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  • True, some persons are so constituted that the very excellence of an idea seems to them a convincing reason that it must be, if not solely, yet especially theirs. It fits in so beautifully with their general wisdom, it lies implicitly in so many of their manifested opinions, that if they have not yet expressed it (because of preoccupation), it is clearly a part of their indigenous produce, and is proved by their immediate eloquent promulgation of it to belong more naturally and apppropriately to them than to the person who seemed first to have alighted on it, and who sinks in their all-originating consciousness to that low kind of entity, a second cause.

  • Some brains are barren grounds, that will not bring seed or fruit forth, unless they are well manured with the old wit which is raked from other writers and speakers.

    • Margaret Cavendish,
    • "Aphorisms," The Cavalier and His Lady: Selected From the Works of the First Duke and Duchess of Newcastle ()
  • Authors from whom others steal should not complain, but rejoice. Where there is no game there are no poachers.

  • I often plagiarize from myself. I like to think of this as ecological journalism: I recycle.

  • The relation between life and literature — a final antimony — is one of mutual plagiarism.

    • Mary McCarthy,
    • "Inventions of I. Compton-Burnett," in Carol Brightman, Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World ()
  • My occupational hazard is that I can't help plagiarizing from real life.

    • Mary McCarthy,
    • 1979, in Carol Brightman, Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World ()
  • It is a happy and easy way of filling a book that the present race of authors have arrived at — that of criticizing the works of some eminent poet, with monstrous extracts and short remarks. It is a species of cookery that I begin to grow tired of: they cut up their authors in chops, and by adding a little crumbled bread of their own, and tossing it up a little, they present it as a fresh dish: you are to dine upon the poet; the critic supplies the garnish, yet has the credit as well as the profit of the whole entertainment.

    • Hannah More,
    • 1775, in Mrs. Helen C. Knight, Hannah More or Life in Hall and Cottage ()
  • [On her husband's use of material from her diary and letters:] Mr. Fitzgerald — I believe that is how he spells his name — seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.

    • Zelda Fitzgerald,
    • "Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald Reviews The Beautiful and Damned, Former Husband's Latest," New York Tribune ()
  • Originality usually amounts only to plagiarizing something unfamiliar.

  • It is an old error of man to forget to put quotation marks where he borrows from a woman's brain!