The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance
one can contain without bursting one's clothes.
AI image created by Barbara Schmidt
|Nothing is so ignorant as a man's left hand, except a lady's watch.
- Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar
I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have so much more of it.
- Letter to William Dean Howells, 10 February 1875
The ignorant are afraid to betray surprise or admiration...they think it ill manners.
- Notebook, 1883
...ignorant as the unborne babe! ignorant as unborn twins!
- Roughing It
We never knew an ignorant person yet but was prejudiced.
- Innocents Abroad
I am thankful that the good God creates us all ignorant. I am glad that when we change His plans in this regard, we have to do it at our own risk. It is a gratification to me to know that I am ignorant of art, and ignorant also of surgery. Because people who understand art find nothing in pictures but blemishes, and surgeons and anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly stack of bones with Latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues inflamed by disease. The very point in a picture that fascinates me with its beauty, is to the cultured artist a monstrous crime against the laws of coloring; and the very flush that charms me in a lovely face, is, to the critical surgeon, nothing but a sign hung out to advertise a decaying lung. Accursed be all such knowledge. I want none of it.
- "Academy of Design," letter to San Francisco Alta California, 28 July 1867
...one should be gentle with the ignorant, for they are the chosen of God.
- Letter to William D. Howells, 12 May 1899
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