Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
Instinct is untaught ability.
        Bain—Senses and Intellect. (1855). P. 256.
Ein guter Mensch in seinem dunkeln Drange
Ist sich des rechten Weges wohl bewusst.
  A good man, through obscurest aspirations,
  Has still an instinct of the one true way.
        Goethe—Faust. Prolog im Himmel. Der Herr. L. 88.
Nous n’écoutons d’instincts que ceux qui sont les nôtres.
Et ne croyons le mal que quand il est venu.
  ’Tis thus we heed no instincts but our own,
  Believe no evil, till the evil’s done.
        La Fontaine—Fables. I. 8.
A fierce unrest seethes at the core
  Of all existing things:
It was the eager wish to soar
  That gave the gods their wings.
    *    *    *    *    *
There throbs through all the worlds that are
  This heart-beat hot and strong,
And shaken systems, star by star,
  Awake and glow in song.
        Don Marquis—Unrest.
Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them,
Like instincts, unawares.
        Rich. Monckton Milnes—The Men of Old.
But honest instinct comes a volunteer;
Sure never to o’er-shoot, but just to hit,
While still too wide or short in human wit.
        Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. III. L. 85.
How instinct varies in the grov’lling swine,
Compar’d, half-reasoning elephant, with thine!
’Twixt that and reason what a nice barrier!
Forever sep’rate, yet forever near!
        Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. I. L. 221.
Instinct and reason how can we divide?
’Tis the fool’s ignorance, and the pedant’s pride.
        Prior—Solomon on the Vices of the World. Bk. I. L. 231.
  Instinct is a great matter; I was a coward on instinct.
        Henry IV. Pt. I. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 299.
A few strong instincts and a few plain rules.
        WordsworthAlas! What Boots the Long Laborious Quest?

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