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[ Also see Babblers Calumny Conversation Malice Names News Reputation Rumor Scandal Slander Sneer Society Speech Talk Talking Tittle-tattle Tongue Words ]

Gossip, like ennui, is born of idleness.
      - Ninon de L'Enclos (real name Anne L'Enclos)

If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me.
      - Mrs. Alice Roosevelt Longworth

If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.
      - Mrs. Alice Roosevelt Longworth

He's gone, and who knows how may he report
  Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
      - John Milton, Samson Agonistes (l. 1,350)

You do not know it but you are the talk of all the town.
  [Lat., Fabula (nec sentis) tota jactaris in urba.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Art of Love
         (III, 1, 21)

I lay it down as a fact that if all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.
      - Blaise Pascal

I take it as a matter not to be disputed, that if all knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. This seems proved by the quarrels and disputes caused by the disclosures which are occasionally made.
      - Blaise Pascal

If all persons knew what they said of each other there would not be four friends in the world.
      - Blaise Pascal

It is only before those who are glad to hear it, and anxious to spread it, that we find it easy to speak ill of others.
      - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn

Tattletales, and those who listen to their slander, by my good will, should all be hanged. The former by their tongues, the latter by their ears.
  [Lat., Homines qui gestant, quique auscultant crimina, si meo arbitratu liceat, omnes pendeant gestores linguis, auditores auribus.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus)

Such as are still observing upon others are like those who are always abroad at other men's houses, reforming everything there while their own runs to ruin.
      - Alexander Pope

Let the greater part of the news thou hearest be the least part of what thou believest.
      - Francis Quarles

Of every ten persons who talk about you, nine will say something bad, and the tenth will say something good in a bad way.
      - Antoine de Rivarol, Comte de Rivarol

The subtle sauce of malice is often indulged in by maidens of uncertain age, over their tea.
      - Antoine de Rivarol, Comte de Rivarol

No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
      - Bertrand Arthur William Russell

A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
      - William Shakespeare

A long-tongued, babbling gossip.
      - William Shakespeare

How much an ill word may empoison liking!
      - William Shakespeare

Foul whisp'rings are abroad.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Doctor of Physic at V, i)

But that your royal pleasure must be done,
  This act is as an ancient tale new told,
    And in the last repeating troublesome,
      Being urged at a time unreasonable.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life and Death of King John
         (Pembroke at IV, ii)

(Salerio:) . . . if my gossip Report be an honest woman of her word.
  (Solanio:) I would she were as lying a gossip in that as ever knapped ginger or made her neighbors believe she wept for the death of a third husband.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Salerio & Solanio at III, i)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Old maids sweeten their tea with scandal.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Too many individuals are like Shakespeare's definition of "echo,"--babbling gossips of the air.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Tale-bearers, as I said before, are just as bad as the tale-makers.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

I heard the little bird say so.
      - Jonathan Swift, Letter to Stella

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