Quotes on Learning: Practicality
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183. Learning: Practicality
"Books without the knowledge of life are useless; for what should books teach but the art of living? To study manners however only in coffee-houses, is more than equally imperfect; the minds of men who acquire no solid learning, and only exist on the daily forage that they pick up by running about, and snatching what drops from their neighbours as ignorant as themselves, will never ferment into any knowledge valuable or durable; but like the light wines we drink in hot countries, please for the moment though incapable of keeping. In the study of mankind much will be found to swim as froth, and much must sink as feculence, before the wine can have its effect, and become that noblest liquor which rejoices the heart, and gives vigour to the imagination."
Piozzi: Anecdotes

1,210. Academia; Ignorance; Learning (Practicality)
"Nothing has so exposed men of learning to contempt and ridicule as their ignorance of things which are known to all but themselves. Those who have been taught to consider the institutions of the schools as giving the last perfection to human abilities are surprised to see men wrinkled with study, yet wanting to be instructed in the minute circumstances of propriety, or the necessary form of daily transaction; and quickly shake off their reverence for modes of education which they find to produce no ability above the rest of mankind."
Johnson: Rambler #137 (July 9, 1751)

1,234. Learning (Practicality); The Press
"If it is necessary for every man to be more acquainted with his contemporaries than with past generations, and to rather know the events which may immediately affect his fortune or quiet than the revolution of ancient kingdoms, in which he has neither possessions nor expectations; if it be pleasing to hear of the preferment and dismission of statesmen, the birth of heirs, and the marriage of beauties, the humble author of journals and gazettes must be considered as a liberal dispenser of beneficial knowledge."
Johnson: Rambler #145 (August 6, 1751)

1,408. Learning: Practicality
"Among the sons of learning many seem to have thought of every thing rather than of themselves, and to have observed every thing but what passes before their eyes: many who toil though the intricacy of complicated systems are insuperably embarrassed with the least perplexity in common affairs; many who compare the actions, and ascertain the characters of ancient heroes, let their own days glide away without examination, and suffer vicious habits to encroach upon their minds without resistance or detection."

Johnson: Rambler #180 (December 7, 1751)

1,652. Learning: Practicality; Life
"No man can become qualified for the common intercourses of life, by private meditation; the manners of the world are not a regular system, planned by philosophers upon settled principles, in which every cause has a congruous effect, and one part has a just reference to another."
Johnson: Adventurer #131 (February 5, 1754)

1,796. Knowledge; Learning (Practicality)
"Between falsehood and useless truth there is little difference. As gold which he cannot spend will make no man rich, so knowledge which he cannot apply will make no man wise."
Johnson: Idler #84 (November 24, 1759)

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