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To be rather than to seem.
[Lat., Esse quam videri.]
- Aeschylus, Siege of Thebes
Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen.
Some men, like modern shops, hang everything in their show windows; when one goes inside, nothing is to be found.
- Berthold Auerbach
There is less in this than meets the eye.
- Tallulah Bankhead
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
- Bible, John (ch. VII, v. 24)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
- Bible, Matthew (ch. XXIII, v. 27)
Thy neck is a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.
- Bible, Song of Solomon (ch. VII, v. 4)
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursel's as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!
- Robert Burns, To a Louse
Think not I am what I appear.
- Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
Bride of Abydos (canto I, sc. 12)
As large as life, and twice as natural.
- Lewis Carroll (pseudonym of Charles L. Dodgson),
Through the Looking Glass (ch. VII)
All that glisters is not gold.
- Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
Don Quixote (pt. II, ch. XXXIII)
Surely you will not calculate any essential difference from mere appearances; for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over brackish depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace. You know that the bosom can ache beneath diamond brooches; and how many blithe hearts dance under coarse wool!
- Edwin Hubbell Chapin
The bosom can ache beneath diamond brooches; and many a blithe heart dances under coarse wool.
- Edwin Hubbell Chapin
Habit maketh no monke, ne wearing of guilt spurs maketh no knight.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, Testament of Love
(Thomas Usk, Chaucer's contemporary, is generally accepted as author)
But every thyng which schyneth as the gold,
Nis nat gold, as that I have herd it told.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
(preamble, l. 17,362),
The Canon's Yeoman's Tale
Hyt is not al golde that glareth.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The House of Fame
(bk. I, l. 272)
Polished brass will pass upon more people than rough gold.
- 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope
Appearances to save, his only care;
So things seem right, no matter what they are.
- Charles Churchill, The Rosciad (l. 299)
It is not every man that can afford to wear a shabby coat; and worldly wisdom dictates to her disciples the propriety of dressing somewhat beyond their means, but of living somewhat within them,--for every one, sees how we dress, but none see how we live, except we choose to let them. But the truly great are, by universal suffrage, exempted from these trammels, an may live or dress as they please.
- Charles Caleb Colton
Everything is not gold that one sees shining.
[Fr., Que tout n'est pas or c'on voit luire.]
- Freire Denise Cordelier,
Li Diz de freire Denise Cordelier
'Tis not the fairest form that holds
The mildest, purest soul within;
'Tis not the richest plant that holds
The sweetest fragrance in.
- Charles Gates Dawes
Her by her sight; her pure and eloquent blood
Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought
That one might almost say her body thought.
- Dr. John Donne,
Funeral Elegies--Of the Progress of the Soul--Death of Mistress Elizabeth Drury
He has, I know not what
Of greatness in his looks, and of high fate
That almost awes me.
- John Dryden
That gloomy outside, like a rusty chest, contains the shoring treasure of a soul resolved and brave.
- John Dryden
All, as they say, that glitters is not gold.
- John Dryden, Hind and the Panther
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