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Jared Eliot – an image of the Dignified Writer

June 12, 2014

“Some may say, that such trivial Stories, and a long Detail of minute Particulars concerning a little Bag of Sand and a Bar of Iron, is really below the Dignity of Writing. I do not know what such Persons intend, by Dignity of Writing, unless they can Mean, that when a Person is to write a Letter or a Book, he must ascend into the Clouds, think himself going about something quite different from the common Actions of Life: That he must divest himself of that Sociability, that easy Freedom, that Familiarity which is so much the Support and Pleasure of Conversation; must now put on a distant and forbidding Air, assume a solemn Mein, a formal Stiffness, as if clad in Buckrum; and being thus equipt is in Appearance like a Hog in Armour…”


(from An Essay on the Invention, or Art of making very good, if not the best Iron, from black Sea Sand [New York, 1762])


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