A pure and simple ignorance and wholly depending upon the exposition of qualified persons, was far more learned and salutary than this vain and verbal knowledge, which has only temerity and presumption.
 Michel de Montaigne, The Essays of Michel de Montaigne (1580). copy citation

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Author Michel de Montaigne
Source The Essays of Michel de Montaigne
Topic ignorance learning
Date 1580
Language English
Reference
Note Translated by Charles Cotton
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3600/3600-h/3600-h.htm

Context

“Are not they then pleasant men who think they have rendered this fit for the people’s handling by translating it into the vulgar tongue? Does the understanding of all therein contained only stick at words? Shall I venture to say further, that by coming so near to understand a little, they are much wider of the whole scope than before. A pure and simple ignorance and wholly depending upon the exposition of qualified persons, was far more learned and salutary than this vain and verbal knowledge, which has only temerity and presumption. And I do further believe that the liberty every one has taken to disperse the sacred writ into so many idioms carries with it a great deal more of danger than utility. The Jews, Mohammedans, and almost all other peoples, have reverentially espoused the language wherein their mysteries were first conceived, and have expressly, and not without colour of reason, forbidden the alteration of them into any other.” source