I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.
Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.
You may search my countenance, but you cannot read it.
Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour ... If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?
If for instance the sentiment possessing for the moment the empire of our mind is sorrow, will not the genius sharpen the sorrow and the sorrow purify the genius? Together, will they not be like a cut diamond for which language is only the wax on which they stamp their imprint? I believe that genius, thus awakened, has no need to seek out details, that it scarcely pauses to reflect, that it never thinks of unity: I believe that the details come naturally without search by the poet, that inspiration takes the place of reflection and as for unity, I think there is no unity so perfect as that which results from a heart filled with a single idea...The nature of genius is related to that of instinct; it's operation is both simple and marvelous.
You can write nothing of value unless you give yourself wholly to the the theme -- and when you so give yourself -- you lose appetite ans sleep -- it cannot be helped --