A.E.H. Quotes




An assortment of the words of A. E. Housman:

"Our business here is not to live, but to live happily."
--A.E.H., Introductory Lecture (1892)

"Knowledge is good, method is good, but one thing beyond all others is necessary; and that is to have a head, not a pumpkin on your shoulders, and brains, not pudding, in your head."
--A.E.H., The Application of Thought to Textual Criticism (1921)

"Parisians ate rats in the siege, when they had nothing better to eat: must admirers of Parisian cookery eat rats for ever?"
--A.E.H. (1905)

"Our true occupation is to manufacture from the raw material of life the fabric of happiness."
--A.E.H., Introductory Lecture (1892)

"Poetry is not the thing said but a way of saying it."
--A.E.H. (1933)

"Mr. Owen has an unfortunate habit of saying things which he believes to be true."
--A.E.H. (1904)

"Let a man acquire knowledge not for this or that external and incidental good which may chance to result from it, but for itself; not because it is useful or ornamental, but because it is knowledge, and therefore good for man to acquire ."
--A.E.H. (1892)

"Poetry indeed seems to me more physical than intellectual. I received from America a request that I would define poetry. I replied that I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat, but that I thought we both recognised the object by the symptoms which it provokes in us."
--A.E.H. (1933)

"Nature not content with denying the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write."