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

Reproof (See Reproach)

Reproof on her lip, but a smile in her eye.

Samuel Lover.

Reprove thy friend privately; commend him publicly.


I will chide no breather in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults.


There is an oblique way of reproof which takes off from the sharpness of it.


  • For not the anger of the wise to raise;
  • Those best can bear reproof who merit praise.
  • Pope.

    Better a little chiding than a great deal of heart-break.


    Aversion from reproof is not wise. It is a mark of a little mind. A great man can afford to lose; a little insignificant fellow is afraid of being snuffed out.


    Reproof is a medicine like mercury or opium; if it be improperly administered, it will do harm instead of good.

    Horace Mann.

  • Chide him for faults, and do it reverently,
  • When you perceive his blood inclined to mirth.
  • Shakespeare.

    He had such a gentle method of reproving their faults that they were not so much afraid as ashamed to repeat them.


    The severest punishment suffered by a sensitive mind, for injury inflicted upon another, is the consciousness of having done it.

    Hosea Ballou.

  • Forbear sharp speeches to her; she’s a lady,
  • So tender of rebukes that words are strokes,
  • And strokes death to her.
  • Shakespeare.

    Some persons take reproof good-humoredly enough, unless you are so unlucky as to hit a sore place. Then they wince and writhe, and start up and knock you down for your impertinence, or wish you good morning.


    Whenever anything is spoken against you that is not true, do not pass by or despise it because it is false; but forthwith examine yourself, and consider what you have said or done that may administer a just occasion of reproof.


  • Reprove not in their wrath incensed men;
  • Good counsel comes clean out of reason then,
  • But when his fury is appeased and past,
  • He will conceive his fault, and mend at last,
  • When he is cool, and calm, then utter it;
  • No man gives physic in the midst o’ the fit.
  • Randolph.