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CALUMNY
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[ Also see Abuse Babblers Criticism Falsehood Gossip Lying Malice Reputation Scandal Slander ]

Calumny is a vice of curious constitution; trying to kill it keeps it alive; leave it to itself and it will die a natural death.
      - Thomas Paine

Do you never look at yourself when you abuse another person?
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus)

The men who convey and those who listen to calumnies should, if I could have my way, all hang, the talebearers by their tongues, the listeners by their ears.
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus)

The pure in heart are slow to credit calumnies, because they hardly comprehend what motives can be inducements to the alleged crimes.
      - Jane Porter

Close thine ear against him that shall open his mouth secretly against another; if thou receive not his words, they fly back and wound the reporter; if thou receive them, they flee forward and wound the receiver.
      - Francis Quarles

It is like the Greek fire used in ancient warfare, which burnt unquenched beneath the water; or like the weeds which, when you have extirpated them in one place, are sprouting forth vigorously in another spot, at the distance of many hundred yards; or, to use the metaphor of St. James, it is like the wheel which catches fire as it goes, and burns with fiercer conflagration as its own speed increases.
      - Frederick William Robertson

Cutting honest throats by whispers.
      - Sir Walter Scott

Back-wounding calumny the whitest virtue strikes.
      - William Shakespeare

Calumny will sear virtue itself; these shrugs, these hums and ha's.
      - William Shakespeare

Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Laertes at I, iii)

If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, i)

No might nor greatness in mortality
  Can censure 'scape; back-wounding calumny
    The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
      Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?
      - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
         (Vincentio, the Duke at III, ii)

Praise her but for this her without-door form--
  Which on my faith deserves high speech--and straight
    The shrug, the hum or ha, these pretty brands
      That calumny doth use--O, I am out,
        That mercy does, for calumny will sear
          Virtue itself--these shrugs, these hums and ha's,
            When you have said she's goodly, come between
              Ere you can say she's honest.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Leontes at II, i)

If the calumniator bespatters and belies me, I will endeavor to convince him by my life and manners, but not by being like him.
      - Bishop Robert South

Those who ought to be secure from calumny are generally those who avoid it least.
      - Leszczynski Stanislaus ("Stanislaus I")

Neglected, calumny soon expires, show that you are hurt, and you give it the appearance of truth.
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus)

Gradual sinks the breeze
  Into a perfect calm; that not a breath
    I heard to quiver thro' the closing woods,
      Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves,
        Of aspen tall. The uncurling floods diffus'd
          In glassy breadth, seen through delusive lapse
            Forgetful of their course.
              'Tis silence all,
                And pleasing expectation.
      - James Thomson (1)


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