| But silence never shows itself to so great an advantage, as when it is made the reply to calumny and defamation, provided that we give no just occasion for them.|
AddisonThe Tatler. No. 133.
| Alta vendetta|
Dalto silenzio è figlia.
Deep vengeance is the daughter of deep silence.
AlfieriLa Congiura de Pazzi. I. 1.
|Qui tacet, consentire videtur. |
Silence gives consent.
Pope Boniface VIII. Taken from the Canon Law. Decretals. Bk. V. 12. 43. FullerWise Sentences. GoldsmithThe Good-Natured Man. Act II.
|Le silence est lesprit das sots,|
Et lune des vertus du sage.
Silence is the genius of fools and one of the virtues of the wise.
| Three things are ever silentThought, Destiny, and the Grave.|
Bulwer-LyttonHarold. Bk. X. Ch. II.
|All Heaven and Earth are still, though not in sleep,|
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most.
ByronChilde Harold. Canto III. St. 89.
|There was silence deep as death;|
And the boldest held his breath,
For a time.
CampbellBattle of the Baltic.
|Speech is great; but silence is greater.|
CarlyleEssays. Characteristics of Shakespeare.
| Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.|
CarlyleEssays. Memoir of the Life of Scott.
|Silence is more eloquent than words.|
CarlyleHeroes and Hero Worship. Lecture II.
| Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule.|
CarlyleSartor Resartus. Bk. III. Ch. III.
| There are haunters of the silence, ghosts that hold the heart and brain.|
Madison CaweinHaunters of the Silence.
|Cum tacent clamant.|
When they hold their tongues they cry out.
CiceroIn Catilinam. 1. 8.
| And they three passed over the white sands, between the rocks, silent as the shadows.|
ColeridgeThe Wanderings of Cain.
|Striving to tell his woes, words would not come;|
For light cares speak, when mighty griefs are dumb.
Samuel DanielComplaint of Rosamond. St. 114.
|Il ne voit que la nuit, nentend que le silence.|
He sees only night, and hears only silence.
|Silence is the mother of Truth.|
Benj. DisraeliTancred. Bk. IV. Ch. IV.
|A horrid stillness first invades the ear,|
And in that silence we the tempest fear.
DrydenAstræa Redux. L. 7.
|Stillborn silence! thou that art|
Flood-gate of the deeper heart!
|Take heed of still waters, they quick pass away.|
|Small griefs find tongues: full casques are ever found|
To give, if any, yet but little sound.
Deep waters noyselesse are; and this we know,
That chiding streams betray small depth below.
HerrickHesperides. To His Mistresse Objecting to Him Neither Toying or Talking.
|And silence, like a poultice, comes|
To heal the blows of sound.
HolmesThe Music Grinder.
|There is a silence where hath been no sound,|
There is a silence where no sound may be,
In the cold graveunder the deep, deep sea,
Or in wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound.
|Est et fideli tuta silentio merces.|
There is likewise a reward for faithful silence.
HoraceCarmina. III. 2. 25.
|Not much talka great, sweet silence.|
Henry James, Jr.A Bundle of Letters. Letter IV.
| Vessels never give so great a sound as when they are empty.|
Bishop John JewellDefense of the Apology for the Church of England.
|Rarus sermo illis et magna libido tacendi.|
Their conversation was brief, and their desire was to be silent.
JuvenalSatires. II. 14.
|Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time.|
KeatsOde on a Grecian Urn.
|Les gens sans bruit sont dangereux;|
Il nen est pas ainsi des autres.
Silent people are dangerous; others are not so.
La FontaineFables. VIII. 23.
|Some sipping punch, some sipping tea,|
But as you by their faces see
All silent and all damned.
LambLines made up from a stanza in Wordsworths Peter Bell.
| All was silent as before|
All silent save the dripping rain.
LongfellowA Rainy Day.
|What shall I say to you? What can I say|
Better than silence is?
LongfellowMorituri Solutamus. L. 128.
|Three Silences there are: the first of speech,|
The second of desire, the third of thought.
LongfellowThe Three Silences of Molinos.
|Where the streame runneth smoothest, the water is deepest.|
LylyEuphues and His England. P. 287.
|I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,|
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid,
And the silence for which music alone finds the word.
Edgar Lee MastersSilence.
| Dixisse me, inquit, aliquando pnituit, tacuisse nunquam.|
He [Xenocrates] said that he had often repented speaking, but never of holding his tongue.
Valerius Maximus. Bk. VII. 2, Ext. 7.
|Nothing is more useful than silence.|
MenanderEx Incert. Comd. P. 216.
| You know|
There are moments when silence, prolongd and unbroken,
More expressive may be than all words ever spoken,
It is when the heart has an instinct of what
In the heart of another is passing.
Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton)Lucile. Pt. II. Canto I. St. 20.
| That silence is one of the great arts of conversation is allowed by Cicero himself, who says, there is not only an art, but even an eloquence in it.|
Hannah MoreEssays on Various Subjects. Thoughts on Conversation.
|Silence sweeter is than speech.|
D. M. MulockMagnus and Morna. Sc. 3.
|Be silent and safesilence never betrays you.|
John Boyle OReillyRules of the Road. St. 2.
|Sed taciti fecere tamen convicia vultus.|
But still her silent looks loudly reproached me.
OvidAmorum. I. 7. 21.
|Sæpe tacens vocem verbaque vultus habet.|
The silent countenance often speaks.
OvidArs Amatoria. I. 574.
|Exigua est virtus præstare silentia rebus;|
At contra, gravis est culpa tacenda loqui.
Slight is the merit of keeping silence on a matter, on the other hand serious is the guilt of talking on things whereon we should be silent.
OvidArs Amatoria. Bk. II. 603.
|Silence sleeping on a waste of ocean.|
Percy Somers PayneRest.
| Remember what Simonides said,that he never repented that he had held his tongue, but often that he had spoken.|
PlutarchMorals. Vol. I. Rules for the Preservation of Health.
| Said Periander, Hesiod might as well have kept his breath to cool his pottage.|
PlutarchMorals. Vol. II. The Banquet of the Seven Wise Men.
|La douleur qui se tait nen est que plus funeste.|
Silent anguish is the more dangerous.
RacineAndromaque. III. 3.
|Silence in love bewrays more woe|
Than words, though neer so witty;
A beggar that is dumb, you know,
May challenge double pity.
Sir Walter RaleighThe Silent Lover. St. 9.
|The silente man still suffers wrong.|
The Rock of Regard. J. P. Colliers Reprint. (1576).
|Silence more musical than any song.|
Christina G. RossettiSonnet. Rest.
|Altissima quæque flumina minimo sono labuntur.|
The deepest rivers flow with the least sound.
Quintus Curtius RufusDe Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni. VII. 4. 13.
|Doch grosse Seelen dulden still.|
Great souls suffer in silence.
SchillerDon Carlos. I. 4. 52.
|Bekker schweigt in sieben Sprachen.|
Bekker is silent in seven languages.
Schleiermacher. See Letter of Zelter to Goethe. March 15, 1830.
|Wise Men say nothing in dangerous times.|
John SeldenTable Talk. Wisdom.
|Tacere multis discitur vitæ malis.|
Silence is learned by the many misfortunes of life.
| Be checkd for silence,|
But never taxd for speech.
Alls Well That Ends Well. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 76.
|Ill speak to thee in silence.|
Cymbeline. Act V. Sc. 4. L. 29.
|The rest is silence.|
Hamlet. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 368.
| The saying is true The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.|
Henry V. Act IV. Sc. 4. L. 72.
|Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.|
Henry VI. Pt. II. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 58.
| Silence is only commendable|
In a neats tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
Merchant of Venice. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 111.
|Tis old, but true, still swine eat all the draff.|
Merry Wives of Windsor. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 96.
|Silence is the perfectest herald of joy:|
I were but little happy, if I could say how much.
Much Ado About Nothing. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 317.
| What; gone without a word?|
Ay, so true love should do: it cannot speak;
For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 16.
|Silence! Oh, well are Death and Sleep and Thou|
Three brethren named, the guardians gloomy-winged,
Of one abyss, where life and truth and joy
Are swallowed up.
|Shallow brookes murmur moste, deepe silent slide away.|
Sir Philip SidneyThe Arcadia. Thirsis and Dorus.
| Macaulay is like a book in breeches * * * He has occasional flashes of silence, that make his conversation perfectly delightful.|
Sydney SmithLady Hollands Memoir. Vol. I. P. 363.
|Le silence du peuple est la leçon des rois.|
The silence of the people is a lesson for kings.
Soanen, Bishop of Senax; also Abbé de BeauvaisFuneral oration over Louis XV.
|Woman, to women silence is the best ornament.|
| To me so deep a silence portends some dread event; a clamorous sorrow wastes itself in sound.|
|The deepest rivers make least din,|
The silent soule doth most abound in care.
Earl of StirlingAurora. (1604). Song.
| But let me silent be:|
For silence is the speech of love,
The music of the spheres above.
R. H. StoddardSpeech of Love. St. 4.
|Of every noble work the silent part is best,|
Of all expression, that which cannot be expressed.
W. W. StoryThe Unexpressed.
|Silence, beautiful voice.|
TennysonMaud. Pt. V. St. 3.
|And I too talk, and lose the touch|
I talk of. Surely, after all,
The noblest answer unto such
Is kindly silence when they brawl.
TennysonThe After Thought. In Punch. March 7, 1846. (Altered in the published poems to: Is perfect stillness when they brawl.)
|Our noisy years seem moments in the being|
Of the eternal Silence.
WordsworthIntimations of Immortality. IX.
|No sound is uttered,but a deep|
And solemn harmony pervades
The hollow vale from steep to steep,
And penetrates the glades.
WordsworthComposed upon an Evening of Extraordinary Splendour and Beauty.
|The silence that is in the starry sky.|
WordsworthSong at the Feast of Brougham Castle.