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To wilful men,
The injuries that they themselves procure
Must be their school-masters.
- William Shakespeare
I shall the effect of this good lesson keep
As watchman to my heart, but, good my brother,
Do not as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles like a puffed and reckless libertine
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.
- William Shakespeare,
Hamlet Prince of Denmark
(Ophelia at I, iii)
There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.
- George Bernard Shaw
Experience is a grindstone; and it is lucky for us if we can get brightened by it, and not ground.
- Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)
The past and thence I will essay to glean
A warning for the future, so that man
May profit by his errors, and derive
Experience from his folly;
For, when the power of imparting joy
Is equal to the will, the human soul
Requires no other heaven.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab
(III, l. 6)
All is but lip wisdom which wants experience.
- Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)
Conflicts bring experience; and experience brings that growth in grace which is not to be attained by any other means.
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Each successive generation plunges into the abyss of passion, without the slightest regard to the fatal effects which such contract has produced upon their predecessors; and lament, when too late, the rashness with which they slighted the advice of experience, and stifled the voice of reason.
- Sir Richard Steele
We are often prophets to others only because we are our own historians.
- Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)
Each succeeding day is the scholar of that which preceded.
- Syrus (Publilius Syrus)
[Lat., Experientia docet.]
- founded on Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus),
Annales (bk. V, 6)
To have a true idea of man or of life, one must have stood himself on the brink of suicide, or on the door-sill of insanity, at least once.
- Henri Taine (Hyppolyte Adolpe Taine)
He teaches best,
Who feels the hearts of all men in his breast,
And knows their strength or weakness through his own.
- Bayard Taylor
To Truth's house there is a single door, which is experience.
- Bayard Taylor
Men may rise, on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravl'd world whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses (l. 18)
And others' follies teach us not,
Nor much their wisdom teaches,
And most, of sterling worth, is what
Our own experience preaches.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson,
Will Waterproof; Lyrical Monologue
No man was ever endowed with a judgment so correct and judicious, in regulating his life, but that circumstances time and experience would teach him something new, and apprize him that of those things with which he thought himself the best acquainted he knew nothing; and that those ideas which in theory appeared the most advantageous were found, when brought into practice, to be altogether inapplicable.
- Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)
We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.
- Henry David Thoreau
Believe one who has tried it.
[Lat., Experto credite.]
- Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
The Aeneid (XI, 283)
Is there any one so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire)
Learn the lesson of your own pain--learn to seek God, not in any single event of past history, but in your own soul--in the constant verifications of experience, in the life of Christian love.
- Mrs. Humphry Ward (pseudonym of Mary Augusta Ward) (nee Arnold),
Robert Elsmere (ch. XXVII)
Oft have I thought--jabber as he will, how learned soever, man knows nothing but what he has learned from experience!
- Christoph Martin Wieland
I have often thought that however learned you may talk about it, one knows nothing but what he learns from his own experience.
[Ger., Da dacht ich oft: schwatzt noch so hoch gelehrt,
Man weiss doch nichts, als was man selbst erfahrt.]
- Christoph Martin Wieland, Oberon (II, 24)
Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.
- Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde)
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