When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer Wisdom and Knowledge Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (line)
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he
lectured with much applause in the lecture-room, (line 4)
In many ways, a "lecture" goes against the spirit of the virtue of self-reliance, most famously described by the American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, but also practiced by Whitman. In a lecture, you aren't learning something from direct experience; you're having it transmitted to you passively in words.