The origin, or source, of the " The pen is mightier than the sword " quotation is attributed by Edward Bulwer-Lytton and appears in his
play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy of 1839:
True, This! -
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! - itself a nothing! -
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Caesars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! - Take away the sword -
States can be saved without it!
Some undeniably famous persons have suggested that ~ The pen is mightier than the sword ~ even where the qualifying circumstance ~ beneath the rule of men entirely great
~ does not hold.
"…many wearing rapiers are afraid of goose-quills and dare scarce come thither."
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene II, 1600.
(Shakespeare wrote his works with goose-quill pens).
"Give me twenty-six lead soldiers and I will conquer the world."
This is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin.
(Franklin had worked in a printing business, with alphabetic movable type ~ to compose words, sentences, and finished articles ~ as a youth and as a young man in the middle years of the eighteenth century).
"Go on doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword: shew that reformation is more practicable by operating on the mind than on the body of man…"
Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Thomas Paine of 1796.
"There are only two powers in the world, sabre and mind; at the end, sabre is always defeated by mind.
Napoleon Bonaparte ~ Soldier, and Emperor of France, in the early nineteenth century.
"…the ink of the wise is a match for the sword of the strong."
Giuseppe Mazzini ~ who was a political and social activist in the Italian peninsula, and Europe, from circa 1830.
Some food for thought:
"The pen is mightier than the sword, but the tongue is mightier than them both put together."
More food for thought:
"There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee."