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Need Help Finding a Quote (Spoiler Alert!)


Need some help again.  I’ve been googling, yahoo-ing, and bing-ing, but I just cannot find this quote that is used in Bartender.

“Instead of saying three ugly truths, it’s better to say a beautiful lie” <- something like that

It’s a quote by Francois Rabelais, but I cannot find the exact English translation anywhere.  I’m not sure if this is a quote from a work of his or maybe he just said this somewhere, but in Bartender, the author claims that Rabelais said this yet I cannot find anything similar anywhere.

I really really want to get a good translation for this, so if anyone can find out what the exact quote is, please let me know!!



I’ve spent a couple of hours searching for this quote in English, Chinese, and Japanese, and I came up with nothing.  I’m just going to translate it myself and note that I couldn’t find this quote anywhere and that the author probably made it all up.

Thanks everyone for all your efforts.  I hope there won’t be any other instances where this author just makes stuff up.  But who knows…


Categories: Bartender
  1. a
    February 18, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Hello !

    I looked for it, too, but I couldn’t even find the original quote in French.

    The most relevant I found (… and even then, some are saying the contrary…) are :

    * Un noble mensonge demande moins de force qu’une cruelle vérité. [Alain Grandbois]
    > A noble lie is easier to tell than a harsh truth.

    * Un bref mensonge vaut souvent mieux qu’une laborieuse vérité. [Pierre Charras]
    > A brief lie is often better than a laborious/toilsome truth.

    * Mieux vaut une amère vérité qu’un doux mensonge. [Proverbe russe]
    > A bitter truth is better than a sweet lie.

    * Le mensonge qui fait du bien vaut mieux que la vérité qui fait du mal. [Proverbe persan]
    > The easing lie is better than the hurting truth.

    But none of the Rabelais’ work I looked into contained something similar to your quotation 😦

    • ITO
      February 19, 2010 at 11:13 am

      The consensus at the TMBO think tank is that is a Keats quote or something similar.

  2. February 18, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Hi cityshrimp, first of all I’d like to thank you for your great work. I really enjoy reading bartender!

    I read through many quotes of Rabelais but I wasn’t able to find anything regarding lies 😦

    Cant wait for the enxt chapter, keep the good work up!

  3. Matt
    February 18, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Well you might wanna give it up.
    I certainly did.
    Guess the author made it up or simply mixed something up in the process.
    I haven’t found a single clue he said somethings even remotely related to it.
    It seemed more like he actually thought the opposite.
    But if you find something I didn’t please make a note in the release, ’cause I probably won’t forget about it soon.;)
    By the way, nice job you’re doing.^^

  4. Anon
    February 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks for the chapter, it certainly brought some nostalgia from the anime. As for the quote, “a’s” findings seem similar to the quote but probably the author misread it(there is no three truths in any of them). Still, I believe sometimes it’s better to tell a white lie than a harsh truth.

  5. Tsukasa
    February 24, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Yeah, I didn’t have any luck either. The closest I found to that quote is “I’d rather hear an ugly truth than be told a beautiful lie” but that isn’t even from Rabelais.

    Maybe he just modified the quote from an external source and put some famous writer for the quote? Or maybe it’s trying to show that the con artist is really just trying to make it appear he knows what he’s talking about when he really does. Similar to the watch and the plastic wrap. 😡

    That’s all I have to offer, keep up the great work! I love that someone is actually taking the time to translate this. The anime was highly disappointing, I’m really glad I have the manga to read again.


  6. March 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    “Is his ‘Notes’ a falsehood, or is it the truth? Is ‘Summer Flowers’ a lie, or reality? Or are both works true? Which are we to believe? In the final analysis we must read with the understanding that anything expressed in words is fictional – though it is no easy matter to do so – and concure with Rabelais’ simple yet perceptive words that one beautiful lie is better than any three truths.”

    -Takeshi Kaikō, “Hara Tamiki ‘Natsu no hana’ no baai”, pp. 138-39

    So the mangaka didn’t make it up, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true that Rabelais said it either.

  7. Conrad Carpenter
  8. SayaOtonashi
    May 11, 2016 at 3:37 am

    I think that I’ve found something… but it’s not exactly…
    “Tell the truth and shame the devil” by F.Raberlais.
    I don’t think the one who’ve said that even said: “Instead of saying three ugly truths, it’s better to say a beautiful lie” too…
    But that’s just my thinking…

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