C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Black detraction will find faults where they are not.


  • The low desire, the base design
  • That makes another’s virtues less.
  • Longfellow.

  • Detraction’s a bold monster, and fears not
  • To wound the fame of princes, if it find
  • But any blemish in their lives to work on.
  • Massinger.

  • A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
  • At every word a reputation dies.
  • Pope.

  • Mankind praise against their will,
  • And mix as much detraction as they can.
  • Dr. Young.

  • ’Tis not the wholesome sharp morality,
  • Or modest anger of a satiric spirit,
  • That hurts or wounds the body of a state,
  • But the sinister application
  • Of the malicious, ignorant, and base
  • Interpreter, who will distort and strain
  • The general scope and purpose of an author
  • To his particular and private spleen.
  • Ben Jonson.