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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Diffidence
 
  Diffidence is a sort of false modesty.
Thackeray.    
  1
  Diffidence is not always innocence.
Mme. Necker.    
  2
  Mere bashfulness without merit is awkward.
Thomas Hughes.    
  3
  We are as often duped by diffidence as by confidence.
Chesterfield.    
  4
  Persons extremely reserved are like old enamelled watches, which had painted covers, that hindered your seeing what o’clock it was.
Walpole.    
  5
                    A tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the history unspoke,
That it intends to do.
Shakespeare.    
  6
  Diffidence may check resolution and obstruct performance, but compensates its embarrassments by more important advantages; it conciliates the proud, and softens the severe; averts envy from excellence, and censure from miscarriage.
Johnson.    
  7
 
 
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