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Conscience is a man’s compass, and though the needle sometimes deviates, though one often perceives irregularities in directing one’s course after it, still one must try to follow its direction.

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) Dutch painter
Letter to Theo Van Gogh, # 253 (undated)
Added on 21-Feb-23 | Last updated 21-Feb-23
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The soul that has no fixed goal loses itself; for as they say, to be everywhere is to be nowhere.

[L’âme qui n’a point de but établi, elle se perd: car comme on dit, c;est n’ètre en aucun lieu que d’être partout.]

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
Essays, Book 1, ch. 8 “Of Idleness” (1580-88) [tr. Frame (1943)]

Alt. trans.: "The soul that has no established aim loses itself, for, as it is said, 'He who lives everywhere, lives nowhere.'" [tr. Cotton (1877)]

Alt. trans.: "When the soul is without a definite aim, she gets lost; for, as they say, if you are everywhere you are nowhere." [tr. Screech (1987)]

The proverb referenced is Martial.
Added on 14-Jul-17 | Last updated 14-Jul-17
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Again, we should notice the force, effect, and consequences of inventions, which are nowhere more conspicuous than in those three which were unknown to the ancients; namely, printing, gunpowder, and the compass. For these three have changed the appearance and state of the whole world; first in literature, then in warfare, and lastly in navigation: and innumerable changes have been thence derived, so that no empire, sect, or star, appears to have exercised a greater power and influence on human affairs than these mechanical discoveries.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Novum Organum, Book 2, Aphorism 129 (1620)
Added on 18-Aug-16 | Last updated 18-Aug-16
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