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Quotation by Shakespeare
There are a sort of men whose visages Do cream and mantle like a standing pond, And do a willful stillness entertain, With purpose to be dressed in an opinion Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit, As who should say, "I am Sir Oracle, And when I ope my lips let no dog bark!"
William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Gratiano, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 1, l. 88-94.
The idea is that their faces take on a set expression, like the puckered or wrinkled scum on a stagnant pond; "opinion" means reputation; "conceit" means imagination.
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