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Washington Irving
I was always fond of visiting new scenes, and observing strange characters and manners. Even when a mere child I began my travels, and made many tours of discovery into foreign parts and unknown regions of my native city.
William James
I hope you will not be severely disappointed on opening this fat envelope to find it is not all letter. I will first explain to you the nature of the enclosed document and then proceed to personal matters.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
How different from this gossip is the divine Dante, with which I begin the morning! I write a few lines every day before breakfast. It is the first thing I do. The morning prayer, the key-note of the day.
James Russell Lowell
Those who look upon language only as anatomists of its structure, or who regard it as only a means of conveying abstract truth from mind to mind, are apt to overlook the fact that its being alive is all that gives it poetic value.
Wordsworth, Keats, Byron
Three men, almost contemporaneous with each other Wordsworth, Keats, and Byron were the great means of bringing back English poetry from the sandy deserts of rhetoric, and recovering for her her triple inheritance of simplicity, sensuousness, and passion.
Edgar Allan Poe
I have often thought how interesting a magazine paper might be written by any author who would or could detail, step by step, the processes by which any one of his compositions attained its ultimate point of completion.
James Whitcomb Riley
I'm most afraid you're spoiling me with all your good words, praises and encores, and tincturing me, too, beyond my wont with that delirious favoring enthusiasm.
Henry D. Thoreau
In books, that which is most generally interesting is what comes home to the most cherished private experience of the greatest number.
Mark Twain
Shortly after my marriage, in 1870, I received a letter from a young man in St. Louis who was possibly a distant relative of mine. His letter said that he was anxious and ambitious to become a journalist.
Walt Whitman
The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters is simplicity. Nothing is better than simplicity. Nothing can make up for excess or for the lack of definiteness.
Joseph Addison
The mind that lies fallow but a single day sprouts up in follies that are only to be killed by a constant and assiduous culture. It was said of Socrates, that he brought philosophy down from heaven, to inhabit among men.
William Blake
Every Poem must necessarily be a perfect Unity, but why Homer's is peculiarly so, I cannot tell. He has told the story of Bellerophon & omitted the Judgment of Paris, which is not only a part, but a principal part, of Homer's subject.
James Boswell
Had Dr. Johnson written his own life, in conformity with the opinion which he has given, that every man's life may be best written by himself; had he employed in the preservation of his own history, the world would probably have had the most perfect example of biography that was ever exhibited.
Charlotte Bronte
One day in the autumn of 1845 I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily's handwriting. Of course I was not surprised, knowing that she could and did write verse.
Emily Bronte
You ask me to recommend some books for your perusal. I will do so in as few words as I can. If you like poetry let it be first-rate. Milton, Shakespeare, Thomson, Goldsmith, Pope (if you will, though I don't admire him), Scott, Byron, Campbell, Wordsworth, and Southey.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I protest zealously against that word. Now isn't it a vulgarism, and out of place altogether here? It seems to me, while I appreciate the conception of this poem fully, and much admire some things in it, that it requires more finishing than the other poems.
Robert Burns
The hope to be admired for ages is, in by far the greater part of those even who are authors of repute, an unsubstantial dream.
Samuel Butler
Men of the quickest apprehensions, and aptest Geniuses to anything they undertake, do not always prove the greatest Masters in it.
Lord Byron
The first thing a young writer must expect, and yet can least of all suffer, is criticism. I did not bear it a few years, and many changes have since passed over my head, and my reflections on that subject are attended with regret.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
During the first year that Mr. Wordsworth and I were neighbours, our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of imagination.
Joseph Conrad
You no doubt have the gift of the mot juste, of those sentences that are like a flash of limelight on the facade of a cathedral or a flash of lightning on a landscape when the whole scene and all the details leap up before the eye in a moment and are irresistibly impressed on memory by their sudden vividness.
Charles Dickens
I hold my inventive capacity on the stern condition that it must master my whole life, often have complete possession of me, make its own demands upon me, and sometimes, for months together, put everything else away from me.
Benjamin Disraeli
I have observed that, after writing a book, my mind always makes a great spring. I believe that the act of composition produces the same invigorating effect upon the mind which some exertion does upon the body.
Thomas Hardy
Read review of Tess in The Quarterly. A smart and amusing article, but it is easy to be smart and amusing if a man will forgo veracity and sincerity.
William Hazlitt
Neither a mere description of natural objects, nor a mere delineation of natural feelings, however distinct or forcible, constitutes the ultimate end and aim of poetry, without the heightenings of the imagination.
Leigh Hunt
I entrench myself in my books equally against sorrow and the weather. If the wind comes through a passage, I look about to see how I can fence it off by a better disposition of my movables. If a melancholy thought is importunate, I give another glance at my Spenser.
Samuel Johnson
Nothing can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature. Particular manners can be known to few, and therefore few only can judge how nearly they are copied.
John Keats
I should not have consented to myself, these four months, tramping in the Highlands, but that I thought it would give me more experience, rub off more prejudice, use [me] to more hardship, identify finer scenes, load me with grander mountains, and strengthen more my reach in poetry.
Charles Lamb
I lost a friend a most valuable one by showing him a whimsical draught of a miser. He himself is remarkable for generosity, even to carelessness in money matters; but there was an expression in it, out of Juvenal, about an attic a place where pigeons are fed; and my friend kept pigeons.
Thomas Babington Macaulay
The first rule of all writing that rule to which every other is subordinate is that the words used by the writer shall be such as most fully and precisely convey his meaning to the great body of his readers.
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