Monday, July 5, 2010

Let our pen be at first slow, provided that it be accurate...

"We must write, therefore, as carefully and as much as we can, for as the ground, by being dug to a great depth, becomes more fitted for fructifying and nourishing seeds, so improvement of the mind, acquired from more than mere superficial cultivation, pours forth the fruits of study in richer abundance and retains them with greater fidelity. For without this precaution, the very faculty of speaking extempore will but furnish us with empty loquacity and words born on the lips. In writing are the roots, in writing are the foundations of eloquence. By writing, resources are stored up, as it were, in a sacred repository, from where they may be drawn forth for sudden emergencies or as circumstances require. Let us above all things get strength, which may suffice for the labor of our contests and may not be exhausted by use. Nature has herself appointed that nothing great is to be accomplished quickly and has ordained that difficulty should precede every work of excellence. She has even made it a law, with regard to gestation, that the larger animals are retained longer in the womb of the parent...."

Quintilian, Book 10, Chapter 3, Institutio Oratorio

No comments:

Post a Comment

My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

How have you overcome writer's block?