Never make a defense or apology before you be accused.

—Charles I, 1636

The slander of some people is as great a recommendation as the praise of others.

—Henry Fielding, 1730

In the country gossip is a pastime; in the city it is a warfare.

—W.M.L. Jay, 1870

While gossip among women is universally ridiculed as low and trivial, gossip among men, especially if it is about women, is called theory, or idea, or fact.

—Andrea Dworkin, 1983

A bad reputation is easy to come by, painful to bear, and difficult to clear.

—Hesiod, c. 700 BC

Keep no company with those whose position is high but whose morals are low.

—Ge Hong, c. 320

The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1776

Scandal begins where the police leave off.

—Karl Kraus, 1909

A false report rides post.

—English proverb

A private sin is not so prejudicial in this world as a public indecency.

—Miguel de Cervantes, 1615

Ridicule often checks what is absurd, and fully as often smothers that which is noble.

—Walter Scott, 1823

Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco pipes of those who diffuse it; it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker.

—George Eliot, 1876

The history of the world is the record of the weakness, frailty, and death of public opinion.

—Samuel Butler, c. 1902