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[ Also see Babblers Busybodies Calumny Dirt Disgrace Gossip Honor Injury Insult Lying Malice Names Reputation Ridicule Rumor Satire Shame Slander Society Talk Tattling Words ]

It generally takes its rise either from an ill-will to mankind, a private inclination to make ourselves esteemed, an ostentation of wit, and vanity of being thought in the secrets of the world; or from a desire of gratifying any of these dispositions of mind in those persons with whom we converse.
      - Joseph Addison

If hours did not hang heavy, what would become of scandal?
      - George Bancroft

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice;
  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
      - Bible, Ephesians (ch. IV, v. 31-32)

Be deaf unto the suggestions of tale-bearers, calumniators, pick-thank or malevolent detractors, who, while quiet men sleep, sowing the tares of discord and division, distract the tranquillity of charity and all friendly society. These are the tongues that set the world on fire--cankerers of reputation, and, like that of Jonah's gourd, wither a good name in a single night.
      - Sir Thomas Browne

Scandal has something so piquant, it is a sort of cayenne to the mind.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Skilled by a touch to deepen scandal's tints,
  With all the kind mendacity of hints,
    While mingling truth with falsehood, sneers with smiles,
      A thread of candor with a web of wiles;
        A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming,
          To hide her bloodless heart's soul-harden'd scheming;
            A lap of lies, a face formed to conceal;
              And, without feeling, mock at all who feel:
                With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown,
                  A cheek of parchment, and an eye of stone.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

The circle smil'd, then whisper'd, and then sneer'd;
  The misses bridled, and the matrons frown'd;
    Some hoped things might not turn out as they fear'd;
      Some would not deem such women could be found;
        Some ne'er believ'd one half of what they heard;
          Some look'd perplex'd, and others look'd profound;
            And several pitied, with sincere regret,
              Poor Lord Augustus Fitz-Plantagenet.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Dead scandals form good subjects for dissection.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto I, st. 31)

A man dishonored is worse than dead.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

Scandal is what one-half the world takes pleasure in inventing, and the other half in believing.
      - Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)

Scandal is the sport of its authors, the dread of fools, and the contempt of the wise.
      - William Benton Clulow

To converse with Scandal is to play at Losing Loadum, you must lose a good name to him, before you can win it for yourself.
      - William Congreve, Love for Love
         (act I, sc. 2),
        "Losing Loadum" is an old game which one plays to lose tricks

Flavia, most tender of her own good name, is rather careless of a sister's fame.
      - William Cowper

Assail'd by scandal and the tongue of strife,
  His only answer was a blameless life;
    And he that forged, and he that threw the dart,
      Had each a brother's interest in his heart.
      - William Cowper, Hope (l. 570)

I find great numbers of moderately good people who think it fine to talk scandal. They regard it as a sort of evidence of their own goodness.
      - Rev. Frederick William Faber

On eagle's wings immortal scandals fly, while virtue's actions are but born and die.
      - Stephen Harvey

No one loves to tell of scandal except to him who loves to hear it. Learn, then, to rebuke and check the detracting tongue by showing that you do not listen to it with pleasure.
      - Saint Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius, called Hieronymus)

As every one is pleased with imagining that he knows something not yet commonly divulged, secret history easily gains credit; but it is for the most part believed only while it circulates in whispers, and when once it is openly told, is openly refuted.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

There's a lust in man, no charm can tame, of loudly publishing our neighbor's shame.
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)

And there's a lust in man no charm can tame
  Of loudly publishing our neighbour's shame;
    On eagles' wings immortal scandals fly,
      While virtuous actions are but borne to die.
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
         (IX), (Harvey's translation)

And though you duck them ne'er so long,
  Not one salt drop e'er wets their tongue;
    On eagles' wings immortal scandals fly,
      While virtuous actions are but borne to die.
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
         (IX), (Harvey's translation)

Socrates, when informed of some derogating speeches one had used concerning him behind his back, made only this facetious reply, "Let him beat me too when I am absent.
      - Jean de la Fontaine

These are the spiders of society;
  They weave their petty webs of lies and sneers,
    And lie themselves in ambush for the spoil,
      The web seems fair, and glitters in the sun,
        And the poor victim winds him in the toil
          Before he dreams of danger or of death.
      - Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Mrs. George MacLean)

Queen Mary had a way of interrupting tattle about elopements, duels, and play debts, by asking the tattlers, very quietly yet significantly, whether they had ever read her favorite sermon--Dr. Tillotson on Evil Speaking.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

The scandal of the world is what makes the offence; it is not sinful to sin in silence.
      - Moliere (pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin)

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