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Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings!
Go, litel boke! go litel myn tregedie!
Crescide. Bk. V. L. 1,800.
CHAUCER—Flower and the Leaf. L. 591.
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away, Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry. This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
That bears a human soul.
And as for me, though than I konne but lyte,
logue. L. 29. It is saying less than the truth to affirm that an excellent book (and the remark holds almost equally good of a Raphael as of a Milton) is like & well-chosen and well-tended fruit tree. Its fruits are not of one season only. With the due and natural intervals, we may recur to it year after year, and it will supply the same nourishment and the same gratification, if only we ourselves return to it with the same healthful appetite. COLERIDGE—Literary Remains. Prospectus of
Golden volumes! richest treasures,
Homo unius libri, or, cave ab homine unius libri.
Beware of the man of one book. Isaac D'ISRAELI, quoted in Curiosities of Literature.
(See also AQUINAS) 14 Not as ours the books of oldThings that steam can stamp and fold; Not as ours the books of yoreRows of type, and nothing more. AUSTIN DOBSON—To a Missal of the 13th
Books should, not Business, entertain the Light; And Sleep, as undisturb'd as Death, the Night.
The spectacles of books.
Books cannot always please, however good; Minds are not ever craving for their food. CRABBE — The Borough. Letter XXIV.
Schools. L. 402.
Language freely flowing, thoughts as free
Such pleasing books more taketh me
Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace. BEN JONSON-Silent Wpman. Act I. Sc. 1.
Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Ecclesiastes. XII. 12. 17
Books are the best things, well used: abused, among the worst.
with the hours when life culminated are usually associated certain books which met his views. EMERSON—Letters and Social Aims. Quota
tion and Originality. There are many virtues in books, but the essential value is the adding of knowledge to our stock by the record of new facts, and, better, by the record of intuitions which distribute facts, and are the formulas which supersede all histories. EMERSON—Letters and Social Aims. Persian
Poetry. We prize books, and they prize them most who are themselves wise. EMERSON—Letters and Social Aims. Quota
tion and Originality.
Books should to one of these four ends conduce, For wisdom, piety, delight, or use.
SIR JOHN DENHAM Of Prudence.
His spirit grew robust;
Nor that his frame was dust.
And this bequest of wings
The princeps copy, clad in blue and gold.
Now go, write it before them in a table, and JOHN FERRIAR--Bibliomania.
note it in a book.
Isaiah. XXX. 8. Now cheaply bought, for thrice their weight in
Oh that my words were now written! oh that JOHN FERRIAR—Bibliomania.
they were printed in a book!
Job. XIX. 23.
My desire is . . . that mine adversary had JOHN FERRIAR-Bibliomania.
written a book.
Job. XXXI. 35. Learning hath gained most by those books by 17 which the Printers have lost.
A man will turn over half a library to make FULLER-Holy and the Profane State. Of
one book. Books.
SAMUEL JOHNSON—Boswell's Life of Johnson.
(1775) Some Books are onely cursorily to be tasted of. FULLER—Holy and the Profane State. Of Blest be the hour wherein I bought this book; Books. (See also BACON)
His studies happy that composed the book,
And the man fortunate that sold the book. Books are necessary to correct the vices of BEN JONSON--Every man out of his Humour. the polite; but those vices are ever changing,
Act I. Sc. 1. and the antidote should be changed accordingly -should still be new.
Pray thee, take care, that tak'st my book in GOLDSMITH – Citizen of the World. Letter hand, LXXII.
To read it well; that is to understand. 7
BEN JONSON-Epigram 1. . In proportion as society refines, new books
20 must ever become more necessary.
When I would know thee * my thought GOLDSMITH-Citizen of the World. Letter
Upon thy well-made choice of friends and books; 8
Then do I love thee, and behold thy ends I armed her against the censures of the world; In making thy friends books, and thy books showed her that books were sweet unreproach friends. ing companions to the miserable, and that if BEN JONSON—Epigram 86. they could not bring us to enjoy life, they
21 would at least teach us to endure it. GOLDSMITH-Vicar of Wakefield. Ch. XXII.
Quicquid agunt homines, votum, timor, ira,
voluptas, gaudia, discursus, nostri est farrago 9
libelli. I have ever gained the most profit, and the
The doings of men, their prayers, fear, most pleasure also, from the books which have
wrath, pleasure, delights, and recreations, are made me think the most: and, when the diffi
the subject of this book. culties have once been overcome, these are the
JUVENAL-Satires. I. I. 85. books which have struck the deepest root, not only in my memory and understanding, but likewise in my affections.
In omnibus requiem quæsivi J. C. AND A. W. HARE—Guesses at Truth.
Et non inyeni P. 458.
Nisi seorsim sedans
In angulo cum libello. Thou art a plant sprung up to wither never,
Everywhere I have sought rest and found it But, like a laurell, to grow green forever.
not except sitting apart in a nook with a little HERRICK–Hesperides. To His Booke.
Written in an autograph copy of THOMAS À. The foolishest book is a kind of leaky boat on
KEMPIS's De Imitatione, according to COR
NELIUS a sea of wisdom; some of the wisdom will get in
A. LAPIDE (Cornelius van den anyhow.
Steen), a Flemish Jesuit of the 17th century, HOLMES—The Poet at the Breakfast-Table. XI.
who says he saw this inscription. At Zwoll is a picture of a Kempis with this inscrip
tion, the last clause being in angello cum Dear little child, this little book
libello"-in a little nook with a little book. Is less a primer than a key
In angellis et libellis-in little nooks (cells) To sunder gates where wonder waits
and little books. Given in KING–Classical Your "Open Sesame!”
Quotations as being taken from the preface RUPERT HUGHES-With a First Reader.
of De Imitatione.
(See also WILSON)
Koran. Ch. XIII.
in the eye.
Books which are no books.
That wonderful book, while it obtains admirLAMB—Last Essay of Elia. Detached Thoughts ation from the most fastidious critics, is loved on Books.
by those who are too simple to admire it. 2
MACAULAY-On Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. A book is a friend whose face is constantly (1831) changing. If you read it when you are recover 13 ing from an illness, and return to it years after, As you grow ready for it, somewhere or other it is changed surely, with the change in yourself. you will find what is needful for you in a book. ANDREW LANG—The Library. Ch. I.
GEORGE MACDONALD--The Marquis of Lossie.
Ch. XLII. 3
14 A wise man will select his books, for he would not wish to class them all under the sacred with my books. I shall not do so; for you want
You importune me, Tucca, to present you name of friends. Some can be accepted only as to sell, not to read, them. acquaintances. The best books of all kinds are taken to the heart, and cherished as his most
MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. VII. Ep. 77. precious possessions. Others to be chatted with for a time, to spend a few pleasant hours with,
A good book is the precious life-blood of a and laid aside, but not forgotten.
master-spirit imbalmed and treasured up on LANGFORD-The Praise of Books. Preliminary
purpose to a life beyond life. Essay.
MILTON-Areopagitica. The love of books is a love which requires
As good almost kill a man as kill a good book; neither justification, apology, nor defence.
who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's LANGFORD—The Praise of Books. Preliminary image; but he who destroys a good book kills Essay.
reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, 5
MILTON—Areopagitica. The pleasant books, that silently among
Our household treasures take familiar places, And are to us as if a living tongue
Books are not absolutely dead things, but do Spake from the printed leaves or pictured contain a progeny of life in them to be as active
as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, faces! LONGFELLOW—Seaside and Fireside. Dedica- they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy tion.
and extraction of that living intellect that bred
them. Leaving us heirs to amplest heritages
Deep vers'd in books, and shallow in himself.
MILTON—Paradise Regained. Bk. IV. L. 327. ing from Shakespeare.
Un livre est un ami qui ne trompe jamais. Books are sepulchres of thought.
A book is a friend that never deceives. LONGFELLOW—Wind Over the Chimney. St. 8.
Ascribed to GUILBERT DE PIXÉRÉCOURT.
Claimed for DESBARREAUX BERNARD.
20 All books are either dreams or swords,
Within that awful volume lies
SCOTT—The Monastery. Vol. I. Ch. XII.
Distrahit animum librorum multitudo.
A multitude of books distracts the mind, AMY LOWELL-Sword Blades and Poppy Seed. SENECA-Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. II. 3. If I were asked what book is better than a
That roars so loud and thunders in the index.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 4. cheap book, I would answer that there is one
23 book better than a cheap book, and that is a book honestly come by,
Keep * thy pen from lenders' books, and LOWELL-Before the U.S. Senate Committee on
defy the foui fiend. Patents, Jan. 29, 1886.
King Lear. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 100. 10
We turn'd o'er many books together.
Merchant of Venice, Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 156.
of Songs and Sonnets here. 11
Merry Wives of Windsor. Act I. Sc. 1. L. Gentlemen use books as Gentlewomen handle 204. their flowers, who in the morning stick them in their heads, and at night strawe them at their That book in many's eyes doth share the glory, heeles.
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story. LYLY-Euphues. To the Gentlemen Readers. Romeo and Juliet. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 91
Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnished me
The Tempest. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 165.
And deeper than did ever plummet sound,
The Tempest. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 56.
Troilus and Cressida. Act I. Sc. 3.
5 Their books of stature small they take in hand, Which with pellucid horn secured are; To save from finger wet the letters fair. SHENSTONE—The Schoolmistress. St. 18.
(See also TICKELL) You shall see them on a beautiful quarto page, where a neat rivulet of text shall me ander through a meadow of margin. SHERIDAN-School for Scandal. Act I. Sc. 1.
(See also TICKELL)
Printed to be.
But every page having an ample marge,
(Se also TICKELL)
TICKELL—The Hornbook. (See also SHENSTONE, SHERIDAN, TENNYSON)
They are for company the best friends, in Doubt's Counsellors, in Damps Comforters, Time's Prospective the Home Traveller's Ship or Hors the busie Man's best Recreation, the Opiate of idle Weariness, the Mindes best Ordinary, Nature's Garden and Seed-plot of Immortality.
BULSTRODE WHITELOCK_Zootamia, O for a Booke and a shadie nooke, eyther in-a
doore or out; With the grene leaves whisp'ring overhede,
or the Streete cries all about. Where I maie Reade all at my ease,
both of the Newe and Olde; For a jollie goode Booke whereon to looke,
is better to me than Golde. JOHN WILSON. Motto in his second-hand book
catalogues. Claimed for him by AUSTIN DOBSON. Found in SIR JOHN LUBBOCK'S Pleasures of Life and IRELAND's Enchiridion, where it is given as an old song. (See Notes and Queries, Nov. 1919, P. 297, for discussion of authorship.)
Books, we know, Are a substantial world, both pure and good: Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and
blood, Our pastime and our happiness will grow.
WORDSWORTH-Poetical Works. Personal Talk.
Some books are drenched sands,
ALEXANDER SMITH-A Life Drama. Sc. 2. 9
When St. Thomas Aquinas was asked in what manner a man might best become learned, he answered, “By reading one book.” The homo unius libri is indeed proverbially formidable to all conversational figurantes. SOUTHEY—The Doctor. P. 164.
(See also AQUINAS) Go, little Book! From this my solitude
I cast thee on the Waters,-go thy ways:
The World will find thee after many days.
(See also BUNYAN) Books, the children of the brain.
SWIFT-Tale of a Tub. Sec. I.
Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books,
Or surely you'll grow double; Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks; Why all this toil and trouble? WORDSWORTH–The Tables Turned.
Croyez que chose divine est prester; debvoir Society is now one polished horde,
est vertu heroicque. Formed of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Believe me that it is a godlike thing to lend; Bored.
to owe is a heroic virtue. BYRON—Don Juan. Canto XIII. St. 95. RABELAIS-Pantagruel. Bk. III. Ch. IV.
15 The bore is usually considered a harmless Neither a borrower nor a lender be: creature, or of that class of irrational bipeds For loan oft loses both itself and friend, who hurt only themselves.
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. MARIA EDGEWORTH—Thoughts on Bores. Hamlet. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 75.
3 Got the ill name of augurs, because they were
What question can be here? Your own true heart bores.
Must needs advise you of the only part: LOWELL-A Fable for Critics, L. 55.
That may be claim'd again which was but lent,
And should be yielded with no discontent, L'ennui naquit un jour de l'uniformité.
Nor surely can we find herein a wrong, One day ennui was born from uniformity. That it was left us to enjoy it long. MOTTE.
RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH-The Lent Jewels. That old hereditary bore, The steward.
Who goeth a borrowing ROGERS--Italy. A Character. L. 13.
Goeth a sorrowing:
Few lend (but fools) 6 Again I hear that creaking step!
Their working tools.
TUSSER-Five Hundred Points of Good HusHe's rapping at the door! Too well I know the boding sound
bandry. September's Abstract. First lines That ushers in a bore.
also in June's Abstract. J. G. SAXE-My Familiar.
BOSTON 7 He says a thousand pleasant things,
A Boston man is the east wind made flesh. But never says "Adieu."
THOMAS APPLETON. J. G. Saxe-My Familiar.
19 8 O, he's as tedious
The sea returning day by day As is a tird horse, a railing wife;
Restores the world-wide mart. Worse than a smoky house; I had rather live
So let each dweller on the Bay With cheese and garlic in a windmill, far,
Fold Boston in his heart Than feed on cates, and have him talk to me,
Till these echoes be choked with snows In any summer-house in Christendom.
Or over the town blue ocean flows.
EMERSON-Boston. St. 20.
One day through the primeval wood
A calf walked home as good calves should; certain accidents besides the damp, the worms,
But made a trail all bent askew, and the rats; one not less common is that of A crooked trail as all calves do! the borrowers, not to say a word of the purloiners. ISAAC D'ISRAELI-Curiosities of Literature.
And men two centuries and a half The Bibliomania.
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.
SAM WALTER Foss—The Calf-Path. 10 He who prefers to give Linus the half of 21 what he wishes to borrow, rather than to lend
A hundred thousand men were led him the whole,
prefers to lose only the half. By one calf near three centuries dead; MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. I. Ep. 75. They followed still his crooked way 11
And lost a hundred years a day; You give me back, Phoebus, my bond for
For thus such reverence is lent four hundred thousand sesterces; lend me
To well-established precedent. rather a hundred thousand more. Seek some
SAM WALTER Foss—The Calf-Path. one else to whom you may vaunt your empty 22 present: what I cannot pay you, Phæbus, is my Boston State-house is the hub of the solar own.
system. You couldn't pry that out of a Boston MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. LX. Ep. 102. man if you had the tire of all creation straight12
ened out for a crow-bar. I have granted you much that you asked: HOLMES--Autocrat of the Breakfast Table. VI. and yet you never cease to ask of me. He who
(See also ZINCKLE) refuses nothing, Atticilla, will soon have nothing 23 to refuse.
A solid man of Boston; MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. XII. Ep. 79. A comfortable man with dividends, 13
And the first salmon and the first green peas. The borrower is servant to the lender.
LONGFELLOW-New England Tragedies. John Proverbs. XXII. 7.
Endicott. Act IV.