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Cotton Mather introduces the question of how to live with slander:

“The Case is What should good men do when they are evil spoken of?

“Or, What should be the conduct of a Christian when defamations are order for him to exercise his Christianity.

“Upon this general case of all good men, the First Thing that I would propose is this: Let then the defamed Christian set himself immediately to consider, what his carriage ought now to be.”

If someone strikes you, you feel pain and easily feel anger. When someone steals your name and ruins your relationships perhaps even ending your employment, the immediate emotional state is most likely to be fear and or anger.

But Mather says we must think: what should I do?

Z zd That *should* bears a great deal of weight. It requires consideration. How is this should measured? What rule or standard explains what must happen?