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Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerent.

Perish those who said our good things before we did. Ælius DONATUS, according to ST. JEROME

Commentary on Ecclesiastes. Ch. I. Refer

ring to the words of TERENCE. 2

When Shakespeare is charged with debts to his authors, Landor replies, "Yet he was more original than his originals. He breathed upon dead bodies and brought them into life.” EMERSONLetters and Social Aims. Quotation

and Originality. 3

It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion.

EMERSON—Shakespeare. 4

He that readeth good writers and pickes out their flowres for his own nose, is lyke a foole. STEPHEN GOSSON–In the School of Abuse.


He liked those literary cooks
Who skim the cream of others' books;
And ruin half an author's graces
By plucking bon-mots from their places.

HANNAH MOREFlorio, the Bas Blue.


Take the whole range of imaginative literature, and we are all wholesale borrowers. In every matter that relates to invention, to use, or beauty or form, we are borrowers.

WENDELL PHILLIPS–Lecture. The Lost Arts.


Leurs écrits sont des vois qu'ils nous ont faits

d'avance. Their writings are thoughts stolen from us

by anticipation. PIRON—La Métromanie. III. 6.



Next o'er his books his eyes began to roll,
In pleasing memory of all he stole;
How here he sipp'd, how there he plunder'd snug,
And suck'd all o'er like an industrious bug.

POPE-Dunciad. Bk. I. L. 127.



When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre,

He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea;
An' what he thought 'e might require,

'E went an' took—the same as me.
KIPLING-Barrack-Room Ballads. Introduc-

(See also BURTON) My books need no one to accuse or judge you: the page which is yours stands up against you and says, “You are a thief.”

MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. I. Ep. 53.

Why, simpleton, do you mix your verses with mine? What have you to do, foolish man, with writings that convict you of theft? Why do you attempt to associate foxes with lions, and make owls pass for eagles? Though you had one of Ladas's legs, you would not be able, blockhead, to run with the other leg of wood.

MARTIALEpigrams. Bk. X. Ep. 100.

For such kind of borrowing as this, if it be not bettered by the borrower, among good authors is accounted plagiary.

MILIONIconoclastes. XXIII.

9 Je reprends mon bien où je le trouve.

I recover my property wherever I find it. MOLIÈRE. CYRANO DE BERGERAC incorpo

rated a scene confidentially communicated to him by MOLIÈRE, in his Pédant Joué. II. 4. MOLIÈRE taking possession, used it in his Les Fourberies de Scapin. EMERSON-Letters and Social Aims, attributes the mot to

MARMONTEL. 10 Les abeilles pillotent deçà delà les fleurs; mais elles en font aprez le miel, qui est tout leur; ce n'est plus thym, ny marjolaine: ainsi les pièces empruntées d'aultruy, il les transformera et confondra pour en faire un ouvrage tout sien.

The bees pillage the flowers here and there but they make honey of them which is all

With him most authors steal their works, or buy; Garth did not write his own Dispensary.

POPE—Essay on Criticism. L. 618.

The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps:
The robes ye weave, another wears:
The arms ye forge another bears.
SHELLEYTo the Men of England.

(See also VERGIL) Steal!—to be sure they may; and egad, serve your best thoughts as gypsies do stolen children, disfigure them to make 'em pass for their own. R. B. SHERIDANThe Critic. Act I. Sc. 1.

(See also CHURCHILL) 19 Libertas et natale solum.

Fine words! I wonder where you stole 'em. SWIFT. Upon CHIEF JUSTICE WHITSHED's

Motto for his coach. (1724)


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Pleasure the servant, Virtue looking on.

BEN JONSON—Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue.

2 Voluptates commendat rarior usus.

Rare indulgence produces greater pleasure. JUVENAL-Satires. XI. 208.


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Dum licet inter nos igitur lætemur amantes;
Non satis est ullo tempore longus amor.

Let us enjoy pleasure while we can; pleasure
is never long enough.
PROPERTIUSElegiæ. I. 19. 25.
Diliguntur immodice sola quæ non licent;

non nutrit ardorem concupiscendi, ubi frui licet.

Forbidden pleasures alone are loved immoderately; when lawful, they do not excite desire. QUINTILIANDeclamationes. XIV. 18.

(See also OVID) Continuis voluptatibus vicina satietas.

Satiety is a neighbor to continued pleasures.

QUINTILIANDeclamationes. XXX. 6.
Spangling the wave with lights as vain
As pleasures in this vale of pain,
That dazzle as they fade.

SCOTT--Lord of the Isles. Canto I. St. 23.


Ah, no! the conquest was obtained with ease; He pleased you by not studying to please.

GEORGE LYTTLETONProgress of Love. 3.



There is a pleasure which is born of pain. OWEN MEREDITH (Lord Lytton)-The Wanderer. Bk. I. Prologue. Pt. I.

(See also DRYDEN)


Boys who, being mature in knowledge,
Pawn their experience to their present pleasure.

Antony and Cleopatra. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 31.


And painefull

pleasure turnes to pleasing paine. SPENSERFaerie Queene. Bk. III. Canto X. St. 60.

(See also DRYDEN)



Take all the pleasures of all the spheres,
And multiply each through endless years,
One minute of Heaven is worth them all.

MOORELalla Rookh. Paradise and the Peri. 7

The roses of pleasure seldom last long enough to adorn the brow of him who plucks them; for they are the only roses which do not retain their sweetness after they have lost their beauty. HANNAH MORE — Essays on Various Subjects.

On Dissipation.
God made all pleasures innocent.

MRS. NORTONLady of La Garaye. Pt. I. Quod licet est ingratum quod non licet acrius urit.

What is lawful is undesirable; what is unlawful is very attractive. OVID-Amorum. II. 19. 3.

(See also QUINTILIAN, Tacitus) Blanda truces animos fertur mollisse voluptas.

Alluring pleasure is said to have softened the savage dispositions (of early mankind). OVID--Ars Amatoria. Bk. II. 477.



Non quam multis placeas, sed qualibus stude.

Do not care how many, but whom, you please. SYRUS-Maxims.

22 Prævalent illicita.

Things forbidden have a secret charm.
TACITUS-Annales. XIII. 1.

(See also OVID) 23

Pleasure is frail like a dewdrop, while it laughs it dies. But sorrow is strong and abiding. Let sorrowful love wake in your eyes. RABINDRATH TAGORE-Gardener. 27.

(See also BURNS)
I built my soul a lordly pleasure-house,
Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
TENNYSONThe Palace of Art. St. 1.

Nam id arbitror
Adprime in vita esse utile ut ne quid nimis.

I hold this to be the rule of life, “Too much of anything is bad.” TERENCE-Andria. I. 1. 33.



Usque adeo nulli sincera voluptas,
Solicitique aliquid lætis intervenit.

No one possesses unalloyed pleasure; there is some anxiety mingled with the joy. OVID-Metamorphoses. VII. 453.


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Sure as night follows day, Death treads in Pleasure's footsteps round the Why then we should drop into poetry. world,

DICKENS–Our Mutual Friend. Bk. I. Ch. V. When Pleasure treads the paths which Reason shuns.

When the brain gets as dry as an empty nut, YOUNG—Night Thoughts. Night V. L. 863. When the reason stands on its squarest toes,

When the mind (like a beard) has a "formal To frown at pleasure, and to smile in pain.

cut,”YOUNG-Night Thoughts. Night VIII. L. There is a place and enough for the pains of 1,045.


But whenever the May-blood stirs and glows, POETRY (See also POETS)

And the young year draws to the "golden

prime, Poetry is itself a thing of God;

And Sir Romeo sticks in his ear a rose, He made his prophets poets; and the more

Then hey! for the ripple of laughing rhyme! We feel of poesie do we become Like God in love and power, —-under-makers.

AUSTIN DOBSONThe Ballad of Prose and

BAILEY-Festus. Proem. L. 5.
You speak

Doeg, though without knowing how or why, As one who fed on poetry.

Made still a blundering kind of melody; BULWER-LYTTON-Richelieu. Act I, Sc. 1. Spurr'd boldly on, and dash'd through thick and

thin, For rhyme the rudder is of verses,

Through sense and nonsense, never out nor in; With which, like ships, they steer their courses. Free from all meaning whether good or bad, BUTLER-Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto I. L. 463. And in one word, heroically mad.

DRYDEN—Absalom and Achitophel. Pt. II. L. Some force whole regions, in despite

412. “Thick and thin." O'geography, to change their site;

(See also BUTLER, SPENSER under CONSTANCY) Make former times shake hands with latter, And that which was before come after;

'Twas he that ranged the words at random flung, But those that write in rhyme still make

Pierced the fair pearls and them together strung. The one verse for the other's sake;

EASTWICK-Anvari Suhaili. Rendering For one for sense, and one for rhyme,

BIDPAI. I think's sufficient at one time.

(See also LOWELL, TENNYSON) BUTLER-Hudibras. Pt. II. Canto I. L. 23.

The true poem is the poet's mind. Nor florid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme,

EMERSONEssays. Of History. Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime. BYRON—Childe Harold. Canto I. St. 3. For it is not metres, but a metre-making ar

gument that makes a poem. The fatal facility of the octosyllabic verse.

EMERSON—Essays. The Poet. BYRON—Corsair. Preface. 9

It does not need that a poem should be long. Poetry, therefore, we will call Musical Thought. Every word was once a poem. CARLYLE-Heroes and Hero Worship. 3.

EMERSON—Essays. The Poet. For there is no heroic poem in the world but The finest poetry was first experience. is at bottom a biography, the life of a man; also, EMERSON--Shakespeare. it may be said, there is no life of a man, faith

(See also CARLYLE) fully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed.

Oh love will make a dog howl in rhyme. CARLYLE—Sir Walter Scott. London and West- JOHN FLETCHER-Queen of Corinth. Act IV. minster Review. (1838)

Sc. 1. (See also EMERSON)


What is a Sonnet? 'Tis the pearly shell In the hexameter rises the fountain's silvery That murmurs of the far-off, murmuring sea; column:

A precious jewel carved most curiously; In the pentameter aye falling in melody back. It is a little picture painted well. COLERIDGEThe Ovidian Elegiac Metre. What is a Sonnet? 'Tis the tear that fell

From a great poet's hidden ecstasy; Prose_words in their best order;—poetry- A two-edged sword, a star, a song-ah me! the best words in their best order.

Sometimes a heavy tolling funeral bell. COLERIDGETable Talk. July 12, 1827.

R. W. GILDERThe Sonnet. Made poetry a mere mechanic art.

To write a verse or two, is all the praise COWPER-Table Talk. L. 654.

That I can raise. 14

HERBERT—The Church. Praise.
Feel you the barren flattery of a rhyme?
Can poets soothe you, when you pine for bread, A verse may finde him who a sermon flies,
By winding myrtle round your ruin'd shed? And turn delight into a sacrifice.
CRABBEThe Village. Bk. I.

HERBERTThe Temple. The Church Porch.













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Non satis est pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto.

It is not enough that poetry is agreeable, it should also be interesting. HORACE-Ars Poetica. 99.

Versus inopes rerum, nugæque canoræ.

Verses devoid of substance, melodious trifles. HORACE—Ars Poetica. 322.

There are nine and sixty ways of constructing

tribal lays, And-every-single-one-of-them-is-right.

KIPLINGIn the Neolithic Age.

15 The time for Pen and Sword was when

“My ladye fayre,” for pity, Could tend

her wounded knight, and then
Grow tender at his ditty.
Some ladies now make pretty songs,

And some make pretty nurses:
Some men are good for righting wrongs,

And some for writing verses.



Ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis
Offendar maculis, quas aut incuria fudit,
Aut humana parum cavit natura.

Where there are many beauties in a poem I shall not cavil at a few faults proceeding either from negligence or from the imperfection of our nature. HORACE—Ars Poetica. 351.


It {"The Ancient Mariner") is marvellous in its mastery over that delightfully fortuitous inconsequence that is the adamantine logic of dreamland.

LOWELL-Among My Books. Coleridge.


Nonumque prematur in annum.

Let your poem be kept nine years. HORACE- Ars Poetica. 388.



For, of all compositions, he thought that the

sonnet Best repaid all the toil you expended upon it.

LOWELL-Fable for Critics. L. 368.


Never did Poesy appear

So full of heaven to me, as when
I saw how it would pierce through pride and fear

To the lives of coarsest men.
LOWELL-Incident in a Railroad Car. St. 18.

Wheresoe'er I turn my view,
All is strange, yet nothing new:
Endless labor all along,
Endless labor to be wrong:
Phrase that Time has flung away;
Uncouth words in disarray,
Trick'd in antique ruff and bonnet,
Ode, and elegy, and sonnet.
SAMUEL JOHNSONParody of the style of

BOSWELL'S Johnson. Sept. 18, 1777. Also

in Mrs. Piozzi's Anecdotes. The essence of poetry is invention; such invention as, by producing something unexpected, surprises and delights. SAMUEL JOHNSONThe Lives of the English

Poets. Life of Waller.



These pearls of thought in Persian gulfs were

bred, Each softly lucent as a rounded moon; The diver Omar plucked them from their bed, FitzGerald strung them on an English thread. LOWELL-In a Copy of Omar Khayyam.

(See also EASTWICK)



Still may syllables jar with time,
Still may reason war with rhyme,

Resting never!
BEN JONSON—Underwoods. Fit of Rhyme

Against Rhyme.

Musæo contigens cuncta lepore.

Gently touching with the charm of poetry. LUCRETIUSDe Rerum Natura. IV. 9.



These are the gloomy comparisons of a disturbed imagination; the melancholy madness of poetry, without the inspiration.

JUNIUSLetter No. VII. To Sir W. Draper.

The merit of poetry, in its wildest forms, still consists in its truth-truth conveyed to the understanding, not directly by the words, but circuitously by means of imaginative associations, which serve as its conductors.

MACAULAY-Essays. On the Athenian Orators.



Facit indignatio versum.

Indignation leads to the making of poetry. Quoted"Facit indignatio versus”-i.e., verses. JUVENAL-Satires. I. 79.

We hold that the most wonderful and splendid proof of genius is a great poem produced in a civilized age.

MACAULAY-On Milton. (1825)

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