Quotations about   suspicion

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Not to oversee Workmen, is to leave them your Purse open.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard’s Almanack (Nov 1751)
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Added on 23-Sep-21 | Last updated 23-Sep-21
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The biographer does not trust his witnesses, living or dead. He may drip with the milk of human kindness, believe everything that his wife and his friends and his children tell him, enjoy his neighbors and embrace the universe — but in the workshop he must be as ruthless as a board meeting smelling out embezzlement, as suspicious as a secret agent riding the Simplon-Orient Express, as cold-eyed as a pawnbroker viewing a leaky concertina. With no respect for human dignity, he plays off his witnesses one against the other, snoops for additional information to confront them with, probes their prejudices and their pride, checks their reliability against their self-interest, thinks the worst until he is permitted to think better.

Paul Murray Kendall
Paul Murray Kendall (1911-1973) American academic and historian
“Walking the Boundaries,” The Art of Biography (1965)
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Added on 9-Sep-21 | Last updated 9-Sep-21
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“When it comes to strangers with guns,” I told her, “I think suspicion is more likely to keep you alive than trust.”

Octavia Butler (1947-2006) American writer
Parable of the Sower, ch. 11 (1993)
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Added on 29-Jul-21 | Last updated 29-Jul-21
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If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) American writer, folklorist, anthropologist
Moses, Man of the Mountain [Moses] (1939)
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Added on 10-Jan-18 | Last updated 10-Jan-18
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GLOUCESTER: Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Henry VI, Part III, Act 5, sc. 6, l. 11 (1590)
Added on 22-Feb-17 | Last updated 22-Feb-17
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Suspicion begets suspicion.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 928 [tr. Lyman (1862)]
Added on 15-Feb-17 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
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There are two kinds of fools: those who suspect nothing and those who suspect everything.

Charles-Joseph Lamoral, Prince de Ligne (1735-1814) Belgian military leader, noble, writer [Karl Fürst von Ligne, Charles-Joseph de Ligne]
Mes écarts, ou, ma tête en liberté
Added on 8-Feb-17 | Last updated 8-Feb-17
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Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
Common Sense, “Of the Present Ability of America” (1776)
Added on 25-Jan-17 | Last updated 25-Jan-17
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The seed had sprouted into that most wonderful and horrible of fruits: doubt, which, like the strawberry, has a succulent taste, but has also a tendency to spread and spread, until it dominates whatever garden it has taken root in.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Added on 20-Jan-17 | Last updated 20-Jan-17
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Suspicion often creates what it suspects.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“Screwtape Proposes a Toast”
Added on 18-Jan-17 | Last updated 18-Jan-17
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A man prone to suspect evil is most looking for in his neighbor what he sees in himself.

Julius Hare (1795-1855) English cleric, theologian
Guesses at Truth: First Series (1827) [with A. W. Hare]
Added on 4-Jan-17 | Last updated 4-Jan-17
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A wise Man will keep his Suspicions muzzled, but he will keep them awake.

George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695) English politician and essayist
“Of Caution and Suspicion,” Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections (1750)
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Added on 28-Dec-16 | Last updated 30-Jan-20
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Every boddy in this world wants watching, but none more than ourselves.

[Everybody in this world wants watching, but none more than ourselves.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Fus Impressions” (1874)
Added on 2-Nov-16 | Last updated 5-May-19
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The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
The Conduct of Life, ch. 6 “Worship” (1860)
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See Johnson.
Added on 25-Nov-15 | Last updated 5-May-20
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Any man who attains a high place among you, from the President downwards, may date his downfall from that moment; for any printed lie that any notorious villain pens, although it militate directly against the character and conduct of a life, appeals at once to your distrust, and is believed. You will strain at a gnat in the way of trustfulness and confidence, however fairly won and well deserved; but you will swallow a whole caravan of camels, if they be laden with unworthy doubts and mean suspicions. Is this well, think you, or likely to elevate the character of the governors or the governed among you?

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) English writer and social critic
American Notes, ch. 18 (1842)
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Added on 19-Mar-14 | Last updated 19-Mar-14
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Any manifest error on the part of an enemy should make us suspect some stratagem.

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) Italian politician, philosopher, political scientist
The Discourses on Livy, Book 3, ch. 48 (1517) [tr. Detmold (1882)]
Added on 22-Apr-11 | Last updated 27-Jan-20
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My wife should be as much free from suspicion of a crime as she is from a crime itself.

[Meos tam suspicione quam crimine iudico carere oportere.]

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Roman general and statesman [Gaius Julius Caesar]
In Suetonius, Life of Caesar

Popularly, "Caesar’s wife must be above reproach" or "beyond reproach."

Caesar was called to be a witness against Clodius, who was charge with having  defiled sacred rites and having an affair with Pompeia, Caesar's wife.  Caesar said he had investigated and found out nothing to prove the Pompeia's fidelity.  When asked why, then, he had divorced her, he gave this answer.

Alt. trans.: "I judge it necessary for my kin to be as free from suspicion as from the charge of wrongdoing."

Alt. trans.: "I wished my wife to be not so much as suspected." [in Plutarch, “Caesar,” Parallel Lives [tr. Dryden (1693)]].
Added on 3-Mar-11 | Last updated 28-Dec-16
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Never regard something as doing you good if it makes you betray a trust, or lose your sense of shame, or makes you show hatred, suspicion, ill will, or hypocrisy, or a desire for things best done behind closed doors.

[Μὴ τιμήσῃς ποτὲ ὡς συμφέρον σεαυτοῦ, ὃ ἀναγκάσει σέ ποτε τὴν πίστιν παραβῆναι, τὴν αἰδῶ ἐγκαταλιπεῖν, μισῆσαί τινα, ὑποπτεῦσαι, καταράσασθαι, ὑποκρίνασθαι, ἐπιθυμῆσαί τινος τοίχων καὶ παραπετασμάτων δεομένου.]

Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) Roman emperor (161-180), Stoic philosopher
Meditations, Book 3, #7 [tr. Hays (2003)]
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Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Never esteem of anything as profitable, which shall ever constrain thee either to break thy faith, or to lose thy modesty; to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to dissemble, to lust after anything, that requireth the secret of walls or veils.
[tr. Casaubon (1634), #8]

Don't be fond of any thing, or think that for your interest, which makes you break your word, quit your modesty, be of a dissembling, suspicious, or outrageous humor; which puts you up on hating any person, and inclines you to any practice, which won't bear the light, and look the world in the face.
[tr. Collier (1701)]

Never value anything as profitable to thyself which shall compel thee to break thy promise, to lose thy self-respect, to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything which needs walls and curtains.
[tr. Long (1862)]

Think nothing for your interest which makes you break your word, quit your modesty, hate, suspect, or curse any person, or inclines you to any practice which will not bear the light and look the world in the face.
[tr. Zimmern (1887)]

Never esteem anything as of advantage to thee that shall make thee break thy word or lose thy self-respect.
[tr. Morgan, in Bartlett's (1894)]

Never value as an advantage to yourself what will force you one day to break your word, to abandon self-respect, to hate, suspect, execrate another, to act a part, to covet anything that calls for walls or coverings to conceal it.
[tr. Farquharson (1944)]

Never value the advantages derived from anything involving breach of faith, loss of self-respect, hatred, suspicion, or execration of others, insincerity, or the desire for something which hast to be veiled and curtained.
[tr. Staniforth (1964)]

Never value as beneficial to yourself something that will force you one day to break your word, abandon your sense of shame, hate, suspect, or curse someone else, pretend, or desire something that needs the secrecy of walls or curtains.
[tr. Gill (2013)]

Value nothing which compels you to break your promise, to abandon your honor, to hate, suspect or curse anyone, to be a hypocrite, or to lust after anything which needs walls or decorations.
[tr. @sentantiq (2019)]

Some causes will force you to betray faith, abandon shame, hate or suspect another person, call down curses, put forward explanations, or desire something that requires walls and fences. Do not regard these causes as necessary or beneficial to yourself.
[Source]

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 17-Mar-21
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SELF-RESPECT: The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
A Book of Burlesques, ch. 11 (1920)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 2-Jul-14
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