Paracelsus, who flourished in the early part of the 16th century, was a curious example of a man who united quackery and ignorance with great mental power, boldness, and success. His father brought him up to medicine, but he despised book-learning of every sort, and took many long and hazardous journeys to investigate the secrets of Nature for himself. He used to boast that his whole library would not amount to six folios. Hence he who reads little, and is content to gather wisdom by his own practical experience, is said by Johnson to study in the academy of Paracelsus.
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