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I should be inclined to say that as plants are stifled with too much moisture, and lamps with too much oil, so too much study and matter stifles the action of the mind, which, being caught and entangled in a great variety of things, may lose the ability to break loose, and be kept bent and huddled down by its burden.

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Source Notes: "Of Pedantry," book 1, essay 25 (1578-80), The Complete Essays of Montaigne, trans. Donald M. Frame (1976; originally published 1958).

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