From Love's Labours Lost, Act I, Scene 1:
Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,
Which with pain purchased doth inherit pain:
As, painfully to pore upon a book
To seek the light of truth; while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look:
Light seeking light doth light of light beguile:
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.
Study me how to please the eye indeed
By fixing it upon a fairer eye,
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed
And give him light that it was blinded by.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun
That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks:
Small have continual plodders ever won
Save base authority from others' books
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights
That give a name to every fixed star
Have no more profit of their shining nights
Than those that walk and wot not what they are.
Too much to know is to know nought but fame;
And every godfather can give a name.
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
Watched the third series Doctor Who episode "The Shakespeare Code" tonight... the running gag with the Doctor quoting Shakespeare reminded me of a bit from a classic Who episode, "The Sun makers" I think. The Doctor has been encouraging the oppressed masses to rebel against the tyrannical tax collectors, and one of said masses -- Cordo, if I'm remembering the episode correctly -- says, "what have we got to lose?" The Doctor replies, "only your claims!" Which isn't a Shakespeare quote, of course, but whatever.