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The tongue is, at the same time, the best part of man and his worst; with good government, none is more useful, and without it, none is more mischievous.
Give your tongue more holiday than your hands or eyes.
- Rabbi Ben Azai (Aze)
The stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones. Many have fallen by the edge of the sword; but not so many as have fallen by the tongue.
- Bible, Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha)
(ch. XXVIII, v. 17)
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
- Bible, James (ch. III, v. 5-6)
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
- Bible, James (ch. III, v. 7-8)
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;
Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth:
Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.
- Bible, Job (ch. XX, v. 12-14)
The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
- Bible, Proverbs (ch. X, v. 20)
The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
- Bible, Proverbs (ch. XV, v. 2)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
- Bible, Proverbs (ch. XVIII, v. 21)
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
- Bible, Proverbs (ch. XXXI, v. 26)
My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
- Bible, Psalms (ch. XLV, v. 1)
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
- Bible, Psalms (ch. XXXI, v. 20)
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
- Bible, Psalms (ch. XXXIV, v. 13)
Open, candid, and generous, his heart was the constant companion of his hand, and his tongue the artless index of his mind.
- George Canning
The firste vertu, sone, if thou wolt leere,
Is to restreyne and kepe wel thy tonge;
Thus lerne childen whan that they been yonge.
- Geoffrey Chaucer
The first vertue, sone, if thou wilt lerne,
Is to restreyne and kepen wel thy tonge.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
(l. 18,213), The Manciple's Tale
The tongue should not be suffered to outrun the mind.
- Chilo of Sparta (Chilon)
Sacred interpreter of human thought,
How few respect or use thee as they ought!
But all shall give account of every wrong,
Who dare dishonor or defile the tongue;
Who prostitute it in the cause of vice,
Or sell their glory at a market-price!
- William Cowper
Since I cannot govern my own tongue, though within my own teeth, how can I hope to govern the tongue of others?
- Benjamin Franklin
He rolls it under his tongue as a sweet morsel.
- Matthew (Mathew) Henry, Commentaries
When them dost tell another's jest, therein
Omit the oaths which true wit cannot need;
Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin;
He pares his apple that will cleanly feed.
- George Herbert
Better the feet slip then the tongue.
[Better the feet slip than the tongue.]
- George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum
The windy satisfaction of the tongue.
- Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
(bk. IV, l. 1,092), (Pope's translation)
When we advance a little into life, we find that the tongue of man creates nearly all the mischief of the world.
- Edwin Paxton Hood
A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.
- Washington Irving
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