A Person looks to cross a raging River. Finds wide places deep and narrow noisy. He wonders how this applies to noisy people.
There is danger in the silent enemy.
L’Estrange version (A Country-Man and a River)
A Country-man that was to Pass a River, Sounded it up and down to try where it was most Fordable; and upon Tryal he made This Observation on’t: Where the Water ran Smooth, he found it Deepest; and on the contrary, Shallowest: where it made most Noise
There’s More Danger in a Reserv’d and silent, then in a Noisy, Babbling Enemy.
GREAT Talkers are not always the Greatest Doers, and the Danger is Greatest, where there’s least Blustering and Clamour.
Much Tongue, and much Judgment seldom go together, for Talking and Thinking are Two Quite Differing Faculties, and there’s commonly more Depth where there’s Less Noise. We find it to be Thus betwixt your superflcial Men, and Men that are well Founded in Any Art, Science, or Profession. As in Philosophy, Divinity, Arms, History, Manners. The very Practice of Babbling is a Great Weakness, and not only the Humour, but the Matter shews it so : tho’ upon the Main, it is not Capable either of Much Good, or of Much Evil ; for as there’s No Trailing, in the Cafe, so there’s No Great Danger from them, in the Manage of any Design; for Many and Rash Words Betray the Speaker of them. As to the Man of Silence and Reserve, that keeps himself Close, and his Thoughts Private, He Weighs, and Compares Things, and Proceeds upon Deliberation. It is good to see and sound however, before a Man Plunges ; for a Body may as well be Over-born by the Violence of a Shallow, Rapid Stream, as Swallow’d up in the Gulph of a smooth Water. ‘Tis in This Case with Men, as ’tis with Rivers,