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[ Also see Accent Argument Censorship Conversation Discussion Eloquence Free Speech Gossip Language Linguists Loquacity Names Noise Orators Oratory Repartee Rhetoric Satire Silence Slander Style Talk Talking Thought Tongue Voice Wit Words ]

Doubtless there are men of great parts that are guilty of downright bashfulness, that by a strange hesitation and reluctance to speak murder the finest and most elegant thoughts and render the most lively conceptions flat and heavy.
      - Unattributed Author,
        in "The Tatler", no. 252

No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
      - Henry Brooks Adams

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean.
      - Henry Brooks Adams

I have but nine-pence in ready money, but I can draw for a thousand pounds.
      - Joseph Addison,
        to a lady who complained of his having talked little in company, see "Boswell's Life of Johnson"

Let him be sure to leave men their turn to speak.
      - Francis Bacon

And let him be sure to leave other men their turns to speak.
      - Francis Bacon,
        Essays--Civil and Moral--Of Discourse
         (no. 32)

Discretion of speech is more than eloquence; and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words or in good order.
      - Francis Bacon, Essays--Of Discourse

Speak gently! 'tis a little thing
  Dropped in the heart's deep well:
    The good, the joy, that it may bring
      Eternity shall tell.
      - David Bates, Speak Gently,
        often wrongfully attributed to G.W. Langford

You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.
      - Charles Austin Beard

Though I say't that should not say't.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Wit at Several Weapons (act II, sc. 2)

Speak boldly, and speak truly, shame the devil.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Wit Without Money (act IV, sc. 4)

Hear much; speak little.
      - Bias of Priene

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
      - Bible, Colossians (ch. IV, v. 6)

Miss not the discourse of the elders.
      - Bible, Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha)
         (ch. VII, v. 9)

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
  And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
    But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
      - Bible, II Corinthians (ch. III, v. 12)

But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
      - Bible, II Corinthians (ch. XI, v. 6)

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
      - Bible, Isaiah (ch. VI, v. 5)

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
      - Bible, Luke (ch. VI, v. 26)

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
      - Bible, Matthew (ch. VI, v. 7)

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
      - Bible, Matthew (ch. XII, v. 34)

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
      - Bible, Proverbs (ch. XV, v. 1)

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
      - Bible, Romans (ch. VI, v. 19)

To return to the subject. (Literally, "to our mutton.")
  [Fr., Revenons a nos moutons.]
      - Pierre Blanchet, Pierre Pathelin (III, 2)

That which is repeated too often becomes insipid and tedious.
  [Fr., Tout ce qu'on dit de trop est fade et rebutant.]
      - Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux, L'Art Poetique
         (I, 61)

Let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.
      - Book of Common Prayer Solemnization of Matrimony

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