Echoes through time: A candour affected is a dagger concealed

I came across this last night and thought of Michael Wade’s advice, that I’d posted earlier in the day.

“How hollow and insincere it sounds when someone says, ‘I am determined to be perfectly straightforward with you.’  Why, man, what is all this?  The thing needs no prologue; it will declare itself.  It should be written on your forehead, it should echo in the tones of your voice, it should shine out in a moment from your eyes, just as a single glance from the beloved tells all to the lover.  Sincerity and goodness ought to have their own unmistakable odour, so that one who encounters this becomes straightway aware of it despite himself.  A candour affected is a dagger concealed.  The feigned friendship of the wolf is the most contemptible of all, and to be shunned beyond everything.  A man who is truly good and sincere and well-meaning will show it by his looks, and no one can fail to see it.”

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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