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[ Also see Babblers Concealment Conversation Discussion Language Loquacity Noise Peace Quiet Repartee Repose Reserve Rest Rhetoric Secrecy Solitude Sound Speech Talk Talking Thought Tongue Voice Words ]

Thanks i' faith; for silence is only commendable
  In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Gratiano at I, i)

We do not act that often jest and laugh;
  'Tis old but true, 'Still swine eats all the draff.'
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merry Wives of Windsor
         (Mistress Page at IV, ii)

What, gone without a word?
  Ay, so true love should do; it cannot speak,
    For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Proteus at II, ii)

Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah

Silence is one of the hardest kind of arguments to refute. There is no good substitute for wisdom; but silence is the best that has yet been discovered.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Silence never makes any blunders.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Silence! Oh, well are Death and Sleep and Thou
  Three brethren named, the guardians gloomy-winged,
    Of one abyss, where life and truth and joy
      Are swallowed up.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Fragments--Silence

A person that would secure to himself great deference will, perhaps, gain his point by silence as effectually as by anything he can say.
      - William Shenstone

Shallow brooks murmur moste, deepe silent slide away.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney),
        The Arcadia--Thirsis and Dorus

One learns in life to keep silent and draw one's confusions.
      - Cornelia Otis Skinner

Macaulay is like a book in breeches. . . . He has occasional flashes of silence, that make his conversation perfectly delightful.
      - Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir
         (vol. I, p. 363)

The silence of the people is a lesson for kings.
  [Fr., Le silence du peuple est la lecon des rois.]
      - Jean Soanen

Silence gives the proper grace to women.
      - Sophocles

To women silence gives their proper grace.
      - Sophocles

Woman, to women silence is the best ornament.
      - Sophocles, Ajax (293)

To me so deep a silence portends some dread event; a clamorous sorrow wastes itself in sound.
      - Sophocles, Antigone (1251)

The correction of silence is what kills; when you know you have transgressed, and your friend says nothing, and avoids your eye.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson

Let me silent be;
  For silence is the speech of love,
    The music of the spheres above.
      - Richard Henry Stoddard

But let me silent be:
  For silence is the speech of love,
    The music of the spheres above.
      - Richard Henry Stoddard, Speech of Love
         (st. 4)

Of every noble work the silent part is best,
  Of all expression, that which cannot be expressed.
      - William Wetmore Story, The Unexpressed

Silence is like nightfall; objects are lost in it insensibly.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

I regret often that I have spoken, never that I have been silent.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus)

I have often regretted having spoken, never having kept silent.
  [Lat., Saepius locutum, nunquam me tacuisse poenitet.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims,
        also attributed to Xenocrates

Silence, beautiful voice.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Maud (pt. V, st. 3)

And I too talk, and lose the touch
  I talk of. Surely, after all,
    The noblest answer unto such
      Is kindly silence when they brawl.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, The After Thought,
        in "Punch", Mar. 7, 1846

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