He did not indeed escape calumny, and was even denounced on a charge of immoral practices, but fully and honourably acquitted.
In a word, though most men anywise eminent have found reason to complain of calumny, I never was touched, or even attacked, by her baleful tooth; and, though I wantonly exposed myself to the rage of both civil and religious factions, they seem to be disarmed on my behalf of their wonted fury.
Though he praised Sir Hugh in his public despatch he attacked him in private, and the Whig press, with the unquestionable aid of Keppel's friends, began a campaign of calumny to which the ministerial papers answered in the same style, each side accusing the other of deliberate treason.
Calvin, indignant at the calumny which was thus cast upon the reformed party in France, hastily prepared for the press his Institutes of the Christian Religion, which he published "first that I might vindicate from unjust affront my brethren whose death was precious in the sight of the Lord, and, next, that some sorrow and anxiety should move foreign peoples, since the same sufferings threatened many."
In matters of the heart, if any consoling or any disturbing passion played a great part in his life, we do not know it; we know only (apart from a few passing shadows cast by calumny and envy) of affectionate and dignified relations with friends, patrons and pupils, of public and private regard mixed in the days of his youth with dazzled admiration, and in those of his age with something of reverential awe.
"That is a calumny," said one of the party, "we should have filled two."