Wednesday 27 December 2023

Love of Learning

     Passing from the law into wider avenues of thought and endeavor, I won infinite instruction and a larger view. I studied the achievement of each people sympathetically, fascinated by the efforts of men to bring their lives into harmony with their convictions. In every instance, it seemed to me, something was won of truth and general value. Ancient China with its great Confucius presented enduring social verities. Indian thought plumbed the depths of sorrow-stricken transience. But in the bright light of Greece what did I not learn of glorious acts and strivings, of shifting civic governments, and the often futile plans of men to curb their own violence? The very course of Greek philosophy taught me much even when declining from speculation to utility in Stoicism. The last sets one on the road to Rome, practical-minded, legal, imperial civilizer. If there was intellectual shrinkage, the ageing world showed broadening of feeling and sympathy even such as came to my own rather individual self. 
Henry Osborn Taylor, A Historian’s Creed (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1939), pp. 80-81.