I must see new things and investigate them. I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds.
Some men are discovered; others are found out.
It is a profound mistake to think that everything has been discovered; as well think the horizon the boundary of the world.
Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale. (1912, on his doomed Antarctic expedition)
The voyage of discovery is not in looking for new landscapes, but in looking with new eyes.
It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.
I’m more interested in what I discover than what I invent.
Behind him (Columbus) lay the gray Azores, Behind the Gates of Hercules; Before him not the ghost of shores, Before him only shoreless seas. The good mate said: “Now we must pray, For lo! the very stars are gone. Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?” – “Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on! […]
We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.
One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.