Al Jolson was my first husband. He always used to boast that he was spoiling me for any man who might come after him. I think Al sensed that it wasn't easy for me being married to an American institution... Was he right about spoiling me? I'm sorry. I couldn't possibly say. I couldn't be that indiscreet.
You must labour to acquire that great and uncommon talent of hating with good breeding, and loving with prudence; to make no quarrel irreconcilable by silly and unnecessary indications of anger; and no friendship dangerous, in care it breaks, by a wanton, indiscreet, and unreserved confidence.
A prudent silence will frequently be taken for wisdom and a sentence or two cautiously thrown in will sometimes gain the palm of knowledge, while a man well informed but indiscreet and unreserved will not uncommonly talk himself out of all consideration and weight. (Alexander Hamilton's 'thesis on discretion' written to his son James shortly before his fatal duel with Burr.)
It's when most of the guests have gone that the party really gets interesting - peering under the table and into the bath to see who's stayed and what shape they're in. It is then that those who are still conscious divulge things you had not known before: sometimes about themselves, sometimes about other people and sometimes about you. It does not necessarily make pleasant hearing but it is always fascinating. In the relaxed atmosphere, in the wake of the hubbub, they unwind and grow confidential - nay, indiscreet. If they are not already, they end up as your closest friends.
Alice Thomas Ellis
We shall not be indiscreet here in the broad light of day, ' she said, but she'd left a question in the words when she'd intended a stern admonition. He smiled down at her. 'Someday, Gillian, I will have you writhing and moaning in the broad light of day. Outdoors even.' 'You'd get leaves in my hair.' She could afford the humor, because he was behaving. 'Among other places, but then I'd help you remove them.
The British have their own conception of what constitutes the typical American. He must have a flavor of the Wild West about him. He must do spectacular things. He must not be punctilious about dignity, decorum and other refinements characteristic of the real British gentleman. The Yankee pictured by the Briton must be a bustler. If he is occasionally flagrantly indiscreet in speech and action, then he is so much more surely stamped the genuine article. The most typical American the British ever set their eyes on was, in their judgment, Theodore Roosevelt.
B. C. Forbes
Fat bitch, " Kessa murmured as the door scraped closed behind Mrs. Stone. "She meant well, Francesca. And you see, everyone thinks you're too thin." "Since when is Mrs. Stone an authority on appearance. I've heard you say a thousand times that she looks like an old hooker." "I never said anything of the sort. What I said was that she wears too much makeup and her clothes are indiscreet." "Which means she looks like an old hooker. Well, if that's the way a woman is supposed to look, I'd rather be too skinny." Kessa felt a flash of pleasure at the argument. Just let her mother try to push food into her now.
The eye of a man should be still more reverent before the rising of a young maiden than before the rising of a star. The possibility of touch should increase respect. The down of the peach, the dust of the plum, the radiated crystal of snow, the butterfly's wing powdered with feathers, are gross things beside that chastity that does not even know it is chaste. The young maiden is only the glimmer of a dream and is not yet statue. Her alcove is hidden in the shadows of the ideal. The indiscreet touch of the eye desecrates this dim penumbra. Here, to gaze, is to profane.
The language I learned was pretty, full of passivity and silence. I had no proper language for the issues of blood and anger, yet much of what went on when I was a child made me angry. There were no words a nice girl could use to describe anger; her options were to remain silent or to use indiscreet language, the kind that curls in a room like smoke and soon disappears. We girls were taught to speak safely and to bandage our anger with polite, pretty words. We might talk about the anger only in questions and sighs, unable to curse, yell or break windows in the beautiful garden.
Bad lovers face to face in the morning Shy apologies and polite regrets Slow dances that left no warning of Outraged glances and indiscreet yawning Good manners and bad breath get you nowhere Even presidents have newspaper lovers Ministers go crawling under covers She's no angel He's no saint They're all covered up with white washed grease paint And you say... Chorus: The teacher never told you anything but white lies But you never see the lies And you believe Oh you know you have been captured You feel so civilized And you look so pretty in your new lace sleeves The salty lips of the socialite sisters With their continental fingers that have never seen working blisters Oh I know they've got their problems I wish I was one of them They say daddy's coming home soon With his sergeant stripes and his Empire mug and spoon No more fast buck And when are they gonna learn their lesson When are they gonna stop all of these victory processions And you say...
He shook hands. With greening faces, with eyes full of sparks, his two friends leaned upon their canes. One had on a crushed bowler (why?)... Both were weary. Both knew that what was approaching was the end. Both had spent the day in their offices and when they interrupted their work with an indiscreet nod, when they turned the conversation toward that end, both broke in "Lord, we have strayed from our business." And ever deeper sunk their eyes, a deathly shadow was descending. The words of his friends had been bought with blood, but they were stolen. Someone, listening, recorded them on a phonograph and thousands of cylinders began to twang. A new enterprise opened, on sale a bronze throat, a screaming cavity; an experienced mechanic installed the throat phonograph. The purchased throat squealed day and night and his friends grew exhausted and one day he said to them both "Lord, I am going." He grinned. And they grinned: they understood everything. Now they stood on the platform, stood with him and saw him off. Someone long and dark with the face of an ox, shoulders crooked as a sorrowful cemetery cross and wrapped up in a frock-coat, swept into the coach. And then the bell rang, and then they waved their bowlers; three wooden arms swung in the air. ("Adam")
Dickinson left the rostrum to applause, loud shouts of approval. Franklin was surprised, looked toward Adams, who returned the look, shook his head. The chamber was dismissed, and Franklin pushed himself slowly up out of the chair. He began to struggle a bit, pain in both knees, the stiffness holding him tightly, felt a hand under his arm. 'Allow me, sir.' Adams helped him up, commenting as he did so, 'We have a substantial lack of backbone in this room, I'm afraid.' Franklin looked past him, saw Dickinson standing close behind, staring angrily at Adams, reacting to his words. 'Mr. Dickinson, a fine speech, sir, ' said Franklin. Adams seemed suddenly embarrassed, did not look behind him, nodded quickly to Franklin, moved away toward the entrance. Franklin saw Dickinson following Adams, began to follow himself. My God, let's not have a duel. He slipped through the crowd of delegates, making polite acknowledgments left and right, still keeping his eye on Dickinson. The man was gone now, following Adams out of the hall. Franklin reached the door, could see them both, heard the taller man call out, saw Adams turn, a look of surprise. Franklin moved closer, heard Adams say, 'My apologies for my indiscreet remark, sir. However, I am certain you are aware of my sentiments.' Dickinson seemed to explode in Adams' face. 'What is the reason, Mr. Adams, that you New England men oppose our measures of reconciliation? Why do you hold so tightly to this determined opposition to petitioning the king?' Franklin heard other men gathering behind him, filling the entranceway, Dickinson's volume drawing them. He could see Adams glancing at them and then saying, 'Mr. Dickinson, this is not an appropriate time... ' 'Mr. Adams, can you not respond? Do you not desire an end to talk of war?' Adams seemed struck by Dickinson's words, looked at him for a long moment. 'Mr. Dickinson, if you believe that all that has fallen upon us is merely talk, I have no response. There is no hope of avoiding a war, sir, because the war has already begun. Your king and his army have seen to that. Please, excuse me, sir.' Adams began to walk away, and Franklin could see Dickinson look back at the growing crowd behind him, saw a strange desperation in the man's expression, and Dickinson shouted toward Adams, 'There is no sin in hope!