For it is esteemed a kind of dishonour unto learning to descend to inquiry or meditation upon matters mechanical, except they be such as may be thought secrets, rarities, and special subtleties, which humour of vain supercilious arrogancy is justly derided in Plato. . . . But the truth is, they be not the highest instances that give the securest information; as may well be expressed in the tale . . . of the philosopher, that while he gazed upwards to the stars fell into the water; for if he had looked down he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking aloft he could not see the water in the stars. So it cometh often to pass, that mean and small things discover great, better than great can discover the small.
Source: The Advancement of Learning, J.M. Dent and Son, London, England, 1973, pp 71-72.
Contributed by: Zaady