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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.
(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. CHURCHILL—The 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,
DRYDEN—Prologue 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.
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.
EMERSON—Poetry 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 GALIANI–Of Politics.
(See also RoYER-COLLARD)
Envy's a sharper spur than pay:
Gar--The Elephant and the Bookseller. L. 74.
Oh! rather give me commentators plain,
(See also BYRON)
No gall has ever poisoned my pen.
CRÉBILLON-Discours de Réception.
(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.
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,
of the Drury Lane Theatre. The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.
SAMUEL JOHNSON—Preface 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
E'en copious Dryden wanted, or forgot,
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,
Let him be kept from paper, pen, and ink;
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.
PRIOR—Epistle to Fleetwood Shepherd.
As though I lived to write, and wrote to live.
SAM'L ROGERS—Italy. A Character. L. 16.
To write upon all is an author's sole chance
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
POPE-Essay on Criticism. L. 1.
Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears
-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.
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 ALLINGHAM—Day and Night Songs.
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?
GEORGE VILLIERS—The Rehearsal.
O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
Earth's crammed with heaven,
(See also WHITTIER) Autumn wins you best by this, its mute Appeal to sympathy for its decay.
ROBERT BROWNING—Paracelsus. 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
BRYANT—Third of November.
This dull product of a scoffer's pen.
WORDSWORTH-Excursion. Bk. II.
Some write, confin'd by physic; some, by debt;
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.
As the equinoctials blow.
Sorrow and the scarlet leaf,
Sad thoughts and sunny weather;
Agree not well together!
A breath, whence no man knows,
JOHN VANCE CHENEY—Passing of Autumn.
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.
The Autumn is old;
The sere leaves are flying; He hath gather'd up gold,
And now he is dying;
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;
And the day has no morning;