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Spare Hours   By: (1810-1882)

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HORÆ SUBSECIVÆ.

" A lady, resident in Devonshire, going into one of her parlors, discovered a young ass, who had found his way into the room, and carefully closed the door upon himself. He had evidently not been long in this situation before he had nibbled a part of Cicero's Orations, and eaten nearly all the index of a folio edition of Seneca in Latin, a large part of a volume of La Bruyère's Maxims in French, and several pages of Cecilia. He had done no other mischief whatever, and not a vestige remained of the leaves that he had devoured. " PIERCE EGAN.

" The treatment of the illustrious dead by the quick, often reminds me of the gravedigger in Hamlet, and the skull of poor defunct Yorick. " W. H. B.

" Multi ad sapientiam pervenire potuissent, nisi se jam pervenisse putassent. "

" There's nothing so amusing as human nature, but then you must have some one to laugh with. "

SPARE HOURS

BY JOHN BROWN, M. D.

If thou be a severe sour complexioned man, then I here disallow thee to be a competent judge. IZAAK WALTON

BOSTON TICKNOR AND FIELDS 1864

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts

RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: STEREOTYPED AND PRINTED BY H. O. HOUGHTON

NOTE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.

The author of "Rab and his Friends" scarcely needs an introduction to American readers. By this time many have learned to agree with a writer in the "North British Review" that "Rab" is, all things considered, the most perfect prose narrative since Lamb's "Rosamond Gray."

A new world of doctors, clergymen, shepherds, and carriers is revealed in the writings of this cheerful Edinburgh scholar, who always brings genuine human feeling, strong sense, and fine genius to the composition of his papers. Dogs he loves with an enthusiasm to be found nowhere else in canine literature. He knows intimately all a cur means when he winks his eye or wags his tail, so that the whole barking race, terrier, mastiff, spaniel, and the rest, finds in him an affectionate and interested friend. His genial motto seems to run thus "I cannot understand that morality which excludes animals from human sympathy, or releases man from the debt and obligation he owes to them."

With the author's consent we have rejected from his two series of "Horæ Subsecivæ" the articles on strictly professional subjects, and have collected into this volume the rest of his admirable papers in that work. The title, "Spare Hours," is also adopted with the author's sanction.

Dr. Brown is an eminent practising physician in Edinburgh, with small leisure for literary composition, but no one has stronger claims to be ranked among the purest and best writers of our day.

BOSTON, December 1861.

CONTENTS.

RAB AND HIS FRIENDS "WITH BRAINS, SIR" THE MYSTERY OF BLACK AND TAN HER LAST HALF CROWN OUR DOGS QUEEN MARY'S CHILD GARDEN PRESENCE OF MIND AND HAPPY GUESSING MY FATHER'S MEMOIR MYSTIFICATIONS "OH, I'M WAT, WAT!" ARTHUR H. HALLAM EDUCATION THROUGH THE SENSES VAUGHAN'S POEMS DR. CHALMERS DR. GEORGE WILSON ST. PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH THE BLACK DWARF'S BONES NOTES ON ART

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

In that delightful and provoking book, "THE DOCTOR, &c.," Southey says: "'Prefaces,' said Charles Blount, Gent., 'Prefaces,' according to this flippant, ill opinioned, and unhappy man, 'ever were, and still are, but of two sorts, let the mode and fashions vary as they please, let the long peruke succeed the godly cropt hair; the cravat, the ruff; presbytery, popery; and popery, presbytery again, yet still the author keeps to his old and wonted method of prefacing; when at the beginning of his book he enters, either with a halter round his neck, submitting himself to his readers' mercy whether he shall be hanged or no, or else, in a huffing manner, he appears with the halter in his hand, and threatens to hang his reader, if he gives him not his good word... Continue reading book >>




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