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


The school is the manufactory of humanity.


The sounding jargon of the schools.


Teach the art of living well.


Education is our only political safety.

Horace Mann.

Teachers should be held in highest honor.

Mrs. Sigourney.

Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain.


He who honestly instructs reverences God.


What’s all the noisy jargon of the schools?


None can teach admirably if not loving his task.

A. Bronson Alcott.

We’ll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there’s no labouring i’ the winter.


Men must be taught as though you taught them not.


Whilst that the childe is young, let him be instructed in vertue and lytterature.


Whetstones are not themselves able to cut, but make iron sharp and capable of cutting.


The one exclusive sign of a thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.


The temper of the pedagogue suits not with the age; and the world, however it may be taught, will not be tutored.


If ever I am an instructress, it will be to learn more than to teach.

Madame Deluzy.

Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes.


Public instruction should be the first object of government.

Napoleon I.

The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself.


It is a luxury to learn; but the luxury of learning is not to be compared with the luxury of teaching.

Roswell D. Hitchcock.

You cannot, by all the lecturing in the world, enable a man to make a shoe.

Dr. Johnson.

The growth of the intellect is strictly analogous in all individuals.


Tutors should behave reverently before their pupils.


You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.


  • I do present you with a man of mine,
  • Cunning in music and the mathematics,
  • To instruct her fully in those sciences.
  • Shakespeare.

    A true teacher should penetrate to whatever is vital in his pupil, and develop that by the light and heat of his own intelligence.

    E. P. Whipple.

    A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.

    Horace Mann.

    Garden work consists much more in uprooting weeds than in planting seed. This applies also to teaching.


    It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teachings.


    Though one devote himself to many teachers, he must extract the essence, as the bee from the flower.


    Worried and tormented into monotonous feebleness, the best part of his life ground out of him in a mill of boys.


    How shall he give kindling in whose own inward man there is no live coal, but all is burnt out to a dead grammatical cinder?


    A teacher should, above all things, first induce a desire in the pupil for the acquisition he wishes to impart.

    Horace Mann.

    The authority of those who teach is very often an impediment to those who desire to learn.


    The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.


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


    There is nothing more frightful than for a teacher to know only what his scholars are intended to know.


    Attempt to teach the young but little at a time; this will be easier to impart, easier to receive, and surer to be retained.

    Hosea Ballou.

    Be understood in thy teaching, and instruct to the measure of capacity; precepts and rules are repulsive to a child, but happy illustration winneth him.


    Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.


    Passionate words or blows from the tutor fill the child’s mind with terror and affrightment, which immediately takes it wholly up and leaves no room for other impressions.


    It is a pity that, commonly, more care is had—yea, and that among very wise men—to find out rather a cunning man for their horse than a cunning man for their children.

    Roger Ascham.

    Instructors should not only be skilful in those sciences which they teach, but have skill in the method of teaching, and patience in the practice.

    Dr. Watts.

    Do not allow your daughters to be taught letters by a man, though he be a St. Paul or St. Francis of Assissium. The saints are in Heaven.

    Bishop Liguori.

    A good schoolmaster minces his precepts for children to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of his own soul, that his scholars may go along with him.


    It would be a great advantage to some schoolmasters if they would steal two hours a day from their pupils and give their own minds the benefit of the robbery.

    J. F. Boyes.

    Education of youth is not a bow for every man to shoot in that counts himself a teacher; but will require sinews almost equal to those which Homer gave to Ulysses.


    In the education of children there is nothing like alluring the appetites and affection; otherwise you make so many asses laden with books.


  • Full well they laughed, 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.
  • Goldsmith.

  • Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
  • Fit to instruct her youth.***
  • ***To cunning men
  • I will be very kind, and liberal
  • To mine own children in good bringing up.
  • Shakespeare.

    If, in instructing a child, you are vexed with it for a want of adroitness, try, if you have never tried before, to write with your left hand, and then remember that a child is all left hand.

    J. F. Boyes.

    There is no teaching until the pupil is brought into the same state or principle in which you are; a transfusion takes place; he is you, and you are he; there is a teaching; and by no unfriendly chance or bad company can he ever quite lose the benefit.


    Do not, then, train boys to learning by force and harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be the better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.


    It is the duty of a man of honor to teach others the good which he has not been able to do himself because of the malignity of the times, that this good finally can be done by another more loved in heaven.


    It is by the promulgation of sound morals in the community, and more especially by the training and instruction of the young, that woman performs her part towards the preservation of free government.

    Daniel Webster.

    Men want to be reminded, who do not want to be taught; because those original ideas of rectitude to which the mind is compelled to assent when they are proposed, are not always as present to us as they ought to be.


    Count it one of the highest virtues upon earth to educate faithfully the children of others, which so few, and scarcely any, do by their own.


    All preceptors should have that kind of genius described by Tacitus, “equal to their business, but not above it;” a patient industry, with competent erudition; a mind depending more on its correctness than its originality, and on its memory rather than on its invention.


    Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, to teach the young idea how to shoot, to pour the fresh instruction over the mind, to breathe the enlivening spirit, and to fix the generous purpose in the glowing breast.


    To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching. To attain it we must be able to guess what will interest; we must learn to read the childish soul as we might a piece of music. Then, by simply changing the key, we keep up the attraction and vary the song.


    Improvement depends far less upon length of tasks and hours of application than is supposed. Children can take in but a little each day; they are like vases with a narrow neck; you may pour little or pour much, but much will not enter at a time.


    Unless a woman has a decided pleasure and facility in teaching, an honest knowledge of everything she professes to impart, a liking for children, and, above all, a strong moral sense of her responsibility towards them, for her to attempt to enroll herself in the scholastic order is absolute profanation.

    Miss Mulock.

    For my part, I am convinced that the method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation is incomparably the best; since, not content with serving up a few barren and lifeless truths, it leads to the stock on which they grew.


  • Whoe’er excels in what we prize,
  • Appears a hero in our eyes;
  • Each girl, when pleased with what is taught,
  • Will have the teacher in her thought.
  • *****
  • A blockhead with melodious voice,
  • In boarding-schools may have his choice.
  • Swift.

  • ’Tis pleasing to be school’d in a strange tongue
  • By female lips and eyes—that is, I mean,
  • When both the teacher and the taught are young,
  • As was the case, at least, where I have been;
  • They smile so when one’s right; and when one’s wrong
  • They smile still more.
  • Byron.

    Teachers should be held in the highest honor. They are the allies of legislators; they have agency in the prevention of crime; they aid in regulating the atmosphere, whose incessant action and pressure cause the life-blood to circulate, and to return pure and healthful to the heart of the nation.

    Mrs. Sigourney.

  • O ye! who teach the ingenious youth of nations,
  • Holland, France, England, Germany or Spain,
  • I pray ye flog them upon all occasions,
  • It mends their morals, never mind the pain.
  • Byron.

    Go to the place where the thing you wish to know is native; your best teacher is there. Where the thing you wish to know is so dominant that you must breathe its very atmosphere, there teaching is most thorough, and learning is most easy. You acquire a language most readily in the country where it is spoken; you study mineralogy best among miners; and so with everything else.


    A tutor should not be continually thundering instruction into the ears of his pupil, as if he were pouring it through a funnel, but, after having put the lad, like a young horse, on a trot, before him, to observe his paces, and see what he is able to perform, should, according to the extent of his capacity, induce him to taste, to distinguish, and to find out things for himself; sometimes opening the way, at other times leaving it for him to open; and by abating or increasing his own pace, accommodate his precepts to the capacity of his pupil.


  • Grave is the Master’s look; his forehead wears
  • Thick rows of wrinkles, prints of worrying cares;
  • Uneasy lies the heads of all that rule,
  • His worst of all whose kingdom is a school.
  • Supreme he sits; before the awful frown
  • That binds his brows the boldest eye goes down;
  • Not more submissive Israel heard and saw
  • At Sinai’s foot the Giver of the Law.
  • O. W. Holmes.