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Indeed, unless a man can link his written thoughts with the everlasting wants of men, so that they shall draw from them as from wells, there is no more immortality to the thoughts and feelings of the soul than to the muscles and the bones. HENRY WARD BEECHER—Star Papers. Ox

ford. Bodleian Library. There is probably no hell for authors in the next world—they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this.

BOVEE-Summaries of Thought. Authors.



There is no fettering of

authority. All's Well That Ends Well. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 248.

Shall remain! Hear you this Triton of the minnows? mark you His absolute “shall”?

Coriolanus. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 88. Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar, And the creature run from the cur: There, thou might'st behold the great image of

authority; A dog's obeyed in office.

King Lear. Act IV. Sc. 6. L. 159.



A man of moderate Understanding, thinks he writes divinely: A man of good Understanding, thinks he writes reasonably. LA BRUYÈREThe Characters or Manners of

the Present Age. Ch. I. A man starts upon a sudden, takes Pen, Ink, and Paper, and without ever having had a thought of it before, resolves within himself he will write, a Book; he has no Talent at Writing, but he wants fifty Guineas, LA BRUYÈRE—The Characters or Manners of the Present Age. Ch. XV.

And so I penned It down, until at last it came to be, For length and breadth, the bigness which you BUNYAN-Pilgrim's Progress. Apology for his



Those he commands, move only in command, Nothing in love: now does he feel his title Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe Upon a dwarfish thief.

Macbeth. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 19.




Writers, especially when they act in a body and with one direction, have great influence on the public mind. BURKE-Reflections on the Revolution in



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Thus can the demi-god Authority
Make us pay down for our offense by weight.
Measure for Measure. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 124

But man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep.

Measure for Measure. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 117. 10

And though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold.

A Winter's Tale. Act IV. Sc. 4. L. 831.

Authority forgets a dying king,
Laid widow'd of the power in his eye
That bow'd the will.

TENNYSON-Morte d'Arthur. L. 121.


The circumstance which gives authors an advantage above all these great masters, is this, that they can multiply their originals; or rather, can make copies of their works, to what number they please, which shall be as valuable as the originals themselves.

ADDISONThe Spectator. No. 166.

And force them, though it was in spite
Of Nature and their stars, to write.
BUTLERHudibras. Pt. I. Canto I. L.



But words are things, and a small drop of ink,

Falling, like dew, upon a thought produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions

BYRON—Don Juan. Canto III. St. 88.


But every fool describes, in these bright days,
His wondrous journey to some foreign court,
And spawns his quarto, and demands your

praise, -
Death to his publisher, to him 'tis sport.

BYRONDon Juan. Canto V. St. 52.


15 When I want to read a book I write one. Attributed to BENJ. DISRAELI in a review of

Lothair in Blackwood's Magazine.



The author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.

BENJ. DISRAELI—Speech. Nov. 19, 1870.

17 The unhappy man, who once has trail'd a pen, Lives not to please himself, but other men; Is always drudging, wastes his life and blood, Yet only eats and drinks what you think good.

DRYDENPrologue to Lee's Cæsar Borgia.




All writing comes by the grace of God, and all doing and having.

EMERSONEssays. Of Experience.

And hold up to the sun my little taper.
BYRON- Don Juan. Canto XII. St. 21.

(See also CRABBE, FLETCHER, YOUNG) Dear authors! suit your topics to your strength, And ponder well your subject, and its length; Nor lift your load, before you're quite aware What weight your shoulders will, or will not,

BYRON—Hints from Horace. L. 59.
La pluma es lengua del alma.
The pen is the tongue of the mind.

CERVANTESDon Quixote. V. 16.
Apt Alliteration's artful aid.
CHURCHILLThe Prophecy of Famine. L. 86.

That writer does the most, who gives his reader the most knowledge, and takes from him the least time.

C.C. COLTONLacon. Preface.
Habits of close attention, thinking heads,
Become more rare as dissipation spreads,
Till authors hear at length one general cry
Tickle and entertain us, or we die!

COWPER—Retirement. L. 707.
None but an author knows an author's cares,
Or Fancy's fondness for the child she bears.
COWPER—The Progress of Error. L. 518.

So that the jest is clearly to be seen,
Not in the words—but in the gap between;
Manner is all in all, whate'er is writ,
The substitute for genius, sense, and wit.

COWPER—Table Talk. L. 540.


For no man can write anything who does not think that what he writes is, for the time, the history of the world.

EMERSON—Essays. Of Nature.



The lover of letters loves power too.

EMERSON—Society and Solitude. Clubs.



The writer, like a priest, must be exempted from secular labor. His work needs a frolic health; he must be at the top of his condition.

EMERSONPoetry and Imagination. Creation.

22 Like his that lights a candle to the sun. FLETCHER—Letter to Sir Walter Aston.

(See also BYRON)


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Oh! rather give me commentators plain,
Who with no deep researches vex the brain;
Who from the dark and doubtful love to run,
And hold their glimmering tapers to the sun.
CRABBEThe Parish Register. Pt. I. Intro-

(See also BYRON)
Aucun fiel n'a jamais empoisonné ma plume.

No gall has ever poisoned my pen.

CRÉBILLON-Discours de Réception.
Smelling of the lamp.

(See also PLUTARCH, under ARGUMENT) “Gracious heavens!” he cries out, leaping up and catching hold of his hair, “what's this? Print!" DICKENSChristmas Stories. Somebody's

Luggage. Ch. III. And choose an author as you choose a friend. WENTWORTH DILLONEssay on Translated

Verse. L. 96.

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for money


His [Burke's) imperial fancy has laid all He (Milton) was a Phidias that could cut a nature under tribute, and has collected riches Colossus out of a rock, but could not cut heads from every scene of the creation and every walk out of cherry stones. of art.


ccording to HANNAH ROBERT HALL-Apology for the Freedom of the MORE. (1781) Press. Sec. IV.

Each change of many-coloured life he drew, Whatever an author puts between the two Exhausted worlds and then imagined new: covers of his book is public property; what Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign, ever of himself he does not put there is his And panting Time toil'd after him in vain. private property, as much as if he had never SAMUEL JOHNSON—Prologue on the Opening written a word.

of the Drury Lane Theatre. Gail HAMILTON-Country Living and Country Thinking. Preface.

The chief glory of every people arises from its 3

authors. Sumite materiam vestris, qui scribitis, æquam SAMUEL JOHNSON-Preface to Dictionary. Viribus.

Ye who write, choose a subject suited to There are two things which I am confident your abilities.

I can do very well; one is an introduction to any HORACE-Ars Poetica. 38.

literary work, stating what it is to contain, and how it should be executed in the most perfect

manner. Tantum series juncturaque pollet. Of so much force are system and connection.

SAMUEL JOHNSONBoswell's Life of Johnson. HORACE—Ars Poetica. 242.


A man may write at any time if he set himself Scribendi recte sapere est et principium et fons. doggedly to it.

Knowledge is the foundation and source of SAMUEL JOHNSON—Boswell's Life of Johnson. good writing.

(1773) HORACE–Ars Poetica. 309.

No man but a blockhead ever wrote except Nonumque prematur in annum. Let it (what you have written) be kept back

SAMUEL JOHNSONBoswell's Life of Johnson. until the ninth year.

(1776) HORACE-Ars Poetica. 388.

Tenet insanabile multo

Scribendi cacoëthes, et ægro in corde senescit. 7

An incurable itch for scribbling takes But every little busy scribbler now

possession of many, and grows inveterate in Swells with the praises which he gives himself; their insane breasts. And, taking sanctuary in the crowd,

JUVENAL—Satires. VII. 51.
Brags of his impudence, and scorns to mend.
HORACEOf the Art of Poetry. 475. WENT Damn the age; I will write for Antiquity.

CHARLES LAMB-Bon Mots by Charles Lamb

and Douglas Jerrold. Ed. by Walter JerDeferar in vicum vendentem thus et odores,

rold. Et piper, et quicquid chartis amicitur ineptis.

I i.e. my writings) shall be consigned to To write much, and to write rapidly, are that part of the town where they sell empty boasts. The world desires to know incense, and scents, and pepper, and what what you have done, and not how you

did it. ever is wrapped up in worthless paper.

GEORGE HENRY LEWESThe Spanish Drama. HORACE—Epistles. Bk. II. I. 269.

Ch. III. 9 Piger scribendi ferre laborem;

If you once understand an author's character, Scribendi recte, nam ut multum nil moror.

the comprehension of his writings becomes easy. Too indolent to bear the toil of writing;

LONGFELLOW_Hyperion. Bk. I. Ch. V. I mean of writing well; I say nothing about quantity.

Perhaps the greatest lesson which the lives HORACE-Satires. I. 4. 12.

of literary men teach us is told in a single word:

Wait! 10

LONGFELLOW_Hyperion. Bk. I. Ch. VIII. Sæpe stilum vertas, iterum quæ digna legi sint Scripturus.

Whatever hath been written shall remain, Often turn the stile (correct with care), if

Nor be erased nor written o'er again; you expect to write anything worthy of being

The unwritten only still belongs to thee: read twice.

Take heed, and ponder well what that shall be. HORACE—Satires. I. 10. 72.

LONGFELLOW-Morituri Salutamus. L. 168. 11

Written with a pen of iron, and with the point | Look, then, into thine heart and write! of a diamond.

LONGFELLOW-Voices of the Night. Prelude. Jeremiah. XVII. 1.

St. 19.








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E'en copious Dryden wanted, or forgot,
The last and greatest art—the art to blot.

POPE-Second Book of Horace. Ep. I. L. 280.

19 Whether the darken'd room to muse invite, Or whiten’d wall provoke the skew'r to write; In durance, exile, Bedlam, or the Mint, Like Lee or Budgel I will rhyme and print. POPE-Second Book of Horace. Satire I. L.





You do not publish your own verses, Lælius; you criticise mine. Pray cease to criticise mine, or else publish your own.

MARTIAL-Ěpigrams. Bk. I. Ep. 91. Jack writes severe lampoons on me, 'tis said, But he writes nothing, who is never read.

MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. III. Ep. 9.

He who writes distichs, wishes, I suppose, to please by brevity. But, tell me, of what avail is their brevity, when there is a whole book full of them?

MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. VIII. Ep. 29. 8

The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.

MOHAMMED-Tribute to Reason.

Let him be kept from paper, pen, and ink;
So may he cease to write, and learn to think.
PRIOR—To a Person who Wrote IV. On Same

'Tis not how well an author says,
But 'tis how much, that gathers praise.

PRIOR-Epistle to Fleetwood Shepherd.

22 As though I lived to write, and wrote to live.

SAM'L ROGERSItaly. A Character. L. 16.



To write upon all is an author's sole chance
For attaining, at last, the least knowledge of any.
MOORE-Humorous and Satirical Poems. Lit-

erary Advertisement.


Præbet mihi littera linguam: Et, si non liceat scribere, mutus ero.

This letter gives me a tongue; and were I not allowed to write, I should be dumb. OVIDEpistolæ Ex Ponto. II. 6. 3.

Ils ont les textes pour eux, mais j'en suis faché pour les textes.

They have the texts on their side, but I pity the texts. ROYER-COLLARD, against the opinions of the Jansenists of Port-Royal on Grace.

“So much the worse for the texts." Phrase attributed to VOLTAIRE.

(See also GALIANI)



Scripta ferunt annos; scriptis Agamemnona nosti, Et quisquis contra vel simul arma tulit.

Writings survive the years; it is by writings that you know Agamemnon, and those who fought for or against him. OVID-Epistolæ Ex Ponto. IV. 8. 51.

Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.

Love's Labour's Lost, Act I. Sc. 2. L. 190.


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Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears
Moist it again, and frame some feeling line
That may discover such integrity.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 2.

L. 74.
Of all those arts in which the wise excel,
Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well.
JOHN SHEFFIELD (Duke of Buckinghamshire)

-Essay on Poetry.


Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true, But are not critics to their judgment too?

POPE-Essay on Criticism. L. 17.

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AUTUMN Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the

woods, And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt, And night by night the monitory blast Wails in the key-hole, telling how it pass'd O'er empty fields, or upland solitudes, Or grim wide wave; and now the power is felt Of melancholy, tenderer in its moods Than any joy indulgent Summer dealt. WILLIAM ALLINGHAMDay and Night Songs.

Autumnal Sonnet.




Ah, ye knights of the pen! May honour be your shield, and truth tip your lances! Be gentle to all gentle people. Be modest to women. Be tender to children. And as for the Ogre Humbug, out sword, and have at him!

THACKERAYRoundabout Papers. Ogres.

What the devil does the plot signify, except to bring in fine things?


In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.

VOLTAIRE-A Philosophical Dictionary. Poets. But you're our particular author, you're our

patriot and our friend, You're the poet of the cuss-word an' the swear. EDGAR WALLACE— Tommy to his Laureate.

(R. Kipling) So must the writer, whose productions should Take with the vulgar, be of vulgar mould.

EDMUND WALLER-Epistle to Mr. Killegrew.

8 Smooth verse, inspired by no unlettered Muse. WORDSWORTH-Excursion. V. 262 (Knight's

ed.). (See also GRAY)

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayest rest
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
E. B. BROWNING—Aurora Leigh. Bk. VII.

(See also WHITTIER) Autumn wins you best by this, its mute Appeal to sympathy for its decay.

ROBERT BROWNINGParacelsus. Sc. 1.


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This dull product of a scoffer's pen.

WORDSWORTH-Excursion. Bk. II.


the year,

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Some write, confin'd by physic; some, by debt;
Some, for 'tis Sunday; some, because 'tis wet;
Another writes because his father writ,
And proves himself a bastard by his wit.

YOUNG—Epistles to Mr. Pope. Ep. I. L. 75.

11 An author! 'tis a venerable name! How few deserve it, and what numbers claim! Unbless'd with sense above their peers refined, Who shall stand up dictators to mankind? Nay, who dare shine, if not in virtue's cause? That sole proprietor of just applause. YOUNG-Epistles to Mr. Pope. Ep. II. From

Orford. L. 15. 12 For who can write so fast as men run mad?

YOUNG-Love of Fame. Satire I. L. 286.

Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and mead

ows brown and sear.
BRYANT-The Death of the Flowers.
All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn,
Led yellow Autumn, wreath'd with nodding

BURNSBrigs of Ayr. L. 221.
The mellow autumn came, and with it came

The promised party, to enjoy its sweets.
The corn is cut, the manor full of game;

The pointer ranges, and the sportsman beats In russet jacket;-lynx-like is his aim;

Full grows his bag, and wonderful his feats. Ah, nutbrown partridges! Ah, brilliant pheas

ants! And ah, ye poachers!—'Tis no sport for peasants.

BYRON-Don Juan. Canto XIII. St. 75.



Some future strain, in which the muse shall tell
How science dwindles, and how volumes swell.
How commentators each dark passage shun,
And hold their farthing candle to the sun.
YOUNG-Love of Fame. Satire VII. L. 95.

(See also BYRON) And then, exulting in their taper, cry, “Behold the Sun;" and, Indian-like, adore.

YOUNG/Night Thoughts. Night II.

Yellow, mellow, ripened days,

Sheltered in a golden coating; O'er the dreamy, listless haze,

White and dainty cloudlets floating; Winking at the blushing trees,

And the sombre, furrowed fallow; Smiling at the airy ease,

Of the southward flying swallow.


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