He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truth without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.

tagged: honesty, truth

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More from Thomas Jefferson

When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825