Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Pretension
 
  Some are so close and reserved as they will not shew their wares but by a dark light, and seem always to keep back somewhat; and when they know within themselves they speak of that they do not well know, would nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may not well speak.
Francis Bacon: Essay XXVII., Of Seeming Wise.    
  1
 
  Those who quit their proper character to assume what does not belong to them, are for the greater part ignorant of both the character they leave and of the character they assume.
Edmund Burke.    
  2
 
  A man who knows the world will not only make the most of everything he does know, but of many things he does not know; and will gain more credit by his adroit mode of hiding his ignorance than the pedant by his awkward attempt to exhibit his erudition.
Charles Caleb Colton.    
  3
 
  Some pretences daunt and discourage us, while others raise us to a brisk assurance.
Joseph Glanvill.    
  4
 
  The more honesty a man has, the less he affects the air of a saint. The affectation of sanctity is a blotch on the face of piety.
Johann Kaspar Lavater.    
  5
 
  It is no disgrace not to be able to do everything; but to undertake, or pretend to do, what you are not made for, is not only shameful, but extremely troublesome and vexatious.
Plutarch.    
  6
 
  A snob is that man or woman who is always pretending to be something better—especially richer or more fashionable—than they are.  7
 
  It is worth noticing, that those who assume an imposing demeanour, and seek to puff themselves off for something beyond what they are (and often succeed), are not unfrequently as much under-rated by some as they are over-rated by others. For, as a man (according to what Bacon says in the essay “On Discourse”) by keeping back some knowledge which he is believed to possess may gain credit for knowing something of which he is really ignorant, so if he is once or twice detected in pretending to know what he does not, he is likely to be set down as a mere pretender, and as ignorant of what he does know.
        “Silver gilt will often pass
Either for gold or else for brass.”
Richard Whately: Annot. on Bacon’s Essay, Of Seeming Wise.    
  8
 
 
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