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DIFFIDENCE
[ Also see Bashfulness Blushes Modesty Timidity ]

We are as often duped by diffidence as by confidence.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope

Mere bashfulness without merit is awkward.
      - Thomas Hughes

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.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Diffidence is not always innocence.
      - Madame Suzanne Curchod Necker

A tardiness in nature,
  Which often leaves the history unspoke,
    That it intends to do.
      - William Shakespeare

Diffidence is a sort of false modesty.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

Persons extremely reserved are like old enamelled watches, which had painted covers, that hindered your seeing what o'clock it was.
      - Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford


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