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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1280
AUTHOR: Edward Algernon Fitzroy (1869–19??)
QUOTATION: It is reputed that Mr. Disraeli when he was once asked by a new member whether he advised him to take part often in debate replied:—
No, I do not think you ought to do so, because it is much better that the House should wonder why you do not speak than why you do.
My advice in this matter is very much the same as that given by Mr. Disraeli; it is much better when a member resumes his seat after he has made a speech for the House to have the feeling that they wish he had gone on longer instead of wondering why he did not stop sooner.
ATTRIBUTION: EDWARD ALGERNON FITZROY, remarks in the House of Commons, May 25, 1939, as reported by The Times (London), May 26, 1939, p. 7.—FitzRoy, Speaker of the House of Commons, was quoting the nineteenth century Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield. Quoted in slightly different form in the Congressional Record, June 2, 1939, vol. 84, pp. 6538–39.