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Secrets

  • When she knew a secret it no longer was.

  • Repeat nothing — absolutely nothing — that is told you in confidence. There is no such thing as telling just one person.

  • ... people like to keep their little secrets to themselves. It's like growing mushrooms in the cellar and running down to take a look at them now and then.

  • That there is a secret itself is a secret.

  • A person who tells a secret, swearing the recipient to secrecy in turn, is asking of the other person a discretion which he is abrogating himself.

  • Possession of a secret is no guarantee of its truth.

  • The companionship of a secret is often corruptive to good habits, such as sleep and appetite.

  • Secrecy is as indispensable to human beings as fire, and as greatly feared.

  • ... everyone old enough to have a secret is entitled to have some place to keep it.

  • ... she liked to receive confidences if these were conferred prettily, with some suggestion of her own specialness, not dropped on her toes all anyhow, like a bulky valise someone is anxious to put down.

  • What I have found is, anything one keeps hidden should now and then be hidden somewhere else.

  • The words secret and sacred are siblings.

  • ... in the mind and nature of a man a secret is an ugly thing, like a hidden physical defect.

    • Isak Dinesen,
    • "Of Hidden Thoughts and of Heaven," Last Tales ()
  • You're only as sick as your secrets. Either it comes out their way or my way. I talk about myself behind my back. And I'm funny about it.

    • Carrie Fisher,
    • in Mimi Avins, "Carrie Fisher Takes Reality for a Spin," Los Angeles Times ()
  • Secrets of the heart are seldom news.

  • I don't think secrets agree with me; I feel rumpled up in my mind since you told me that.

  • ... I was seduced by secrets, which are to true love as artificial sweetener is to sugar, calorie-free but in the long run carcinogenic, not the real thing, and only a peculiar aftertaste in the mouth to tell you so, to warn you.

  • If you tell someone a secret, and ask them to keep it secret, you are asking them to display a discretion you are unable to display yourself.

  • Sweep everything under the rug for long enough, and you have to move right out of the house.

  • In how many lives there lurks a hidden romance or a hidden terror.

  • ... a secret, she felt, depended for its value on the everpresent possibility of discovery.

  • Secrets are kept from children, a lid on top of the soup kettle, so they do not boil over with too much truth.

  • Penetrate deeply into the secret existence of anyone about you, even of the man or woman whom you count happiest, and you will come upon things they spend all their efforts to hide. Fair as the exterior may be, if you go in, you will find bare places, heaps of rubbish that can never be taken away, cold hearths, desolate altars, and windows veiled with cobwebs.

  • Hiding leads nowhere except to more hiding.

  • A person who has no secrets is a liar. We always fold ourselves away from others just enough to preserve a secret or two, something that we cannot share without destroying our inner landscape.

  • ... sometimes you just gotta trust that your secret's been kept long enough.

  • Once we've started on the road to truth, there's no turning back. The Universe doesn't like secrets.

  • I will have no locked cupboards in my life.

    • Gertrude Bell,
    • in Janet E. Courtney, An Oxford Portrait Gallery ()
  • Secrecy was bound up in her nature. She could not go from one room to another without the intense purpose that must cover itself with stealth. She closed the door as though she had said goodbye to me and to truth and to the lamp she had cleaned that morning and to the table soon to be laid for supper, as though she faced some romantic subterfuge, some pleasant deceit.

    • Louise Bogan,
    • 1933, in Ruth Limmer, ed., Journey Around My Room ()
  • And it's a risky thing to talk about one's most secret dreams a bit too early.

  • One ought to have the right to have a secret and to spring it as a surprise. But if you live inside a family you have neither.

  • You're as sick as your secrets.

  • Time and chance reveal all secrets.

  • ... a woman with a secret may be a fascinating study, but she can never be a safe, nor even satisfactory, companion.

  • No point in asking Greenfield what he was up to; he had pulled up his mental drawbridge and there was no way over the moat.

  • A secret, like a chore, always seems to lead to another, one even more troublesome than the first.

  • Every cat knows some things need to be buried.

  • We keep secrets from ourselves that all along we know.

  • ... secrets ... cannot stay hidden if you are quiet for long enough, because the secrets are foolish and they have no patience.

  • Secrets were always like that. They put a film between you and the rest of the world, so that you could see everyone else, but no one could see the whole of you.

  • It's all right to have secrets, ... as long as you don't have any secrets from yourself.

  • [On speaking of family secrets:] I don't know how you heal a wound and not let it get some air.

  • ... in rejecting secrecy I had also rejected the road to cynicism.

  • ... after a time having a secret and nobody knowing you have a secret is no fun. And although you don't want others to know what the secret is, you want them to at least know you have one.

  • If you tell a friend a secret, she will keep the secret by telling only one other person.

    • Lisa Birnbach,
    • in Lisa Birnbach, Ann Hodgman, Patricia Marx, 1,003 Great Things About Friends ()
  • ... our husbands said we talked too much. They accused us of asking questions that were too obvious, or too personal. Secrecy, like cocktails, like smoking, like wearing overalls, was the new habit we acquired.

  • ... a secret, like an animal, can evolve. Like an animal, a secret can develop a self-preserving intelligence. Shaglike, mute and thick, a knowledge with a fur: your secret.

  • Secrets are the kind of adventure she needs. Secrets are safe, and they do much to make you different. On the inside, where it counts.

  • A woman who carries a secret is an exhausted woman.

  • A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.