Let us not tolerate in our criticism a principle which would operate as a prohibitory tariff of ideas. . . . It detracts nothing from Chaucher that we can trace in him the influence of Dante and Boccaccio; . . . nothing from Milton that he brought fire from Hebrew and Greek altars. There is no degradation in such indebtedness. Venerable rather is this apostolic succession, and inspiring to see vitae lampada [torch of life] passed thus consecrated from hand to hand. --James Russell Lowell.
Truth is scattered far and wide in small portions among mankind, mingled in every system with the dross of error, grasped perfectly by no one, and only in some degree discovered by the careful comparison and collation of opposing systems. --W.E.H. Lecky.