Sidor som bilder

Was but a book. What liberty

A loosened spirit brings!


Go, litel boke! go litel myn tregedie!
CHAUCER - Canterbury Tales. Troilus and

Crescide. Bk. V. L. 1,800.
O little booke, thou art so unconning,
How darst thou put thyself in prees for dred?

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;
How frugal is the chariot

That bears a human soul.


And as for me, though than I konne but lyte,
On bokes for to rede I me delyte,
And to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence,
And in myn herte have hem in reverence
So hertely, that ther is game noon,
That fro my bokes maketh me to goon,
But yt be seldome on the holy day.
Save, certeynly, when that the monthe of May
Is comen, and that I here the foules synge,
And that the floures gynnen for to sprynge,
Farwel my boke, and my devocion.
CHAUCER-Legende of Goode Women. Pro-

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. COLERIDGELiterary Remains. Prospectus of


Golden volumes! richest treasures,
Objects of delicious pleasures!
You my eyes rejoicing please,
You my hands in rapture seize!
Brilliant wits and musing sages,
Lights who beam'd through many ages!
Left to your conscious leaves their story,
And dared to trust you with their glory;
And now their hope of fame achiev'd,
Dear volumes! you have not deceived!
Isaac D'ISRAELI — Curiosities of Literature.



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.

COWLEY-Of Myself.



The spectacles of books.
DRYDEN-Essay on Dramatic Poetry.


Books cannot always please, however good; Minds are not ever craving for their food. CRABBE — The Borough. Letter XXIV.

Schools. L. 402.
The monument of vanished mindes.
SIR WM. DAVENANT-Gondibert. Bk. II.

Canto V.
Give me a book that does my soul embrace
And makes simplicity a grace-

Language freely flowing, thoughts as free

Such pleasing books more taketh me
Than all the modern works of art
That please mine eyes and not my heart.
MARGARET DENBO. Suggested by

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.

EMERSON-American Scholar.
man's memory,

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.


He ate and drank the precious words,

His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,

Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,

And this bequest of wings


[blocks in formation]









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

15 gold.

Oh that my words were now written! oh that JOHN FERRIAR—Bibliomania.

they were printed in a book!

Job. XIX. 23.
How pure the joy when first my hands unfold
The small, rare volume, black with tarnished

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. FULLERHoly 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

looks LXXII.

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 HERRICKHesperides. 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, HOLMESThe 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 KINGClassical Your "Open Sesame!”

Quotations as being taken from the preface RUPERT HUGHES-With a First Reader.

of De Imitatione.

(See also WILSON)
Medicine for the soul.
Inscription over the door of the Library at Every age hath its book.
Thebes. Diodorus Siculus. I. 49. 3.

Koran. Ch. XIII.










in the eye.



Books which are no books.

That wonderful book, while it obtains admirLAMBLast 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 LANGThe 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 LANGFORDThe 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

Of all the best thoughts of the greatest sages,

Deep vers'd in books, and shallow in himself.
And giving tongues unto the silent dead!
LONGFELLOW-Sonnet on Mrs. Kemble's Read-

MILTONParadise 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.



20 All books are either dreams or swords,

Within that awful volume lies
You can cut, or you can drug, with words. The mystery of mysteries!

SCOTTThe Monastery. Vol. I. Ch. XII.
My swords are tempered for every speech,
For fencing wit, or to carve a breach

Distrahit animum librorum multitudo.
Through old abuses the world condones.

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.
What a sense of security in an old book which

Merchant of Venice, Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 156.
Time has criticised for us!
LOWELL-My Study Windows. Library of Old I had rather than forty shillings, I had my Book

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









[ocr errors]



[blocks in formation]

Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnished me
From mine own library with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.

The Tempest. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 165.




And deeper than did ever plummet sound,
I'll drown my book.

The Tempest. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 56.
And in such indexes (although small pricks .
To their subsequent volumes) there is seen
The baby figure of the giant mass
Of things to come at large.

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)
Nor wyll suffer this boke
By hooke ne by crooke

Printed to be.
SKELTON-Duke of Clout.



But every page having an ample marge,
And every marge enclosing in the midst
A square of text that looks a little blot.
TENNYSON-Idylls of the King. Merlin and
Vivien. L. 669.

(Se also TICKELL)
Thee will I sing in comely wainscot bound
And golden verge enclosing thee around;
The faithful horn before, from age to age
Preserving thy invulnerable page.
Behind thy patron saint in armor shines
With sword and lance to guard the sacred lines;
Th' instructive handle's at the bottom fixed
Lest wrangling critics should pervert the text.


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,
On which a great soul's wealth lies all in

Like a wrecked argosy.

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. SOUTHEYThe Doctor. P. 164.

(See also AQUINAS) Go, little Book! From this my solitude

I cast thee on the Waters,-go thy ways:
And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,

The World will find thee after many days.
Be it with thee according to thy worth:
Go, little Book; in faith I send thee forth.
SOUTHEY-Lay of the Laureate. L'Envoy.

(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? WORDSWORTHThe Tables Turned.

[blocks in formation]








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 EDGEWORTHThoughts 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.
Henry IV. Pt. I. Act III. Sc. I. L. 159.

EMERSON-Boston. St. 20.

One day through the primeval wood
Great collections of books are subject to

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 FossThe 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.


« FöregåendeFortsätt »