In order to cultivate yourself and to drop no lower than the level of the milieu in which you have landed, it is not enough to read Pickwick and memorize a monologue from Faust.... You need to work continually day and night, to read ceaselessly, to study, to exercise your will.... Each hour is precious.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, March 1886, to his brother, N.P. Chekhov. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 1, p. 225, "Nauka" (1976).