Quotations about   quiet

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I never hear parents exclaim impatiently, “Children, you must not make so much noise,” that I do not think how soon the time may come when those parents would give all the world, could they hear once more the ringing laughter which once so disturbed them.

Abbott Eliot "A. E." Kittredge (1834-1912) American clergyman and Presbyterian leader
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Added on 3-Jan-17 | Last updated 3-Jan-17
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I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Essays, First Series, “Self-Reliance” (1841)
Added on 30-Dec-16 | Last updated 30-Dec-16
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Tact teaches you when to be silent.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) English politician and author
Endymion, ch. 61 (1880)
Added on 5-Dec-16 | Last updated 5-Dec-16
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Happiness means quiet nerves.

Fields - happiness means quiet nerves - wist_info quote

W.C. Fields (1880-1946) American entertainer [b. William Claude Dukenfield]
(Attributed)

Quoted in Robert Lewis Taylor, W.C. Fields, His Follies and Fortunes (1949).
Added on 12-Apr-16 | Last updated 12-Apr-16
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Your silence will not protect you.

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) American writer, feminist, civil rights activist
“The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action,” The Cancer Journals (1980)
Added on 7-Mar-16 | Last updated 7-Mar-16
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Silence is the unbearable repartee.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Illustrated London News (30 Sep 1933)
Added on 14-Dec-15 | Last updated 14-Dec-15
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FOOL: Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
King Lear, Act 1, sc. 4, l. 131 (1605)
Added on 26-Mar-15 | Last updated 26-Mar-15
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How important are free speech and satire? Important enough that people will murder others to silence the kind of speech they don’t like.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Twitter (7 Jan 2014)
    (Source)

Regarding the mass murder at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.
Added on 13-Jan-15 | Last updated 13-Jan-15
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It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Spurious)

This quotation, and close variants, are frequently attributed to Twain or Abraham Lincoln, but appears to have first been phrased this way by Maurice Switzer, Mrs. Goose, Her Book (1906): "It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it." Another point of origin is in the Bible, Proverbs 17:28: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." See here for more information.
Added on 23-Oct-14 | Last updated 23-Oct-14
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If everbuddy thought before they spoke ther wouldn’t be enough noise in this world t’ scare a jaybird.

[If everybody thought before they spoke there wouldn’t be enough noise in this world to scare a jaybird.]

Kin Hubbard (1868-1930) American caricaturist and humorist [Frank McKinney Hubbard]
Abe Martin’s Almanack, “January” (1908)
Added on 2-Oct-14 | Last updated 2-Oct-14
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If you don’t say anything you won’t be asked to repeat yourself.

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) American lawyer, politician, US President (1925-29)
(Attributed)
Added on 18-Sep-14 | Last updated 18-Sep-14
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Men repent speaking ten times, for once that they repent keeping silence.

James Burgh (1714-1775) British politician and writer
The Dignity of Human Nature, Sec. 5 “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Prudence in Conversation” (1754)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Aug-14 | Last updated 14-Aug-14
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Lower your voice and strengthen your argument.

Other Authors and Sources
Lebanese proverb
Added on 1-Aug-14 | Last updated 1-Aug-14
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As we must account for every idle Word, so must we likewise for every idle Silence.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 575 (1731)
Added on 26-Jun-14 | Last updated 26-Jun-14
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For, though the room was silent, the silence of half a hundred cats is a peculiar thing, like fifty individual silences all piled one on top of another.

Susanna Clarke (b. 1949) British author
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (2004)
Added on 25-Jun-14 | Last updated 25-Jun-14
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I have always been fond of the West African proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”

Roosevelt - big stick - wist_info quote

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909)
Letter to Henry L. Sprague (26 Jan 1900)

Full text. This is the first known use by Roosevelt of his future catch phrase.  It attained more fame when he used it in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair (2 Sep 1901) (there are transcript variants):

  • "There is a homely adage which runs 'Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.' If the American nation will speak softly and yet build and keep at a pitch of highest training a thoroughly efficient Navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far."
  • "Right here let me make as vigorous a plea as I know how in favor of saying nothing that we do not mean, and of acting without hesitation up to whatever we say. A good many of you are probably acquainted with the old proverb, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick — you will go far.' If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble, and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power. In private life there are few beings more obnoxious than the man who is always loudly boasting, and if the boaster is not prepared to back up his words, his position becomes absolutely contemptible. So it is with the nation. It is both foolish and undignified to indulge in undue self-glorification, and, above all, in loose-tongued denunciation of other peoples. Whenever on any point we come in contact with a foreign power, I hope that we shall always strive to speak courteously and respectfully of that foreign power."
Added on 2-Nov-11 | Last updated 12-Jan-16
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