Pens are devices used to apply ink to a surface, usually paper, for writing or drawing. Historically, reed pens, quill pens, and dip pens were used, with a nib of some sort to be dipped in the ink. Ruling pens allow precise adjustment of line width, and still find a few specialized uses, but technical pens such as the Rapidograph are more commonly used. Modern types also include ballpoint, rollerball, fountain, and felt or ceramic tip pens.
- Whose noble praise
Deserves a quill pluckt from an angel's wing.
- Dorothy Berry, Sonnet, prefixed to Diana Primrose's Chain of Pearls (1699).
- Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword.
- Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu (1839), Act II, scene 2.
- Hinc quam sit calamus sævior euse, patet.
- From this it appears how much more cruel the pen may be than the sword.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part I, Section XXI. Mem. 4. Subsec. 4.
- Oh! nature's noblest gift—my gray-goose quill!
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent-bird to form a pen,
That mighty instrument of little men!
- Lord Byron, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809), line 7.
- The pen wherewith thou dost so heavenly sing
Made of a quill from an angel's wing.
- Henry Constable, Sonnet, found in Notes to Todd's Milton, Volume V, p. 454 (Ed. 1826).
- The pen is mightier than the sword.
- Benjamin Franklin, Oration, (1783).
- The swifter hand doth the swift words outrun:
Before the tongue hath spoke the hand hath done.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIV, Epigram 208. Translation by Wright (on a shorthand writer).
- Qu'on me donne six lignes écrites de la main du plus honnête homme, j'y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre.
- If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
- Attributed to Richelieu by Fournier, L'Esprit dans l'Histoire (1883), Chapter XLI, p. 255.
- Tant la plume a eu sous le roi d'avantage sur l'épée.
- So far had the pen, under the king, the superiority over the sword.
- Saint Simon, Mémoires, Volume III (1702; Ed. 1856), p. 517.
- Let there be gall enough in thy ink, though thou write with a goose-pen, no matter.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 592-93.
- Art thou a pen, whose task shall be
To drown in ink
What writers think?
Oh, wisely write,
That pages white
Be not the worse for ink and thee.
- Ethel Lynn Beers, The Gold Nugget.
- For what made that in glory shine so long
But poets' Pens, pluckt from Archangels' wings?
- John Davies, Bien Venu.
- Anser, apie, vitellus, populus et regna gubernant.
- Goose [pen] bee [wax] and calf [parchment] govern the world.
- Quoted by James Howell. Letters, Book II. Letter 2.
- The pen became a clarion.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Monte Cassino, Stanza 13.
- The sacred Dove a quill did lend
From her high-soaring wing.
- F. Nethersole. Prefixed to Giles Fletcher's Christ's Victorie.
- Non sest aliena res, quæ fere ab honestis negligi solet, cura bene ac velociter scribendi.
- Men of quality are in the wrong to undervalue, as they often do, the practise of a fair and quick hand in writing; for it is no immaterial accomplishment.
- Quintilian, De Institutione Oratorio, I. 5.
- You write with ease, to show your breeding, But easy writing's curst hard reading.
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Clio's Protest. See Moore's Life of Sheridan, Volume I, p. 55.
- The feather, whence the pen
Was shaped that traced the lives of these good men,
Dropped from an Angel's wing.
- William Wordsworth, Ecclesiastical Sonnets, Part III. V. Walton's Book of Lives.