Careful Words

write (n.)

write (v.)

To write a verse or two is all the praise

That I can raise.

George Herbert (1593-1632): Praise.

Stuff the head

With all such reading as was never read:

For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it,

And write about it, goddess, and about it.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): The Dunciad. Book iv. Line 249.

Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace

The day's disasters in his morning face;

Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee

At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;

Full well the busy whisper circling round

Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd.

Yet was he kind, or if severe in aught,

The love he bore to learning was in fault;

The village all declar'd how much he knew,

'T was certain he could write and cipher too.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): The Deserted Village. Line 199.

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

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Much Ado about Nothing. Act iii. Sc. 3.

And since, I never dare to write

As funny as I can.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894): The Height of the Ridiculous.

  A man may write at any time if he will set himself doggedly to it.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784): Life of Johnson (Boswell). Vol. iv. Chap. ii. 1773.

I once did hold it, as our statists do,

A baseness to write fair.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act v. Sc. 2.

When the poem of "Cadenus and Vanessa" was the general topic of conversation, some one said, "Surely that Vanessa must be an extraordinary woman that could inspire the Dean to write so finely upon her." Mrs. Johnson smiled, and answered that "she thought that point not quite so clear; for it was well known the Dean could write finely upon a broomstick."—Johnson: Life of Swift.

And force them, though it was in spite

Of Nature and their stars, to write.

Samuel Butler (1600-1680): Hudibras. Part i. Canto i. Line 647.

Some have been beaten till they know

What wood a cudgel's of by th' blow;

Some kick'd until they can feel whether

A shoe be Spanish or neat's leather.

Samuel Butler (1600-1680): Hudibras. Part ii. Canto i. Line 221.

Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues

We write in water.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry VIII. Act iv. Sc. 2.

  Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book.

Old Testament: Isaiah xxx. 8.

  Fool! said my muse to me, look in thy heart, and write.

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586): Astrophel and Stella, i.

O, that he were here to write me down an ass!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Much Ado about Nothing. Act iv. Sc. 2.

  There is nothing to write about, you say. Well, then, write and let me know just this,—that there is nothing to write about; or tell me in the good old style if you are well. That's right. I am quite well.

Pliny The Younger (61-105 a d): Letters. Book i. Letter xi. 1.

  Devise, wit; write, pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Love's Labour's Lost. Act i. Sc. 2.

Woman's faith and woman's trust,

Write the characters in dust.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832): The Betrothed. Chap. xx.

  Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Old Testament: Habakkuk ii. 2.

Though an angel should write, still 't is devils must print.

Thomas Moore (1779-1852): The Fudges in England. Letter iii.

  He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem.

John Milton (1608-1674): Apology for Smectymnuus.

  Let there be gall enough in thy ink; though thou write with a goose-pen, no matter.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Twelfth Night. Act iii. Sc. 2.

You write with ease to show your breeding,

But easy writing's curst hard reading.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816): Clio's Protest. Life of Sheridan (Moore). Vol. i. p. 155.