“It is natural to civilised man to go back upon his past, and to be grateful for all profit he can gain from the study of his own development. So we may be certain that the claim of Greece and Rome to our eternal gratitude will never cease to be asserted, and their right to teach us still what we could have learnt nowhere else will never be successfully disputed.”
W. Warde Fowler, Rome (written November 1911)
“No real Englishman, in his secret soul, was ever sorry for the death of a political economist: he is much more likely to be sorry for his life.”
Roger Kimball’s Introduction to Walter Bagehot, Physics and Politics
"Talent does what it can; genius does what it must."
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) [the guy who also said "the pen is mightier than the sword" and started a novel "It was a dark and stormy night"]
"Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life."
Often attributed to Immanuel Kant but appears to be from Will Durant, part of Durant's effort to explain Kant's thought (whatever the merits of his analysis, Kant's often impenetrable prose style did not lend itself to bon mots)
"The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius. Talent is a docile creature. It bows its head meekly while the world slips the collar over it... It draws its load cheerfully, and is patient of the bit and of the whip. But genius is always impatient of its harness; its wild blood makes it hard to train."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, quoted as "Thought du jour" in Globe & Mail December 4, 2001
“One of the most eerie phenomena of our era, Eric Hobsbawm states in his masterful history Age of Extremes; The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991, is the ‘destruction of the past.’ Most young people, he argues, now ‘grow up in a sort of permanent present lacking any organic relation to the public past of the times they live in.’”
Sean Mills in The Beaver April-May 2005