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


Much study is a weariness of the flesh.


Iron sharpens iron; scholar, the scholar.


Studious of ease, and fond of humble things.

Ambrose Philips.

As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so change of studies a dull brain.


Strange to the world, he wore a bashful look; the field his study, Nature was his book.


There are more men ennobled by study than by nature.


There is no study that is not capable of delighting us after a little application to it.


The more we study, we the more discover our ignorance.


Beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.


  • Whence is thy learning? hath thy toil
  • O’er books consumed the midnight oil?
  • Gay.

  • Exhausting thought,
  • And hiving wisdom with each studious year.
  • Byron.

  • When night hath set her silver lamp on high,
  • Then is the time for study.
  • Bailey.

    Leisure without study is death, and the grave of a living man.


    Study is the bane of boyhood, the aliment of youth, the indulgence of manhood, and the restorative of age.


    I study much, and the more I study, the oftener I go back to those first principles which are so simple that childhood itself can lisp them.

    Mme. Swetchine.

    As land is improved by sowing it with various seeds, so is the mind by exercising it with different studies.


    Studies teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation.


    He has his Rome, his Florence, his whole glowing Italy, within the four walls of his library. He has in his books the ruins of an antique world, and the glories of a modern one.


    He that studies only men will get the body of knowledge without the soul; and he that studies only books, the soul without the body.


    Study detains the mind by the perpetual occurrence of something new, which may gratefully strike the imagination.

    Dr. I. Watts.

  • Fall to them, as you find your stomach serves you:
  • No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en;—
  • In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
  • Shakespeare.

    The intellectual husbandry is a good field, and it is the worst husbandry in the world to sow it with trifles.

    Sir M. Hale.

    Even those to whom Providence has allotted greater strength of understanding can expect only to improve a single science.

    Dr. Johnson.

    The mind of the scholar, if he would have it large and liberal, should come in contact with other minds.


    The resources of the scholar are proportioned to his confidence in the attributes of the intellect.


    Examples teach us that in military affairs, and all others of a like nature, study is apt to enervate and relax the courage of man, rather than to give strength and energy to the mind.


    A few books, well studied, and thoroughly digested, nourish the understanding more than hundreds but gargled in the mouth, as ordinary students use.

    F. Osborn.

    Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.


    Practical application is the only mordant which will set things in the memory. Study without it is gymnastics, and not work, which alone will get intellectual bread.


    The love of study, a passion which derives fresh vigor from enjoyment, supplies each day, each hour, with a perpetual source of independent and rational pleasure.


  • If not to some peculiar end assign’d,
  • Study’s the specious trifling of the mind;
  • Or is at best a secondary aim,
  • A chase for sport alone and not for game.
  • Young.

    Trust, therefore, for the overcoming of a difficulty, not to long-continued study after you have once become bewildered, but to repeated trials at intervals.


  • Universal plodding prisons up
  • The nimble spirits in the arteries;
  • As motion, and long-during action tires
  • The sinewy vigor of the traveller.
  • Shakespeare.

    As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without culture, so the mind without cultivation can never produce good fruit.


    One of the best methods of rendering study agreeable is to live with able men, and to suffer all those pangs of inferiority which the want of knowledge always inflicts.

    Sydney Smith.

    When two or three sciences are pursued at the same time if one of them be dry, as logic, let another be more entertaining, to secure the mind from weariness.

    Dr. Watts.

  • With curious art the brain, too finely wrought,
  • Preys on herself, and is destroy’d by thought:
  • Constant attention wears the active mind,
  • Blots out our powers, and leaves a blank behind.
  • Churchill.

    The love of study is in us the only lasting passion. All the others quit us in proportion as this miserable machine which holds them approaches its ruins.


    They are not the best students who are most dependent on books. What can be got out of them is at best only material; a man must build his house for himself.

    George MacDonald.

    If you devote your time to study, you will avoid all the irksomeness of this life; nor will you long for the approach of night, being tired of the day; nor will you be a burden to yourself, nor your society insupportable to others.


    A boy will learn more true wisdom in a public school in a year than by a private education in five. It is not from masters, but from their equals, that youth learn a knowledge of the world.


    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor, but, even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.


    You are to come to your study as to the table, with a sharp appetite, whereby that which you read may the better digest. He that has no stomach to his book will very hardly thrive upon it.

    Earl of Bedford.

  • Study is like the heaven’s glorious sun,
  • That will not be deep-search’d with saucy looks,
  • Small have continual plodders ever won,
  • Save base authority from others’ books.
  • Shakespeare.

  • So study evermore is overshot;
  • While it doth study to have what it would
  • It doth forget to do the thing it should,
  • And when it hath the thing it hunteth most,
  • ’Tis won as towns with fire, so won, so lost.
  • Shakespeare.

    The secret studies of an author are the sunken piers upon which is to rest the bridge of his fame, spanning the dark waters of oblivion. They are out of sight, but without them no superstructure can stand secure.


    Dr. Johnson held that “impatience of study was the mental disease of the present generation;” and the remark is still applicable. We may not believe that there is a royal road to learning, but we seem to believe very firmly in a “popular” one.

    Samuel Smiles.

    It is quite possible, and not uncommon, to read most laboriously, even so as to get by heart the words of a book, without really studying it at all,—that is, without employing the thoughts on the subject.


    The man who has acquired the habit of study, though for only one hour every day in the year, and keeps to the one thing studied till it is mastered, will be startled to see the way he has made at the end of a twelvemonth.


    Strive, while improving your one talent, to enrich your whole capital as a man. It is in this way that you escape from the wretched narrow-mindedness which is the characteristic of every one who cultivates his specialty alone.


    The ancient practice of allowing land to remain fallow for a season is now exploded, and a succession of different crops found preferable. The case is similar with regard to the understanding, which is more relieved by change of study than by total inactivity.

    W. B. Clulow.

  • What is the end of study? Let me know?
  • Why, that to know, which else we should not know.
  • Things hid and barr’d, you mean, from common sense?
  • Ay, that is study’s god-like recompense.
  • Shakespeare.

    These (literary) studies are the food of youth, and consolation of age; they adorn prosperity; and are the comfort and refuge of adversity; they are pleasant at home, and are no incumbrance abroad; they accompany us at night, in our travels, and in our rural retreats.


    A man may smoke, or drink, or take snuff, till he is unable to pass away his time without it, not to mention how our delight in any particular study, art, or science, rises and improves in proportion to the application which we bestow upon it. Thus, what was at first an exercise, becomes at length an entertainment.


    I remember to have heard a great painter say: “There are certain faces for certain painters, as well as certain subjects for certain poets.” This is as true in the choice of studies; and no one will ever relish an author thoroughly well who would not have been fit companion for that author, had they lived at the same time.


    Whatever study tends neither directly nor indirectly to make us better men and citizens is at best but a specious and ingenious sort of idleness; and the knowledge we acquire by it only a creditable kind of ignorance, nothing more.

    Lord Bolingbroke.