This quote is about honesty.
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Source Notes: Source: OVID.Henry T. Riley, A Dictionary of Latin and Greek Quotations, Proverbs, Maxims and Mottos, p. 138 .This is a translation of Ovids gratis paenitet esse probum from his Ex Ponto, book 2, chapter 3. The translation in Bartletts Familiar Quotations, 15th ed., p. 114 reads: It is annoying to be honest to no purpose.
Engraved frontispiece of George Sandys's 1632 London edition of Ovids Metamorphosis Englished.