If he were really not in the habit of drinking rather more than was exactly good for him, he might have brought action against his countenance for libel, and have recovered heavy damages.
There are no more uses of "libel" in the book.
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The newspaper was accused of libeling him
In a landmark ruling, New York Times v. Sullivan changed the standard for defamation and libel by requiring plaintiffs to prove malice—that is, evidence of actual knowledge on the part of the publisher that a statement is false.