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[ Also see Art Authorship Books Criticism Eloquence Language Literature Obscurity Oratory Originality Poetry Rhetoric Speech Taste Thought Writing ]

Sir Francis Bacon observed that a well-written book, compared with its rivals and antagonists, is like Moses' serpent, that immediately swallowed up and devoured those of the Egyptians.
      - Joseph Addison

A good style fits like a good costume.
      - Amos Bronson Alcott

Nero was wont to say of his master, Seneca, that his style was like mortar without lime.
      - Francis Bacon

A chaste and lucid style is indicative of the same personal traits in the author.
      - Hosea Ballou, Manuscript Sermons

One who uses many periods is a philosopher; many interrogations, a student; many exclamations, a fanatic.
      - James Lendall Basford

We know much of a writer by his style. An open and imperious disposition is shown in short sentences, direct and energetic. A secretive and proud mind is cold and obscure in style. An affectionate and imaginative nature pours out luxuriantly, and blossoms all over with ornament.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

It is difficult to descend with grace without seeming to fall.
      - Hugh Blair

The least degree of ambiguity which leaves the mind in suspense as to the meaning ought to be avoided with the greatest care.
      - Hugh Blair

The want of a more copious diction, to borrow a figure from Locke, is caused by our supposing that the mind is like Fortunatus's purse, and will always supply our wants, without our ever putting anything into it.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

Only well-written works will descend to posterity. Fulness of knowledge, interesting facts, even useful inventions, are no pledge of immortality, for they may be employed by more skilful hands; they are outside the man; the style is the man himself.
      - George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

Style supposes the reunion and the exercise of all the intellectual faculties. The style is the man.
      - George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

The style is the man.
  [Fr., Le style c'est l'homme.]
      - George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon,
        Discourse on taking his seat in the French Academie

In some exquisite critical hints on "Eurythmy," Goethe remarks, "that the best composition in pictures is that which, observing the most delicate laws of harmony, so arranges the objects that they by their position tell their own story." And the rule thus applied to composition in painting applies no less to composition in literature.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Men who make money rarely saunter; men who save money rarely swagger.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

The truly sublime is always easy, and always natural.
      - Edmund Burke

It is most true, stylus virum arguit, our style bewrays us.
      - Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy

The lives of trees lie only in the barks,
  And in their styles the wit of greatest clerks.
      - Samuel Butler (1)

Style is the dress of thoughts.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope,
        Letter to his Son--On Education

Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.
      - Jean Cocteau

The words in prose ought to express the intended meaning; if they attract attention to themselves, it is a fault; in the very best styles, as Southey's, you read page after page without noticing the medium.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Wherever you find a sentence musically worded, of true rhythm and melody in the words, there is something deep and good in the meaning also.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Antithesis may be the blossom of wit, but it will never arrive at maturity unless sound sense be the trunk, and truth the root.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Miss Edgeworth and Mme. de Stael have proved that there is no sex in style; and Mme. la Roche Jacqueline, and the Duchesse d'Angouleme have proved that there is no sex in courage.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Nothing is so difficult as the apparent ease of a clear and flowing style; those graces which, from their presumed facility, encourage all to attempt an imitation of them, are usually the most inimitable.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Perhaps that is nearly the perfection of good writing which is original, but whose truth alone prevents the reader from suspecting that it is so; and which effects that for knowledge which the lens effects for the sunbeam, when it condenses its brightness in order to increase its force.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

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