‘Tell The Truth And Shame The Devil’, is a very old saying. Shakespeare used it. Hugh Latimer, one time time Bishop of Worcester, is recorded as having quoted it in 1555, and it was noted then as being already a ‘well known saying.’
But what exactly might have been the sentiment behind it? There are times when common sense, tact, wit, grace and compassion depends on the wriggle room of the Little White Lie. Absolute rigour in truth at all times regardless of circumstances is, to say the least, charmless and socially unskilful.
In a reading, clues alerting me to the fact that the person I am reading for is not telling me the whole truth, while at the same time absolutely expecting me to see clearly on their behalf, are these tarot cards:
The Magician, The Moon, Justice Reversed, Judgement Reversed, The Seven of Swords, and The Devil.
I find people true and sincere in the main. Very movingly so at times, but I’m not likely to forget the reading challenges that the Artful Fibsters pose in a hurry. They want you to see clearly for them, while deliberately throwing dust in your eyes. Could the original meaning of this saying, <b>Tell the Truth and Shame The Devil </b> have been:
See if you can’t put him to shame, by means of your good example? (Is it likely shame is on his menu?)
Make even him cringe with the awfulness of the transgression you’re owning up to?
(You did what?? You didn’t??? I have been outperformed. I’ve come over all faint. Pass me my sulphur’. What brand new wickedness could there be it/s/he hasn’t thought of already?)
I jest, and it’s rare I’ve met a real out and out liar, and not for a long while. I sense trouble now and head those people off now rather than deal with them. But I have met them, in my early days of reading, and what a waste of time and energy it can be. Telling the Truth cuts the Gordion Knot.
It cuts the cr*p.
Truth saves Time.