C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Who think too little, and who talk too much.


No fool can be silent at a feast.


Foxes are all tail, and women all tongue.

La Fontaine.

The tongue of a fool is the key of his counsel, which, in a wise man, wisdom hath in keeping.


He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.


Many a man’s tongue shakes out his master’s undoing.


The language of women should be luminous, but not voluminous.

Douglas Jerrold.

Those who have few affairs to attend to are great speakers. The less men think, the more they talk.


Woman’s tongue is her weapon, her sword, which she never permits to rest or rust.

Mme. Necker.

You shall never take her without her answer, unless you take her without her tongue.


Common fluency of speech in many men and most women is owing to a scarcity of matter.


Speaking much is a sign of vanity, for he that is lavish in words is a niggard in deed.

Sir W. Raleigh.

  • But still his tongue ran on, the less
  • Of weight it bore, with greater ease;
  • And with its everlasting clack,
  • Set all men’s ears upon the rack.
  • Butler.

    Women speak at an earlier age, more easily, and more agreeably than men; they are accused also of speaking more: this is as it should be, and I willingly change the reproach into a eulogy.


    Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in Venice: but his reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you seek all day ere you find them; and when you have them, they are not worth the search.


    I know a lady that loves to talk so incessantly, she won’t give an echo fair play; she has that everlasting rotation of tongue that an echo must wait till she dies before it can catch her last words!


  • O! he’s as tedious
  • As is a tired horse, a railing wife;
  • Worse than a smoky house;—I had rather live
  • With cheese and garlic, in a windmill, far,
  • Than feed on cates, and have him talk to me
  • In any summer house in Christendom.
  • Shakespeare.

    Surely in much talk there cannot choose but be much vanity. Loquacity is the fistula of the mind,—ever running and almost incurable, let every man, therefore, be a Phocion or Pythagorean, to speak briefly to the point or not at all; let him labor like them of Crete, to show more wit in his discourse than words, and not to pour out of his mouth a flood of the one, when he can hardly wring out of his brains a drop of the other.