The trade of authorship is a violent, and indestructible obsession.
The pen is the tongue of the mind.
But words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
Write to the mind and heart, and let the ear Glean after what it can.
Indeed, unless a man can link his written thoughts with the everlasting wants of men, so that they shall draw more from them as wells, there is no more immortality to the thoughts and feelings of the soul than to the muscles and bones.
Writers, especially when they act in a body and with one direction, have great influence on the public mind.
He who writes prose builds his temple to Fame in rubble; he who writes verses builds it in granite. - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, first Baron Lytton
We are the products of editing, rather than of authorship.
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.
Whatever hath been written shall remain,
Nor be erased nor written o'er again;
The unwritten only still belongs to thee:
Take heed, and ponder well what that shall be.
This letter gives me a tongue; and were I not allowed to write, I should be dumb.
[Lat., Praebet mihi littera linguam:
Et, si non liceat scribere, mutus ero.]
And people do enjoy the plays at completely different levels. And, likewise, they enjoy the authorship question... at completely different levels.
I didn't really escape that gravity until I moved 300 miles south to go to college at 18, where authorship no longer seemed something liable to induce vengeful punishment.
He who writes distichs, wishes, I suppose, to please by brevity. But, tell me, of what avail is their brevity, when there is a whose book full of them?
A man of moderate Understanding, thinks he writes divinely: A man of good Understanding, thinks he writes reasonably.
Writings survive the years; it is by writings that you know Agamemnon, and those who fought for or against him.
[Lat., Scripta ferunt annos; scriptis Agamemnona nosti,
Et quisquis contra vel simul arma tulit.]
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.
I am very averse to bringing myself forward in print, but as my account will only appear as an appendage to a former production, and as it will be confined to such topics as have connection with my authorship alone, I can hardly accuse myself of a personal intrusion.
The great and good do no die even in this world. Embalmed in books, their spirits walk abroad. The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which one still listens.
There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth publishing, to find honest men to publish it, and to find sensible men to read it.
Often turn the stile [correct with care], if you expect to write anything worthy of being read twice.
[Lat., Saepe stilum vertas, iterum quae digna legi sint Scripturus.]
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.
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.
Let it (what you have written) be kept back until the ninth year.
[Lat., Nonumque prematur in annum.]
Knowledge is the foundation and source of good writing.
[Lat., Scibendi recte sapere est et principium et fons.]
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