The Third Leader: Pray silence for...

Click to follow

It was, I recall, The Tremeloes who sang, slightly oxymoronically, "Silence is Golden", before adding, "Talking is cheap, people follow like sheep". Which is why, today, I should like to honour these penseurs who have sympathised with The Trems:

1. King Archelaus of Macedonia, who was asked by his barber how he would like his hair cut. "In silence," replied the king. (Now that is an old joke.)

2. William the Silent, Prince of Orange (fairly self-explanatory).

3. Armand-Jean le Bouthillier de Rance, founder of the Trappists (and therefore also responsible for some rather fine beers).

4. Casanova, who was a librarian as well.

5. Count von Moltke, Prussian general, who could speak seven languages and was silent in all of them.

6. President Calvin Coolidge, who, told by a lady at dinner that she had bet she could get more than two words out of him, replied: "You lose."

7. Albert Einstein, a late talker whose first words were: "This soup is too hot." Asked why he hadn't spoken before, he replied: "Up to now everything was in order."

8. Gary Cooper, who was asked if he ever answered with anything other than "Yup." "Nope."

And finally, this quote from Casanova: "Ssssshhhsh!"