From the invention of letters the machinations of the human heart began to operate; falsity and error daily increased; litigation and prisons had their beginnings, as also specious and artful language, which causes so much confusion in the world, It was on these accounts that the shades of the departed wept at night, But, on the other hand, from the invention of letters all polite intercourse and music proceeded and reason and justice were made manifest; the relations of life were defined, and laws were fixed; governors had a lasting rule to refer to; scholars had authorities to venerate; the histoian the mathematician, the astronomer, can do nothing without letters. Were there not letters to give proof of passing events, the shades might weep at noonday as well as night and the heavens rain down blood, for tradition might affirm what she pleased, so that the letters have done much more good than evil; and as a token of the good, heaven rained down ripe grain the day that they were first invented.
Henry Noel Humphreys
The originand progress of the art of writing, 1855
in The Alphabetic Labyrinth (Johanna Drucker)