This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1887. Excerpt: ... READING. Johnson's answer to the question "Who was the most miserable man?"--that it was "he who could not read on a rainy day"--seems pretty nearly right, if we may judge from the universality and immemorial antiquity of books of some kind. Wherever a spark of civilization has kindled any higher than mere physical wants, they are sure to show themselves in some form. It may be going too far back to admit the literal exactness of an advertisement lately in all our journals, of "Pre-adamite Literature," or to accept Paul Ikster's catalogue of our First Parents' library, or to receive the opinion of some Irish writers, that there were public libraries in their Island before the Flood, or of some others, who gave Noah a nautical library in his ark--but, still, history and books dawn together. The gray twilight of the world saw the stylus busy in the far East, writing sacred poems, and we know not what else, on thick, neshy tropical leaves. Egypt lifts the curtain from her earliest davs to show us, at Thebes, the Temple of Thoth--"The God of Letters," with the divinity himself sitting throned over the gate, as the guardian genius of the literary wonders of the "Library" within--and Canaan had its Book City--Kiriath Sepher--and its Gebal, or Byblos, as the Septuagint reads it, that is--"University Town." As to Assyria, its clay chronicles lie by the ton in the British Museum. Asia Minor had its Pergamos; Greece and Rome need no mention; and Persia had its Medain. Modern books outrun the forests, now, in their leaves, and, but that the laws of mortality include them as well as their readers, would soon leave us no standing room. » Ewald's " Geschiclite des Volkes Israel," i. 354 There is an endless pleasure in reading. For books, as Milton says, "are not a...
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