Empty Vessels

Time for another round of “Did Shakespeare really say that?” Today’s quote is:  “Empty vessels make the loudest sound.” Turns out, he did!  Henry V, Act 4, scene 4 (thanks Clusty!) Boy : Suivez-vous le grand capitaine. I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart: but the saying is true ‘The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.‘ Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil i’ the old play, that every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger; and they are both hanged; and so would this be, if he durst steal any thing adventurously. I must stay with the lackeys, with the luggage of our camp: the French might have a good prey of us, if he knew of it; for there is none to guard it but boys.   What I think is funny about this one is that, in context, it says “as the saying goes”.  So although it’s technically a Shakespeare quote, Shakespeare’s saying “I wasn’t the first one to say this.”

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