Another Parable of Safed the Sage

By William E. Barton

There came to the City wherein I dwell a man who delivered a Lecture, and I and Keturah we went. And the subject whereof he spake was one about which he knew very little. But he spread that little over the surface of an Interesting Talk, and the people enjoyed it, and so did we. Yea, and we were profited thereby, although the Lecturer knew little more than he told us. 

And there came another man who spake on the same subject, and we went to hear him. And he was a man of Great Erudition. And I said, Now Shall we hear something Worth While.

But he began by telling us the History of the Subject and the Various Attempts to Elucidate it. And then he spake of the Various Theories that had been suggested concerning it, and the books that had been written in Divers Tongues with regard to it.

And he said that a certain opinion had been held by men of learning, but was now no longer highly regarded, but that the opinion that was to take its place was in dispute.

And he suggested Various Aspects of the theme which he said he could not Discuss because it would require a Volume on any one of them. And about that time it was time to stop, and he stopped.

And as we journeyed toward our home, Keturah said, He certainly is a man of large knowledge. And I answered, Yea, and for the purposes of that audience it were better if he had known the tenth part of what he knoweth. For the first man carried all his goods in his show window, and this man blocked the sidewalk with dray-loads of unopened cases and bales of wisdom.

And Keturah said, I have heard that a Little Knowledge is a Dangerous thing. And I said, Believe it not. A little knowledge is good for seed, but there is such a thing as that a man getteth drowned in his own knowledge. For the first man knew little, but, used that little effectively, and the second man knew much, and it was useless.”


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