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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 ]

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

Our writings are so many dishes, our readers guests, our books like beauty; that which one admires another rejects; so are we approved as men's fancies are inclined.
      - Robert Burton

The book that he has made renders its author this service in return, that so long as the book survives, its author remains immortal and cannot die.
      - Richard de Bury, Bishop of Durham (f/k/a Richard Aungervyle)

And force them, though it was in spite
  Of Nature and their stars, to write.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. I, canto I, l. 647)

Every fool describes in these bright days his wondrous journey to some foreign court, and spawns his quarto, and demands your praise.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

One hates an author that is all author; fellows in foolscap uniform turned up with ink.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
  Falling, like dew, upon a thought produces
    That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel 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.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto V, st. 52)

And hold up to the sun my little taper.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto XII, st. 21)

Dear authors! suit your topics to your strength,
  And ponder well your subject, and its length;
    Nor lift your lad, before you're quite aware
      What weight your shoulders will, or will not, bear.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Hints from Horace (l. 59)

Will you have all in all for prose and verse? Take the miracle of our age, Sir Philip Sidney.
      - Richard Carew,
        in William Camden's "Remains concerning Britain" (1614)

Authors are the vanguard in the march of mind, the intellectual backwoodsmen, reclaiming from the idle wilderness new territories for the thought and activity of their happier brethren.
      - Thomas Carlyle

O thou who art able to write a book which once in the two centuries or oftener there is a man gifted to do, envy not him whom they name city-builder, and inexpressibly pity him whom they name conqueror or city-burner.
      - Thomas Carlyle

No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this sell-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

The pen is the tongue of the mind.
  [Sp., La pluma es lengua del alma.]
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote (V, 16)

Spero Speroni explains admirably how an author who writes very clearly for himself is often obscure to his readers. "It is," he says, "because the author proceeds from the thought to the expression, and the reader from the expression to the thought."
      - Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

The success of many works is found in the relation between the mediocrity of the authors' ideas and that of the ideas of the public.
      - Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

Apt Alliteration's artful aid.
      - Charles Churchill, The Prophecy of Famine
         (l. 86)

The authors who affect contempt for a name in the world put their names to the books which they invite the world to read.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

For popular purposes, at least, the aim of literary artists should be similar to that of Rubens in his landscapes, of which, without neglecting the minor traits or finishing, he was chiefly solicitous to present the leading effect, or what we may call the inspiration.
      - William Benton Clulow

For all the practical purposes of life, truth might as well be in a prison as in the folio of a schoolman; and those who release her from her cobwebbed shelf and teach her to live with men have the merit of liberating, if not of discovering, her.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

It is a doubt whether mankind are most indebted to those who, like Bacon and Butler, dig the gold from the mine of literature, or to those who, like Paley, purify it, stamp it, fix its real value, and give it currency and utility.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Living authors, therefore, are usually, bad companions. If they have not gained character, they seek to do so by methods often ridiculous, always disgusting; and if they have established a character, they are silent for fear of losing by their tongue what they have acquired by their pen--for many authors converse much more foolishly than Goldsmith, who have never written half so well.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

So idle are dull readers, and so industrious are dull authors, that puffed nonsense bids fair to blow unpuffed sense wholly out of the field.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Subtract from many modern poets all that may be found in Shakespeare, and trash will remain.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

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