I am far from any intention to limit curiosity, or confine the labours of learning to arts of immediate and necessary use. It is only from the various essays of experimental industry, and the vague excursions of mind set upon discovery, that any advancement of knowledge can be expected; and though many must be disappointed in their labours, yet they are not to be charged with having spent their time in vain; their example contributed to inspire emulation, and their miscarriage taught others the way to success.
Grace comes immediately to meet some of those who strive, giving them assurance of the earnest of their inheritance (cf. Eph. 1:14), letting them taste the promised prizes, as if stretching out a loving hand to welcome them and anointing them for further struggles. With others, however, grace waits for the end of the struggle, and prepares for them the crown of patience as well. As one of the God-bearing Fathers says, 'Some receive holy rewards before their labours, some during labours, and some when they depart' (St. John Climacus).
Answer this to yourselves, and expel from among you those who pretend to despise the labours of Art and Science, which alone are the labours of the Gospel: Is not this plain and manifest to the thought? Can you think at all, and not pronounce heartily! That to Labour in Knowledge. is to Build up Jerusalem: and to Despise Knowledge, is to Despise Jerusalem and her Builders. And remember: He who despises and mocks a Mental Gift in another; calling it pride and selfishness and sin; mocks Jesus the giver of every Mental Gift. which always appear to the ignorance-loving Hypocrite, as Sins. but that which is a Sin in the sight of cruel Man. is not so in the sight of our kind God.
Great art... is the result of the labours of thousands of faithful craftsmen who know that they are doomed to remain for ever outside the gates of the Paradise of Perfection, but who nevertheless will give the very best there is in them because the work they do means more to them than anything else in this world.
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Nothing tends so much to the advancement of knowledge as the application of a new instrument. The native intellectual powers of men in different times are not so much the causes of the different success of their labours, as the peculiar nature of the means and artificial resources in their possession.
The history of the astronomy of the nineteenth century will be incomplete without a catalogue of his labours. He was one of the founders of the Astronomical Society, and his attention to its affairs was as accurate and minute as if it had been a firm of which he was the chief clerk, with expectation of being taken into partnership.
Augustus De Morgan
[About Francis Baily] The history of the astronomy of the nineteenth century will be incomplete without a catalogue of his labours. He was one of the founders of the Astronomical Society, and his attention to its affairs was as accurate and minute as if it had been a firm of which he was the chief clerk, with expectation of being taken into partnership.
Augustus De Morgan
When the love-led man had ceased from his labours Bathsheba came and looked him in the face. 'Gabriel, will you you stay on with me?' she said, smiling winningly, and not troubling to bring her lips quite together again at the end, because there was going to be another smile soon. 'I will, ' said Gabriel. And she smiled on him again.
I am only a physicist with nothing material to show for my labours. I have never even seen the ionosphere, although I have worked on the subject for thirty years. That does show how lucky people can be. If there had been no ionosphere I would not have been standing here this morning.
Edward Victor Appleton
If we consider the manner in which those who assume the office of directing the conduct of others execute their undertaking, it will not be very wonderful that their labours, however zealous or affectionate, are frequently useless. For what is the advice that is commonly given? A few general maxims, enforced with vehemence, and inculcated with importunity, but failing for want of particular reference and immediate application.
Is it better to work out consciously and critically one's own conception of the world and thus, in connection with the labours of one's own brain, choose one's sphere of activity, take an active part in the creation of the history of the world, be one's own guide, refusing to accept passively and supinely from outside the moulding of one' own personality?
Yea ! by your works are ye justified-toil unrelieved ; Manifold labours, co-ordinate each to the sending achieved ; Discipline, not of the feet but the soul, unremitting, unfeigned ; Tortures unholy by flame and by maiming, known, faced, and disdained ; Courage that suns Only foolhardiness ; even by these, are ye worthy of your guns.
It is interesting to transport one's self back to the times when Astronomy began; to observe how discoveries were connected together, how errors have got mixed up with truth, have delayed the knowledge of it, and retarded its progress; and, after having followed the various epochs and traversed every climate, finally to contemplate the edifice founded on the labours of successive centuries and of various nations.
Jean Sylvain Bailly
When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home, Let him combat for that of his neighbours; Let him think of the glories of Greece and of Rome, And get knocked on the head for his labours. To do good to Mankind is the chivalrous plan, And is always as nobly requited; Then battle fro Freedom wherever you can, And, if not shot or hanged, you'll get knighted.
George Gordon Byron
To attempt to build up theories of art, or to form a new style, would be an act of supreme folly. It would be at once to reject the experiences and accumulated knowledge of thousands of years. On the contrary, we should regard as our inheritance all the successful labours of the past, not blindly following them, but employ simply as guides to find the true path.
Owen Jones Classics
Religions, creeds and forms are only a characteristic outward sign of the spiritual impulsion and religion itself is the intensive action by which it tries to find its inward force. Its expansive movement comes in the thought which it throws out on life, the ideals which open up new horizons and which the intellect accepts and life labours to assimilate.
Most of [the alchemists] were poor; many all but unknown in their own time, many died and saw no fruit of their labours... Of some the very names are forgotten. But though their names be dead, their works live, and grow and spread over ever fresh generations of youth, showing them fresh steps towards that temple of wisdom which is the knowledge of things as they are.
Ask for a valiant heart which has banished the fear of death, which looks upon the length of days as one of the least of nature's gifts; which is able to suffer every kind of hardship, is proof against anger, craves for nothing, and reckons the trials and gruelling labours of Hercules as more desirable blessings than the amorous ease and the banquets and cushions of Sardanapallus. The things that I recommend you can grant to yourself.
The pastoral labours of the archbishop of Constantinople provoked and gradually united against him two sorts of enemies; the aspiring clergy, who envied his success, and the obstinate sinners, who were offended by his reproofs. When Chrysostom thundered from the pulpit of St. Sophia against the degeneracy of the Christians, his shafts were spent among the crowd, without wounding or even marking the character of any individual.
Theories cannot claim to be indestructible. They are only the plough which the ploughman uses to draw his furrow and which he has every right to discard for another one, of improved design, after the harvest. To be this ploughman, to see my labours result in the furtherance of scientific progress, was the height of my ambition, and now the Swedish Academy of Sciences has come, at this harvest, to add the most brilliant of crowns.
The poor dog, in life the firmest friend, The first to welcome, foremost to defend, Whose honest heart is still the master's own, Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone, Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth, Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth, While man, vain insect hopes to be forgiven, And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
What makes the prospect of death distinctive in the modern age is the background of permanent technological and sociological revolution against which it is set, and which serves to strip us of any possible faith in the permanence of our labours. Our ancestors could believe that their achievements had a chance of bearing up against the flow of events. We know time to be a hurricane. Our buildings, our sense of style, our ideas, all of these will soon enough be anachronisms, and the machines in which we now take inordinate pride will seem no less bathetic than Yorick's skull.
Alain de Botton
Most agreeable are the memories of events and labours, connected with the cruise:- of companions in travel, ... of coral islands with their groves, and beautiful life, above and below the waters, ... of lofty precipices, richly draped, even the sternest fronts made to smile and be glad, as delights the gay tropics, and alive with waterfalls, gliding, leaping, or plunging, on their way down from the giddy heights, and, as they go, playing out and in amid the foliage...
James Dwight Dana
That was the way with Casaubon's hard intellectual labours. Their most characteristic result was not the 'Key to all Mythologies', but a morbid consciousness that others did not give him the place which he had not demonstrably merited - a perpetual suspicious conjecture that the views entertained of him were not to his advantage - a melancholy absence of passion in his efforts at achievement, and a passionate resistance to the confession that he had achieved nothing. Thus his intellectual ambition which seemed to others to have absorbed and dried him, was really no security against wounds
What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labours to these Bodleians were reposing here as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of the sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.
The region belonging to the pure intellect is straitened: the imagination labours to extend its territories, to give it room. She sweeps across the boarders, searching out new lands into which she may guide her plodding brother. The imagination is the light which redeems from the darkness for the eyes of the understanding. Novalis says, 'The imagination is the stuff of the intellect' -affords, that is, the material upon which the intellect works.
Ne reprenez, dame, si j'ai aime , Si j'ai senti mille torches ardentes, Mille travaux, mille douleurs mordantes, Si, en pleurant, j'ai mon temps consume . Do not blame me, madam, if I loved, If I felt one thousand burning torches, One thousand labours, or one thousand scathing pains, If, in crying, I spent all my time.
Children sweeten labours. But they make misfortune more bitter. They increase the care of life. But they mitigate the remembrance of death. The perpetuity of generation is common to beasts. But memory, merit and noble works are proper to men. And surely a man shall see the noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men which have sought to express the images of their minds where those of their bodies have failed.
Is not that government both unjust and ungrateful, that is so prodigal of it's favors to those called gentlemen, or goldsmiths, or such others who are idle, or live either by flattery or by contriving the arts of vain pleasure, and, on the other hand, takes no care of those of a meaner sort, such as ploughmen, colliers, and smiths, without whom it could not subsist? But after the public has reaped all the advantage of their service, and they come to be oppressed with age, sickness, and want, all their labours and the good they have done is forgotten, and all the recompense given them is that they are left to die in great misery.
Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow: Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.
To those who live by the land there must always come times of hardship, of fear and of hunger, even as there are years of plenty. This is one of the truths of our existence as those who live by the land know: that sometimes we eat and sometimes we starve. We live by our labours fromone harvest to the next, there is no certain telling whether we shall be able to feed ourselves and our children, and if bad times are prolonged we know we must see the weak surrender their lives and this fact, too, is within our experience. In our lives there is no margin for misfortune.
When our people were fed out of the common store, and laboured jointly together, glad was he could slip from his labour, or slumber over his taske he cared not how, nay, the most honest among them would hardly take so much true paines in a weeke, as now for themselves they will doe in a day: neither cared they for the increase, presuming that howsoever the harvest prospered, the generall store must maintaine them, so that wee reaped not so much Corne from the labours of thirtie, as now three or foure doe provide for themselves.
I am fully conscious that, not being a literary man , certain presumptuous persons will think that they may reasonably blame me; alleging that I am not a man of letters. Foolish folks! do they not know that I might retort as Marius did to the Roman Patricians by saying: That they, who deck themselves out in the labours of others will not allow me my own. They will say that I, having no literary skill, cannot properly express that which I desire to treat of, but they do not know that my subjects are to be dealt with by experience rather than by words; and experience has been the mistress of those who wrote well. And so, as mistress, I will cite her in all cases.
Leonardo da Vinci
True thinking takes place within a frame of continuous historical development in which progress in understanding is being made... No constructive thinking that is worth while can be undertaken that sets at nought the intellectual labours of the centuries that are enshrined in tradition, or be undertaken on the arrogant assumption that everything must be thought through de novo as if nothing true had already been done or said. He who undertakes that kind of work will inevitably be determined unconsciously by the assumptions of popular piety which have already been built into his mind.
We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently. Anthony Trollope, the nineteenth-century writer who managed to be a prolific novelist while also revolutionizing the British postal system, observed, "A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules." Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.
The best Armour of Old Age is a well spent life preceding it; a Life employed in the Pursuit of useful Knowledge, in honourable Actions and the Practice of Virtue; in which he who labours to improve himself from his Youth, will in Age reap the happiest Fruits of them; not only because these never leave a Man, not even in the extremest Old Age; but because a Conscience bearing Witness that our Life was well-spent, together with the Remembrance of past good Actions, yields an unspeakable Comfort to the Soul
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Self-government is our right, " [Roger Casement] declared. "A thing born in us at birth; a thing no more to be doled out to us or withheld from us by another people than the right to life itself - than the right to feel the sun or smell the flowers, or to love our kind... Where men must beg with bated breath for leave to subsist in their own land, to think their own thoughts, to sing their own songs, to garner the fruits of their own labours... then surely it is braver, a saner and a truer thing, to be a rebel... than tamely to accept it as the natural lot of men.
What it 't to us, if taxes rise or fall,Thanks to our fortune, we pay none at all.Let muckworms who in dirty acres deal,Lament those hardships which we cannot feel,His grace who smarts, may bellow if he please,But must I bellow too, who sit at ease?By custom safe, the poets' numbers flow,Free as the light and air some years ago.No statesman e'er will find it worth his painsTo tax our labours, and excise our brains.Burthens like these with earthly buildings bear,No tributes laid on castles in the air.
And so it was settled. Sam Gamgee married Rose Cotton in the spring of 1420 (which was also famous for its weddings), and they came and lived at Bag End. And if Sam thought himself lucky, Frodo knew that he was more lucky himself; for there was not a hobbit in the Shire that was looked after with such care. When the labours or repair had all been planned and set going he took to a quiet life, writing a good deal and going through all his notes. He resigned the office of Deputy Mayor at the Free Fair that Midsummer, and dear old Will Whitfoot had another seven years of presiding at Banquets.
J. R. R. Tolkien
To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can imagine how this can exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.
There was yet another disadvantage attaching to the whole of Newton's physical inquiries, ... the want of an appropriate notation for expressing the conditions of a dynamical problem, and the general principles by which its solution must be obtained. By the labours of LaGrange, the motions of a disturbed planet are reduced with all their complication and variety to a purely mathematical question. It then ceases to be a physical problem; the disturbed and disturbing planet are alike vanished: the ideas of time and force are at an end; the very elements of the orbit have disappeared, or only exist as arbitrary characters in a mathematical formula.
John Dalton was a very singular Man: He has none of the manners or ways of the world. A tolerable mathematician He gained his livelihood I believe by teaching the mathematics to young people. He pursued science always with mathematical views. He seemed little attentive to the labours of men except when they countenanced or confirmed his own ideas... He was a very disinterested man, seemed to have no ambition beyond that of being thought a good Philosopher. He was a very coarse Experimenter and almost always found the results he required.-Memory and observation were subordinate qualities in his mind. He followed with ardour analogies and inductions and however his claims to originality may admit of question I have no doubt that he was one of the most original philosophers of his time and one of the most ingenious.
We cannot know what time will do to us with its fine, indistinguishable layers upon layers, we cannot know what it might make of us. It advances stealthily, day by day and hour by hour and step by poisoned step, never drawing attention to its surreptitious labours, so respectful and considerate that it never once gives us a sudden prod or a nasty fright. Every morning, it turns up with its soothing, invariable face and tells us exactly the opposite of what is actually happening: that everything is fine and nothing has changed, that everything is just as it was yesterday-the balance of power-that nothing has been gained and nothing lost, that our face is the same, as is our hair and our shape, that the person who hated us continues to hate us and the person who loved us continues to love us.
Unconscious, perhaps, of the remote tendency of his own labours, he [Joseph Black] undermined that doctrine of material heat, which he seemed to support. For, by his advocacy of latent heat, he taught that its movements constantly battle, not only some of our senses, but all of them; and that, while our feelings make us believe that heat is lost, our intellect makes us believe that it is not lost. Here, we have apparent destructibility, and real indestructibility. To assert that a body received heat without its temperature rising, was to make the understanding correct the touch, and defy its dictates. It was a bold and beautiful paradox, which required courage as well as insight to broach, and the reception of which marks an epoch in the human mind, because it was an immense step towards idealizing matter into force.
Henry Thomas Buckle
Soldier on guard says they've identified 'someone on two legs a hundred metres from the outpost'. The other soldier, in the lookout, says 'A girl about ten, ' but by then they're already shooting. Girl's dead[... ]The point is this use of code, on two legs, denoting human. It reminded me of that speech by their Prime Minister saying that we were beasts walking on two legs [... ]The idea that having legs makes you human. I thought of adding a Primo Levi-ish dimension to it. Merging this two-legged idea with a sort of general question about what is a man, you know, linking it to 'if this is a man who labours in the mud/ who knows no peace/ who fights for a crust of bread?' [... ] my thesis being that the occupation, the closures, the siege have made amputees of all of us, crawling around in the mud. Legless in Gaza. The lot of us.
The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church - read on - and give his life for her (Eph. V, 25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is - in her own mere nature - least lovable. For the Church has not beauty but what the Bride-groom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely. The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man's marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence. As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that Bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labours to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs. He is a King Cophetua who after twenty years still hopes that the beggar-girl will one day learn to speak the truth and wash behind her ears.
Nothing can illustrate these observations more forcibly, than a recollection of the happy conjuncture of times and circumstances, under which our Republic assumed its rank among the Nations; The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind, after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent, the Treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labours of Philosophers, Sages and Legislatures, through a long succession of years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our forms of Government; the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of Manners, the growing liberality of sentiment... have had a meliorating influence on mankind and increased the blessings of Society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own. [Circular to the States, 8 June 1783 - Writings 26:484-89]
Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connection with that part of the world, would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment. He would too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general. And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquillity, as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befall himself would occasion a more real disturbance. If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep to-night; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him, than this paltry misfortune of his own. To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided he had never seen them? Human nature startles with horror at the thought, and the world, in its greatest depravity and corruption, never produced such a villain as could be capable of entertaining it. But what makes this difference? When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others? It is not the soft power of humanity, it is not that feeble spark of benevolence which Nature has lighted up in the human heart, that is thus capable of counteracting the strongest impulses of self-love. It is a stronger power, a more forcible motive, which exerts itself upon such occasions. It is reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct.