Conversation

Be not dilatory in doing, nor confused in conversation, nor vague in thought; leave thyself leisure in thy life.

Counsel and conversation is a good second education, that improves all the virtues and corrects all the vices.

There is a sort of knowledge beyond the power of learning to bestow, and this is to be had in conversation; so necessary is this to the understanding the characters of men, that none are more ignorant of them than those learned pedants whose lives have been entirely consumed in colleges and among books; for however exquisitely human nature may have been described by writers the true practical system can be learned only in the world.

Moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good and evil in the conversation and society of mankind. God and evil are names that signify our appetites and aversions, which in different tempers, customs and doctrines of men are different.

Conceit is just as natural a thing to human minds as a centre is to a circle. But little-minded people’s thoughts move in such small circles that five minute’s’ conversation gives you an arc long enough to determine their whole curve. An arc in the movement of a large intellect does not differ sensibly from a straight line.

The things a man believes most profoundly are rarely on the surface of his mind or tongue. Newly acquired notions - decisions based on expediency, the fashionable ideas of the moment - are right on top of the pile, ready to be displayed in bright after-dinner conversation. But the ideas that make up a man's philosophy of life are somewhere way down below.

He who sedulously attends, pointedly asks, calmly speaks, coolly answers, and ceases when he has no more to say, is in possession of some of the best requisites of conversation.

Begin in prayer; continue in prayer; end in prayer; All the help that we have in the conversation of the children comes from God. We cannot convert their souls, but God can by the influence of His Spirit. When we study our lessons, let us go first for illumination to God, that we may so impress it on the minds and hearts of those we are teaching, that they may bring forth fruit for salvation; that they may see our earnestness.

No one will ever shine in conversation who thinks of saying fine things; to please, one must say many things indifferent, and many very bad.

Praise, flattery, exaggerated manners, and fine, high-sounding words were no part of Lakota politeness. Excessive manners were put down as insincere, and the constant talker was considered rude and thoughtless. Conversation was never begun at once, or in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation.

Marriage is not and should not be an interminable conversation. The happy marriage allows for privileged silences.

I know of but one remedy against the fear of death that is effectual and that will stand the test of a sick-bed, or of a sound mind - that is, a good life, a clear conscience, an honest heart, and a well-ordered conversation; to carry the thoughts of dying men about us, and so to live before we die as we shall wish we had when we come to it.

Whoever interrupts the conversation of others to make a display of his fund of knowledge, makes notorious his own stock of ignorance.

The pith of conversation does not consist in exhibiting your own superior knowledge on matters of small importance, but in enlarging, improving, and correcting the information you possess, by the authority of others.

Solitude and company may be allowed to take their turns: the one creates in us the love of mankind, the other that of ourselves; solitude relieves us when we are sick of company, and conversation when we are weary of being alone, so that the one cures the other. There is no man so miserable as he that is at a loss how to use his time.

Whatever you would have your children become, strive to exhibit in your own lives and conversation.

It is a secret known but to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him.

Perpetual aiming at wit is a very bad part of conversation. It is done to support a character: it generally fails; it is a sort of insult on the company, and a restraint upon the speaker.

I will this day try to live a simple, sincere, and serene life; repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a childlike trust in God.

The art of conversation consists as much in listening politely, as in talking agreeably.