

—John Heywood, 1546

He that will cheat you at play, will cheat you any way.

—Thomas Fuller, 1732

And, after all, what is a lie? ’Tis but the truth in masquerade.

—Lord Byron, 1822

It was the men I deceived the most that I loved the most.

—Marguerite Duras, 1987

Your piping-hot lie is the best of lies.

—Plautus, c. 200 BC

Alongside all swindlers the state now stands there as swindler-in-chief.

—Jacob Burckhardt, c. 1875

The poor man is ruined as soon as he begins to ape the rich.

—Publilius Syrus, c. 50 BC

There is much difference between imitating a good man, and counterfeiting him.

—Benjamin Franklin, 1738

If you find excrement somewhere in the village, the chief was the one who put it there.

—Congolese proverb

Men were born to lie, and women to believe them.

—John Gay, 1728

Cheating is more honorable than stealing. 

—German proverb

Honesty, for me, is usually the worst policy imaginable.

—Patricia Highsmith, 1960

Someone who knows too much finds it hard not to lie.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1947

We have to distrust each other. It is our only defense against betrayal.


—Tennessee Williams, 1953

If you steal, do not steal too much at a time. You may be arrested. Steal cleverly, little by little.

—Mobutu Sese Seko, 1991