I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.
Mr. Ansell was not merely a man of some education; he had what no education can bring — the power of detecting what is important. Like many fathers, he had spared no expense over his boy, — he had borrowed money to start him at a rapacious and fashionable private school; he had sent him to tutors; he had sent him to Cambridge. But he knew that all this was not the important thing. The important thing was freedom.
Books have to be read (worse luck, for it takes a long time); it is the only way of discovering what they contain.
Science is better than sympathy, if only it is science.
Science explained people, but could not understand them.
For human intercourse, as soon as we look at it for its own sake and not as a social adjunct, is seen to be haunted by a spectre. We cannot understand each other, except in a rough and ready way; we cannot reveal ourselves, even when we want to; what we call intimacy is only a makeshift; perfect knowledge is an illusion.