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Origin of the phrase "ignorance is bliss"

Posted by Jim on April 24, 2002

In Reply to: Origin of the phrase "ignorance is bliss" posted by Bob on April 19, 2002

: : I know the phrase is used in Animal Farm. Is this where it orginated or was it taken from somewhere else?

: Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College"

: Yet ah, why should they know their fate
: Since sorrow never comes too late
: And happiness too quickly flies.

: Thought would destroy their paradise.
: Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.

: (I may not have that exactly word-for-word, since it's from memory... but it's pretty close)

An aphorism in the same vein, also from memory (with apologies, I've seen many versions):

" most people would rather die than think, and in fact they usually do "
Betrand Russell