Quotes on Editing
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304. Editing
Miss Adams: "Do you think, Sir, you could make your Ramblers better?" Johnson: "Certainly I could." Boswell: "I'll lay a bet, Sir, you cannot." Johnson: "But I will, Sir, if I choose. I shall make the best of them you shall pick out, better." Boswell: "But you may add to them. I will not allow of that." Johnson: "Nay, Sir, there are three ways of making them better; --putting out, --adding, --or correcting."
Boswell: Life

536. Editing; Writing
"I would say to Robertson what an old tutor of a college said to one of his pupils:'Read over your compositions, and where ever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.'"
Boswell: Life of Johnson

763. Editing; Quality; Writing
"In an occasional performance no height of excellence can be expected from any mind, however fertile in itself, and however stored with acquisitions. He whose work is general and arbitrary has the choice of his matter, and takes that which his inclination and his studies have best qualified him to display and decorate. He is at liberty to delay his publication till he has satisfied his friends and himself; till he has reformed his first thoughts by subsequent examination; and polished away those faults which the precipitance of ardent composition is likely to leave behind it. Virgil is related to have poured out a great number of lines in the morning, and to have passed the day in reducing them to fewer."
Johnson: Dryden (Lives of the Poets)

1,354. Editing
"One of the most pernicious effects of haste is obscurity. He that teems with a quick succession of ideas, and perceives how one sentiment produces another, easily believes that he can clearly express what he so strongly comprehends; he seldom suspects his thoughts of embarrassment while he preserves in his own memory the series of connection, or his diction of ambiguity while only one sense is present to his mind. Yet if he has been employed on an abstruse or complicated argument, he will find, when he has a while withdrawn his mind, and returns as a new reader to his work, that he has only a conjectural glimpse of his own meaning, and that to explain it to those whom he desires to instruct, he must open his sentiments, disentangle his method, and alter his arrangement."
Johnson: Rambler #169 (October 29, 1751)

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