C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


The modest temple of wisdom.


Public instruction should be the first object of government.

Napoleon I.

Not only the needle-gun, but the schools have won our battles.


The Prussian schoolmaster won the battle of Sadowa.


Whoe’er excels in what we prize, appears a hero in our eyes.


A great school is very trying; it never can present images of rest and peace.

Dr. T. Arnold.

Whose school-hours are all days and nights of our existence.


To him and all of us the expressly appointed schoolmaster and schoolings are as nothing.


Yet he’s gentle, never schooled and yet learned.


To sentence a man of true genius to the drudgery of a school is to put a race-horse in a mill.


  • Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel,
  • And shining morning face, creeping like snail
  • Unwillingly to school.
  • Shakespeare.

    What made our revolution a foregone conclusion was the act of the general court, passed in May, 1647, which established the system of common schools.


    More is learned in a public than in a private school, from emulation. There is the collision of mind with mind, or the radiation of many minds pointing to one center.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • Alas! regardless of their doom,
  • The little victims play,
  • No sense have they of ills to come,
  • No care beyond to-day.
  • Gray.

  • Whipping, that’s virtue’s governess,
  • Tutoress of arts and sciences;
  • That mends the gross mistakes of nature,
  • And puts new life into dull matter;
  • That lays foundation for renown,
  • And all the honours of the gown.
  • Butler.

  • Oft in the lone churchyard at night I’ve seen,
  • By glimpse of moonshine, chequering through the trees,
  • The school-boy with his satchel in his hand,
  • Whistling aloud to bear his courage up;
  • And lightly tripping o’er the long flat stones,
  • (With nettles skirted, and with moss o’ergrown,
  • That tell in homely phrase who lie below;)
  • Sudden he starts! and hears, or thinks he hears,
  • The sound of something purring at his heels.
  • Blair.

    Let the soldier be abroad if he will; he can do nothing in this age. There is another personage abroad~-a person less imposing—in the eyes of some, perhaps, insignificant. The schoolmaster is abroad; and I trust to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier in full military array.


  • To every class we have a school assign’d,
  • Rules for all ranks, and food for every mind:
  • Yet one there is, that small regard to rule
  • Or study pays, and still is deem’d a school;
  • That, where a deaf, poor, patient widow sits,
  • And awes some thirty infants as she knits;
  • Infants of humble, busy wives, who pay
  • Some trifling price for freedom through the day.
  • At this good matron’s hut the children meet,
  • Who thus becomes the mother of the street.
  • Crabbe.

  • Lord, let me make this rule
  • To think of life as school,
  • And try my best
  • To stand each test,
  • And do my work,
  • And nothing shirk.
  • Should someone else outshine
  • This dullard head of mine,
  • Should I be sad?
  • I will be glad.
  • To do my best
  • Is Thy behest.
  • Some day the bell will sound,
  • Some day my heart will bound,
  • As with a shout
  • That school is out
  • And lessons done,
  • I homeward run.
  • Maltbie Babcock.

  • Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way
  • With blossom’d furze, unprofitably gay,
  • There, in his noisy mansion, skill’d to rule,
  • The village master taught his little school:
  • A man severe he was, and stern to view,
  • I knew him well, and every truant knew;
  • Well had the boding tremblers learn’d to trace
  • The day’s disasters in his morning’s face;
  • Full well they laugh’d with counterfeited glee
  • At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
  • Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
  • Convey’d the dismal tidings when he frown’d;
  • 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;
  • ’T was certain he could write and cypher too.
  • Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage;
  • And e’en the story ran, that he could gauge.
  • Goldsmith.

    The opening of the first grammar-school was the opening of the first trench against monopoly in church and state; the first row of trammels and pothooks which the little Shearjashubs and Elkanahs blotted and blubbered across their copy-books was the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.