Friday, March 18, 2011


Let Them Talk

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), On Censure (1727), lines 17-30:
Yet, whence proceeds this weight we lay
On what detracting people say?
For let mankind discharge their tongues
In venom, till they burst their lungs,
Their utmost malice cannot make
Your head, or tooth, or finger ache;
Nor spoil your shape, distort your face,
Or put one feature out of place;
Nor, will you find your fortune sink
By what they speak, or what they think;
Nor can ten hundred thousand lies
Make you less virtuous, learned, or wise.

The most effectual way to balk
Their malice, is—to let them talk.

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