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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Speculation
 
  Conjecture as to things useful is good; but conjecture as to what it would be useless to know, such as whether men went upon all-fours, is very idle.
Johnson.    
  1
  Wise man was he who counselled that speculation should have free course, and look fearlessly towards all the thirty-two points of the compass, whithersoever and howsoever it listed.
Carlyle.    
  2
        The history of humankind to trace
Since Eve, the first of dupes, our doom unriddled,
A certain portion of the human race
Has certainly a taste for being diddled.
Witness the famous Mississippi dreams!
A rage that time seems only to redouble—
The banks, joint stocks, and all the flimsy schemes,
For rolling in Pactolian streams
That cost our modern rogues so little trouble
No matter what, to pasture cows on stubble
To twist sea-sand into a solid rope,
To make French bricks and fancy bread of rubble,
Or light with gas the whole celestial cope—
Only propose to blow a bubble,
And Lord! what hundreds will subscribe for soap!
Hood.    
  3
  The besetting evil of our age is the temptation to squander and dilute thought of a thousand different lines of inquiry.
Sir John Herschel.    
  4
 
 
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