Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


Vana quoque ad veros accessit fama timores.
Idle rumors were also added to well-founded apprehensions.
Lucan—Pharsalia. I. 469.

Hi narrata ferunt alio; mensuraque ficti
Crescit et auditus aliquid novus adjicit auctor.
Some report elsewhere whatever is told them; the measure of fiction always increases, and each fresh narrator adds something to what he has heard.
Ovid—Metamorphoses. XII. 57.

Nam inimici famam non ita ut nata est ferunt.
Enemies carry a report in form different from the original.
Plautus—Persa. III. 1. 23.

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.
Pope—Temple of Fame. L. 468.

I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as ’twas said to me.
Scott—Lay of the Last Minstrel. Canto II. St. 22.

I will be gone:
That pitiful rumour may report my flight,
To coasolate thine ear.
All’s Well That Ends Well. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 129.

Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it.
Henry IV. Pt. II. Act I. Induction. L. 15.

Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the fear’d.
Henry IV. Pt. II. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 97.

The rolling fictions grow in strength and size,
Each author adding to the former lies.
Swift—Tr. of Ovid. Examiner, No. 15.

What some invent the rest enlarge.
Swift—Journal of a Modern Lady.

Ad calamitatem quilibet rumor valet.
Every rumor is believed against the unfortunate.

Haud semper erret fama; aliquando et elegit.
Rumor does not always err; it sometimes even elects a man.
Tacitus—Agricola. IX.

There is nothing which cannot be perverted by being told badly.
Terence—Phormio. Act IV.

Tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
I Timothy. V. 13.

Extemplo Libyæ magnas it Fama per urbes:
Fama malum quo non velocius ullum;
Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo;
Parva metu primo; mox sese attollit in auras,
Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubilia condit.
Monstrum, horrendum ingens; cui quot sunt corpore plumæ
Tot vigiles oculi subter, mirabile dictu,
Tot linguæ, totidem ora sonant, tot subrigit aures.
Straightway throughout the Libyan cities flies rumor;—the report of evil things than which nothing is swifter; it flourishes by its very activity and gains new strength by its movements; small at first through fear, it soon raises itself aloft and sweeps onward along the earth. Yet its head reaches the clouds.***A huge and horrid monster covered with many feathers: and for every plume a sharp eye, for every pinion a biting tongue. Everywhere its voices sound, to everything its ears are open.
Vergil—Æneid. IV. 173.

Fama volat parvam subito vulgata per urbem.
The rumor forthwith flies abroad, dispersed throughout the small town.
Vergil—Æneid. VIII. 554.

Linguæ centum sunt, oraque centum
Ferrea vox.
It (rumour) has a hundred tongues, a hundred mouths, a voice of iron.
Vergil—Georgics. II. 44. (Adapted.)