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[ Also see Abuse Accusation Babblers Busybodies Calumny Detraction Falsehood Flattery Gossip Humor Injury Insult Lying Malice Names Praise Reputation Ridicule Rumor Satire Scandal Speech Talk Tattling Tongue Words ]

For enemies carry about slander not in the form in which it took its rise. . . . The scandal of men is everlasting; even then does it survive when you would suppose it to be dead.
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus), Persa
         (act III, sc. 1), (Riley's translation)

Your tittle-tattlers, and those who listen to slander, by my good will should all be hanged--the former by their tongues, the latter by the ears.
  [Lat., Homines qui gestant, quique auscultant crimina,
    Si meo arbitratu liceat, omnes pendeant,
      Gestores linguis, auditores auribus.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus), Pseudolus
         (I, 5, 12)

To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.
      - Edgar Allan Poe

'Twas slander filled her mouth with lying words;
  Slander, the foulest whelp of Sin.
      - Robert Pollok, Course of Time
         (bk. VIII, l. 725)

Set a watch over thy mouth, and keep the door of thy lips, for a tale-bearer is worse than a thief.
      - Proverb

If any speak ill of thee, flee home to thy own conscience, and examine thy heart: if thou be guilty, it is a just correction; if not guilty, it is a fair instruction: make use of both; so shalt thou distil honey out of gall, and out of an open enemy create a secret friend.
      - Francis Quarles

What indulgence does the world extend to those evil-speakers who, under the mask of friendship, stab indiscriminately with the keen, though rusty blade of slander!
      - Madame Jeanne Marie Phlipon de La Platiere Roland

What is slander? A verdict of "guilty" pronounced in the absence of the accused, with closed doors, without defense or appeal, by an interested and prejudiced judge.
      - Joseph Roux

It is a busy talking world,
  That with licentious breath blows like the wind
    As freely on the palace, as the cottage.
      - Nicholas Rowe

Malicious slander never would have leisure
  To search, with prying eyes, for faults abroad,
    If all, like me, consider'd their own hearts,
      And wept the sorrows which they found at home.
      - Nicholas Rowe

When a mean wretch cannot vie with another in virtue, out of his wickedness he begins to slander. The abject envious wretch will slander the virtuous man when absent, but when brought face to face his loquacious tongue becomes dumb.
      - Moslih Eddin (Muslih-un-Din) Saadi (Sadi)

Slander is a vice that strikes a double blow, wounding both him that commits and him against whom it is committed.
      - Bernard Joseph Saurin

Those who murder fame
  Kill more than life destroyers.
      - Richard Savage

Oh! many a shaft, at random sent,
  Finds mark the archer little meant;
    And many a word, at random spoken,
      May soothe or wound a heart that's broken.
      - Sir Walter Scott

On Rumor's tongue continual slanders ride.
      - William Shakespeare

One doth not know
  How much an ill word may empoison liking.
      - William Shakespeare

Read not my blemishes in the world's report.
      - William Shakespeare

Slander lives upon succession, forever housed where it gets possession.
      - William Shakespeare

Slander'd to death by villains,
  That dare as well answer a man indeed
    As I dare take a serpent by the tongue:
      Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops!
      - William Shakespeare

Slander's mark was ever yet the fair;
  The ornament of beauty is suspect,
    A crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air,
      So thou be good, slander doth but approve
        Thy worth the greater.
      - William Shakespeare

  Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
    Out-venoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
      Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
        All corners of the world: kings, queens, and states,
          Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
            This viperous slander enters.
      - William Shakespeare

Slander, whose whisper over the world's diameter, as level as the cannon to its blank, transports its poisoned shot.
      - William Shakespeare

The best way is to slander Valentine with falsehood, cowardice, and poor descent,--three things that women highly hold in hate.
      - William Shakespeare

There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail.
      - William Shakespeare

Thou wrong'st a gentleman who is as far from thy report as thou from honor.
      - William Shakespeare

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