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quotations about innocence

Innocence quote

When we take revenge against another, we lose some of our innocence.

PATRICE REDD VECCHIONE, Revenge and Forgiveness

Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.

GRAHAM GREENE, The Quiet American

Ignorance is not innocence but sin.


It’s innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn’t.

MIGNON MCLAUGHLIN, The Neurotic's Notebook

Go in thy native innocence, rely
On what thou hast of virtue, summon all,
For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine.

JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost

All things truly wicked start from an innocence.


Innocence is the weakest defense. Innocence has a single voice that can only say over and over again, "I didn't do it." Guilt has a thousand voices, all of them lies.

LEONARD F. PELTIER, Prison Writings

Unfortunately the innocent are always involved in any conflict. Always, everywhere, there is some voice crying from a tower.

GRAHAM GREENE, The Quiet American

Birds do not sing in caves, nor do doves cherish their innocence in dovecots.


An innocent man is a sin before God. Inhuman and therefore untrustworthy. No man should live without absorbing the sins of his kind, the foul air of his innocence, even if it did wilt rows of angel trumpets and cause them to fall from their vines.


I used to be Snow White -- but I drifted.

MAE WEST, The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West

We each begin in innocence.
We all become guilty.

LEONARD F. PELTIER, Prison Writings

No acquisitions of guilt can compensate the loss of that solid inward comfort of mind, which is the sure companion of innocence and virtue; nor can in the least balance the evil of that horror and anxiety which, in their room, guilt introduces into our bosoms.



The presumption of innocence only means you don't go right to jail.

ANN COULTER, Hannity & Colmes, Aug. 24, 2001

Always the innocent are the first victims.... So it has been for ages past, so it is now.

J. K. ROWLING, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Ignorance is learned; innocence is forgotten.

JOSÉ BERGAMÍN, The Rocket and the Star

Justice is always violent to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.

DANIEL DEFOE, Shortest Way with Dissenters

Justice is the virtue that innocence rejoiceth in.


It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.

WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, Commentaries on the Laws of England

There is but one resource for innocence among men or women, and that is an embargo upon all commerce of bad men.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

No security of mind is so salutary as that of innocence: guilt, however confident, has inexorable fears.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

Innocence tinctures all things with brightest hues.


O Innocence, with laughing eyes!
Thou art a cherub from the skies,
A wanderer from heaven.

HARVEY RICE, "Innocence"

The worst of us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be.

WALT DISNEY, A Walt Disney World Resort Outing

Innocence is its own defense.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733

Every person that comes into this earth ... is born sweet and full of love. A little child loves ever'body, friends, and its nature is sweetness -- until something happens. Something happens, friends, I don't need to tell people like you that can think for theirselves. As that little child gets bigger, its sweetness don't show so much, cares and troubles come to perplext it, and all its sweetness is driven inside it. Then it gets miserable and lonesome and sick, friends. It says, 'Where is all my sweetness gone? Where are all the friends that loved me?' and all the time, that little beat-up rose of its sweetness is inside, not a petal dropped.


The sweet converse of an innocent mind.

JOHN KEATS, "Sonnet to Solitude"

Behind innocence there gathers a clotted mass of superstition, of twisted and misdirected impulse; clandestine flirtation, fads, and ragtime fill the unventilated mind.

WALTER LIPPMANN, Drift and Mastery

Blushes are the sign of guilt; true innocence is ashamed of nothing.


It is a blessing not yet to have acquired that over-keen, diagnostic, misanthropic eye, and to be able to look at people and things trustfully when one first sees them.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Beware of Pity

A new life is innocent, like an empty page, ready for the hard lessons ahead.

GENNITA LOW, Facing Fear

To vice, innocence must always seem only a superior kind of chicanery.

OUIDA, Two Little Wooden Shoes


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