An Ambassador is an honest man, sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.

[Legatus est vir bonus, peregrè missus ad mentiendum Reipublicae causâ.]

Henry Wotton (1568-1639) English author, diplomat, politician
Reliquiae Wottonainae (1651)

Wotton wrote in an apology to Velserus in 1612, that during his travel through Augsburg in 1604, "This merry definition of an ambassador I had chanced to set down at my friend's, Mr. Christopher Fleckamore, in his Album". It seems to have been intended as a pun when translated to English. Sometimes translated as "An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country."
Added on 23-Mar-15 | Last updated 23-Mar-15
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