C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Look, then, into thine heart and write!


Nature’s chief masterpiece in writing well.


The best style of writing, as well as the most forcible, is the plainest.

Horace Greeley.

To be a well-favored man is the gift of fortune; but to read and write comes by nature.


We must write as Homer wrote, not what he wrote.

Théophile Vian.

Ye who write, choose a subject suited to your abilities.


Whatever may be our natural talents, the art of writing is not acquired all at once.


Knowledge is the foundation and source of good writing.


The mind conceives with pain, but it brings forth with delight.


Writings may be compared to wine. Sense is the strength, but wit the flavor.


  • You write with ease to show your breeding
  • But easy writing’s curst hard reading.
  • Sheridan.

    Setting down in writing, is a lasting memory.


  • ’Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill
  • Appear in writing or in judging ill.
  • Pope.

    To write for a living, according to Mr. Whipple, is coquetting with starvation.

    F. A. Durivage.

  • The world agrees
  • That he writes well who writes with ease.
  • Prior.

    If you wish to write well, study the life about you,—life in the public streets.

    Horace Mann.

    Often turn the stile [correct with care,] if you expect to write anything worthy of being read twice.


    An incurable itch for scribbling takes possession of many, and grows inveterate in their insane breasts.


    Too indolent to bear the toil of writing; I mean of writing well; I say nothing about quantity.


    A man who writes well writes not as others write, but as he himself writes; it is often in speaking badly that he speaks well.


    To write well is at once to think well, to feel rightly, and to render properly; it is to have, at the same time, mind, soul, taste.


    Fine writing, according to Mr. Addison, consists of sentiments which are natural without being obvious.


    True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learned to dance.


    We have some writers so abstruse and deep that they drown themselves in their fathomless sentences.

    H. W. Shaw.

  • To be accurate, write; to remember, write; to know thine own mind, write,
  • And a written prayer is a prayer of faith, special, sure, and to be answered.
  • Tupper.

    If you would learn to write, it is in the street you must learn it. Both for the vehicle and for the aims of fine arts, you must frequent the public square. The people, and not the college, is the writer’s home. A scholar is a candle which the love and desire of all men will light.


    A good author, and one who writes carefully, often discovers that the expression of which he has been in search without being able to discover it, and which he has at last found, is that which was the most simple, the most natural, and which seems as if it ought to have presented itself at once, without effort, to the mind.

    La Bruyère.

    The habit of committing our thoughts to writing is a powerful means of expanding the mind, and producing a logical and systematic arrangement of our views and opinions. It is this which gives the writer a vast superiority, as to the accuracy and extent of his conceptions, over the mere talker. No one can ever hope to know the principles of any art or science thoroughly who does not write as well as read upon the subject.