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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.



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 list your load, before you're quite aware What weight your shoulders will, or will not,

bear. BYRON–Hints from Horace. L. 59. La pluma es lengua del alma.

The pen is the tongue of the mind.

CERVANTES-Don 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. COLTON—Lacon. 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.

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.

EMERSON-Essays. Of Erperience.


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.


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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)




Les sots font le texte, et les hommes d'esprit les


Fools make the text, and men of wit the commentaries. ABBÉ GALIANIOf Politics.

(See also RoYER-COLLARD)



Envy's a sharper spur than pay:
No author ever spar'd a brother;
Wits are gamecocks to one another.

Gar--The Elephant and the Bookseller. L. 74.

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!” DICKENS—Christmas Stories. Somebody's

Luggage. Ch. III.

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His [Burke's) imperial fancy has laid all nature under tribute, and has collected riches from every scene of the creation and every walk of art. ROBERT HALL-Apology for the Freedom of the

Press. Sec. IV. 2

Whatever an author puts between the two covers of his book is public property; what ever of himself he does not put there is his private property, as much as if he had never written a word. Gail HAMILTON-Country Living and Country

Thinking. Preface. 3

Sumite materiam vestris, qui scribitis, æquam Viribus.

Ye who write, choose a subject suited to your abilities. HORACE-Ars Poetica. 38.


Each change of many-coloured life he drew,
Exhausted worlds and then imagined new:
Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.
SAMUEL JOHNSONPrologue on the Opening

of the Drury Lane Theatre. The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.

SAMUEL JOHNSONPreface to Dictionary.

There are two things which I am confident I can do very well; one is an introduction to any literary work, stating what it is to contain, and how it should be executed in the most perfect


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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.



You do not publish your own verses, Lælius; you criticise mine.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

MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. I. Ep. 91. Jack writes severe lampoons on me, 'tis saidBut 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.

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.





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 IU. On Same




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

MOHAMMED-Tribute to Reason.

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

PRIOREpistle to Fleetwood Shepherd.



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. 10

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. OVID-Epistolæ Ex Ponto. II. 6. 3.

11 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.

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) 24

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

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



'Tis hard to say if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill;
But, of the two less dang'rous is th' offence
To tire our patience than mislead our sense.

POPE-Essay on Criticism. L. 1.

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?

POPEEssay 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.


The great and good do not 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.

SAM'L SMILES—Character. Ch. X.

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!

THACKERAY-Roundabout Papers. Ogres.

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






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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.
WILLIAM BLAKE–To Autumn. St. 1.

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. Glorious are the woods in their latest gold and

crimson, Yet our full-leaved willows are in their freshSuch a kindly autumn, so mercifully dealing

With the growths of summer, I never yet have




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est green.



BRYANTThird of November.


This dull product of a scoffer's pen.

WORDSWORTH-Excursion. Bk. II.


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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

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

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

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Into earth's lap does throw
Brown apples gay in a game of play,

As the equinoctials blow.
D. M. MULOCK-October.



Sorrow and the scarlet leaf,

Sad thoughts and sunny weather;
Ah me! this glory and this grief

Agree not well together!
T. W. PARSONS—A Song for September.


A breath, whence no man knows,
Swaying the grating weeds, it blows;
It comes, it grieves, it goes.
Once it rocked the summer rose.

JOHN VANCE CHENEY—Passing of Autumn.
I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,

Pearling his coronet of golden corn.
Hood-Ode. Autumn.

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The Autumn is old;

The sere leaves are flying; He hath gather'd up gold,

And now he is dying;
Old age, begin sighing!

Thus sung the shepherds till th' approach of

night, The skies yet blushing with departing light, When falling dews with spangles deck'd the

glade, And the low sun had lengthened every shade.

POPE— Pastorals. Autumn. Last lines.

14 0, it sets my heart a clickin' like the tickin' of a

clock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's

in the shock. JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY-When the Frost is

on the Punkin.


The year's in the wane;

There is nothing adorning;
The night has no eve,

And the day has no morning;
Cold winter gives warning!


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