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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 ]

It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion

He gave man speech, and speech created thought, which is the measure of the universe.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

No one minds what Jeffrey says--it is not more than a week ago that I heard him speak disrespectfully of the equator.
      - Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir
         (vol. I)

God giveth speech to all, song to the few.
      - Walter Chalmers Smith, Editorial
         (l. 15, Olrig Grange, bk. I)

Speech is the image of actions.
      - Solon

Seldom is there much spoke, but something or other had better not been spoke.
      - Bishop Robert South

Speech was given to the ordinary sort or men, whereby to communicate their mind; but to wise men, whereby to conceal it.
      - Bishop Robert South, Sermon

Speech is as a pump, by which we raise and pour out the water from the great lake of Thought,--whither it flows back again.
      - John Sterling

Lovers are apt to hear through their eyes, but the safest way is to see through their ears. Who was it that said, "Speak, that I may see you?"
      - Laurence Sterne

Conversation is the image of the mind; as the man, so is his speech.
  [Lat., Sermo animi est imago; qualis vir, talis et oratio est.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

He knows not when to be silent who knows not when to speak.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

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

Keep the golden mean between saying too much and too little.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Speech is a mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so is he.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Speech is a faculty given to man to conceal his thoughts.
      - Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord

Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.
  [Fr., La parole a ete donnce a l'homme pour deguiser sa pensee.]
      - attributed to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord,
        by Barrere in "Memoirs"

Nothing is said nowadays that has not been said before.
  [Lat., Nullum est jam dictum quod non dictum sit prius.]
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer),
        Eunuchus--Prologue (XLI),
        as quoted by Donatus

On the day of the dinner of the Oystermongers' Company, what a noble speech I thought of in the cab!
      - William Makepeace Thackeray,
        Roundabout Papers--On Two Papers I intended to write

Oh, but the heavenly grammar did I hold
  Of that high speech which angels' tongues turn gold!
    So should her deathless beauty take no wrong,
      Praised in her own great kindred's fit and cognate tongue.
        Or if that language yet with us abode
          Which Adam in the garden talked with God!
            But our untempered speech descends--poor heirs!
              Grimy and rough-cast still from Babel's brick layers:
                Curse on the brutish jargon we inherit,
                  Strong but to damn, not memorise, a spirit!
                    A cheek, a lip, a limb, a bosom, they
                      Move with light ease in speech of working-day;
                        And women we do use to praise even so.
      - Francis Thompson, Her Portrait

The only way to speak the truth is to speak lovingly.
      - Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau's Journal
         (March 15, 1842),
        found in H.G.O. Blake's "Early Spring in Massachusetts," p. 19

Speak but little and well, if you would be esteemed as a man of merit.
      - Archbishop Richard Chenevix Trench

Speech is reason's brother, and a kingly prerogative of man.
      - Martin Farquhar Tupper

Speech is the golden harvest that followeth the flowering of thought.
      - Martin Farquhar Tupper

There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens),
        License of the Press

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