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[ Also see Authors Books Criticism Ink Journalism Libraries Literature Occupations Pen Plagiarism Poetry Press Printing Publishing Quotations Reading Shakespeare Style Writing ]

It is a fine simile in one of Mr. Congreve's prologues which compares a writer to a battering gamester that stakes all his winnings upon one cast, so that if he loses the last throw he is sure to be undone.
      - Joseph Addison

Peaceable times are the best to live in, though not so proper to furnish materials for a writer.
      - Joseph Addison

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.
      - Joseph Addison,
        in the "Spectator", no. 166

Who does not more admire Cicero as an author than as a consul of Rome?
      - Joseph Addison

Our favorites are few; since only what rises from the heart reaches it, being caught and carried on the tongues of men wheresoever love and letters journey.
      - Amos Bronson Alcott

Twenty to one offend more in writing too much than too little.
      - Roger Ascham

Write to the mind and heart, and let the ear
  Glean after what it can.
      - Philip James Bailey, Festus (sc. Home)

They who, by speech or writing, present to the ear or eye of modesty any of the indecencies, are pests of society.
      - James Beattie

The pen is the tongue of the hand; a silent utterer of words for the eye.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

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.
      - Henry Ward Beecher,
        Star Papers--Oxford--Bodleian Library

The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;
  Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.
      - Bible, Jeremiah (ch. XVII, v. 1-2)

It is in vain a daring author thinks of attaining to the heights of Parnassus if he does not feel the secret influence of heaven and if his natal star has not formed him to be a poet.
      - Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux

There is probably no hell for authors in the next world--they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee,
        Summaries of Thought--Authors

I have observed that vulgar readers almost always lose their veneration for the writings of the genius with whom they have had personal intercourse.
      - Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges

To write well is to think well, to feel well, and to render well; it is to possess at once intellect, soul, and taste.
      - George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Certain I am that every author who has written a book with earnest forethought and fondly cherished designs will bear testimony to the fact that much which he meant to convey has never been guessed at in any review of his work; and many a delicate beauty of thought, on which he principally valued himself, remains, like the statue of Isis, an image of truth from which no hand lifts the veil.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

I believe that there is much less difference between the author and his works than is currently supposed; it is usually in the physical appearance of the writer,--his manners, his mien, his exterior,--that he falls short of the ideal a reasonable man forms of him--rarely in his mind.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

The faults of a brilliant writer are never dangerous on the long run; a thousand people read his work who would read no other; inquiry is directed to each of his doctrines; it is soon discovered what is sound and what is false; the sound become maxims, and the false beacons.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

We may observe in humorous authors that the faults they chiefly ridicule have often a likeness in themselves. Cervantes had much of the knight-errant in him; Sir George Etherege was unconsciously the Fopling Flutter of his own satire; Goldsmith was the same hero to chambermaids, and coward to ladies that he has immortalized in his charming comedy; and the antiquarian frivolities of Jonathan Oldbuck had their resemblance in Jonathan Oldbuck's creator.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

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, 1st Baron Lytton,
        Caxtoniana--Essay XXVII--The Spirit of Conservation

No author ever drew a character, consistent to human nature, but what he was forced to ascribe to it many inconsistencies.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton,
        What Will He Do With It?
         (bk. IV, ch. XIV, heading)

And so I penned
  It down, until at last it came to be
    For length and breadth the bigness which you see.
      - John Bunyan

Friend, howsoever thou camest by this book, I will assure thee thou wert least in my thoughts when I writ it.
      - John Bunyan

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

Sallust is indisputably one of the best historians among the Romans, both for the purity of his language and the elegance of his style.
      - Edmund Burke

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