To have frequent recourse to narrative betrays great want of imagination.
(Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, October 19, 1748. The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 166, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).)
Eloquence must be grounded on the plainest narrative. Afterwards, it may warm itself until it exhales symbols of every kind and color, speaks only through the most poetic forms; but first and last, it must still be at bottom a biblical statement of fact.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Eloquence," Society and Solitude (1870).)