Guile Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Guile. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Don’t we forgive everything of a lover? We forgive selfishness, desire, guile. As long as we are the motive for it.
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
I'm not a person who thinks they can have it all, but I certainly feel that with a bit of effort and guile I should be able to have more than my fair share.
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
Wicked are the ways of women—and especially a witch. Their guile knows no bounds.
Shelby Mahurin (Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1))
We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile
Paul Laurence Dunbar (The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar)
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie? I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky. The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing; Rush in and die, dogs—I was a man before I was a king.
Robert E. Howard
Now is the time for guts and guile
Elizabeth Taylor
And my heart shifted a bit in my chest as I said to him with no guile whatsoever, “I won’t tell anyone unless you say so.” The weight of that jeweled knife and belt seemed to grow. “I wish I had been there to stop it. I should have been there to stop it.” I meant every word. Lucien squeezed our linked arms as we rounded a hedge, the house rising up before us. “You are a better friend to me, Feyre,” he said quietly, “than I ever was to you.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
HATE FOR HATE — AND RUTH FOR RUTH, EYE FOR EYE — AND TOOTH FOR TOOTH, SCORN FOR SCORN — AND SMILE FOR SMILE, LOVE FOR LOVE — AND GUILE FOR GUILE, WAR FOR WAR, — AND WOE FOR WOE, BLOOD FOR BLOOD — AND BLOW FOR BLOW.
Ragnar Redbeard (Might is Right)
The lowly squabble over trifles. The great wage secret wars for power and wealth, and they call it government. Wars of words, and tricks, and guile, but no less bloody for that.
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
It was a difficult time to be Irish, a difficult time to be twenty-one years of age and a difficult time to be a man who was attracted to other men. To be all three simultaneously required a level of subterfuge and guile that felt contrary to my nature.
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Now as before, women must refuse to be meek and guileful, for truth cannot be served by dissimulation. Women who fancy that they manipulate the world by pussy power and gentle cajolery are fools. It is slavery to have to adopt such tactics.
Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch)
GUIL: I think I have it. A man talking sense to himself is no madder then a man talking nonsense not to himself. ROS: Or just as mad. GUIL: Or just as mad. ROS: And he does both. GUIL: So there you are. ROS: Stark raving sane.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,- - This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be otherwise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see thus, while We wear the mask. We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile; But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!
Paul Laurence Dunbar (Lyrics of Lowly Life)
Strength is a choice, courage is a habit: Andross Guile
Brent Weeks (The Burning White (Lightbringer, #5))
The Painting is not shit,' said Lucien. 'I know,' said Henri. 'That was just part of the subterfuge. I am of royal lineage; subterfuge is one of the many talents we carry in our blood, along with guile and hemophilia.
Christopher Moore (Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art)
Ask yourself what a man without guile might do to your body in the dark.
Nenia Campbell (Terrorscape (Horrorscape, #3))
ROS: Why don't you go and have a look? GUIL: Pragmatism?! - is that all you have to offer?
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
Beauty is a luster which love bestows to guile the eye. Therefore it may be said that only when the brain is without love will the eye look and see no beauty.
Jack Vance
And then the sly arch-lover that he was, he said the subtlest thing of all: that the lover was nearer the divine than the beloved; for the god was in the one but not in the other - perhaps the tenderest, most mocking thought that ever was thought, and source of all the guile and secret bliss the lover knows.
Thomas Mann (Death in Venice and Other Tales)
novels are untrustworthy advisers. They aren't concerned with rationality or sobriety; they peddle in tragedy and suspense, in chaos and rule breaking, in madness and heartache, and they will steer you toward such things with all the guile of a piper luring rats into a river.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
GUIL: A scientific approach to the examination of phenomena is a defence against the pure emotion of fear
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
GUIL (quietly): Where we went wrong was getting on a boat. We can move, of course, change direction, rattle about, but our movement is contained within a larger one that carries us along as inexorably as the wind and current…
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
BELOVED, gaze in thine own heart, The holy tree is growing there; From joy the holy branches start, And all the trembling flowers they bear. The changing colours of its fruit Have dowered the stars with merry light; The surety of its hidden root Has planted quiet in the night; The shaking of its leafy head Has given the waves their melody, And made my lips and music wed, Murmuring a wizard song for thee. There the Loves a circle go, The flaming circle of our days, Gyring, spiring to and fro In those great ignorant leafy ways; Remembering all that shaken hair And how the wingèd sandals dart, Thine eyes grow full of tender care: Beloved, gaze in thine own heart. Gaze no more in the bitter glass The demons, with their subtle guile, Lift up before us when they pass, Or only gaze a little while; For there a fatal image grows That the stormy night receives, Roots half hidden under snows, Broken boughs and blackened leaves. For all things turn to barrenness In the dim glass the demons hold, The glass of outer weariness, Made when God slept in times of old. There, through the broken branches, go The ravens of unresting thought; Flying, crying, to and fro, Cruel claw and hungry throat, Or else they stand and sniff the wind, And shake their ragged wings; alas! Thy tender eyes grow all unkind: Gaze no more in the bitter glass. - The Two Trees
W.B. Yeats
And having thus chosen our course, without guile, and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in GOD, and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts. Abraham Lincoln, in an address to congress July 4th, 1861
Abraham Lincoln
Do women feel anything more keenly than curiosity? No, they will go to any lengths to find out, to know,to feel, what they have always dreamed of! Once their excited curiosity has been aroused, women will stoop to anything, commit any folly, take any risks. They stop at nothing. I am speaking of women who are real women, who operate on three different levels. Superficially cool and rational, they have three secret compartments: the first is constantly full of womanly fret and anxiety; the second is a sort of innocent guile, like the fearsome sophistry of the self-righteous; and the last is filled with an engaging dishonesty, a charming deviousness, a consummate duplicity, with all those perverse qualities in fact that can drive a foolish, unwary love to suicide, but which by others may be judged quite delightful.
Guy de Maupassant
Once in a stately passion I cried with desperate grief 'Oh Lord, my heart is black with guile, of sinners I am chief' Then stooped my guardian angel and whispered from behind 'Vanity my little man, you're nothing of the kind'
James Thomson
Buffett was a billionaire who drove his own car, did his own taxes, and still lived in a home he had bought in 1958 for $31,500. He seemed to answer to a deeply rooted, distinctly American mythology, in which decency and common sense triumphed over cosmopolitan guile, and in which an idealized past held firm against a rootless and too hurriedly changing present.
Roger Lowenstein
Did you think they did it alone? Built whole armies, and conquered thrones? Constructed promised lands that would outlive the sun resurrected prosperity from ash and bone? A crest is not just a manmade thing it is also created by generations of women who wield swords through guile and letters. Show me your kings, and I will show you the queens that willed them, that bred them, and taught them to do better.
Nikita Gill
I’m giving you that chance now. (Stryker) It’s too late. Too many centuries have passed. There was a time when I lived only to hear a kind word from your lips. But that ship sank under an assault of bitterness that no amount of charm or guile will recover. (Zephyra)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
Twas a still, calm night and the moon's pale light Shone over hill and dale When friends mute with grief stood around the deathbed Of their loved, lost Lily Lyle. Heart as pure as forest lily Never knowing guile, Had its home within the bosom Of sweet Lily Lyle.
Flora Thompson (Lark Rise to Candleford)
What is childlike humility? It’s not the lack of intelligence, but the lack of guile. The lack of an agenda. It’s that precious, fleeting time before we have accumulated enough pride or position to care what other people might think. The same un-self-conscious honesty that enables a three-year-old to splash joyfully in a rain puddle, or tumble laughing in the grass with a puppy, or point out loudly that you have a booger hanging out of your nose, is what is required to enter heaven. It is the opposite of ignorance—it is intellectual honesty: to be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when it is hard.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
GUIL: It [Hamlet's madness] really boils down to symptoms. Pregnant replies, mystic allusions, mistaken identities, arguing his father is his mother, that sort of thing; intimations of suicide, forgoing of exercise, loss of mirth, hints of claustrophobia not to say delusions of imprisonment; invocations of camels, chameleons, capons, whales, weasels, hawks, handsaws -- riddles, quibbles and evasions; amnesia, paranoia, myopia; day-dreaming, hallucinations; stabbing his elders, abusing his parents, insulting his lover, and appearing hatless in public -- knock-kneed, droop-stockinged and sighing like a love-sick schoolboy, which at his age is coming on a bit strong. ROS: And talking to himself. GUIL: And talking to himself.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
You're a poster boy for sincerity. You have all the guile of a lamb.
Dean Koontz (Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, #2))
What is childlike humility? It’s not the lack of intelligence, but the lack of guile. The lack of an agenda.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
I am of you," said Kip."I am Guile as much as you are. True, I have a scrap of decency, but only a scrap. How do you think you can treat a Guile with such disregard and get away with it? Because I am you. I'm as cold as you, I'm as smart as you, and when you push me, I'm as evil and cruel as you. I have a thin film of goodness floating on the top of my Guile, grandfather, but I don't know how senile you must be to miss just how thin it is.
Brent Weeks (The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3))
A snake bites your ankle. Recoiling, you scream. Fearing poison, your mind slips into a dream... ...where a man bites your ankle. Expecting no guile, 'Again' softly falls from your lips with a smile. Yet the man and the snake are the same. Your perception is only to blame.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
What if history was a gambler, instead of a force in a laboratory experiment, and the boys his ace in the hole? What if history was not a reasonable citizen, but a madman full of paranoid guile and these boys his agents, his big surprise! His own revenge?
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
that narrow window of life where he hadn’t yet learned either tact or guile.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
I do know this much though: If a man resorts to wiles, guile and petty deceptions, it means he's nowhere near being in love.
Orhan Pamuk
Ample women do not plan such things. They lack the guile for conspiracies of the body.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
During the cold war, the anticommunist ideological framework could transform any data about existing communist societies into hostile evidence. If the Soviets refused to negotiate a point, they were intransigent and belligerent; if they appeared willing to make concessions, this was but a skillful ploy to put us off our guard. By opposing arms limitations, they would have demonstrated their aggressive intent; but when in fact they supported most armament treaties, it was because they were mendacious and manipulative. If the churches in the USSR were empty, this demonstrated that religion was suppressed; but if the churches were full, this meant the people were rejecting the regime's atheistic ideology. If the workers went on strike (as happened on infrequent occasions), this was evidence of their alienation from the collectivist system; if they didn't go on strike, this was because they were intimidated and lacked freedom. A scarcity of consumer goods demonstrated the failure of the economic system; an improvement in consumer supplies meant only that the leaders were attempting to placate a restive population and so maintain a firmer hold over them. If communists in the United States played an important role struggling for the rights of workers, the poor, African-Americans, women, and others, this was only their guileful way of gathering support among disfranchised groups and gaining power for themselves. How one gained power by fighting for the rights of powerless groups was never explained. What we are dealing with is a nonfalsifiable orthodoxy, so assiduously marketed by the ruling interests that it affected people across the entire political spectrum.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
Talkativeness and charm are both, as is well-known, characteristics somewhat feminine; and they often add up to guile. Certainly there was a strong streak of the female in Roosevelt, though this is not to disparage his essential masculinity. Confidence in his own charm led him into occasional perilous adventures—almost as a woman may be persuaded with a long series of glittering successes behind her, to think she is irresistible forever and can win anybody's scalp.
John Gunther (Roosevelt In Retrospect: A Profile in History)
Earnestness is stupidity sent to college.
P.J. O'Rourke (Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut (O'Rourke, P. J.))
I received in inheritance neither god nor a given spot on earth from where I can draw the attention of a god: no one either legated me the well disguised fury of the skeptic, the Sioux guiles of the rationalist or the burning innocence of the atheist. So I dare not throw the stone neither at the one who believes in things which inspire me only doubt, nor at the one who cultivates his doubt as if it was not, just as well, surrounded with darkness. This stone would hit me myself because I am well certain about one thing: the need of consolation that dwells within the human being is impossible to satisfy.
Stig Dagerman (Notre besoin de consolation est impossible à rassasier)
Look on beauty, And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight; Which therein works a miracle in nature, Making them lightest that wear most of it: So are those crisped snaky golden locks Which make such wanton gambols with the wind, Upon supposed fairness, often known To be the dowry of a second head, The skull that bred them in the sepulchre. Thus ornament is but the guiled shore To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word, The seeming truth which cunning times put on To entrap the wisest.
William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice)
Guile is the shield and spear of the oppressed.
Thornton Wilder (The Eighth Day: A Novel (Harper Perennial Modern Classics))
There's always hope. And when that fails, there's guile and wile.
Karen Hawkins (An Affair to Remember (Talisman Ring #1))
They proceeded with an infinite guile that would have horrified her parents.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
Lucy, you're as transparent as a pane of glass, and there's not a speck of guile to be seen in you. Yet in a way you're a mystery to me.
Madeleine Brent (Moonraker's Bride)
Guile! Brother! If we pull this off, we’ll be legends!” Gavin sighed. “Gunner… we’re already legends.
Brent Weeks (The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4))
She’d say this for him: He had no guile.
Sandhya Menon (When Dimple Met Rishi (Dimple and Rishi, #1))
I want to be a guileless rook to discolor the blackness of all crafty human hearts
Munia Khan
He didn’t have the imagination to orchestrate illicit liaisons, nor the cunning to do anything sly. He had all the subtlety of a puppy, all the capacity for guile of a newborn baby.
Cat Sebastian (A Delicate Deception (Regency Imposters, #3))
White people in his experience were far more transparent. The most hateful rarely bothered to conceal their hostility, and when for some reason they did try to hide their feelings, they generally exhibited all the guile of five-year-olds, who cannot imagine that the world sees them other than as they wish to be seen.
Matt Ruff (Lovecraft Country)
A fair fight comes from poor planning. Your goal is an unfair fight. You want to use every trick, artifice, and deceit possible to make every fight an outrageously unfair contest tilted completely in your favor, every time. If you are above using surprise, guile, stealth, and misdirection in battle, you are too noble to be in the Navy. Consider a career in education.
H. Paul Honsinger (To Honor You Call Us (Man of War, #1))
unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”5 Whoever humbles himself like this child . . . What is childlike humility? It’s not the lack of intelligence, but the lack of guile. The lack of an agenda. It’s that precious, fleeting time before we have accumulated enough pride or position to care what other people might think. The same un-self-conscious honesty that enables a three-year-old to splash joyfully in a rain puddle, or tumble laughing in the grass with a puppy, or point out loudly that you have a booger hanging out of your nose, is what is required to enter heaven. It is the opposite of ignorance—it is intellectual honesty: to be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when it is hard.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
When a man bleeds inwardly, it is a dangerous thing for himself; but when he laughs inwardly, it bodes no good to other people.
Charles Dickens (The Pickwick Papers)
The sly ability to steal someone else's experience and recreate it as if it were my own is the only real talent I possess. Really, though, my guile is so bogus as to be offensive. If I were to experience failure upon failure day after day—nothing but total embarrassment—then perhaps I'd develop some semblance of dignity as a result. But no, I would somehow illogically twist even such failures, gloss over them smoothly, so that it would seem like they had a perfectly good theory behind them. And I would have no qualms about putting on a desperate show to do so.
Osamu Dazai (Schoolgirl)
Contrary to popular wisdom, bullies are rarely cowards. Bullies come in various shapes and sizes. Observe yours. Gather intelligence. Shunning one hopeless battle is not an act of cowardice. Hankering for security or popularity makes you weak and vulnerable. Which is worse: Scorn earned by informers? Misery endured by victims? The brutal May have been molded by a brutality you cannot exceed. Let guile be your ally. Respect earned by integrity cannot be lost without your consent. Don't laugh at what you don't find funny. Don't support an opinion you don't hold. The independent befriend the independent. Adolescence dies in its fourth year. You live to be eighty.
David Mitchell (Black Swan Green)
Our world is full of temporary promises and guile. It is necessarily so. We are not evil people, this is just how we survive. There are only a few steps that separate success from failure. Understand this and you will not suffer from disillusionment as often as I did.
Amy Tan
She met the pleasurable things of life with frank, open appreciation, and against distasteful conditions she rebelled. Dissimulation was as foreign to her nature as guile to the breast of a babe, and her rebellious outbreaks, by no means rare, had hitherto been quite open and aboveboard.
Kate Chopin (Athénaïse)
ROS (mournfully): Not even England. I don't believe in it anyway. GUIL: What? ROS: England. GUIL: Just a conspiracy of cartographers, you mean.
Tom Stoppard
This hoary head again thy yoke shall bear: Remembering that my fairest years By Thee were marked with sighs and tears, I think thy friendship false, and shun the guileful snare.
Matthew Gregory Lewis (The Monk)
She had the sort of broad and guileful smile in which you couldn’t help but believe—you just wanted to make her happy so you could keep seeing it.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
guile was no match for the world and that hubris would always be punished by the gods.
Dan Simmons (The Terror)
Of all the guile! How can you be objective? You have no perspective! You’re only 16!
David Paul Kirkpatrick (The Address Of Happiness)
Venetia had no guile, and no affectations; she knew the world only by the books she had read; experience had never taught her to doubt the sincerity of anyone who did her a kindness.
Georgette Heyer (Venetia)
I have this prodigious talent for painting the person behind the facade, but with Blaine the facade is all there is left - just artifice, guile, and an expensive pair of silicone tits.
Tabitha McGowan (The Tied Man (The Tied Man, #1))
Where was the Jew in him? You couldn't find it and yet you knew it was there. Where was the irrationality in him? Where was the crybaby in him? Where were the wayward temptations? No guile. No artifice. No mischief. All that he had eliminated to achieve his perfection. No striving, no ambivalence, no doubleness- just the style, the natural physical refinement of a star.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
It was called ‘We Wear the Mask’, by Paul Laurence Dunbar. I transcribed the first stanza and then started jotting down my reaction to it. We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. I used to wear masks so subtle I barely noticed them. A compliment to my mother after a dismal meal, a smile at my best friend when she sang out of tune, a forced laugh at my uncle’s bad jokes. I wore small masks that came and went, like fleeting expressions. I am stuck inside the mask I wear now. I want to rip it off. I want to show my scars to the world, to unveil the ugliness that breathes inside me. I want to be unashamed. I want to be unafraid. But every day the mask gets tighter, and I suffocate a little more. I stopped writing.
Catherine Doyle (Mafiosa (Blood for Blood, #3))
ll the merry little elves can go hang themselves My faith is as cold as can be I'm stacked high to the roof, and I'm not without proof If you don't believe me, come see. You think i'm blue I think so too In my words you'll find no guile The game's gotten old The deck's gone cold And i'm gonna have to put you down for a while The game's gotten old The deck's gone cold I'm gonna have to put you down for a while -Bob Dylan, “Huck’s Tune
Bob Dylan (Lyrics, 1962-2001)
I matched my grey eyes against his brown ones for guile, my young golf-and-tennis heart-beats against his, which must be slowing a little after years of over-work. And I planned and I contrived and I plotted - any woman can tell you - but it never came to anything, as you will see. I still like to think that if he'd been a poor boy and nearer my age I could manage it, but of course the real truth was that I had nothing to offer that he didn't have.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Love of the Last Tycoon)
Review, friends—troops long past review,” the Duke intoned. “All to fate a weight of pains and dollars. Their spirits wear our silver collars. Review, friends—troops long past review: Each a dot of time without pretense or guile. With them passes the lure of fortune. Review, friends—troops long past review. When our time ends on its rictus smile, we’ll pass the lure of fortune.
Frank Herbert (Dune)
We wear the mask that grins and lies. It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes. This debt we pay to human guile With torn and bleeding hearts… We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties. Why should the world think otherwise In counting all our tears and sighs. Nay let them only see us while We wear the mask.
Maya Angelou
Heracles is worshipped as a god by the Greeks because he fought with humans equal to himself and killed wild beasts by guile. But what was that compared to what was done by the Word, who banished sicknesses and demons and death itself from human beings?
Athanasius of Alexandria (On the Incarnation: Saint Athanasius (Popular Patristics Series Book 44))
Indeed, four men like them, four men devoted to each other from their money to their lives, four men always supporting each other, never retreating, performing singly or together the resolutions they had made in common; four arms threatening the four points of the compass or all turning to a single point, must inevitably, be it surreptitiously, be it openly, be it by mines, by entrenchments, by guile, or by force, open a way to the end they wanted to reach, however well defended or far off it might be.
Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers)
We all make mistakes. It’s part of growing. The trick isn’t to be perfect. It’s to find a place of solace in the mind so that it doesn’t cane you for trusting the wrong person or following after the wrong dream. All of us fall victim to harmful guile at some point.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Time Untime (Dark-Hunter, #21))
In Your Early Years people Tell You, Correct You and Forgive You. But when you become an Adult, they Neither Correct you nor Forgive You
Vineet Raj Kapoor
Untrained human nature was not frank and innocent; it was full of the twists and defences of an instinctive guile. And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
The young man was sincerely but placidly in love. He delighted in the radiant good looks of his betrothed, in her health, her horsemanship, her grace and quickness at games, and the shy interest in books and ideas that she was beginning to develop under his guidance. She was straightforward, loyal, and brave; she had a sense of humour (chiefly proved by her laughing at his jokes); and he suspected, in the depths of her innocently-gazing soul, a glow of feeling that it would be a joy to waken. But when he had gone the brief round of her he returned discouraged by the thought that all this frankness and innocence were only an artificial product. Untrained human nature was not frank and innocent; it was full of the twists and defences of an instinctive guile. And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
Guil: …The truth is, we value your company, for want of any other. We have been left so much to our own devices— after a while one welcomes the uncertainty of being left to other people’s. Player: Uncertainty is the normal state. You’re nobody special. [He makes to leave again. Guil loses his cool.] Guil: But for God’s sake what are we supposed to do?! Player: Relax. Respond. That’s what people do. You can’t go through life questioning your situation at every turn. Guil: But we don’t know what’s going on, or what to do with ourselves. We don’t know how to act. Player: Act natural. You know why you’re here at least. Guil: We only know what we’re told, and that’s little enough. And for all we know it isn’t even true. Player: For all anyone knows, nothing is. Everything has to be taken on trust; truth is only that which is taken to be true. it’s the currency of living. There may be nothing behind it, but it doesn’t make any difference so long as it is honored.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
When weary with the long day’s care, And earthly change from pain to pain, And lost, and ready to despair, Thy kind voice calls me back again O my true friend, I am not lone While thou canst speak with such a tone! So hopeless is the world without, The world within I doubly prize; Thy world where guile and hate and doubt And cold suspicion never rise; Where thou and I and Liberty Have undisputed sovereignty. What matters it that all around Danger and grief and darkness lie, If but within our bosom’s bound We hold a bright unsullied sky, Warm with ten thousand mingled rays Of suns that know no winter days? Reason indeed may oft complain For Nature’s sad reality, And tell the suffering heart how vain Its cherished dreams must always be; And Truth may rudely trample down The flowers of Fancy newly blown. But thou art ever there to bring The hovering visions back and breathe New glories o’er the blighted spring And call a lovelier life from death, And whisper with a voice divine Of real worlds as bright as thine. I trust not to thy phantom bliss, Yet still in evening’s quiet hour With never-failing thankfulness I welcome thee, benignant power, Sure solacer of human cares And brighter hope when hope despairs.
Emily Brontë
Some women, it seemed, were entirely without guile and bestowed their affections with hardly a moment's conscious thought. Others set out to implement a campaign of military thoroughness, with branched contingency trees and fallback positions, all to 'catch' a desirable man. The word 'desirable' was the giveaway, she thought. The poor jerk wasn't actually desired, only 'desirable' - a plausible object of desire in the opinion of those others on whose account this whole sorry charade was performed. Most women, she thought, were somewhere in the middle, seeking to reconcile their passions with their perceived long-term advantage.
Carl Sagan (Contact)
I have thrown the petty respectable life with all is comforts behind me after the effort to broaden and beautify it has destituted me and drained my stamina. All right--let me throw it behind without guile, without hoping either for a return to it or for a constant absence. After all, it did not request my efforts. The normal live body hopes for the respect and love of others, and enough of the world to bestow largesse. He hopes and he abandons hope by turn. In the first there is fire to live, but in the second there is greater peace.
Harry Partch (Bitter Music: Collected Journals, Essays, Introductions, and Librettos (Music in American Life))
With no small amount of swagger, Gavin Greyling said, "I remember Gavin fucking Guile, who won the False Prism's War, who outwitted the Thorn Conspirators and ended the Red Cliff Uprising. Gavin Guile, who brought low pirate kings and bandit lords, who ended the Blood Wars with wits and one deadly wave of his hand, who brought justice to the Seven Satrapies. Gavin Guile, who hunted wights and criminals, who built Brightwater Wall in less than a week, who aborted the birth of gods, destroyed at least two bane, and killed a god full fledged at Ruic Head. Gavin Guile, who faced a sea demon and lived, saving all the people of Garriston and the Blackguard, too. Gavin Guile, who sank Pash vecchio's great ship Gargantua with a rat. Gavin Guile, who armed us for war and gave the Blackguard the seas entire with ou sea chariots and hull wreckers. Gavin Guile, heart of our heart, our Promachos, the one who goes before us in war, who came and conquered and will come again.
Brent Weeks (The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4))
Conversation! Supple sentences, with first and second meanings and overtones beyond, outrageous challenges with cleverly planned slip-points, rebuttals of elegant brevity; deceptions and guiles, patient explanations of the obvious, fleeting allusions to the unthinkable. As a preliminary, the conversationalist must gauge the mood, the intelligence and the verbal facility of the company. To this end, a few words of pedantic exposition often prove invaluable.
Jack Vance (Marune: Alastor 933 (Alastor, Bk. 2))
Soldiering was about fighting. It was about killing people before they killed you. It was about having your way by force and guile in a dangerous world, taking a shit in the woods, living in dirty, difficult conditions, enduring hardships and risks that could—and sometimes did—kill you. It was ugly work. Which is not to say that certain men didn’t enjoy it, didn’t live for it. Garrison was one of those men. He embraced its cruelty. He would say, this man needs to die. Just like that. Some people needed to die.
Mark Bowden (Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War)
Some would say it was a pact with the devil, and therefore I am not bound by it. But after that day I was no longer certain that Tequamuck was Satan’s servant. To be sure, father and every other minister in my lifetime has warned that Satan is guileful and adept at concealing his true purpose. But since that day I have come to believe that it is not for us to know the subtle mind of God. It may be, as Caleb thought, that Satan is God’s angel still, and works in ways that are obscure to us, to do his will. Blasphemy? Heresy? Perhaps. And perhaps I am damned for it. I will know, soon enough.
Geraldine Brooks (Caleb's Crossing)
The Man of Power is one who presides— By persuasion. He uses no demeaning words or behavior, does not manipulate others, appeals to the best in everyone, and respects the dignity and agency of all humankind—men, women, boys, and girls. By long-suffering. He waits when necessary and listens to the humblest or youngest person. He is tolerant of the ideas of others and avoids quick judgments and anger. By gentleness. He uses a smile more often than a frown. He is not gruff or loud or frightening; he does not discipline in anger. By meekness. He is not puffed up, does not dominate conversations, and is willing to conform his will to the will of God. By love unfeigned. He does not pretend. He is sincere, giving honest love without reservation even when others are unlovable. By kindness. He practices courtesy and thoughtfulness in little things as well as in the more obvious things. By pure knowledge. He avoids half-truths and seeks to be empathetic. Without hypocrisy. He practices the principles he teaches. He knows he is not always right and is willing to admit his mistakes and say ‘I’m sorry.' Without guile. He is not sly or crafty in his dealings with others, but is honest and authentic when describing his feelings.
H. Burke Peterson
Give me that warm feeling, That makes me believe again. Give me that soft answer, The kind you gave me way back when. Give me some true kindness, That brightens the sky again. Give me the best that's in you, And encouragement now and then. Dust off those long-lost manners! Bury ambition and guile! Unfurl those lovely banners Of virtue and laughter and style! Give me that warm feeling, Take off that impersonal glove. Remember, remember we're dealing With that fair and rare thing called love!
Alec Wilder
Don't come back till you have him!" the Ticktockman said, very quietly, very sincerely, extremely dangerously. They used dogs. They used probes. They used cardioplate crossoffs. They used teepers. They used bribery. They used stiktytes. They used intimidation. They used torment. They used torture. They used finks. They used cops. They used search&seizure. They used fallaron. They used betterment incentive. They used fingerprints. They used the Bertillon system. They used cunning. They used guile. They used treachery. They used Raoul Mitgong, but he didn't help much. They used applied physics. They used techniques of criminology. And what the hell: they caught him.
Harlan Ellison ("Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman)
It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall, The dark threw its patches down upon me also, The best I had done seem’d to me blank and suspicious, My great thoughts as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre? Nor is it you alone who know what it is to be evil, I am he who knew what it was to be evil, I too knitted the old knot of contrariety, Blabb’d, blush’d, resented, lied, stole, grudg’d, Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak, Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant, The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me, The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting, Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting, Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest, Was call’d by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as they saw me approaching or passing, Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of their flesh against me as I sat, Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet never told them a word, Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing, sleeping, Play’d the part that still looks back on the actor or actress, The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we like, Or as small as we like, or both great and small." -from "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
He did not really mind that none of the delegates had spoken to him before leaving. But he was crushed by his failure to get them to recognize what he had long known: that without power, a people must use cunning and guile. Or were cunning and guile, based on superior understanding of a situation, themselves power? Certainly, most black people knew and used this art to survive in their everyday contacts with white people. It was only civil rights professionals who confused integrity with foolhardiness. “Faith
Sheree Renée Thomas (Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora)
The stars are spinning their threads, And the clouds are the dust that flies, And the suns are weaving them up For the time when the sleepers shall rise. The ocean in music rolls, And gems are turning to eyes, And the trees are gathering souls For the day when the sleepers shall rise. The weepers are learning to smile, And laughter to glean the sighs; Burn and bury the care and guile, For the day when the sleepers shall rise. Oh, the dews and the moths and the daisy red, The larks and the glimmers and flows! The lilies and sparrows and daily bread, And the something that nobody knows!
George MacDonald (The Princess and Curdie (Princess Irene and Curdie, #2))
The Song Of The Happy Shepherd The woods of Arcady are dead, And over is their antique joy; Of old the world on dreaming fed; Grey Truth is now her painted toy; Yet still she turns her restless head: But O, sick children of the world, Of all the many changing things In dreary dancing past us whirled, To the cracked tune that Chronos sings, Words alone are certain good. Where are now the warring kings, Word be-mockers?—By the Rood, Where are now the watring kings? An idle word is now their glory, By the stammering schoolboy said, Reading some entangled story: The kings of the old time are dead; The wandering earth herself may be Only a sudden flaming word, In clanging space a moment heard, Troubling the endless reverie. Then nowise worship dusty deeds, Nor seek, for this is also sooth, To hunger fiercely after truth, Lest all thy toiling only breeds New dreams, new dreams; there is no truth Saving in thine own heart. Seek, then, No learning from the starry men, Who follow with the optic glass The whirling ways of stars that pass— Seek, then, for this is also sooth, No word of theirs—the cold star-bane Has cloven and rent their hearts in twain, And dead is all their human truth. Go gather by the humming sea Some twisted, echo-harbouring shell. And to its lips thy story tell, And they thy comforters will be. Rewording in melodious guile Thy fretful words a little while, Till they shall singing fade in ruth And die a pearly brotherhood; For words alone are certain good: Sing, then, for this is also sooth. I must be gone: there is a grave Where daffodil and lily wave, And I would please the hapless faun, Buried under the sleepy ground, With mirthful songs before the dawn. His shouting days with mirth were crowned; And still I dream he treads the lawn, Walking ghostly in the dew, Pierced by my glad singing through, My songs of old earth’s dreamy youth: But ah! she dreams not now; dream thou! For fair are poppies on the brow: Dream, dream, for this is also sooth.
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
The New York power failure was not the first time the Hell's Angels have confounded the forces of decency and got off scot-free. They are incredibly devious. Law enforcement officials have compared their guile to that of the snipe, a wily beast that many have seen but few have ever trapped. This is because the snipe has the ability to transform himself, when facing capture, into something entirely different. The only other animals capable of this are the werewolf and the Hell's Angel, which have many traits in common. The physical resemblance is obvious, but far more important is the transmogrification factor, the strange ability to alter their own physical structure, and hence "disappear." The Hell's Angels are very close-mouthed about this, but it is a well-known fact among public officials. ... About halfway through our talk I got a strong whiff of the transmogrification factor, but I was hardly prepared for the mayor's special fillip on it. There were plenty of Hell's Angels at the riot, "but they escaped, " he explained, "behind a wall of fire." While he elaborated on this I checked my calendar to make sure I hadn't lost track of the days. If it was Sunday, perhaps he had just come back from church in a high, biblical state of mind. At any moment I expected to hear that the Angels had driven their motorcycles straight into the sea, which had rolled back to let them pass. But no, it wasn't like that. The mayor was not loath to give details of the escape; he wanted law enforcement agencies everywhere to be warned of the Angels' methods. Knowledge is power, he opined.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
What though the field be lost? All is not lost; the unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield: And what is else not to be overcome? That glory never shall his wrath or might Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee, and deify his power Who from the terror of this arm so late Doubted his empire, that were low indeed, that were an ignominy and shame beneath This downfall; since by fate the strength of gods And this empyreal substance cannot fail, Since through experience of this great event In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced, We may with more successful hope resolve To wage by force or guile eternal war Irreconcilable, to our grand Foe, Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heav'n.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deep—for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of low cunning. Said she: "Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn't it?" "Yes'm." "Powerful warm, warn't it?" "Yes'm." "Didn't you want to go in a-swimming, Tom?" A bit of a scare shot through Tom—a touch of uncomfortable suspicion. He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said: "No'm—well, not very much.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
It was a difficult time to be Irish, a difficult time to be twenty-one years of age and a difficult time to be a man who was attracted to other men. To be all three simultaneously required a level of subterfuge and guile that felt contrary to my nature. I had never considered myself to be a dishonest person, hating the idea that I was capable of such mendacity and deceit, but the more I examined the architecture of my life, the more I realized how fraudulent were its foundations. The belief that I would spend the rest of my time on earth lying to people weighed heavily on me and at such times I gave serious consideration to taking my own life. Knives frightened me, nooses horrified me and guns alarmed me, but I knew that I was not a strong swimmer. Were I to head out to Howth, for example, and throw myself into the sea, the current would quickly pull me under and there would be nothing I could do to save myself. It was an option that was always at the back of my mind
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Certain portions of the earth, escaping utter destruction, become the seedbeds for replenishing the human race, and so it happens that on a world that is not young there are young populations having no culture, whose traditions were swept away in a debacle; they wander over the earth and gradually put aside the roughness of a nomadic existence and by natural inclunation submit to communities and associations; their mode of living is at first simple, knowking no guile and strange to cunning, called in its early stage the Golden Age. [16] The more these populations progress in civilization and employment of the arts, the more easily does the spirit of rivalry creep in, at first commendable but imperceptibly changing to envy; this, then, is responsible for all the tribulations that the race suffers in subsequent ages. So much for the vicissitudes that civilizations experience, of perishing and arising again, as the world goes on unchanged. [Chapter X - 15,16]
Macrobius (Commentary on the Dream of Scipio)