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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 ]

That an author's work is the mirror of his mind is a position that has led to very false conclusions. If Satan himself were to write a book it would be in praise of virtue, because the good would purchase it for use, and the bad for ostentation.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

That author, however, who has thought more than he has read, read more than he has written, and written more than he has published, if he does not command success, has at least deserved it.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

There are both dull correctness and piquant carelessness; it is needless to say which will command the most readers and have the most influence.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

There are three difficulties in authorship--to write anything worth the publishing, to find honest men to publish it, and to get sensible men to read it.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

That writer does the most, who gives his reader the most knowledge, and takes from him the least time.
      - Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon (preface)

Let authors write for glory or reward,
  Truth is well paid, when she is sung and heard.
      - Richard Corbet

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!
      - William Cowper, Retirement (l. 707)

So that the jest is clearly to be seen,
  Not in the words--but in the gap between;
    Manner is all in all, whate'er is writ,
      The substitute for genius, sense, and wit.
      - William Cowper, Table Talk (l. 540)

None but an author knows an author's cares,
  Or Fancy's fondness for the child she bears.
      - William Cowper, The Progress of Error
         (l. 518)

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.
      - George Crabbe, The Parish Register
         (pt. I, introduction)

No call has ever poisoned by pen.
  [Fr., Aucun fiel n'a jamais empoisonne ma plumme.]
      - Prosper Jolyot de Crebillon,
        Discours de Reception

Smelling of the lamp.
      - Demosthenes

"Gracious heavens!" he cries out, leaping up and catching hold of his hair, "what's this? Print!"
      - Charles Dickens,
        Christmas Stories--Somebody's Luggage
         (ch. III)

Those authors into whose hands nature has placed a magic wand, with which they no sooner touch us than we forget the unhappiness in life, than the darkness leaves our soul, and we are reconciled to existence, should be placed among the benefactors of the human race.
      - Denis Diderot

Sound judgment is the ground of writing well.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon

The men, who labour and digest things most,
  Will be much apter to despond than boast;
    For if your author be profoundly good,
      'Twill cost you dear before he's understood.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon,
        Essay on Translated Verse (l. 163)

And choose an author as you choose a friend.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon,
        Essay on Translated Verse (l. 96)

Of all unfortunate men one of the unhappiest is a middling author endowed with too lively a sensibility for criticism.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

The author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield,
        in a speech

Those authors who appear sometimes to forget they are writers, and remember they are men, will be our favorites.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

When I want to read a book I write one.
      - attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield,
        in a review of "Lothair" in "Blackwood's Magazine"

All authors to their own defects are blind.
      - John Dryden

Boileau's numbers are excellent, his expressions noble, his thoughts just, his language pure, and his sense close.
      - John Dryden

He who proposes to be an author should first be a student.
      - John Dryden

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.
      - John Dryden,
        Prologue to Lee's Caesar Borgia

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