quotations about slander
To speak evil of any one, unless there is unequivocal proofs of their deserving it, is an injury for which there is no adequate reparation.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to George Washington Parke Custis, November 28, 1796
Slanderers are a species of creatures, so great a scandal to human nature, as scarce to deserve the name of men. They are, for the generality, a composition of the most detestable vices, price, envy, lying, hatred, uncharitableness, etc... And yet it is a lamentable truth that these wretches swarm in every town, and lurk in every village; and, actuated by these base principles, are ever busied in attacking the characters of mankind; none are too good or too great to escape the level of their envenomed dart; nor does the inefficacy of their malicious intentions in the least deter them from persevering in their villainy.
WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine
It often happens that those are the best people whose characters have been most injured by slanderers: as we usually find that to be the sweetest fruit which the birds have been picking at.
ALEXANDER POPE, "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Slander slays three people: the speaker, the spoken to, and the spoken of.
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.
It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.
MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator
A generous heart repairs a slanderous tongue.
ALEXANDER POPE, The Odyssey of Homer
We should no less hate to tell, than to hear slander; if we cannot stop others' mouths, let us stop our own ears; the receiver is as bad as the thief.
BISHOP HENSHAW, "Golden Rules", The Christian Treasury: Containing Contributions from Ministers and Members
Believe nothing against another but on good authority; nor report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to others to conceal it.
WILLIAM PENN, "Reflections and Maxims", A Collection of the Works of William Penn
To be continually subject to the breath of slander, will tarnish the purest virtue, as a constant exposure to the atmosphere will obscure the brightness of the finest gold; but in either case, the real value of both continues the same, although the currency may be somewhat impeded.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
He is little short of a hero, who perseveres in thinking well of a friend who has become a butt for slander.
WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics
None are free from slander.
EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims
Remember, when incited to slander, that it is only he among you who is without sin that may cast the first stone.
HOSEA BALLOU, Treasury of Thought
Slander cannot make the subjects of it either better or worse, it may represent us in a false light, or place a likeness of us in a bad one, but we are the same: not so the slanderer; for calumny always makes the calumniator worse, but the calumniated--never.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
O Slander dread! miasma of a breath!
How dost thou murder snowy innocence!
How like a serpent hid'st thou mid fair flowers,
To dark, and strike, when beauty walks alone!
Accursèd worm! coiled round the heart of sin,
And with envenomed fang the poison pours
Quick through the tender tissue virtue wears!
Where lies thy nest? where can thy brood be found?
Thou spotted progeny of ugly Hate!--
Biting with the barb of gall the careless foot,
That, all unconscious, treads too near thy lair,
And rouses thy vindictive nature up,
To fierce resentment and malevolence!
In secret armed, and fatal in thy blow!
Dipping thy dagger in the deadliest bane,
To strike, in masking dark, thy victim down!
C. B. LANGSTON, "To Slander"
SLANDERING others is a sin too common now-a-days, and is very cowardly, as the slandered person has not the opportunity of defending him or herself. It is an attempt to ruin a fellow creature when we think we are free from danger. It is an "agrarian outrage," an attempt to shoot from behind a hedge, or high wall; to stab in the dark. Never join in slandering others; it lowers you in your own estimation, and that of mankind, and makes you feel ashamed to look in the face the person you have so slandered, the next time you meet him or her, and often to act the hypocrite. Likewise sometimes causes you to be guilty of ingratitude, for he or she you have slandered, may in former times have befriended you either by word or deed. If you cannot speak good of any persons, far better say nothing at all about them than lower yourself by speaking evil about them; however much at the time you may think they deserve it. You will feel far more satisfied with yourself afterwards if you act thus; for, by so acting, you have no fault to find hereafter with your own conduct; for, to please oneself, is, or ought to be, to please the hardest, and the most exacting of all taxmasters. Never try to exalt yourself on the ruins of another man's character.
T. AUGUSTUS FORBES LEITH, "On Slandering Others", Short Essays
Slander is a blighting sirocco; its pestiferous breath pollutes with each respiration; its forked tongue is charged with the same poison; it searches all corners of the world for victims; it sacrifices the high and low, the king and the peasant, the rich and poor, the matron and maid, the living and the dead; but delights most in destroying worth and immolating innocence.
HENRY F. KLETZING, "Slander", Traits of Character Illustrated in Bible Light
Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Edwin Stanton, July 14, 1864
A slanderer is like a hornet: if you cannot kill it dead the first blow, you better not strike at it.
H. W. SHAW, attributed, Day's Collacon
Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
Outvenoms 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, Cymbeline