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Miscellaneous

B

That place that does contain
My books, the best companions, is to me
A glorious court, where hourly I converse
With the old sages and philosophers ;
And sometimes for variety I confer
With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels,
Calling their victories, if unjustly got,
Unto a strict account, and in my fancy
Deface their ill-placed statues. BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.

O blessed letters ! that combine in one
All ages past, and make one live with all :
By you we do confer with who are gone,
And the dead-living unto council call !
By you the unborn shall have communion

Of what we feel and what doth us befall. DANIEL. Dead men open living men's cyes.

PROVERB.

A reader should sit down to a book especially one of the miscellaneous kind as a well-behaved visitor does to a banquet. The master of the feast exerts himself to satisfy all his guests; but if, after all his care and pains, there should still be something or other put on the table that does not please this or that person's taste, the guests quietly pass it over ; and, not to distress their kind host or damp his spirits, they commend other dishes.

ERASMUS. Believe me, it requires no little confidence to promise help to the struggling, counsel to the doubtful, light to the blind, hope to the despondent, refreshment to the weary. These are indeed great things, if they be accomplished ; trifles, if they exist but in a promise. I, however, aim not so much to prescribe a law for others, as to set forth the law of my own mind; which let the man, who shall have approved of it, abide by ; and let him, to whom it shall appear not reasonable, rejeot it.

PETRARCH. Salmatius had read as much as Grotius, perhaps more; but their different modes of reading made the one an enlightened philosopher, the other a pedant, puffed up with useless erudition. GIBBON.

MISCELLANEOUS.

MY DEAD FRIENDS.

My days among the dead are past ;

Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,

The mighty minds of old:
My never failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.
With them I take delight in weal,

And seek relief in woe;
And, while I understand and feel
How much to them I

owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew'd
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.
My thoughts are with the dead; with them

I live in long-passed years;
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,

Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with a humble mind.
My hopes are with the dead; anon

My place with them will be;
And I with them shall travel on

Through all futurity.
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

Southey.

THE PLEASURES OF KNOWLEDGE.

WELL and happily has that man conducted his understanding, who has learnt to derive from the exercise of it, regular occupation, and rational delight; who, after having overcome the first pain of application, and acquired a habit of looking inwardly upon his own mind, perceives that every day is multiplying the revelations, confirming the accuracy, and augmenting the number of his ideas; who feels that he is rising in the scale of intellectual beings, gathering new strength with every difficulty which he subdues, and enjoying to-day as his pleasure, that which yesterday he labored at as his toil. There are many consolations in the mind of such a man, which no common life can ever afford; and many enjoyments which it has not to give. It is not the mere cry of moralists, and the flourish of rhetoricians ; but it is NOBLE to seek truth, and it is BEAUTIFUL to find it. It is the ancient feeling of the human heart- that knowledge is better than riches; and it is deeply and sacredly true. To mark the course of human passions as they have flowed on in the ages that are past; to see why nations have risen, and why they have fallen; to speak of heat, and light, and the winds; to know what man has discovered in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath; to hear the chemist unfold the marvellous properties that the Creator has locked up in a speck of earth ; to be told that there are worlds so distant from our own, that the quickness of light, travelling from the world's creation, has never yet reached us; to wander in the creations of poetry and grow warm again, with that eloquence which swayed the democracies of the old world.; to go up with great reasoners to the First Cause of all, and to perceive, in the midst of all this dissolution and decay, and cruel separation, that there is one thing unchangeable, indestructible, and everlasting; it is worth while in the days of our

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