I have read how on one certain occasion, out of a whole shipful, two men were pious, God-fearing Christians. Only, being of two different nations and languages, it seemed very doubtful whether they ever would make each other out as citizens of the same city.
One day one of them sat reading his Bible, as solitary as Elijah, when he asserted "I only:" till the other's eye lighted on the unmistakable-looking page; when by signs, gestures, anyhow, somehow, he claimed his brother; and they both expressed common joy, reciprocal affection.
Still intercourse was denied them. Until one in exuberant bliss uttered the word Allelujah! Whereunto the other responded Amen.
Speech pithy, pointed, and profitable to mutual edification. "Golden words, silver silence," to recast the popular phrase.
Which phrase is too often illustrated, revised in a second and reversed sense: "Words of dross, alloyed silence:" for idle gossip and detraction and indiscretion ply glib tongues, and their conversational pauses are far from silvery.
Whoso cannot give forth silver words, let him maintain golden silence.