One important rule belongs to the composition of a fiction, which I suppose the writers of fiction seldom think of, viz., never to fabricate or introduce a character to whom greater talents or wisdom is attributed than the author himself possesses: if he does, how shall this character be sustained? By what means should my own fictitious personage think or talk better than myself? We may easily imagine, then, how qualified the greatest number of novel-writers are for devising thought, speech, and action for heroes, sages, philosophers, geniuses, wits, &c.! Yet this is what they all can do.
John Foster: Life and Thoughts, by W. W. Everts, 241.
He [Bunyan] saw that, in employing fiction to make truth clear and goodness attractive, he was only following the example which every Christian ought to propose to himself; and he determined to print [his Pilgrims Progress].
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay: Life of Bunyan, in Encyc. Brit., 8th ed., May, 1854.
Mere innocent amusement is in itself a good, when it interferes with no greater, especially as it may occupy the place of some other that may not be innocent . Those, again, who delight in the study of human nature may improve in the knowledge of it, and in the profitable application of that knowledge, by the perusal of such fictions as those before us.