Discretion is the better part of valour

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Discretion is the better part of valour.

  (British & Australian literary) also Discretion is the better part of valor. (American & Australian literary)
something that you say which means that it is better to be careful and think before you act than it is to be brave and take risks She decided not to voice her opposition to the Chairman's remarks. Perhaps discretion was the better part of valour.
See also: better, discretion, of, part
References in classic literature ?
Valour was at length forced to submit to superiority of numbers; the enemy entered the camp and put all to the sword.
In what has now befallen us," answered Sancho, "I'd have been well pleased to have that good sense and that valour your worship speaks of, but I swear on the faith of a poor man I am more fit for plasters than for arguments.
Never more shall British seamen going into action have to trust the success of their valour to a breath of wind.
Such do I declare my blood and lineage, but as for valour, Jove gives it or takes it as he will, for he is lord of all.
Neptune, shaker of the earth, then came near to him and said, "Aeneas, what god has egged you on to this folly in fighting the son of Peleus, who is both a mightier man of valour and more beloved of heaven than you are?
There is then in all persons a natural impetus to associate with each other in this manner, and he who first founded civil society was the cause of the greatest good; for as by the completion of it man is the most excellent of all living beings, so without law and justice he would be the worst of all, for nothing is so difficult to subdue as injustice in arms: but these arms man is born with, namely, prudence and valour, which he may apply to the most opposite purposes, for he who abuses them will be the most wicked, the most cruel, the most lustful, and most gluttonous being imaginable; for justice is a political virtue, by the rules of it the state is regulated, and these rules are the criterion of what is right.
There is also the effect on the parents, with whom, as with other animals, the presence of their young ones will be the greatest incentive to valour.
So that if there be a lover in the army, whether his love be youth or maiden, he may be more eager to win the prize of valour.