Dr. VanDyke once pictured evil-speaking in the following brief, pointed paragraph: "Cannibalism," he said, "is dying out among the barbarous tribes, but it still survives among the most highly civilized peoples. You might find yourself in some difficulty if you invited a company of friends to a feast in which the principal dish was a well-roasted neighbor. Everybody would refuse with horror. But if you wish to serve up somebody's character at a social entertainment, or pick the bones of somebody's reputation in a quiet corner, you will find ready guests and almost incredible appetites."—Courtesy Moody Monthly.
If you are tempted to reveal
A tale someone to you has told
About another, let it pass,
Before you speak, three gates of gold.
Three narrow gates: First, "Is it true?"
Then "Is it needful?" In your mind
Give truthful answer. And the next
Is last and narrowest—"Is it kind?"
And if to reach your lips at last
It passes through these gateways three,
Then you may tell the tale, nor fear
What the result of speech may be.—The Methodist Protestant.
A gossip is a person who syndicates his conversation.—Dick Dickinson.
Gossips are the spies of life.
"However did you reconcile Adele and Mary?"
"I gave them a choice bit of gossip and asked them not to repeat it to each other."
The seven-year-old daughter of a prominent suburban resident is, the neighbors say, a precocious youngster; at all events, she knows the ways of the world.
Her mother had occasion to punish her one day last week for a particularly mischievous prank, and after she had talked it over very solemnly sent the little girl up to her room.
An hour later the mother went upstairs. The child was sitting complacently on the window seat, looking out at the other children.
"Well, little girl," the mother began, "did you tell God all about how naughty you'd been?"
The youngster shook her head, emphatically. "Guess I didn't," she gurgled; "why, it'd be all over heaven in no time."
Get a gossip wound up and she will run somebody down.—Life.
"Papa, mamma says that one-half the world doesn't know how the other half lives."
"Well, she shouldn't blame herself, dear, it isn't her fault."
It is only national history that "repeats itself." Your private history is repeated by the neighbors.
"You're a terrible scandal-monger, Linkum," said Jorrocks.
"Why in thunder don't you make it a rule to tell only half what you hear?"
"That's what I do do," said Linkum. "Only I tell the spicy half."
"What," asked the Sunday-school teacher, "is meant by bearing false witness against one's neighbor?"
"It's telling falsehoods about them," said the one small maid.
"Partly right and partly wrong," said the teacher.
"I know," said another little girl, holding her hand high in the air. "It's when nobody did anything and somebody went and told about it."—H.R. Bennett.
MAUD—"That story you told about Alice isn't worth repeating."
KATE—"It's young yet; give it time."
SON—"Why do people say 'Dame Gossip'?"
FATHER—"Because they are too polite to leave off the 'e.'"
I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as 'twas said to me.
Never tell evil of a man, if you do not know it for a certainty, and if you do know it for a certainty, then ask yourself, "Why should I tell it?"—Lavater.