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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1691
AUTHOR: Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)
QUOTATION: Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.
ATTRIBUTION: THOMAS CARLYLE, essay on Sir Walter Scott, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, vol. 4, p. 190 (1881).

Carlyle refers to this theme elsewhere, one example being: “As the Swiss Inscription says: Sprechen ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silvern, Silence is golden); or as I might express it: Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.”—Carlyle, Sartor Resartus and Selected Prose, book 3, chapter 3, p. 205 (1970).