Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


Whose edge is sharper than the sword.
Shakespeare.—Cymbeline, Act III. Scene 4. (Pisanio musing while Imogen reads the letter.)

Calumny will sear
Virtue itself: these shrugs, these hums, and ha’s.
Shakespeare.—Winter’s Tale, Act II. Scene 1. (Leontes to his Lords.)

Low-breath’d talkers, minion lispers,
Cutting honest throats by whispers.
Scott.—Fortunes of Nigel, Chap. V.

Perhaps a pretty devil I’m portray’d;
The world’s free brush deals d—bly in shade.
Peter Pindar.—Peter’s prophesy.

Approve by envy, and by silence praise!
Sheridan.—The School for Scandal. A Portrait addressed to Mrs. Crewe, with the Play.

Bad are those men who speak evil of the good.
Riley’s Plautus.—The Bacchides, Act I. Scene 3.

Soft-buzzing slander; silly moths that eat
An honest name.
Thomson.—Liberty, Part IV.

Some are carrying elsewhere what is told them; the measure of the fiction is ever on the increase, and each fresh narrator adds something to what he has heard.
Riley’s Ovid Met., Book XII. Page 416.

For slander lives upon succession;
For ever housed where it gets possession.
Shakespeare.—Comedy of Errors, Act III. Scene 1. (Balthasar to Antipholus of Ephesus.)

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.
Riley’s Plautus.—The Persa, Act III. Scene 1.

The flying rumours gather’d as they roll’d,
Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told;
And all who told it added something new,
And all who heard it made enlargements too,
In every ear it spread, on every tongue it grew.
Prior.—Temple of Fame, Line 468; Somerville, The Night-Walker.

Those men who carry about and who listen to accusations, should all be hanged, if so it could be at my decision—the carriers by their tongues, the listeners by their ears.
Riley’s Plautus.—The Pseudolus, Act I. Scene 5.

For well I know what pains await
The lips that sland’rous tales relate.
Wheelwright’s Pindar.—Olym. Ode I. Line 81.

The man that dares traduce, because he can
With safety to himself, is not a man:
An individual is a sacred mark,
Not to be pierced in play or in the dark.
Cowper.—Expostulation, Line 432.

A third interprets motion, looks, and eyes,
At every word a reputation dies.
Pope.—Rape of the Lock, Canto III. Line 15.

Quick-circulating slanders mirth afford;
And reputation bleeds in every word.
Churchill.—The Apology, Line 47.

There goes she whose husband was hanged.
Fielding.—The Life of Jonathan Wild, Book IV. Chap. II.

I will be hang’d if some eternal villain,
Some busy and insinuating rogue,
Some cogging cozening slave, to get some office,
Have not devised this slander.
Shakespeare.—Othello, Act IV. Scene 2. (Emilia to Desdemona.)

Thou wrong’st a gentleman, who is as far from thy report as thou from honour.
Shakespeare.—Cymbeline, Act I. Scene 7. (Imogen to Iachimo.)

He’s gone, and who knows how he may report
Thy words, by adding fuel to the flame?
Milton.—Samson Agonistes.

The slander of some people is as great a recommendation as the praise of others.
Fielding.—The Temple Beau, Act I. Scene 1.

Where it concerns himself,
Who’s angry at a slander, makes it true.
Ben Jonson.—Catiline, Act III. Scene 1.