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


O reputation! dearer far than life.


The honor of a maid is her name.


Faithfully guard your reputation.


A good name is better than precious ointment.


A good name is better than bags of gold.


A lost good name is ne’er retriev’d.


I would rather make my name than inherit it.


He that is respectless in his courses oft sells his reputation at cheap market.

Ben Jonson.

Good-will, like a good name, is got by many actions, and lost by one.


Reputation is a jewel which nothing can replace; it is ten thousand times more valuable capital than your diamonds.


How many worthy men have we seen survive their own reputation!


For a strolling damsel a doubtful reputation bears.


  • I see my reputation is at stake:
  • My fame is shrewdly gor’d.
  • Shakespeare.

    One may be better than his reputation or his conduct, but never better than his principles.


    A reputation for good judgment, for fair dealing, for truth, and for rectitude, is itself a fortune.

    Henry Ward Beecher.

    Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.

    Thomas Paine.

    Say nothing good of yourself, you will be distrusted; say nothing bad of yourself, you will be taken at your word.

    Joseph Roux.

    An eminent reputation is as dangerous as a bad one.


    How difficult it is to save the bark of reputation from the rocks of ignorance.


    The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.


    Time never fails to bring every exalted reputation to a strict scrutiny.

    Fisher Ames.

    In all the affairs of this world, so much reputation is in reality so much power.


  • Convey a libel in a frown,
  • And wink a reputation down!
  • Swift.

    I would thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought.


    How many people live on the reputation of the reputation they might have made!


    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, is the immediate jewel of their souls.


    The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his life half a year.


    Reputation, like beavers and cloaks, shall last some people twice the time of others.

    Douglas Jerrold.

  • I have offended reputation,
  • A most unnoble swerving.
  • Shakespeare.

    Gain at the expense of reputation is manifest loss.

    Publius Syrus.

    It is the duty of every one to strive to gain and deserve a good reputation.


    It is a maxim with me that no man was ever written out of reputation but by himself.


    The world knows the worst of me, and I can say that I am better than my fame.


    You have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser.


    Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.


    The tenure of a literary reputation is the most uncertain and fluctuating of all.

    Charles Dudley Warner.

    Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

    George Washington.

  • Thy credit wary keep, ’tis quickly gone;
  • Being got by many actions, lost by one.
  • Randolph.

  • The purest treasure mortal times afford,
  • Is spotless reputation; that away,
  • Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O, I have lost my reputation!
  • I have lost the immortal part of myself
  • And what remains is bestial.
  • Shakespeare.

    A man’s reputation draws eyes upon him that will narrowly inspect every part of him.


    Reputation is an idle and most false imposition: oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.


    It is a wretched thing to lean on the reputation of others, lest the pillars being withdrawn the roof should fall in ruins.


    I consider him of no account who esteems himself just as the popular breath may chance to raise him.


  • But he that filches from me my good name
  • Robs me of that which not enriches him
  • And makes me poor indeed.
  • Shakespeare.

    Reputation is but a synonyme of popularity: dependent on suffrage, to be increased or diminished at the will of the voters.

    Mrs. Jameson.

    The dark grave, which knows all secrets, can alone reclaim the fatal doubt once cast on a woman’s name.

    George Herbert.

    My name and memory I leave to men’s charitable speeches, to foreign nations, and to the next age.


    Some men’s reputation seems like seed-wheat, which thrives best when brought from a distance.


    A just person knows how to secure his own reputation without blemishing another’s by exposing his faults.


    Reputation is in itself only a farthing-candle, of wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit.


    The two chief things that give a man reputation in counsel, are the opinion of his honesty, and the opinion of his wisdom; the authority of those two will persuade.

    Ben Jonson.

    A man’s reputation is not in his own keeping, but lies at the mercy of the profligacy of others. Calumny requires no proof.


    The reputation of a man is like his shadow,—gigantic when it precedes him, and pygmy in its proportions when it follows.


    The reputation of a woman may also be compared to a mirror of crystal, shining and bright, but liable to be sullied by every breath that comes near it.


    There are few persons of greater worth than their reputation; but how many are there whose worth is far short of their reputation!


    Whatever disgrace we have merited, it is almost always in our power to re-establish our reputation.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    The great difficulty is first to win a reputation; the next to keep it while you live; and the next to preserve it after you die, when affection and interest are over, and nothing but sterling excellence can preserve your name.

    B. R. Haydon.

    Nothing so uncertain as general reputation. A man injures me from humor, passion, or interest; hates me because he has injured me; and speaks ill of me because he hates me.

    Henry Home.

    Reputation is rarely proportioned to virtue. We have seen a thousand people esteemed, either for the merit they had not yet attained or for that they no longer possessed.

    St. Evremond.

    When a man has once forfeited the reputation of his integrity, he is set fast; and nothing will then serve his turn, neither truth nor falsehood.


    An honest reputation is within the reach of all men; they obtain it by social virtues, and by doing their duty. This kind of reputation, it is true, is neither brilliant nor startling, but it is often the most useful for happiness.


    “A good name is like precious ointment”; it filleth all round about, and will not easily away; for the odors of ointments are more durable than those of flowers.


    The reputation of a man is like his shadow: It sometimes follows and sometimes precedes him, it is sometimes longer and sometimes shorter than his natural size.

    French Proverb.

    Had he unjustly fallen, your name had then been stain’d to latest times with foul reproach; and what more dreadful, more to be abhorred, than to be known with infamy forever?


    There are two ways of establishing your reputation,—to be praised by honest men, and to be abused by rogues. It is best, however, to secure the former, because it will be invariably accompanied by the latter.


    The two most precious things on this side the grave are our reputation and our life. But it is to be lamented that the most contemptible whisper may deprive us of the one, and the weakest weapon of the other.


    He that tears away a man’s good name tears his flesh from his bones, and, by letting him live, gives him only a cruel opportunity of feeling his misery, of burying his better part, and surviving himself.


    A good name is properly that reputation of virtue that every man may challenge as his right and due in the opinions of others, till he has made forfeit of it by the viciousness of his actions.


  • O, reputation! dearer far than life,
  • Thou precious balsam, lovely, sweet of smell,
  • Whose cordial drops once spilt by some rash hand,
  • Not all the owner’s care, nor the repenting toil
  • Of the rude spiller, ever can collect
  • To its first purity and native sweetness.
  • Sewell.

    Garments that have once one rent in them are subject to be torn on every nail, and glasses that are once cracked are soon broken; such is man’s good name once tainted with just reproach.

    Bishop Hall.

    A fair reputation is a plant, delicate in its nature, and by no means rapid in its growth. It will not shoot up in a night like the gourd of the prophet; but, like that gourd, it may perish in a night.

    Jeremy Taylor.

  • In various talk th’ instructive hours they past,
  • Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last;
  • One speaks the glory of the British queen,
  • And one describes a charming Indian screen;
  • A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
  • At every word a reputation dies.
  • Pope.

    There is nothing more necessary to establish reputation than to suspend the enjoyment of it. He that cannot bear the sense of merit with silence must of necessity destroy it; for fame being the genial mistress of mankind, whoever gives it to himself insults all to whom he relates any circumstance to his own advantage.


    If a man were only to deal in the world for a day, and should never have occasion to converse more with mankind, never more need their good opinion or good word, it were then no great matter (speaking as to the concernments of this world), if a man spent his reputation all at once, and ventured it at one throw; but if he be to continue in the world, and would have the advantage of conversation while he is in it, let him make use of truth and sincerity in all his words and actions; for nothing but this will last and hold out to the end.