Friday, August 21, 2020
Occasions for Speech
Isocrates, To Demonicus
41 (tr. David Mirhady):
Whatever you are about to say, examine first in your thought,
for in many the tongue outruns the intention.
Make two occasions for speaking, either when you know the subject clearly, or when there is compulsion to discuss it, for on these
occasions alone speech is better than silence; on others, it is better to
be silent than to speak.
πᾶν ὅ τι ἂν μέλλῃς ἐρεῖν, πρότερον ἐπισκόπει τῇ γνώμῃ· πολλοῖς γὰρ ἡ γλῶττα προτρέχει τῆς διανοίας.
δύο ποιοῦ καιροὺς τοῦ λέγειν, ἢ περὶ ὧν οἶσθα σαφῶς, ἢ περὶ ὧν ἀναγκαῖον εἰπεῖν. ἐν τούτοις γὰρ μόνοις ὁ λόγος τῆς σιγῆς κρείττων, ἐν δὲ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἄμεινον σιγᾶν ἢ λέγειν.