I know not, Madam, that you have a right, upon moral principles, to make your readers suffer so much.
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- The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.
- Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements.
- In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness.
- The mind is refrigerated by interruption; the thoughts are diverted from the principle subject; the reader is weary, he suspects not why; and at last throws away the book, which he has too diligently studied.
- In a man’s letters you know, Madam, his soul lies naked, his letters are only the mirror of his breast, whatever passes within him is shown undisguised in its natural process. Nothing is inverted, nothing distorted, you see systems in their elements, you discover actions in their motives.
- Nay, Madam, when you are declaiming, declaim; and when you are calculating, calculate.