Keep still

Keep still. When trouble is brewing, keep still. When slander is getting on his legs, keep still. When your feelings are hurt, keep still, till you recover from your excitement at any rate. Things look differently through an unagitated eye. In a commotion, once, I wrote a letter and sent it, and wished I had not. In my later years I had another commotion, and wrote a long letter; but life had rubbed a little sense into me and I kept that letter in my pocket against the day when I could look it over without agitation and without tears. I was glad I did. Less and less it seemed necessary to send it. I was not sure it would do any hurt, but in my doubtfulness I leaned to reticence, and eventually it was destroyed.

Time works wonders. Wait till you can speak calmly, and then you will not need to speak, maybe. Silence is the most massive thing conceivable, sometimes. It is strength in very grandeur. It is like a regiment ordered to stand still in the mad fury of battle. To plunge in were twice as easy.—Dr. Burton.

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Three Little Rules
February 5, 1903

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