Reference > Quotations > S.A. Bent, comp. > Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men
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S.A. Bent, comp.  Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men.  1887.
 
Dr. Parr
 
        [Samuel Parr, an English scholar and critic; born at Harrow-on-the-Hill, 1747; left Cambridge without a degree; master of different schools; prebendary of St. Paul’s; died 1825.]
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No man can be a good critic who is not well versed in human nature.  2
 
All human knowledge here is but methodized ignorance.
          Goethe says, “The highest art lies in the knowledge of limitation, and in the power of self-isolation.” It was a saying of Socrates, when told by the Delphic oracle that he was the wisest man in all Greece, “’Tis because that I alone of all the Greeks know that I know nothing.” Horace Walpole wrote: “In all sciences the errors precede the truths, and it is better they should, first than last.”
  Of the contest over the personality of Homer, Dr. Parr remarked with the enthusiasm of the literary partisan, “I for one would stick to Homer, even if he never existed.”
  Dr. Parr prided himself on his Latin epitaphs, and said he meant to write Erskine’s; as he was an older man than the lord chancellor, the latter replied with a manner intended to be very complimentary, “It is a temptation to commit suicide.”
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