The pen is mightier than the sword. ~Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu, 1839
The word is mightier than the sword. ~Ahiqar, circa 5th century BCE
The tongue is mightier than the blade. ~Robert Graves, quoting Euripides, Claudius the God, 1934
The dash of a Pen is more grievous than the counterbuff of a Lance. ~George Whetstone, An Heptameron of Civil Discourses, 1582
The typewriter is so much more to be reckoned with than the sword. ~Lee Thayer, Persons Unknown, 1941
Many wearing rapiers are afraid of goosequills. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1609 (II, 2, Rosencrantz)
A goose quill is mightier than a lion’s paw. ~Proverbs, William Hardcastle Browne, 1900
Scholars are Men of Peace, they bear no Arms, but their Tongues are sharper than Actius’ Razor; their Pens carry farther, and give a louder Report than Thunder: I had rather stand the Shock of a Basilisk, than the Fury of a merciless Pen. ~Thomas Browne, “Religio Medici,” 1643
It is an old saying, A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword: and many men are as much galled with a calumny, a scurrilous and bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, satire, apologue, epigram, stage-play or the like, as with any misfortune whatsoever. ~Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621 [“Leviter volant, graviter vulnerant.” Bernardus.
The pen is a formidable weapon, but a man can kill himself with it a great deal more easily than he can other people. ~George D. Prentice, Prenticeana, 1859
The pen-holder is mightier than the pen. ~James Lendall Basford, Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882
The pen is mightier than the pencil. ~Preston’s Postulate #1
As when, to CENSURE PLAYS UNFIT, upon the STAGE they make a HIT,
Or at ELECTIONS SEAL the FATE of an OBNOXIOUS CANDIDATE.
No wonder, CHILD, we prize the HEN, whose EGG is mightier than the PEN.
~Oliver Herford, “The Hen,” 1901