Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Curiosity
 
  He that questioneth much shall learn much, and content much; but especially if he apply his questions to the skill of the persons whom he asketh; for he shall give them occasion to please themselves in speaking, and himself shall continually gather knowledge: but let his questions not be troublesome, for that is fit for a poser; and let him be sure to leave other men their turns to speak.
Francis Bacon: Essay XXXIII., Of Discourse.    
  1
 
  A wise man is not inquisitive about things impertinent.
William Broome.    
  2
 
  The first and the simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity. By curiosity I mean whatever desire we have for, or whatever pleasure we take in, novelty. We see children perpetually running from place to place, to hunt out something new; they catch with great eagerness, and with very little choice, at whatever comes before them; their attention is engaged by everything, because everything has, in that stage of life, the charm of novelty to recommend it. But, as those things which engage us merely by their novelty cannot attach us for any length of time, curiosity is the most superficial of all the affections; it changes its object perpetually; it has an appetite which is very sharp, but very easily satisfied; and it has always an appearance of giddiness, restlessness, and anxiety. Curiosity, from its nature, is a very active principle; it quickly runs over the greatest part of its objects; and soon exhausts the variety which is commonly to be met with in nature; the same things make frequent returns, and they return with less and less of any agreeable effect.
Edmund Burke: On the Sublime and Beautiful, 1756.    
  3
 
  Desire to know how and why,—curiosity: so that man is distinguished not only by his reason, but also by this singular passion, from all other animals.
Thomas Hobbes.    
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  Curiosity in children nature has provided to remove that ignorance they were born with; which, without this busy inquisitiveness, will make them dull.
John Locke.    
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  One great reason why many children abandon themselves wholly to silly sports, and trifle away all their time insipidly, is because they have found their curiosity baulked.
John Locke.    
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  If their curiosity leads them to ask what they should not know, it is better to tell them plainly that it is a thing that belongs not to them to know, than to pop them off with a falsehood.
John Locke.    
  7
 
  A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labour of the bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.
Alexander Pope.    
  8
 
 
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