In law, treason
is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation or state. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor.
- Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
- Sir John Harington, Epigrams, Book iv, Epistle 5. Compare: "Prosperum ac felix scelus/ Virtus vocatur" ("Successful and fortunate crime/ is called virtue"), Seneca, Herc. Furens, ii. 250.
- The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.
- If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.
- All men should have a drop of treason in their veins, if the nations are not to go soft like so many sleepy pears.
- Dame Rebecca West, "The Meaning of Treason" (Revised edition, Penguin Books, 1965), Conclusion, p. 413.
- America's state religion, is patriotism, a phenomenon which has convinced many of the citizenry that "treason" is morally worse than murder or rape.
- Bad literature is a form of treason.
- Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third ...may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.
- Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.
- I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature, to make any man's virtues the means of deceiving him.
- In monarchy the crime of treason may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.
- Ingratitude is treason to mankind.
- New opinions often appear first as jokes and fancies, then as blasphemies and treason, then as questions open to discussion, and finally as established truths.
- This principle is old, but true as fate, Kings may love treason, but the traitor hate.
- Truth is a trust, [whereas] falsehood [is] treason.
- Treason is a charge invented by winners as an excuse for hanging the losers.