Quotations and Authors:

What shall I need to draw my sword? The paper
Hath cut her throat already. No, ’tis slander,
Whose edge is sharper than the sword,
whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
Rides on the posting winds and doth belie
All corners of the world.
Kings, queens, and states,
Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave,
This viperous slander enters. What cheer, madam?

The heaviness and guilt within my bosom
Takes off my manhood. I have belied a lady,
The Princess of this country, and the air on’t
Revengingly enfeebles me;
or could this carl,
A very drudge of nature’s, have subdu’d me
In my profession? Knighthoods and honours borne
As I wear mine are titles but of scorn.
If that thy gentry, Britain, go before
This lout as he exceeds our lords, the odds
Is that we scarce are men, and you are gods.

Cymbeline Shakespeare, William 1611

Belie and Belied in Shakespeare.

They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:

The King James Bible Literature of the Sacred 1611

Dull heape, that thus thy head aboue the rest doost reare,
Precisely yet not know’st who first did place thee there;
But Traytor basely turn’d to Merlins skill doost flie,
And with his Magiques doost thy Makers truth belie
Conspirator with Time, now growen so meane and poore,
Comparing these his spirits with those that went before;
Yet rather art content thy Builders praise to lose,
Then passed greatnes should thy present wants disclose.

Poly-Olbion Drayton, Michael 1612

Now hear me:
You live in a rank pasture, here, i’ the court;
There is a kind of honey-dew that ‘s deadly;
‘T will poison your fame; look to ‘t. Be not cunning;
For they whose faces do belie their hearts
Are witches ere they arrive at twenty years
Ay, and give the devil suck.

The Duchess of Malfi Webster, John 1613

The wife of Bath in Chaucer confesseth all this out of her experience.

Some folk desire us for riches.
Some for shape, some for fairness,
Some for that she can sing or dance.
Some for gentleness, or for dalliance.

5088 Peter Aretine’s Lucretia telleth as much and more of herself, “I counterfeited honesty, as if I had been virgo virginissima, more than a vestal virgin, I looked like a wife, I was so demure and chaste, I did add such gestures, tunes, speeches, signs and motions upon all occasions, that my spectators and auditors were stupefied, enchanted, fastened all to their places, like so many stocks and stones.” Many silly gentlewomen are fetched over in like sort, by a company of gulls and swaggering companions, that frequently belie noblemen’s favours, rhyming Coribantiasmi, Thrasonean Rhadomantes or Bombomachides, that have nothing in them but a few player’s ends and compliments, vain braggadocians, impudent intruders, that can discourse at table of knights and lords’ combats, like 5089 Lucian’s Leonitiscus, of other men’s travels, brave adventures, and such common trivial news, ride, dance, sing old ballad tunes, and wear their clothes in fashion, with a good grace; a fine sweet gentleman, a proper man, who could not love him! She will have him though all her friends say no, though she beg with him. Some again are incensed by reading amorous toys, Amadis de Gaul, Palmerin de Oliva, the Knight of the Sun, &c., or hearing such tales of 5090 lovers, descriptions of their persons, lascivious discourses, such as Astyanassa, Helen’s waiting-woman, by the report of Suidas, writ of old, de variis concubitus modis, and after her Philenis and Elephantine; o rthose light tracts of 5091Aristides Milesius (mentioned by Plutarch) and found by the Persians in Crassus’ army amongst the spoils, Aretine’s dialogues, with ditties, love songs, &c., must needs set them on fire, withsuch like pictures, as those of Aretine, or wanton objects of what kindsoever; “no stronger engine than to hear or read of love toys, fables anddiscourses” (5092one saith) “and many by this means are quite mad.”

It is an ordinary thing too in this case to belie their age, which widows usually do, that mean to marry again, and bachelors too sometimes, 5175 “Cujus octavum trepidavit aetas, cernere lustrum;” to say they are younger than they are. Carmides in the said Lucian loved Philematium, an old maid of forty-five years; 5176 she swore to him she was but thirty-two next December. But to dissemble in this kind, is familiar of all sides, and often it takes. 5177 Fallere credentem res est operosa puellam, ’tis soon done, no such great mastery, Egregiam vero laudem, et spolia ampla,–and nothing so frequent as to belie their estates, to prefer their suits, and to advance themselves. Many men to fetch over a young woman, widows, or whom they love, will not stick to crack, forge and feign any thing comes next, bid his boy fetch his cloak, rapier, gloves, jewels, &c. in such a chest, scarlet-golden-tissue breeches, &c. when there is no such matter; or make any scruple to give out, as he did in Petronius, that he was master of a ship, kept so many servants, and to personate their part the better take upon them to be gentlemen of good houses, well descended and allied, hire apparel at brokers, some scavenger or prick-louse tailors to attend upon them for the time, swear they have great possessions, 5178bribe, lie, cog, and foist how dearly they love, how bravely they will maintain her, like any lady, countess, duchess, or queen; they shall have gowns, tiers, jewels, coaches, and caroches, choice diet,

“The heads of parrots, tongues of nightingales,
The brains of peacocks, and of ostriches,
Their bath shall be the juice of gilliflowers,
Spirit of roses and of violets,
The milk of unicorns,” &c.

as old Volpone courted Celia in the 5179 comedy, when as they are no such men, not worth a groat, but mere sharkers, to make a fortune, to get their desire, or else pretend love to spend their idle hours, to be more welcome, and for better entertainment.

The Anatomy of Melancholy Burton, Robert 1621

Belie in The Anatomy of Melancholy.

“Encrease and multiply,” was heav’n’s command,
And that’s a text I clearly understand.
This too, “Let men their sires and mothers leave,
And to their dearer wives for ever cleave.” 20
More wives than one by Solomon were tried,
Or else the wisest of mankind’s belied
I’ve had myself full many a merry fit;
And trust in heav’n I may have many yet.
For when my transitory spouse, unkind, 25
Shall die, and leave his woeful wife behind,
I’ll take the next good Christian I can find.

The Wife of Bath, an Imitation by Pope Chaucer, Geoffrey 1705

Revenge from some baneful corner shall level a tale of dishonour at thee, which no innocence of heart or integrity of conduct shall set right. —-The fortunes of thy house shall totter, –thy character, which led the way to them, shall bleed on every side of it, –thy faith questioned, –thy works belied, –thy wit forgotten, –thy learning trampled on. To wind up the last scene of thy tragedy, CRUELTY and COWARDICE, twin ruffians, hired and set on by MALICE in the dark, shall strike together at all thy infirmities and mistakes: —-The best of us, my dear lad, lie open there, —-and trust me, —-trust me, Yorick, when to gratify a private appetite, it is once resolved upon, that an innocent and an helpless creature shall be sacrificed, ’tis an easy matter to pick up sticks enough from any thicket where it has strayed, to make a fire to offer it up with.

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Sterne, Laurence 1767

The loud demand from year to year the same,
Beggars invention and makes fancy lame,
‘Till farce itself most mournfully jejune,
Calls for the kind assistance of a tune,
And novels (witness ev’ry month’s review)
Belie their name and offer nothing new

Poems Cowper, William 1782

And I have acted well my part,
And made my cheek belie my heart,
Returned the freezing glance she gave,
Yet felt the while that woman’s slave;–

Poems Byron, George Gordon ~1809 – 1816

Belie and Belied in Byron.

It must be late; mine eyes grow weary dim 175
With unaccustomed heaviness of sleep.
Conscience! Oh, thou most insolent of lies!
They say that sleep, that healing dew of Heaven,
Steeps not in balm the foldings of the brain
Which thinks thee an impostor. I will go 180
First to belie thee with an hour of rest,
Which will be deep and calm, I feel: and then…
O, multitudinous Hell, the fiends will shake
Thine arches with the laughter of their joy!

There shall be lamentation heard in Heaven 185
As o’er an angel fallen; and upon Earth
All good shall droop and sicken, and ill things
Shall with a spirit of unnatural life,
Stir and be quickened…even as I am now.

The Cenci Shelley, Percy Bysshe 1819

Zella, strange to say, for her blue eyes and brilliant complexion belied her birth, was the daughter of a Mainote: yet dreaded and abhorred by the rest of the world as are the inhabitants of Cape Tænarus, they are celebrated for their domestic virtues and the strength of their private attachments. Zella loved her father, and the memory of her rugged rocky home, from which she had been torn in an adverse hour. Near neighbours of the Mainotes, dwelling in the ruder and wildest portion of Maina, are the Kakovougnis, a dark suspicious race, of squat and stunted form, strongly contrasted with the tranquil cast of countenance characteristic of the Mainote.

Our conversation belied our feelings: we spoke as if we expected all to be well; we felt that there was no hope.

Tales and Stories Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft ~1820 – 1840

Not seldom Pierre’s social placidity was ruffled by polite entreaties from the young ladies that he would be pleased to grace their Albums with some nice little song. We say that here his social placidity was ruffled; for the true charm of agreeable parlor society is, that there you lose your own sharp individuality and become delightfully merged in that soft social Pantheism, as it were, that rosy melting of all into one, ever prevailing in those drawing-rooms, which pacifically and deliciously belie their own name; inasmuch as there no one draws the sword of his own individuality, but all such ugly weapons are left–as of old–with your hat and cane in the hall. It was very awkward to decline the albums; but somehow it was still worse, and peculiarly distasteful for Pierre to comply. With equal justice apparently, you might either have called this his weakness or his idiosyncrasy. He summoned all his suavity, and refused.

Pierre; or The Ambiguities Melville, Herman 1852

Belie in Melville.

All that evening I waited, trusting in the dove-sent olive-leaf, yet in the midst of my trust, terribly fearing. My fear pressed heavy. Cold and peculiar, I knew it for the partner of a rarely-belied presentiment. The first hours seemed long and slow; in spirit I clung to the flying skirts of the last. They passed like drift cloud–like the wrack scudding before a storm. They passed. All the long, hot summer day burned away like a Yule-log; the crimson of its close perished; I was left bent among the cool blue shades, over the pale and ashen gleams of its night.

Villette Brontë, Charlotte 1853

Be mine a philosopher’s life in the quiet woodland ways,
Where if I cannot be gay let a passionless peace be my lot,
Far-off from the clamour of liars belied in the hubbub of lies;
From the long-neck’d geese of the world that are ever hissing dispraise
Because their natures are little, and, whether he heed it or not,
Where each man walks with his head in a cloud of poisonous flies.

Maud Tennyson, Alfred 1855

And when the fugitives were found at last,
Why, with them were found also, to belie
What protest they might make of innocence
All documents yet wanting, if need were,
To establish guilt in them, disgrace in me–
The chronicle o’ the converse from its rise
To culmination in this outrage: read!

The Ring and the Book Browning, Robert 1869

His face, with its rounded surfaces, and the sanguine innocence of a complexion belied by prematurely astute black eyes, had a look of jovial cunning which Undine had formerly thought “smart” but which now struck her as merely vulgar. She felt that in the Marvell set Elmer Moffatt would have been stamped as “not a gentleman.” Nevertheless something in his look seemed to promise the capacity to develop into any character he might care to assume; though it did not seem probable that, for the present, that of a gentleman would be among them.

The Custom of the Country Wharton, Edith 1913

On the steps of the Paris stock exchange the goldskinned men quoting prices on their gemmed fingers. Gabble of geese. They swarmed loud, uncouth about the temple, their heads thickplotting under maladroit silk hats. Not theirs: these clothes, this speech, these gestures. Their full slow eyes belied the words, the gestures eager and unoffending, but knew the rancours massed about them and knew their zeal was vain. Vain patience to heap and hoard. Time surely would scatter all. A hoard heaped by the roadside: plundered and passing on. Their eyes knew their years of wandering and, patient, knew the dishonours of their flesh.

Ulysses Joyce, James 1920

Belie and Belied in Joyce.

It was Sunday, and a lovely sunny day of Australian winter. Manly is the bathing suburb of Sydney–one of them. You pass quite close to the wide harbour gate, The Heads, on the ferry steamer. Then you land on the wharf, and walk up the street, like a bit of Margate with sea-side shops and restaurants, till you come out on a promenade at the end, and there is the wide Pacific rolling in on the yellow sand: the wide fierce sea, that makes all the built-over land dwindle into non-existence. At least there was a heavy swell on, so the Pacific belied its name and crushed the earth with its rollers. Perhaps the heavy, earth-despising swell is part of its pacific nature.

Kangaroo Lawrence, D. H. 1923