Where Natures end of language is declind, And men talk only to conceal the mind.1
Love of Fame. Satire ii. Line 207.
Note 1. Speech was made to open man to man, and not to hide him; to promote commerce, and not betray it.Lloyd: State Worthies (1665; edited by Whitworth), vol. i. p. 503.
Speech was given to the ordinary sort of men whereby to communicate their mind; but to wise men, whereby to conceal it.Robert South: Sermon, April 30, 1676.
The true use of speech is not so much to express our wants as to conceal them.Oliver Goldsmith: The Bee, No. 3. (Oct. 20, 1759.)
Ils ne se servent de la pensée que pour autoriser leurs injustices, et emploient les paroles que pour déguiser leurs pensées (Men use thought only to justify their wrong doings, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts).Francis M. Voltaire: Dialogue xiv. Le Chapon et la Poularde (1766).
When Harel wished to put a joke or witticism into circulation, he was in the habit of connecting it with some celebrated name, on the chance of reclaiming it if it took. Thus he assigned to Talleyrand, in the Nain Jaune, the phrase, Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.Fournier: LEsprit dans lHistoire. [back]