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ments of human thought, so that no part of education shall be wholly wanting. Next, it puts together the greatest books, of universal and permanent value, and the greatest and the most enduring only. Next, it measures the greatness of books not by their brilliancy, or even their learning, but by their power of presenting some typical chapter in thought, some dominant phase of history; or else it measures them by their power of idealizing man and nature, or of giving harmony to our moral and intellectual activity. Lastly, the test of the general value of books is the permanent relation they bear to the common civilization of Europe.

Some such firm foothold in the vast and increasing torrent of literature it is certainly urgent to find, unless all that is great in literature is to be borne away in the flood of books. With this, we may avoid an interminable wandering over a pathless waste of waters. Without it, we may read everything and know nothing; we may

be curious about anything that chances, and indifferent to everything that profits. Having such' a catalogue before our eyes, with its perpetual warning—non multa sed multumwe shall see how with our insatiable consumption of print we

wander, like unclassed spirits, round the outskirts only of those Elysian fields where the great dead dwell and hold high converse. As it is, we hear but in a faint echo that voice which cries :

Onorate l'altissimo Poeta:

L'ombra sua torna, ch'era dipartita.”

We need to be reminded every day, how many are the books of inimitable glory, which, with all our eagerness after reading, we have never taken in our hands. It will astonish most of us to find how much of our very industry is given to the books which leave no mark, how often we rake in the litter of the printing-press, whilst a crown of gold and rubies is offered us in vain.

POSTSCRIPT.-I have elsewhere given, with some explanation and introduction, the library of Auguste Comte, which forms the basis of the whole of the essay above. The catalogue is to be found in many of his publications, as the Catechism, Trübner & Co. (translated: London, 1858); and also in the fourth volume of the Positive Polity (translated: London, 1877, pp. 362, 483), where its use and meaning are explained. Those who may take an erroneous idea of its purpose, and may think that such a catalogue would serve in the way of an ordinary circulating library, may need to be reminded that it is designed as the basis of a scheme of education, for one particular system of philosophy, and as the manual of an organized form of religion. It is, in fact, the literary résumé of Positivist teaching; and as such alone can it be used. It is, moreover, designed to be of common use to all Western Europe, and to be ultimately extended to all classes. It is essentially a people's library for popular instruction; it is of permanent use only; and it is intended to serve as a type. Taken in connection with the Calendar, which contains the names of nearly two hundred and fifty authors, it may serve as a guide of the books "that the world would not willingly let die.” But it must be remembered that it has no special relation to current views of education, to English literature, much less to the literature of the day. It was drawn up thirty years ago by a French philosopher, who passed his life in Paris, and who had read no new books for twenty years. And it was designedly limited by him to such a compass that hardworked men might hope to master it; in order to give them an aperçu of what the ancient and the modern world had left of most great in each language and in each department of thought. To attempt to use it, or to judge it, from any point of view but this, would be entirely to mistake its character and object.

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