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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 ]

The hare-brained chatter of irresponsible frivolity.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield,
        in a speech at Guildhall, London, Nov. 9, 1878

I will sit down now, but the time will come when you will hear me.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield,
        Maiden Speech in the House of Commons

A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield,
        Speech at the Riding School,
        said of Gladstone, London, July 27, 1878

Speech is the light, the morning of the mind:
  It spreads the beauteous images abroad,
    Which else lie furl'd and shrouded in the soul.
      - John Dryden

Half the sorrows of women would be averted if they could repress the speech they know to be useless,--nay, the speech they have resolved not to utter.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Blessed is the man who having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Impressions of Theophrastus Such
         (ch. IV, p. 97)

Speech is but broken light upon the depth
  Of the unspoken.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        The Spanish Gypsy (bk. I)

O that grave speech would cumber out quick souls,
  Like bells that waste the moments with their loudness.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        The Spanish Gypsy (bk. III)

Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speech is better than silence; silence is better than speech.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,
        Essay on Nominalist and Realist

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.
      - Epictetus

Human speech is like a cracked cauldron on which we bang out tunes that make bears dance, when what we want is to move the stars to pity.
      - Gustave Flaubert

When Harel wished to put a joke or witticism into circulation, he was in the habit of connecting it with some celebrated name, on the chance of reclaiming it if it took. Thus he assigned to Talleyrand, in the "Nain Jaune," the phrase, "Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts."
      - Edouard Fournier, L'Esprit dans l'Historie

These authors do not avail themselves of the invention of letters for the purpose of conveying, but of concealing their ideas.
      - Henry Richard Vassall Fox, 3rd Baron Holland,
        Life of Lope de Vega

When a thing has been said and well said, have no scruple; take it and copy it.
      - Jacques Anatole I. France (Jacques Anatole Thibault)

Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.
      - Benjamin Franklin

The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart.
      - Benjamin Franklin

Never is the deep, strong voice of man, or the low, sweet voice of woman, finer than in the earnest but mellow low tones of familiar speech, richer than the richest music, which are a delight while they are heard, which linger still upon the ear in softened echoes, and which, when they have ceased, come, long after, back to memory, like the murmurs of a distant hymn.
      - Henry Giles

I feel as stupid, from all you've said
  As if a mill-wheel whirled in my head.
    [Ger., Mir wird von alledem so dumm,
      Als ging 'mir ein Muhlrad im Kopf herum.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
         (act I, Schulerszene)

Thou speakest a word of great moment calmly.
  [Ger., Du sprichst ein grosses Wort gelassen aus.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Iphigenia auf Tauris (I, 3, 88, 1)

The true use of speech is not so much to express our wants as to conceal them.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Bee (no. 3)

All the heart was full of feeling: love had ripened into speech,
  Like the sap that turns to nectar, in the velvet of the peach.
      - William Wallace Harney, Adonais

Sheridan once said of some speech, in his acute, sarcastic way, that "it contained a great deal both of what was new and what was true; but that unfortunately what was new was not true, and what was true was not new.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

God has given us speech in order that we may say pleasant things to our friends, and tell bitter truths to our enemies.
      - Heinrich Heine

Know when to speake; for many times it brings
  Danger to give the best advice to kings.
      - Robert Herrick, Caution in Councell

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