Gossip … has caused infinitely more sorrow in life than murder. It is drunkenness of the tongue; it is assassination of reputations. It runs the cowardly gamut from mere ignorant, impertinent intrusion into the lives of others to malicious slander ... He who listens to this crime of respectability without protest is as evil as he who speaks. One strong, manly voice of protest, of appeal to justice, of calling halt in the name of charity—could fumigate a room from gossip as a clear, sharp winter wind kills a pestilence.
I had rather take my chance that some traitors will escape detection than spread abroad a spirit of general suspicion and distrust, which accepts rumor and gossip in place of undismayed and unintimidated inquiry.
Gossip is never fatal until it is denied. Gossip goes on about every human being alive and about all the dead that are alive enough to be remembered, and yet almost never does any harm until some defender makes a controversy. Gossip's a nasty thing, but it's sickly, and if people of good intentions will let it entirely alone, it will die, ninety-nine times out of a hundred.
An honest fellow stripped of all his illusions is the ideal man. Though he may have little wit, his society is always pleasant. As nothing matters to him, he cannot be pedantic; yet is he tolerant, remembering that he too has had the illusions which still beguile his neighbor. He is trustworthy in his dealings, because of his indifference; he avoids all quarreling and scandal in his own person, and either forgets or passes over such gossip or bickering as may be directed against himself. He is more entertaining than other people because he is in a constant state of epigram against his neighbor. He dwells in truth, and smiles at the stumbling of others who grope in falsehood. He watches from a lighted place the ludicrous antics of those who walk in a dim room at random. Laughing, he breaks the false weight and measure of men and things.
I prefer the spagyric chemical physicians, for they do not consort with loafers or go about gorgeous in satins, silks and velvets, gold rings on their fingers, silver daggers hanging at their sides and white gloves on their hands, but they tend their work at the fire patiently day and night. They do not go promenading, but seek their recreation in the laboratory, wear plain learthern dress and aprons of hide upon which to wipe their hands, thrust their fingers amongst the coals, into dirt and rubbish and not into golden rings. They are sooty and dirty like the smiths and charcoal burners, and hence make little show, make not many words and gossip with their patients, do not highly praise their own remedies, for they well know that the work must praise the master, not the master praise his work. They well know that words and chatter do not help the sick nor cure them... Therefore they let such things alone and busy themselves with working with their fires and learning the steps of alchemy. These are distillation, solution, putrefaction, extraction, calcination, reverberation, sublimination, fixation, separation, reduction, coagulation, tinction, etc.
One who believes in gossip has no self-discipline.
Whispering a gossip is louder than shouting it.
He who despises the sick will not see light, and the day of him who turns his face from a man grieved by affliction will become darkness. The sons of the man who scorns the voice of one suffering hardship will grope their way, being struck with blindness.
He spends his life explaining from his pulpit that the glory of Christianity consists in the fact that though it is not true it has been found necessary to invent it.
When myth meets myth, the collision is very real.
The only way to beat the lawyers is to die with nothing.