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RUMOR
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[ Also see Babblers Busybodies Fame Gossip News Reputation Scandal Slander Story Telling Talking Tattling Tongue Truth ]

Many a wretch has rid on a hurdle who has done less mischief than utterers of forged tales, coiners of scandal, and clippers of reputation.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

How violently do rumors blow the sails of popular judgments! How few there be that can discern between truth and truth-likeness, between shows and substance!
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

The tale-bearer and the tale-hearer should be both hanged up, back to back, one by the tongue, the other by the ear.
      - Bishop Robert South

What some invent the rest enlarge.
      - Jonathan Swift, Journal of a Modern Lady

The rolling fictions grow in strength and size,
  Each author adding to the former lies.
      - Jonathan Swift, Tr. of Ovid--Examiner
         (no. 15)

Every rumor is believed against the unfortunate.
  [Lat., Ad calamitatem quilibet rumor valet.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Rumor does not always err; it sometimes even elects a man.
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus),
        Agricola (IX)

There is nothing which cannot be perverted by being told badly.
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer), Phormio
         (act IV)

It flourishes by its very activity, and gains new strength by its movements.
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil)

It (rumour) has a hundred tongues, a hundred mouths, a voice of iron.
  [Lat., Linguae centum sunt, oraque centum
    Ferrea vox.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        Georgics (II, 44), (adapted)

Straightway throughout the Libyan cities flies rumor;--the report of evil things than which nothing is swifter; it flourishes by its very activity and gains new strength by its movements; small at first through fear, it soon raises itself aloft and sweeps onward along the earth. Yet its head reaches the clouds. . . . A huge and horrid monster covered with many feathers: and for every plume a sharp eye, for every pinion a biting tongue. Everywhere its voices sound, to everything its ears are open.
  [Lat., Extemplo Libyae magnas it Fama per urbes:
    Fama malum quo non velocius ullum;
      Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo;
        Parva metu primo; mox sese attollit in auras,
          Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubilia condit.
            . . . .
              Monstrum, horrendum ingens; cui quot sunt corpore plumae
                Tot vigiles oculi subter, mirabile dictu,
                  Tot linquae, totidem ora sonant, tot subrigit aures.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        The Aeneid (IV, 173)

The rumor forthwith flies abroad, dispersed throughout the small town.
  [Lat., Fama volat parvam subito vulgata per urbem.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        The Aeneid (VIII, 554)


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