Your source for famous proverbs
Currently featuring 40,281 quotes and sayings

Cunning quotes

The only means to gain one's ends with people are force and cunning. Love also, they say;
but that is to wait for sunshine, and life needs every moment.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering other people's weaknesses.
William Hazlitt

An animal may be ferocious and cunning enough, but it takes a real man to tell a lie.
H. G. Wells

Life is a battle of wits, and many people have to fight it unarmed.
Evan Esar

Cunning and treachery are the offspring of incapacity.
Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Cunning leads to knavery. It is but a step from one to the other, and that very slippery. Only
lying makes the difference; add that to cunning, and it is knavery.

The greatest cunning is to have none at all.
French proverb

It is sometimes necessary to play the fool to avoid being deceived by cunning men.
Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Man's unhappiness, as I construe, comes of his greatness; it is because there is an infinite
in him, which with all his cunning he cannot quite bury under the finite.
Thomas Carlyle

Cunning surpasses strength.
German proverb

Knowledge which is divorced from justice may be called cunning rather than wisdom.

Cunning is strength withheld.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not be held a cheat, even though it is impossible to live today without being one. Let your
greatest cunning lie in covering up what looks like cunning.
Baltasar Gracian

Cunning has little honor.
Danish proverb

Nature is beneficent. I praise her and all her works. She is silent and wise. She is cunning, but
for good ends. She has brought me here and will also lead me away. She may scold me, but
she will not hate her work. I trust her.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You may be too cunning for one, but not for all.
Benjamin Franklin

Cunning is but the low mimic of wisdom.

Disguise your cunning. Like a billard ball that caroms several times before it hits its target,
your moves must be planned and developed in the least obvious way. By training yourself to
be indirect, you can thrive in the modern court, appearing the paragon of decency while
being the consummate manipulator.
Robert Greene

The most cunning are the first caught.
French proverb

It is to see the faults of others, but difficult to see once own faults. One shows the faults of
others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one's own faults as a cunning
gambler conceals his dice.

The cunning of women is strong, and the cunning of the devil is weak.
Arabic proverb

The broad effects which can be obtained by punishment in man and beast, are the increase
of fear, the sharpening of the sense of cunning, the mastery of the desires; so it is that
punishment tames man, but does not make him "better."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Self-love is more cunning than the most cunning man in the world.
Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Wit is better than cunning.
German proverb

There is a cunning which we in England call "the turning of the cat in the pan;" which is,
when that which a man says to another, he lays it as if another had said it to him.
Sir Francis Bacon

No man is so much a fool as not to have wit enough sometimes to be a knave; nor any so
cunning a knave as not to have the weakness sometimes to play the fool.
George Savile

Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.
Sir Francis Bacon

Watchfulness is the only guard against cunning. Be intent on his intentions. Many succeed in
making others do their own affairs, and unless you possess the key to their motives you may
at any moment be forced to take their chestnuts out of the fire to the damage of your own
Baltasar Gracian

Cunning is followed by foolishness.
African proverb, Ovambo

The feeling of having no power over people and events is generally unbearable to us - when
we feel helpless we feel miserable. No one wants less power; everyone wants more. In the
world today, however, it is dangerous to seem too power hungry, to be overt with your
power moves. We have to seem fair and decent. So we need to be subtle - congenial yet
cunning, democratic yet devious.
Robert Greene

The weak in courage is strong in cunning.
William Blake

From a dog's point of view his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog.
Mabel L. Robinson

Every man of action has a strong dose of egoism, pride, hardness, and cunning. But all those
things will be regarded as high qualities if he can make them the means to achieve great ends.
Charles de Gaulle

Cunning is a short blanket--if you pull it over your face, you expose your feet.
Austin O'Malley

In saying what is obvious, never choose cunning. Yelling works better.
Cynthia Ozick

Women are told from their infancy, and taught by the example of their mothers, that a little
knowledge of human weakness, justly termed cunning, softness of temper, outward obedience
and a scrupulous attention to a puerile kind of propriety, will obtain for them the protection of
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

In every American there is an air of incorrigible innocence, which seems to conceal a diabolical
A. E. Housman

More are taken in by hope than by cunning.
Luc De Clapier

Many men have been capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a
generous thing.
Alexander Pope