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The art of the parenthesis is one of the great secrets of eloquence in society.

[L’art de la parenthèse est un des grands secrets de l’éloquence dans la Société.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 3, ¶ 243 (1795) [tr. Sinicalchi]
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(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

The art of the parenthesis is one of the great secrets of social eloquence.
[tr. Mathers (1926)]

The art of parenthesis is one of the great secrets of eloquence in society.
[tr. Merwin (1969)]

 
Added on 16-Oct-23 | Last updated 16-Oct-23
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Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Idler, #23 (23 Sep 1758)
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Added on 8-Aug-17 | Last updated 25-Jun-22
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There was a pause — just long enough for an angel to pass, flying slowly.

Ronald Firbank (1886-1926) British novelist and playwright
Vainglory (1915)
 
Added on 11-Mar-16 | Last updated 11-Mar-16
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Think before thou speakest.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Spanish novelist
Don Quixote, Part 1, Book 4, ch. 3 (1605) [tr. Motteux and Ozell (1743)]
 
Added on 21-Apr-14 | Last updated 9-Jun-15
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The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Mark Twain’s Speeches, Introduction [ed W.D. Howells (1923 ed.)]
 
Added on 16-Sep-11 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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It’s all right to hesitate if you then go ahead!

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) German poet, playwright, director, dramaturgist
The Good Person of Szechwan [Der gute Mensch von Sezuan], Prologue (1941) [tr. Bentley (1947)]
 
Added on 29-Oct-10 | Last updated 26-Mar-21
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If thou thinkest twice before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it.

William Penn (1644-1718) English writer, philosopher, politician, statesman
Fruits of Solitude, #132 (1682)
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See Cervantes.
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-Apr-14
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Act nothing in a furious Passion; it’s putting to Sea in a Storm.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 365 (1725)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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