Here are some selections from Xunzi (c. 312-? BCE), sometimes with comment, chosen to show both what I see as insightful and not quite so. All quotes are from Xunzi: Basic Writings; Burton Watson (Columbia Univ. Press, 2003).
ENCOURAGING LEARNING (Section 1)
"Learning should never cease."
"[I]f the gentleman studies widely and each day examines himself, his wisdom will become clear and his conduct be without fault."
"If you do not climb a high mountain, you will not comprehend the highness of the heavens; . . ." (This comprehension, Zhuangzi might suggest, would require a very high mountain indeed.)
"The finest thoroughbred cannot travel ten paces in one leap, but the sorriest nag can go a ten days' journey. Achievement consists in never giving up."
"He who tries to travel two roads at once will arrive nowhere." (This may be a dig at Zhuangzi's "walking two roads")
"Learning continues until death and only then does it stop. . . To pursue it is to be a man, to give it up is to become a beast."
"The learning of a gentleman enters his ear, clings to his mind, and manifests itself in his actions. The learning of a petty man enters his ear and comes out his mouth." (Why you dirty . . .)
"To volunteer information when you have not been asked is called officiousness; to answer two questions when you have been asked only one is garrulity. . . The gentleman should be like an echo."
"Do not answer a man whose questions are gross. . . Do not argue with a contentious man."
"[W]hat lacks completeness and purity does not deserve to be called beautiful." (Zhuangzi tells us that 'completion' is the beginning of destruction and these judgments are relative in any case.)
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