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Hours in a Library   By: (1832-1904)

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Transcriber's Note: Obvious typographical errors have been corrected in this text. For a complete list, please see the bottom of this document.

HOURS IN A LIBRARY

VOL. I.

HOURS IN A LIBRARY

BY

LESLIE STEPHEN

NEW EDITION, WITH ADDITIONS

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE 1892

[ All rights reserved ]

CONTENTS

OF

THE FIRST VOLUME

PAGE DE FOE'S NOVELS 1

RICHARDSON'S NOVELS 47

POPE AS A MORALIST 94

SIR WALTER SCOTT 137

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE 169

BALZAC'S NOVELS 199

DE QUINCEY 237

SIR THOMAS BROWNE 269

JONATHAN EDWARDS 300

HORACE WALPOLE 345

OPINIONS OF AUTHORS

Libraries are as the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed. BACON, Advancement of Learning .

We visit at the shrine, drink in some measure of the inspiration, and cannot easily breathe in other air less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits. HAZLITT'S Plain Speaker .

What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labours to the Bodleian were reposing here as in some dormitory or middle state. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odour of their old moth scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of the sciential apples which grew around the happy orchard. CHARLES LAMB, Oxford in the Long Vacation .

My neighbours think me often alone, and yet at such times I am in company with more than five hundred mutes, each of whom communicates his ideas to me by dumb signs quite as intelligibly as any person living can do by uttering of words; and with a motion of my hand I can bring them as near to me as I please; I handle them as I like; they never complain of ill usage; and when dismissed from my presence, though ever so abruptly, take no offence. STERNE, Letters .

In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes, EMERSON, Books, Society, and Solitude .

Nothing is pleasanter than exploring in a library. LANDOR, Pericles and Aspasia .

I never come into a library (saith Heinsius) but I bolt the door to me, excluding lust, ambition, avarice, and all such vices whose nurse is idleness, the mother of ignorance and melancholy herself; and in the very lap of eternity, among so many divine souls, I take my seat with so lofty a spirit and sweet content that I pity all our great ones and rich men that know not their happiness. BURTON, Anatomy of Melancholy .

I do not know that I am happiest when alone; but this I am sure of, that I am never long even in the society of her I love without a yearning for the company of my lamp and my utterly confused and tumbled over library. BYRON, Moore's Life .

Montesquieu used to say that he had never known a pain or a distress which he could not soothe by half an hour of a good book... Continue reading book >>


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