Quotation by Henry Brooks Adams

My criticisms are always simple; they are limited to one word:MOmit! Every syllable that can be struck out is pure profit, and every page that can be economised is a five-per-cent dividend. Nature rebels against this rule; the flesh is weak, and shrinks from the scissors; I groan in retrospect over the weak words and useless pages I have written; but the law is sound, and every book written without a superfluous page or word is a masterpiece.
All the same, no one cares to apply so stern a law to another person. One has right to be severe only with oneself.
Henry Brooks Adams (1838–1918), U.S. historian. Letter, March 30, 1886, to Emily Ellsworth Ford. Henry B. Adams and His Friends, p. 160, ed. Harold Dean Cater.
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