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If a man knew anything, he would sit in a corner and be modest; but he is such an ignorant peacock, that he goes bustling up and down, and hits on extraordinary discoveries.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

What has become clear to you since we last met?

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist and philosopher.

The discovery of the North Pole is one of those realities which could not be avoided. It is the wages which human perseverance pays itself when it thinks that something is taking too long. The world needed a discoverer of the North Pole, and in all areas of social activity, merit was less important here than opportunity.

Karl Kraus (1874-1936) Austrian satirist.

If we make a couple of discoveries here and there we need not believe things will go on like this for ever. Just as we hit water when we dig in the earth, so we discover the incomprehensible sooner or later.

Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799) German scientist, satirist and anglophile.