HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

November 26, 2007
Wisdom from Polonius

Thoughts of Talk


Abraham Lincoln

If he talks ambiguously—talks for his country with “buts” and “ifs” and “ands.”


E.M. Cioran

Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth.


William Shakespeare

Talks as familiarly of roaring lions
As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs!


Martin Archer

Give me the critic bred in Nature’s school,
Who neither talks by rote, nor thinks by rule;
Who feeling’s honest dictates still obeys,
And dares, without a precedent, to praise.


Zhou Enlai, Chinese Premier

For us, it is all right if the talks succeed, and it is all right if they fail.


Dag Hammarskjöld

I never discuss discussions.


John Kenneth Galbraith

There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.


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