The motto of the Foote School has long been "Laete cognoscam et laete docebo," or "Gladly will I learn and gladly teach." But does anyone know WHY that motto was chosen?
The sentiment comes from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales — specifically from the General Prologue of The Clerk, lines 287-310:
A CLERK ther was of Oxenford also, A clerk from Oxford was with us also,
That unto logyk hadde longe ygo. Who’d turned to getting knowledge, long ago.
As leene was his hors as is a rake, As meagre was his horse as is a rake,
And he nas nat right fat, I undertake, Nor he himself too fat, I’ll undertake,
But looked holwe and therto sobrely. But he looked hollow and went soberly.(5)
Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy; Right threadbare was his overcoat, for he
For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice, Had got him yet no churchly benefice,
Ne was so worldly for to have office. Nor was so worldly as to gain office.
For hym was levere have at his beddes heed For he would rather have at his bed’s head
Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed, Some twenty books, all bound in black and red,(10)
Of Aristotle and his philosophie, Of Aristotle and his philosophy
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.Than rich robes, fiddle, or gay psaltery.
But al be that he was a philosophre,Yet, and for all he was philosopher,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre; He had but little gold within his coffer;
But al that he myghte of his freendes hente, But all that he might borrow from a friend(15)
On bookes and on lernynge he it spente, On books and learning he would swiftly spend,
On bookes and on lernynge he it spente, And then he’d pray right busily for the souls
Of hem that yaf hym wherwith to scoleye. Of those who gave him wherewithal for schools.
Of studie took he moost cure and moost heede. Of study took he utmost care and heed.
Noght o word spak he moore than was neede, Not one word spoke he more than was his need;(20)
And that was seyd in forme and reverence, And that was said in fullest reverence
And short and quyk, and ful of hy sentence; And short and quick and full of high good sense.
Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche, Pregnant of moral virtue was his speech;
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche. And gladly would he learn and gladly teach.