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- Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
- Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See (1990).
- O my God! What miseries and mockeries did I then experience when it was impressed on me that obedience to my teachers was proper to my boyhood estate if I was to flourish in this world and distinguish myself in those tricks of speech which would gain honor for me among men, and deceitful riches! To this end I was sent to school to get learning.
- Augustine, Confessions, Book 1, Chapter 9
- To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar.
- Learning will be cast into the mire and trodden down under the hoofs of a swinish multitude.
- Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790).
- Out of too much learning become mad.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section 4. Memb. 1. Subsec. 2.
- In mathematics he was greater
Than Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater;
For he, by geometric scale,
Could take the size of pots of ale.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 119.
- And wisely tell what hour o' th' day
The clock does strike by Algebra.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 125.
- The languages, especially the dead,
The sciences, and most of all the abstruse,
The arts, at least all such as could be said
To be the most remote from common use,
In all these he was much and deeply read.
- "Then let every one of us, being warned by this sentence of the angel, acknowledge that he as yet cleaves to first principles, or, at least, does not comprehend all those things which are necessary to be known; and that therefore progress is to be made to the very end of life: for this is our wisdom, to be learners to the end."
- The criminal misuse of time was pointing out the mistakes. Catching them―noticing them―that was essential. If you did not in your own mind distinguish between useful and erroneous information, then you were not learning at all, you were merely replacing ignorance with false belief, which was no improvement. The part of the man's statement that was true, however, was about the uselessness of speaking up. If I know that the teacher is wrong, and say nothing, then I remain the only one who knows, and that gives me an advantage over those who believe the teacher.
- Orson Scott Card Ender's Shadow
- Peter loved to learn all right, but the teachers hadn't taught him anything, ever. He did his learning through his desk at home, taping into libraries and databases, studying and thinking, and, above all, talking to Valentine.
- Yet, he was kind, or, if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault;
The village all declar'd how much he knew,
'Twas certain he could write and cipher too.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770), line 205.
- While words of learned length and thundering sound
Amaz'd the gazing rustics rang'd around.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770), line 211.
- And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
That one small head should carry all it knew.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770), line 215. Ed. 1822, printed for John Sharp. Other editions give "could" for "should," "brain" for "head".
- I have learnt much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and most from my students.
- That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
- Hillel the Elder Lea P. Bahr (12 December 2013). "Beyond Pirkei Avos". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- "The most important thing any teacher has to learn, not to be learned in any school of education I ever heard of, can be expressed in seven words: Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners."
- John Holt, in 'Growing Without Schooling' magazine #40.
- Human learning, with the blessing of God upon it, introduces us to divine wisdom; and while we study the works of nature the God of nature will manifest himself to us; since, to a well-tutored mind, “The heavens,” without a miracle, “declare his glory, and the firmament showeth his handy-work.”
- George Horne (bp. of Norwich.) (1799). Discourses on several subjects and occasions. Vol. 1,2, p. 357; As quoted in Allibone (1880)
- The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.
- B.B. King, quoted outside the Main Library in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, in The Charlotte Observer (5 October 1997) Page 2D
- Earth and Sky, Woods and Fields, Lakes and Rivers, the Mountain and the Sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
- John Lubbock, The Use of Life (1894), ch. IV: Recreation
- Now as Paul was saying these things in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice: “You are going out of your mind, Paul! Great learning is driving you out of your mind!” But Paul said: “I am not going out of my mind, Your Excellency Festus, but I am speaking words of truth and of a sound mind. For a fact, the king to whom I am speaking so freely well knows about these things; I am convinced that not one of these things escapes his notice, for none of this has been done in a corner. Do you, King A·grip′pa, believe the Prophets? I know that you believe.”
- If you desire ease, forsake learning.
- If you desire learning, forsake ease.
- How can the man at his ease acquire knowledge,
- And how can the earnest student enjoy ease?
- Nagarjuna, The Tree of Wisdom
- The wish falls often warm upon my heart that I may learn nothing here that I cannot continue in the other world; that I may do nothing here but deeds that will bear fruit in heaven.
- Jean Paul (1763–1825) Quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 366.
- Socrates: Now do you imagine he would have attempted to inquire or learn what he thought he knew, when he did not know it, until he had been reduced to the perplexity of realizing that he did not know, and had felt a craving to know?
- Meno: I think not, Socrates.
- Socrates: Then the torpedo's shock was of advantage to him?
- Meno: I think so.
- Socrates: Now you should note how, as a result of this perplexity, he will go on and discover something by joint inquiry with me, while I merely ask questions.
- A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
Their shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
- Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield;
Learn from the beasts the physic of the field;
The arts of building from the bee receive;
Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave.
- Ask of the Learn'd the way? The Learn'd are blind;
This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind;
Some place the bliss in action, some in ease,
Those call it Pleasure, and Contentment these.
- Truth that has been merely learned is like an artificial limb, a false tooth, a waxen nose; at best, like a nose made out of another’s flesh; it adheres to us only because it is put on. But truth acquired by thinking of our own is like a natural limb; it alone really belongs to us. This is the fundamental difference between the thinker and the mere man of learning.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, “On Thinking for Oneself,” Parerga und Paralipomena, Vol. 2, § 260
- Abraham Van Helsing: Nothing is too small. I counsel you, put down in record even your doubts and surmises. Hereafter it may be of interest to you to see how true you guess. We learn from failure, not from success!
- Wearing all that weight
Of learning lightly like a flower.
- "It is the prowess of scholars that meetings bring delight and departures leave memories."
- Tiruvalluvar, Tirukkural: 394.
- "Why does one stop learning till he dies when it makes all lands and place his?"
- Tiruvalluvar, Tirukkural: 397.
- Learning proceeds until death and only then does it stop. ... Its purpose cannot be given up for even a moment. To pursue it is to be human, to give it up to be a beast.
- Xun Zi, “An Exhortation to Learning,” E. Hutton, trans., Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (2001), p. 258
- The learning of the gentleman enters through his ears, fastens to his heart, spreads through his four limbs, and manifests itself in his actions. ... The learning of the petty person enters through his ears and passes out his mouth. From mouth to ears is only four inches—how could it be enough to improve a whole body much larger than that?
- Xun Zi, “An Exhortation to Learning,” E. Hutton, trans., Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (2001), p. 259
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 434-37.
- Much learning doth make thee mad.
- Acts, XXVI. 24.
- It is always in season for old men to learn.
- Æschylus, Agamemnon.
- The green retreats
- Mark Akenside, Pleasures of the Imagination, Canto I, line 591.
- Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning and almost childish; then his youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile; then his strength of years, when it is solid and reduced; and lastly his old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust.
- Francis Bacon, Essays Civil and Moral, Of Vicissitude of Things.
- Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
- Francis Bacon, Essays, Of Studies.
- The king to Oxford sent a troop of horse,
For Tories own no argument but force;
With equal care, to Cambridge books he sent,
For Whigs allow no force but argument.
- Sir William Browne, Epigram, in reply to Dr. Trapp.
- And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Prologue, line 308.
- Doctrina est ingenii naturale quoddam pabulum.
- Learning is a kind of natural food for the mind.
- Cicero, Adapted from Acad. Quaest., 4. 41, and De Sen. 14.
- When Honor's sun declines, and Wealth takes wings,
Then Learning shines, the best of precious things.
- Edward Cocker, Urania (1670).
- Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
- Confucius, Analects, Book II, Chapter XV.
- There is the love of knowing without the love of learning; the beclouding here leads to dissipation of mind.
- Confucius, Analects, Book XVII, Chapter VIII.
- Here the heart
May give a useful lesson to the head,
And learning wiser grow without his books.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book VI. Winter Walk at Noon, line 85.
- Next these learn'd Jonson in this list I bring
Who had drunk deep of the Pierian Spring.
- Michael Drayton, Of Poets and Poesie.
- Consider that I laboured not for myself only, but for all them that seek learning.
- Ecclesiasticus, XXXIII. 17.
- Extremæ est dementiæ discere dediscenda.
- It is the worst of madness to learn what has to be unlearnt.
- Erasmus, De Ratione Studii.
- There is no other Royal path which leads to geometry.
- Euclid to Ptolemy I. See Proclus' Commentaries on Euclid's Elements, Book II, Chapter IV.
- Learning by study must be won;
'Twas ne'er entail'd from son to son.
- John Gay, The Pack Horse and Carrier, line 41.
- Whence is thy learning? Hath thy toil
O'er books consum'd the midnight oil?
- John Gay, Shepherd and Philosopher, line 15.
- Walkers at leisure learning's flowers may spoil
Nor watch the wasting of the midnight oil.
- John Gay, Trivia, Book II, line 558.
- I've studied now Philosophy
And Jurisprudence, Medicine
And even, alas, Theology
From end to end with labor keen;
And here, poor fool; with all my lore
I stand no wiser than before.
- Men of polite learning and a liberal education.
- Matthew Henry, Commentaries, The Acts, Chapter X.
- A boor cannot be sin-fearing, an ignoramus cannot be pious, a bashful one cannot learn, a short-tempered person cannot teach, nor does anyone who does much business grow wise.
- Hillel the Younger Pirkei Avot 2:5
- Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes
And pause awhile from Learning to be wise;
Yet think what ills the scholar's life assail,
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.
See nations, slowly wise and meanly just,
To buried merit raise the tardy bust.
- Samuel Johnson, Vanity of Human Wishes, line 157. Imitation of Juvenal. Satire X. "Garret" instead of "patron" in 4th Ed. See Boswell's Life of Johnson (1754).
- Nosse velint omnes, mercedem solvere nemo.
- All wish to be learned, but no one is willing to pay the price.
- Juvenal, Satires, VII. 157.
- The Lord of Learning who upraised mankind
From being silent brutes to singing men.
- Charles Godfrey Leland, The Music-lesson of Confucius.
- Thou art an heyre to fayre lyving, that is nothing, if thou be disherited of learning, for better were it to thee to inherite righteousnesse then riches, and far more seemly were it for thee to haue thy Studie full of bookes, then thy pursse full of mony.
- John Lyly, Euphues, Letters to a Young Gentleman in Naples named Alcius.
- He [Steele] was a rake among scholars, and a scholar among rakes.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, review of Aikin's Life of Addisan.
- He [Temple] was a man of the world among men of letters, a man of letters among men of the world.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, review of Life and Writings of Sir William Temple.
- Il ne l'en fault pas arrouser, il l'en fault teindre.
- Not merely giving the mind a slight tincture but a thorough and perfect dye.
- Ils n'ont rien appris, ni rien oublie.
- Ein Gelehrter hat keine Langweile.
- A scholar knows no ennui.
- Jean Paul Richter, Hesperus, 8.
- Delle belle eruditissima, delle erudite bellissima.
- Most learned of the fair, most fair of the learned.
- Sannazarius, inscription to Cassandra Marchesia in an edition of the letter's poems. See Greswell, Memoirs of Politian.
- Few men make themselves Masters of the things they write or speak.
- John Selden, Table Talk, Learning.
- No man is the wiser for his Learning * * * Wit and Wisdom are born with a man.
- John Selden, Table Talk, Learning.
- Homines, dum docent, discunt.
- Men learn while they teach.
- Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, VII.
- Learning is but an adjunct to ourself
And where we are our learning likewise is.
- Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and make no boast of it; and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such vanity.
- O this learning, what a thing it is!
- I trimmed my lamp, consumed the midnight oil.
- William Shenstone, Elegies, XI, Stanza 7.
- I would by no means wish a daughter of mine to be a progeny of learning.
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Rivals (1775), Act I, scene 2.
- Learn to live, and live to learn,
Ignorance like a fire doth burn,
Little tasks make large return.
- Bayard Taylor, To My Daughter.
- Wearing his wisdom lightly.
- Alfred Tennyson, A Dedication.
- The King, observing with judicious eyes,
The state of both his universities,
To one he sent a regiment, for why?
That learned body wanted loyalty;
To the other he sent books, as well discerning,
How much that loyal body wanted learning.
- Joseph Trapp, Epigram. On George I.'s Donation of Bishop Ely's Library to Cambridge University.
- Our gracious monarch viewed with equal eye
The wants of either university;
Troops he to Oxford sent, well knowing why,
That learned body wanted loyalty;
But books to Cambridge sent, as well discerning
That that right loyal body wanted learning.
- Another version of Trapp.
- Our royal master saw with heedful eyes
The state of his two universities;
To one he sends a regiment, for why?
That learned body wanted loyalty.
To the other books he gave, as well discerning,
How much that loyal body wanted learning.
- Version attributed to Thomas Warton.
- Disce, puer, virtutem ex me, verumque laborem;
Fortunam ex aliis.
- Under the world view possessed by medieval scholars, the path of learning was a path of self-deprecation.
- Richard Weaver (1948) Ideas have Consequences. p. 72.
- Aut disce, aut discede; manet sors tertia, cædi.
- Either learn, or depart; a third course is open to you, and that is, submit to be flogged.
- Winchester College. Motto of the Schoolroom.
- Much learning shows how little mortals know,
Much wealth, how little worldings can enjoy.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VI, line 519.
- Were man to live coeval with the sun,
The patriarch-pupil would be learning still.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VII, line 86.