Nothing reveals more clearly men’s attitude to learning and literature, and what use they think these are to the State, than the low price they put on them, and their opinion of those who have chosen to practice them.
[Rien ne découvre mieux dans quelle disposition sont les hommes à l’égard des sciences et des belles-lettres, et de quelle utilité ils les croient dans la république, que le prix qu’ils y ont mis, et l’idée qu’ils se forment de ceux qui ont pris le parti de les cultiver.]
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 12 “Of Opinions [Des Jugements],” § 17 (12.17) (1688) [tr. Stewart (1970)]
(Source (French)). Alternate translations:
Nothing discovers better what disposition men have to Knowledge and Learning, and how profitable they are esteem'd to the Publick, than the price which is set on them, and the Idea they have formed of those who have taken the pains to improve them.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]
Nothing discovers better what regard Men have to Science and polite Learning, and how profitable they esteem them to the Publick, than the price they set on them, and the Idea they form to themselves of those who have taken the pains to cultivate them.
[Curll ed. (1713)]
Nothing better manifests the Regard paid to the Sciences and Literature, and Men's Sense of their Utility to the Public, than the Recompences assigned to them, and the Repute in which they stand who excel in them.
[Browne ed. (1752)]
Nothing better demonstrates how men regard science and literature, and of what use they are considered in the State, than the recompense assigned to them, and the idea generally entertained of those persons who resolve to cultivate them.
[tr. Van Laun (1885)]
Added on 23-Aug-23 | Last updated 23-Aug-23
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