Excerpt from The American Monthly Knickerbocker, Vol. 63: June, 1864
But to hide our ignorance, implies that we are conscious of it, and thus we shall do a right honest act by limiting our zeal in acting and speaking by the measure of our knowledge, and making our zeal in learning proportional to our ignorance, if we find that we have any active duty in the matter imposed on us. We do not, however, or ought not, to condemn people for acting ignorantly, or even for being unduly zealous in their ignorance; for this, too, is very natural. We cannot wait to learn before we act, for, in most matters, we are to learn by acting. We learn that fire burns by the feeling of the fact, and we have no other way of learning that a spark of social controversy, ignorantly managed, may grow into a general confiagration. Children are always growing in this way, even at the expense of rent clothes, and broken windows and dishes, and Spoiled books, and sad defeats, and other worse catastrophes, to the great and pro per grief of parents; and grown men, and even States, must submit to this mode of learning, and to its greater cost.
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