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  • One cannot lay a foundation by scattering stones, nor is a reputation for good work to be got by strewing volumes about the world ...

  • Ledyard was as earnest as a father inspecting his son's electric train.

  • I have to lose my mind to be able to concentrate.

  • The most characteristic mark of a great mind is to choose some one important object, and pursue it through life.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "Against Inconsistency in Our Expectations" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • The concentration of a small child at play is analogous to the concentration of the artist of any discipline. In real play, which is real concentration, the child is not only outside time, he is outside himself.

  • What I do feel the modern child lacks, when compared with the earlier generation, is concentration, and the sheer dogged grit to carry a long job through. ... Helping children to face up to a certain amount of drudgery, cheerfully and energetically, is one of the biggest problems that teachers, in these days of ubiquitous entertainment, have to face in our schools ...

  • ... nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

  • The streams which would otherwise diverge to fertilize a thousand meadows, must be directed into one deep narrow channel before they can turn a mill.