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  • I’m not sure they appreciated her speech, but I know they liked its brevity.
  • She answered with equal indifference and brevity, and the others said no more.
    Austen, Jane  --  Pride and Prejudice
  • Brevity is the soul of wit.
    William Shakespeare
  • It is my way—it always was my way, by instinct—ever to meet the brief with brevity, the direct with plainness.
    Bronte, Charlotte  --  Jane Eyre

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  • I have condensed some of the action, for the sake of clarity, and eliminated some minor characters, for brevity;
    Michael Shaara  --  The Killer Angels
  • I hope you noticed my brevity in introducing him.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • It even captured the relationship’s brevity.
    John Green  --  An Abundance of Katherines
  • I had signs posted all over the palace and market place which said: Brevity Is the Soul of Wit.
    Norton Juster  --  The Phantom Tollbooth
  • In the Army brevity was a virtue beyond all others.
    David Baldacci  --  Zero Day
  • Since Oscar was not a proponent of brevity, he described in intricate detail how Moolak caught what seemed to be a few million salmon.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide

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  • Her description of Nathan’s furious eruption and the ensuing damage and debris was for me—in my frazzled state—agreeably laconic, but somehow more searing by its very brevity.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • When Miss Maudie was angry her brevity was icy.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Even with each count stated with maximum brevity, in single spacing, the indictment stretched over eight feet of paper.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • She answered with equal indifference and brevity, and the others said no more.
    Jane Austen  --  Pride and Prejudice
  • "Why? I wrote them a letter on why I was the answer to sliced bread," is how Flom explains it, with characteristic brevity.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • The sharp brevity of the sound seemed to expand it into an eloquent statement.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • But what plays the mischief with this masterly code is the admirable brevity of it, which necessitates a vast volume of commentaries to expound it.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Colonel Arbuthnot, uninterested in what a pack of foreigners called anything, replied with true British brevity, "Yes."
    Agatha Christie  --  Murder On The Orient Express
  • It is my way — it always was my way, by instinct — ever to meet the brief with brevity, the direct with plainness.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • He sat in the corner with his back to the window-blind and spoke now, having eaten and drunk and being comfortably warmed through, with less aggressive brevity than before.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • If we let them mean what they say, they assume an importance out of all proportion to the brevity of the scene.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • He had had it conveyed to him, in an accidental touch of his wife’s elbow as she knitted and warbled, that he would do best to answer, but always with brevity.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • I visited many other apartments, but shall not trouble my reader with all the curiosities I observed, being studious of brevity.
    Jonathan Swift  --  Gulliver’s Travels
  • As for the tribe itself, it had been content to announce to Montcalm, through his emissaries, with Indian brevity, that their hatchets were dull, and time was necessary to sharpen them.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • The morning papers on Saturday contained, in addition to lengthy special articles on the planet Mars, on life in the planets, and so forth, a brief and vaguely worded telegram, all the more striking for its brevity.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • "My faith, my dear Aramis," said d’Artagnan, who detested verses almost as much as he did Latin, "add to the merit of the difficulty that of the brevity, and you are sure that your poem will at least have two merits."
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Three Musketeers
  • After Bailey learned definitely that I was his sister, he refused to call me Marguerite, but rather addressed me each time as "Mya Sister," and in later more articulate years, after the need for brevity had shortened the appellation to "My," it was elaborated into "Maya."
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief:—your noble son is mad: Mad call I it; for to define true madness, What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
    William Shakespeare  --  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
  • He was preoccupied with the brevity of life.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • I don’t know what there was in this brevity of Mrs. Grose’s that struck me as ambiguous.
    Henry James  --  The Turn of the Screw
  • Despite the brevity, for Julie it was an almost analytical undertaking when their lips met.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Guardian
  • The title of the poem is taken from Macbeth, "Out, out, brief candle," suggesting the brevity not merely of a teenager’s life but of any human existence, particularly in cosmic terms.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • In the pursuit of brevity, I shall assume that Saphira has already told you how your mother and I met, how Selena died, and how I came to be in Carvahall.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • Then had come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, his terrible warning of its brevity.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • "Yes, sir, that is so," says Mr. George with military brevity.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • With the O.C. Bible, C.E.T. presented the Liturgical Manual and the Commentaries — in many respects a more remarkable work, not only because of its brevity (less than half the size of the O.C. Bible), but also because of its candor and blend of self-pity and self-righteousness.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • It came to him with just the same characteristics of brevity, suddenness and immediate certainty.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • He answered, as it were, reluctantly, with extreme brevity, with a sort of disgust which grew more and more marked, though he answered rationally.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • "I am going to accept the situation, Judge Henderson," answered John, with a brevity that did not escape the keen old man.
    W. E. B. Du Bois  --  The Souls of Black Folk
  • "They know," he replied with his usual brevity.
    Li Cunxin  --  Mao’s Last Dancer
  • The promptness and brevity of the reply called his bluff.
    Graham Greene  --  The Power and the Glory
  • His memory was good, and for so young a man he had read largely; the themes he preferred were the decay of Islam and the brevity of Love.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • Seven years a mendicant on foreign charity I lingered abroad : seven years is no brevity.
    T.S. Eliot  --  Murder in the Cathedral
  • The brevity of life hath likewise given occasion to this comparison.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • There was an obvious utility in the brevity of terms like "H of G," for a mind moving fast, and for people trying to keep up.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • All this had been confided to the Indian, who had acquitted himself of the trust with characteristic brevity.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • But when he was released he felt defrauded by the brevity of his captivity, and even in the days of his old age, when so many other wars were confused in his memory, he still thought he was the only man in the city, and perhaps the country, who had dragged fivepound leg irons for the sake of love.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  Love in the Time of Cholera
  • But this, and many others, I omit, being studious of brevity.
    Jonathan Swift  --  A Modest Proposal
  • After supper Joe proposed a game of stud-poker but Babbitt refused with brevity, and Joe contentedly went to bed at eight.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt
  • Since Catherine had instructed her not to use names or specifics on the phone, Marie had not questioned the brevity of the call.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
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