The greater the scientist, the more he is impressed with his ignorance of reality, and the more he realizes that his laws and labels, descriptions and definitions, are the products of his own thought. They help him to use the world for purposes of his own devising rather than understand and explain it.
When i heard the learn’d astronomer; when the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me; when i was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them; when i, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room, how soon, unaccountable, i became tired and sick; till rising and gliding out, i wander’d off by myself, in the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
By being so long in the lowest form [at harrow] i gained an immense advantage over the cleverer boys. . . . i got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary british sentence - which is a noble thing. naturally i am biased in favor of boys learning english; i would make them all learn english: and then i would let the clever ones learn latin as an honor, and greek as a treat.