Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Talking

"It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"That is not the best sermon which makes the hearers go away talking to one another, and praising the speaker, but which makes them go away thoughtful and serious, and hastening to be alone." - Gilbert Burnet

"Conscience is thoroughly well bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it." - Samuel Butler

"Guilt is a poor, helpless, dependent being. Without the alliance of able, diligent, and let me add, fortunate fraud, it is inevitably undone. If the guilty culprit be obstinately silent, it forms a deadly presumption against him; if he speaks, talking tends only to his discovery, and his very defense often furnishes the materials for his conviction." -

"You can always tell when a man is a great ways from God - he is always talking about himself, how good he is. But the moment he sees God by the eye of faith, he is down on his knees, and, like Job, he cries, “Behold I am vile.”" -

"Talking about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself." -

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

"There is no end to the violations committed by children on children, quietly talking alone." - Elizabeth Bowen, Full name Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen

"Go and try to save a soul, and you will see how well it is worth saving, how capable it is of the most complete salvation. Not by pondering about it, nor by talking of it, but by saving it, you learn its preciousness." - Phillips Brooks

"Talking is not always to converse." - William Cowper

"Words learned by rote a parrot may rehearse; but talking is not always to converse, not more distinct from harmony divine, the constant creaking of a country sign." - William Cowper

"When you talk about your troubles, your ailments, your diseases, your hurts, you give longer life to what makes you unhappy. Talking about your grievances merely adds to those grievances. Give recognition only to what you desire. Think and talk only about the good things that add to your enjoyment of your work and life. If you don't talk about your grievances, you'll be delighted to find them disappearing quickly." - Thomas Dreier

"The friendships that last are those wherein each friend respects the other's dignity. Every man ought to be friend with a nun and a whore and while talking with them forget which is which." - Brendan Francis Behan

"People are always talking about originality; but what do they mean? As soon as we are born, the world begins to work on us; and this goes on to the end. And after all, what can we call our own, except energy, strength, and will. If I could give an account of all that I owe to great predecessors and contemporaries there would be but a small balance in my favor." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Whenever I hear people talking about "liberal ideas," I am always astounded that men should love to fool themselves with empty sounds. An idea should never be liberal; it must be vigorous, positive, and without loose ends so that it may fulfill its divine mission and be productive. The proper place for liberality is in the realm of the emotions." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Religion is a way of walking, not a way of talking." - William Ralph Inge

"A man who spends so much time talking about himself that you can't talk about yourself." - Melville DeLancey Landon, pen name Eli Perkins

"Many a time I have wanted to stop talking and find out what I really believed." - Walter Lippmann

"Successful democratic politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle, or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies. The decisive consideration is not whether the proposition is good but whether it is popular -- not whether it will work well and prove itself but whether the active talking constituents like it immediately. Politicians rationalize this servitude by saying that in a democracy public men are the servants of the people." - Walter Lippmann

"Modern man seems to be afraid of silence. We are conditioned by radio and television on which every minute must be filled with talking, or some kind of sound. We are stimulated by the American philosophy of keeping on the move all the time - busy, busy, busy. This tends to make us shallow. A person's life can be deepened tremendously by periods of silence, used in the constructive ways of meditation and prayer. Great personalities have spent much time in the silence of life." - Robert E. Lyon

"She probably labored under the common delusion that you made things better by talking about them." - Rose Macauley, fully Dame Emilie Rose Macaulay

"When we say that law ‘embodies’ values we are talking metaphorically. What does it mean? Values are only ‘embodied’ in law in the sense that and to the extent that human beings approve of the laws they have because of the state of affairs they are supposed to secure, being states of affairs which are on some ground deemed just or otherwise good. This need not be articulated at all." - Neil MacCormick, Sir Donald Neil MacCormick

"Talking is a digestive process which is absolutely essential to the mental constitution of the man who devours many books." - William Matthews

"Long talking begets short hearing, for people go away." -

"The reason why lovers are never weary of one another is this - they are ever talking of themselves." -

"A man talking sense to himself is no madder than a man talking nonsense not to himself." - Tom Stoppard, fully Sir Tom Stoppard, born Tomáš Straüssler

"There is no end to the violations committed by children on children, quietly talking alone." -

"Life is short, should hope be more? IN the moment of our talking, envious time has ebb’d away. Seize the present, trust tomorrow e’en as little as you may." -

"While we're talking, envious time is fleeing: seize the day, put no trust in the future." -

"So when in this day I see the leaders of nations again talking peace while preparing for war, I take fearful pause." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"All thinking is not prayer. But thinking can be prayer, just as walking and talking and washing the floor can be prayer." - Vincent McNabb

"Prayer begins by talking to God, but it ends by listening to Him." - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"The great characteristic of our age is not its love of religion, but its love of talking about religion." - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"The future is a concept - it doesn't exist! There is no such thing as tomorrow! There never will be because time is always now. That's one of the things we discover when we stop talking to ourselves and stop thinking. We find there is only present, only an eternal now." -

"I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends." - Max Lucado

"People love to talk but hate to listen. Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us. You can listen like a blank wall or like a splendid auditorium where every sound comes back fuller and richer." - Alice Duer Miller

"People love to talk but hate to listen. Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us. You can listen like a blank wall or like a splendid auditorium where every sound comes back fuller and richer." - Alice Duer Miller

"Content yourself with doing, leave the talking to others." - Baltasar Gracián

"Be content to act, and leave the talking to others." - Baltasar Gracián

"We are always doing something, talking, reading, listening to the radio, planning what next. The mind is kept naggingly busy on some easy, unimportant external thing all day." - Brenda Ueland

"Always look at those whom you are talking to, never at those you are talking of." - Charles Caleb Colton

"When in the company of sensible men, we ought to be doubly cautious of talking too much, lest we lose two good things - their good opinion and our own improvement; for what we have to say we know, but what to say we know not." - Charles Caleb Colton

"The reason why lovers are never weary of one another is this - they are always talking of themselves." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Our chief defect is that we are more given to talking about things than to doing them." - Jawaharlal Nehru

"Man is by nature a learning animal. Birds fly, fish swim; man thinks and learns. Therefore, we do not need to “motivate” children into learning, by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do, and all we need to do, is bring as much of the world as we can into the school and the classroom; give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest." - John Holt, fully John Caldwell Holt

"Whatever may be the means or whatever the more immediate end of any kind of art, all of it that is good agrees in this, that it is the expression of one soul talking to another, and is precious according to the greatness of the soul that utters it." - John Ruskin

"All that is good in art is the expression of one soul talking to another, and is precious according to the greatness of the soul that utters it." - John Ruskin

"There's no music in "rest," but there's the making of music in it. And people are always missing that part of the life melody, always talking of perseverance and courage and fortitude; but patience is the finest and worthiest part of fortitude, and the rarest, too." - John Ruskin

"An ostentatious man will rather relate a blunder or an absurdity he has committed, than be debarred from talking of his own dear person." - Joseph Addison

"In private conversation between intimate friends, the wisest men very often talk like the weakest; for indeed the talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud." - Joseph Addison