Quotation by William Hazlitt

The great leading distinction between writing and speaking is, that more time is allowed for the one than the other, and hence different faculties are required for, and different objects attained by each. He is properly the best speaker who can collect together the greatest number of apposite ideas at a moment's warning; he is properly the best writer who can give utterance to the greatest quantity of valuable knowledge in the course of his whole life. The chief requisite for the one, then, appears to be quickness and facility of perception—for the other, patience of soul and a power increasing with the difficulties it has to master. He cannot be denied to be an expert speaker, a lively companion, who is never at a loss for something to say on every occasion or subject that offers. He, by the same rule, will make a respectable writer who, by dint of study, can find out anything good to say upon any one point that has not yet been touched upon before, or who by asking for time, can give the most complete and comprehensive view of any question. The one must be done off-hand, at a single blow; the other can only be done by a repetition of blows, by having time to think and do better.
William Hazlitt (1778–1830), British essayist. "On the Differences Between Writing and Speaking," The Plain Speaker (1826).
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