Silence never shows itself to so great an advantage as when it is made the reply to calumny and defamation.
There is a silence, the child of love, which expresses everything, and proclaims more loudly than the tongue is able to do.
Most men speak when they do not know how to be silent. He is wise who knows when to hold his peace. Tie your tongue, lest it be wanton and luxuriate; keep it within the banks; a rapidly flowing river soon collects mud.
As we must render an account of every idle word, so we must of our idle silence.
If a word be worth one shekel, silence is worth two.
Talkers and futile persons are commonly vain and credulous withal, for he that talketh what he knoweth will also talk what he knoweth not; therefore set it down that a habit of secrecy is both politic and moral.
Silence is one of the great arts of conversation, as allowed by Cicero himself, who says "there is not only an art, but an eloquence in it." A well-bred woman may easily and effectually promote the most useful and elegant conversation without speaking a word.—The modes of speech are scarcely more variable than the modes of silence.
Silence is the understanding of fools, and one of the virtues of the wise.
Silence is a virtue in those who are deficient in understanding.
Silence, when nothing need be said, is the eloquence of discretion.
The main reason why silence is so efficacious an element of repute is, first, because of that magnification which proverbially belongs to the unknown; and, secondly, because silence provokes no man's envy, and wounds no man's self-love.
The more a man desirous to pass at a value above his worth, and can, by dignified silence, contrast with the garrulity of trivial minds, the more will the world give him credit for the wealth he does not possess.
If the prudence of reserve and decorum dictates silence in some circumstances, in others prudence of a higher order may justify us in speaking our thoughts.
Speech is great, but silence is greater.
This is such a serious world that we should never speak at all unless we have something to say.
Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the delights of life, which they are thenceforth to rule.
I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to the gods who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.
Silence and reserve suggest latent power. What some men think has more effect than what others say.
A judicious reticence is hard to learn, but it is one of the great lessons of life.
A man's profundity may keep him from opening on a first interview, and his caution on a second; but I should suspect his emptiness, if he carried on his reserve to a third.
I like better for one to say some foolish thing upon important matters than to be silent. That becomes the subject of discussion and dispute, and the truth is discovered.
Silence in times of suffering is the best.
Speech is often barren; but silence also does not necessarily brood over a full nest. Your still fowl, blinking at you without remark, may all the while be sitting on one addled nest-egg; and when it takes to cackling, will have nothing to announce but that addled delusion.
Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.
Let us be silent that we may hear the whispers of the gods.
What a strange power there is in silence! How many resolutions are formed, how many sublime conquests effected, during that pause when lips are closed, and the soul secretly feels the eye of her Maker upon her!—They are the strong ones of earth who know how to keep silence when it is a pain and grief unto them, and who give time to their own souls to wax strong against temptation.
None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.
If you would pass for more than your value, say little.—It is easier to look wise than to talk wisely.
Learn to hold thy tongue.—Five words cost Zacharias forty weeks of silence.
There are three kinds of silence. Silence from words is good, because inordinate speaking tends to evil. Silence, or rest from desires and passions is still better, because it promotes quietness of spirit. But the best of all is silence from unnecessary and wandering thoughts, because that is essential to internal recollection, and because it lays a foundation for a proper reputation and for silence in other respects.
The temple of our purest thoughts is silence.
Fellows who have no tongues are often all eyes and ears.
Silence in woman is like speech in men; deny it who can.
The unspoken word never does harm.
He who, silent, loves to be with us, and who loves us in our silence, has touched one of the keys that ravish hearts.
He knows not how to speak who cannot be silent; still less how to act with vigor and decision. Who hastens to the end is silent; loudness is impotence.
The silence of the place was like a sleep, so full of rest it seemed.
It is the wise head that makes the still tongue.
I spake no word; inferior joys live but by utterance; rapture is born dumb.
Silence is the ecstatic bliss of souls, that by intelligence converse.
Silence is a figure of speech, unanswerable, short, cold, but terribly severe.
True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. It is a great virtue; it covers folly, keeps secrets, avoids disputes, and prevents sin.
If any man think it a small matter to bridle his tongue, he is much mistaken; for it is a point to be silent when occasion requires, and better than to speak, though never so well.
He can never speak well, who knows not how to hold his peace.
Euripides was wont to say that silence was an answer to a wise man; but we seem to have greater occasion for it in our dealing with fools and unreasonable persons; for men of breeding and sense will be satisfied with reason and fair words.
It is better either to be silent, or to say things of more value than silence. Sooner throw a pearl at hazard than an idle or useless word; and do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few.
Silence is the highest wisdom of a fool as speech is the greatest trial of a wise man.—If thou wouldst be known as wise, let thy words show thee so; if thou doubt thy words, let thy silence feign thee so.—It is not a greater point of wisdom to discover knowledge than to hide ignorance.
If thou desire to be held wise, be so wise as to hold thy tongue.
It is only reason that teaches silence; the heart teaches us to speak.
A silent man is easily reputed wise. The unknown is always wonderful. A man who suffers none to see him in the common jostle and undress of life easily gathers round him a mysterious veil of unknown sanctity, and men honor him for a saint.
Silence is the safest course for any man to adopt who distrusts himself.
As men of sense and genius say much in few words, so on the other hand the weak and foolish speak much and say little.
Of all virtues, Zeno made choice of silence; for by it, said he, I hear other men's imperfections, and conceal my own.
Nothing is so good for an ignorant man as silence; if he were sensible of this he would not be ignorant.
A judicious silence is always better than truth spoken without charity.
I do know of those that therefore only are reputed wise, for saying nothing.
The silence, often, of pure innocence, persuades when speaking fails.
Silence is the perfectest herald of joy; I were but little happy if I could say how much.
A person that would secure to himself great deference will, perhaps, gain his point by silence as effectually as by anything he can say.
A good word is an easy obligation; but not to speak ill requires only our silence, which costs us nothing.
Silence is the ornament and safeguard of the ignorant.