Quotations about   discretion

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Secrets with girls, like loaded guns with boys,
Are never valued till they make a noise.

George Crabbe (1754-1832) English poet, writer, surgeon, clergyman
Tales of the Hall, “The Maid’s Story” (1819)
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Added on 7-Sep-17 | Last updated 7-Sep-17
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Alcohol: A liquid good for preserving almost everything except secrets.

Other Authors and Sources
Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary (1905)
Added on 23-Aug-17 | Last updated 23-Aug-17
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Thy friend has a friend, and thy friend’s friend has a friend; be discreet.

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
Babylonian Talmud, Baba Bathra 28b
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Noted as a common saying. The summary "be discreet" does not appear in the actual Talmud translations I found, but seems to be an explanation from early Christian reviews of the Talmud for when the verse is given as a stand-alone proverb.
Added on 20-Jul-17 | Last updated 20-Jul-17
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Lesson to the Indiscreet: They who say all they think, and tell all they know, put others on their guard and prevent themselves from being told anything of consequence.

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) English novelist, letter writer
A Note Book of Horace Walpole, “1781” (1927)
Added on 12-Apr-17 | Last updated 12-Apr-17
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A wise man will keep his suspicions muzzled, but he will keep them awake.

George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695) English politician and essayist
Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Reflections, “Of Caution and Suspicion” (1750)
Added on 28-Dec-16 | Last updated 28-Dec-16
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The better part of valour is discretion.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Henry IV, Part 1, Act 4, sc. 4 (1598)
Added on 12-Jul-16 | Last updated 12-Jul-16
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“My dear young lady,” said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, “there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying.”

“What’s that?” said Susan.

“We might all try minding our own business,” said he. And that was the end of that conversation.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950)
Added on 28-Nov-14 | Last updated 28-Nov-14
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I will begin to speak, when I have that to say which had not better be unsaid.

Cato the Younger (95-46 BC) Roman politician, statesman, orator [Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis, Cato Minor]
In Plutarch, “Cato the Younger,” Parallel Lives [tr. Dryden (1693)]
Added on 11-Sep-14 | Last updated 11-Sep-14
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Does it really matter what these affectionate people do — so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!

Beatrice Campbell (1865-1940) English actress [Mrs. Patrick Campbell, née Beatrice Stella Tanner]
(Attributed) (c. 1910)

Apocryphally a rebuke to a young actress who criticized an older actor who seemed too affectionate toward the leading man in the production. Most famously given in this form in Alan Dent, Mrs. Patrick Campbell (1961). Variants (without or with variant attribution) can be found as far back at 1929 (see here for more discussion).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Apr-18
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