"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

"What secular avocation on earth was there for a young man (whose friends could not get him an 'appointment') which was at once gentlemanly, lucrative, and to be followed without special knowledge?"

[vocations: George Eliot, Middlemarch]

Posted by Daniel on 07.02.2008

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"'You must be sure of two things: you must love your work, and not be always looking over the edge of it, wanting your play to begin. And the other is, you must not be ashamed of your work, and think it would be more honourable to you to be doing something else. You must have a pride in your work and in learning to do it well, and not be always saying, There's this and there's that--if I had this or that to do, I might make something of it. No matter what a man is--I wouldn't give two pence for him...whether he was the prime minister or the rick-thatcher, if he didn't do well what he undertook to do.'" Mr. Caleb Garth's Polonius moment to the young and idle Fred Vincy.

[work: George Eliot, Middlemarch]

Posted by Daniel on 07.01.2008

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