he who excuses, accuses himself

Cf. L. dum excusare credis, accusas, while you believe you excuse, you accuse; Fr. qui s’excuse, s’accuse.

1611 R. COTGRAVE Dict. French & English s.v. Excuser, Some when they mean to excuse, accuse, themselues.

1884 J. PAYN Canon’s Ward II. xxxi. It is very difficult for a person in my position to excuse without accusing himself, but I should like you to feel that Miss Gilbert’s fortune has formed no part of her attraction for me.

1936 J. STAGGE Murder gone to Earth vi. She spoke with such venom that I remembered the good old French proverb of ‘he who excuses, accuses himself.’

1968 G. WAGNER Elegy for Corsica xi. The tests would be underground, every precaution taken, impossible to contaminate anything. One had heard these pleas before..Who excuses himself accuses himself.


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