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Title: The Book-lover - A Guide to the Best Reading
Author: Baldwin, James
Language: English
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A Guide to the Best Reading.




  Whosoever acknowledges himself to be a zealous follower of truth,
  of happiness, of wisdom, of science, or even of the faith, must of
  necessity make himself a Lover of Books.



  By Jansen, McClurg, & Co.
  A. D. 1884.


A Fore Word.

The titlepage of this book explains its plan and purpose. The Courses
of Reading and the Schemes for Practical Study, herein indicated, are
the outgrowth of the Author’s long experience as a lover of books and
director of reading. They have been tested and found to be all that is
claimed for them. As to the large number of quotations in the first
part of the book, they are given in the belief that “in a multitude
of counsels there is wisdom.” And the Author finds consolation and
encouragement in the following words of Emerson: “We are as much
informed of a writer’s genius by what he selects, as by what he
originates. We read the quotation with his eyes, and find a new and
fervent sense.” As the value of the most useful inventions depends
upon the ingenious placing of their parts, so the originality of this
work may be found to lie chiefly in its arrangement. Yet the writer
confidently believes that his readers will enjoy that which he has
borrowed, and possibly find aid and encouragement in that which he
claims as his own; and therefore this book is sent out with the hope
that book-lovers will find in it a safe Guide to the Best Reading.




  PRELUDE: IN PRAISE OF BOOKS                                       9


     I. ON THE CHOICE OF BOOKS                                     23

    II. HOW TO READ                                                42

   III. ON THE VALUE AND USE OF LIBRARIES                          56

    IV. BOOKS FOR EVERY SCHOLAR                                    69

     V. WHAT BOOKS SHALL YOUNG FOLKS READ?                         84


   VII. COURSES OF READING IN HISTORY                             113


    IX. PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION                                   148



        AN AFTER WORD                                             196

        INDEX                                                     197




In Praise of Books.

  Let us consider how great a commodity of doctrine exists in Books;
  how easily, how secretly, how safely they expose the nakedness of
  human ignorance without putting it to shame. These are the masters
  who instruct us without rods and ferules, without hard words and
  anger, without clothes or money. If you approach them, they are not
  asleep; if investigating you interrogate them, they conceal nothing;
  if you mistake them, they never grumble; if you are ignorant, they
  cannot laugh at you.

  You only, O Books, are liberal and independent. You give to all who
  ask, and enfranchise all who serve you assiduously. Truly, you are
  the ears filled with most palatable grains. You are golden urns
  in which manna is laid up; rocks flowing with honey, or rather,
  indeed, honeycombs; udders most copiously yielding the milk of life;
  store-rooms ever full; the four-streamed river of Paradise, where
  the human mind is fed, and the arid intellect moistened and watered;
  fruitful olives; vines of Engaddi; fig-trees knowing no sterility;
  burning lamps to be ever held in the hand.

  The library, therefore, of wisdom is more precious than all riches;
  and nothing that can be wished for is worthy to be compared with it.
  Whosoever acknowledges himself to be a zealous follower of truth,
  of happiness, of wisdom, of science, or even of the faith, must of
  necessity make himself a Lover of Books.


  Books are friends whose society is extremely agreeable to me; they
  are of all ages, and of every country. They have distinguished
  themselves both in the cabinet and in the field, and obtained high
  honors for their knowledge of the sciences. It is easy to gain access
  to them; for they are always at my service, and I admit them to my
  company, and dismiss them from it, whenever I please. They are never
  troublesome, but immediately answer every question I ask them. Some
  relate to me the events of past ages, while others reveal to me
  the secrets of Nature. Some teach me how to live, and others how to
  die. Some, by their vivacity, drive away my cares and exhilarate my
  spirits; while others give fortitude to my mind, and teach me the
  important lesson how to restrain my desires, and to depend wholly
  on myself. They open to me, in short, the various avenues of all
  the arts and sciences, and upon their information I safely rely in
  all emergencies. In return for all these services, they only ask me
  to accommodate them with a convenient chamber in some corner of my
  humble habitation, where they may repose in peace; for these friends
  are more delighted by the tranquility of retirement, than with the
  tumults of society.


  Books are the Glasse of Counsell to dress ourselves by. They are
  Life’s best Business: Vocation to them hath more Emolument coming
  in, than all the other busie Termes of Life. They are Feelesse
  Counsellours, no delaying Patrons, of easie Accesse, and kind
  Expedition, never sending away any Client or Petitioner. They are
  for Company, the best Friends; in doubts, Counsellours; in Damp,
  Comforters; Time’s Perspective; the home Traveller’s Ship, or Horse;
  the busie Man’s best Recreation; the Opiate of idle Wearinesse; the
  Mind’s best Ordinary; Nature’s Garden and Seed-plot of Immortality.

  (quoted in “Allibone’s Dictionary”).

  But how can I live here without my books? I really seem to myself
  crippled and only half myself; for if, as the great Orator used to
  say, arms are a soldier’s members, surely books are the limbs of
  scholars. Corasius says: “Of a truth, he who would deprive me of
  books, my old friends, would take away all the delight of my life;
  nay, I will even say, all desire of living.”


  For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency
  of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they
  are; nay, they do preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and
  extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are
  as lively and as vigorously productive as those fabulous dragon’s
  teeth, and, being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed
  men.... Many a man lives, a burden to the earth; but a good book is
  the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up
  on purpose for a life beyond life.


  Books are a guide in youth, and an entertainment for age. They
  support us under solitude, and keep us from being a burden to
  ourselves. They help us to forget the crossness of men and things,
  compose our cares and our passions, and lay our disappointments
  asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the
  dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their


  God be thanked for books! They are the voices of the distant and the
  dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are
  the true levellers. They give to all who will faithfully use them,
  the society, the spiritual presence, of the best and greatest of our
  race. No matter how poor I am; no matter though the prosperous of my
  own time will not enter my obscure dwelling; if the sacred writers
  will enter and take up their abode under my roof,—if Milton will
  cross my threshold to sing to me of Paradise; and Shakspeare to open
  to me the worlds of imagination and the workings of the human heart;
  and Franklin to enrich me with his practical wisdom,—I shall not pine
  for want of intellectual companionship, and I may become a cultivated
  man, though excluded from what is called the best society in the
  place where I live.


  In a corner of my house I have books,—the miracle of all my
  possessions, more wonderful than the wishing-cap of the Arabian
  tales; for they transport me instantly, not only to all places, but
  to all times. By my books I can conjure up before me to a momentary
  existence many of the great and good men of past ages, and for my
  individual satisfaction they seem to act again the most renowned
  of their achievements; the orators declaim for me, the historians
  recite, the poets sing.


  Wondrous, indeed, is the virtue of a true book! Not like a dead city
  of stones, yearly crumbling, yearly needing repair; more like a
  tilled field, but then a spiritual field; like a spiritual tree, let
  me rather say, it stands from year to year and from age to age (we
  have books that already number some hundred and fifty human ages);
  and yearly comes its new produce of leaves (commentaries, deductions,
  philosophical, political systems; or were it only sermons, pamphlets,
  journalistic essays), every one of which is talismanic and
  thaumaturgic, for it can persuade man. O thou who art able to write a
  book, which once in two centuries or oftener there is a man gifted
  to do, envy not him whom they name city-builder, and inexpressibly
  pity him whom they name conqueror or city-burner! Thou, too, art a
  conqueror and victor; but of the true sort, namely, over the Devil.
  Thou, too, hast built what will outlast all marble and metal, and be
  a wonder-bringing city of mind, a temple and seminary and prophetic
  mount, whereto all kindreds of the earth will pilgrim.


  Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select,
  the more enjoyable; and like these are approached with diffidence,
  nor sought too familiarly nor too often, having the precedence only
  when friends tire. The most mannerly of companions, accessible at all
  times, in all moods, they frankly declare the author’s mind, without
  giving offence. Like living friends, they too have their voice and
  physiognomies, and their company is prized as old acquaintances.
  We seek them in our need of counsel or of amusement, without
  impertinence or apology, sure of having our claims allowed. A good
  book justifies our theory of personal supremacy, keeping this fresh
  in the memory and perennial. What were days without such fellowship?
  We were alone in the world without it.


  Consider what you have in the smallest chosen library. A company
  of the wisest and wittiest men that could be picked out of all
  civil countries, in a thousand years, have set in best order the
  results of their learning and wisdom. The men themselves were hid
  and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of interruption, fenced by
  etiquette; but the thought which they did not uncover to their bosom
  friend is here written out in transparent words to us, the strangers
  of another age. We owe to books those general benefits which come
  from high intellectual action. Thus, I think, we often owe to them
  the perception of immortality. They impart sympathetic activity to
  the moral power. Go with mean people, and you think life is mean.
  Then read Plutarch, and the world is a proud place, peopled with men
  of positive quality, with heroes and demi-gods standing around us,
  who will not let us sleep. Then they address the imagination: only
  poetry inspires poetry. They become the organic culture of the time.
  College education is the reading of certain books which the common
  sense of all scholars agrees will represent the science already
  accumulated.... In the highest civilization the book is still the
  highest delight.


  A great book that comes from a great thinker,—it is a ship of
  thought, deep-freighted with truth, with beauty too. It sails the
  ocean, driven by the winds of heaven, breaking the level sea of life
  into beauty where it goes, leaving behind it a train of sparkling
  loveliness, widening as the ship goes on. And what a treasure it
  brings to every land, scattering the seeds of truth, justice, love,
  and piety, to bless the world in ages yet to come!


  What is a great love of books? It is something like a personal
  introduction to the great and good men of all past times. Books, it
  is true, are silent as you see them on their shelves; but, silent
  as they are, when I enter a library I feel as if almost the dead
  were present, and I know if I put questions to these books they will
  answer me with all the faithfulness and fulness which has been left
  in them by the great men who have left the books with us.


    I love my books as drinkers love their wine;
    The more I drink, the more they seem divine;
    With joy elate my soul in love runs o’er,
    And each fresh draught is sweeter than before!
    Books bring me friends where’er on earth I be,—
    Solace of solitude, bonds of society.

    I love my books! they are companions dear,
    Sterling in worth, in friendship most sincere;
    Here talk I with the wise in ages gone,
    And with the nobly gifted in our own:
    If love, joy, laughter, sorrow please my mind,
    Love, joy, grief, laughter in my books I find.


  Books are the windows through which the soul looks out.


  Books are our household gods; and we cannot prize them too highly.
  They are the only gods in all the mythologies that are beautiful
  and unchangeable; for they betray no man, and love their lovers. I
  confess myself an idolater of this literary religion, and am grateful
  for the blessed ministry of books. It is a kind of heathenism which
  needs no missionary funds, no Bible even, to abolish it; for the
  Bible itself caps the peak of this new Olympus, and crowns it with
  sublimity and glory. Amongst the many things we have to be thankful
  for, as the result of modern discoveries, surely this of printed
  books is the highest of all; and I, for one, am so sensible of its
  merits that I never think of the name of Gutenberg without feelings
  of veneration and homage.


  The only true equalizers in the world are books; the only
  treasure-house open to all comers is a library; the only wealth
  which will not decay is knowledge; the only jewel which you can
  carry beyond the grave is wisdom. To live in this equality, to share
  in these treasures, to possess this wealth, and to secure this
  jewel may be the happy lot of every one. All that is needed for the
  acquisition of these inestimable treasures is the love of books.


  Let us thank God for books. When I consider what some books have done
  for the world, and what they are doing; how they keep up our hope,
  awaken new courage and faith, soothe pain, give an ideal life to
  those whose homes are hard and cold, bind together distant ages and
  foreign lands, create new worlds of beauty, bring down truths from
  heaven,—I give eternal blessings for this gift, and pray that we may
  use it aright, and abuse it not.


                              Books, we know,
    Are a substantial world, both pure and good;
    Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
    Our pastime and our happiness will grow.


  Precious and priceless are the blessings which books scatter around
  our daily paths. We walk, in imagination, with the noblest spirits,
  through the most sublime and enchanting regions,—regions which, to
  all that is lovely in the forms and colors of earth,

                          “Add the gleam,
    The light that never was on sea or land,
    The consecration and the poet’s dream.”

  A motion of the hand brings all Arcadia to sight. The war of Troy
  can, at our bidding, rage in the narrowest chamber. Without stirring
  from our firesides, we may roam to the most remote regions of the
  earth, or soar into realms where Spenser’s shapes of unearthly beauty
  flock to meet us, where Milton’s angels peal in our ears the choral
  hymns of Paradise. Science, art, literature, philosophy,—all that
  man has thought, all that man has done,—the experience that has
  been bought with the sufferings of a hundred generations,—all are
  garnered up for us in the world of books. There, among realities, in
  a “substantial world,” we move with the crowned kings of thought.
  There our minds have a free range, our hearts a free utterance.
  Reason is confined within none of the partitions which trammel it in
  life. In that world, no divinity hedges a king, no accident of rank
  or fashion ennobles a dunce or shields a knave. We can select our
  companions from among the most richly gifted of the sons of God; and
  they are companions who will not desert us in poverty, or sickness,
  or disgrace.


  My latest passion shall be for books.


  For what a world of books offers itself, in all subjects, arts,
  and sciences, to the sweet content and capacity of the reader? In
  arithmetic, geometry, perspective, optics, astronomy, architecture,
  _sculptura_, _pictura_, of which so many and such elaborate treatises
  are of late written; in mechanics and their mysteries, military
  matters, navigation, riding of horses, fencing, swimming, gardening,
  planting, etc.... What so sure, what so pleasant? What vast tomes are
  extant in law, physic, and divinity, for profit, pleasure, practice,
  speculation, in verse or prose! Their names alone are the subject of
  whole volumes; we have thousands of authors of all sorts, many great
  libraries, full well furnished, like so many dishes of meat, served
  out for several palates, and he is a very block that is affected with
  none of them.


  Except a living man, there is nothing more wonderful than a book!—a
  message to us from the dead,—from human souls whom we never saw,
  who lived perhaps thousands of miles away; and yet these, on those
  little sheets of paper, speak to us, amuse us, vivify us, teach
  us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers. We ought to
  reverence books, to look at them as useful and mighty things. If they
  are good and true, ... they are the message of Christ, the maker of
  all things, the teacher of all truth.


    Golden volumes! richest treasures!
    Objects of delicious pleasures!
    You my eyes rejoicing please,
    You my hands in rapture seize.
    Brilliant wits and musing sages,
    Lights who beamed through many ages,
    Left to your conscious leaves their story,
    And dared to trust you with their glory;
    And now their hope of fame achieved,
    Dear volumes!—you have not deceived.





On the Choice of Books.

  The choice of books is not the least part of the duty of a
  scholar. If he would become a man, and worthy to deal with
  manlike things, he must read only the bravest and noblest
  books,—books forged at the heart and fashioned by the
  intellect of a godlike man.—JANUARY SEARLE.

The most important question for you to ask yourself, be you teacher or
scholar, is this: What books shall I read? For him who has inclination
to read, there is no dearth of reading matter, and it is obtainable
almost for the asking. Books are in a manner thrust upon you almost
daily. Shall you read without discrimination whatever comes most
readily to hand? As well say that you will accept as a friend and
companion every man whom you meet on the street. Shall you read even
every good book that comes in your way, simply because it is harmless
and interesting? It is not every harmless book, nor indeed every good
book, that will make your mind the richer for the reading of it.
Never, perhaps, has the right choice of books been more difficult than
at present; and never did it behoove more strongly both teachers and
scholars to look well to the character of that which they read.

First, then, let us consider what books we are to avoid. All will agree
that those which are really and absolutely bad should be shunned as
we shun a pestilence. In these last years of the nineteenth century
there is no more prolific cause of evil than bad books. There are many
books so utterly vile that there is no mistaking their character, and
no question as to whether they should be avoided. There are others
which are a thousand-fold more dangerous because they come to us
disguised,—“wolves in sheep’s clothing,”—affecting a character of
harmlessness, if not of sanctity. I have heard those who ought to know
better, laugh at the silly jokes of a very silly book, and offer by
way of excuse that there was nothing _very_ bad in it. I have heard
teachers recommend to their pupils reading matter which, to say the
least, was of a very doubtful character. Now, the only excuse that can
be offered in such cases is ignorance,—“I didn’t know there was any
harm in the book.” But the teacher who through ignorance poisons the
moral character and checks the mental growth of his pupils is as guilty
of criminal carelessness as the druggist’s clerk who by mistake sells
arsenic for quinine. Step down and out of that responsible position
which you are in no wise qualified to fill! The direction of the
pupils’ habits of reading, the choice of reading matter for them, is by
no means the least of the teacher’s duties.

The elder Pliny, eighteen hundred years ago, was accustomed to say that
no book was so bad but that some part of it might be read with profit.
This may have been true in Pliny’s time; but it is very far from
correct now-a-days. A large number of books, and many which attain an
immense circulation, are but the embodiment of evil from beginning to
end; others, although not absolutely and aggressively bad, contain not
a single line that can be read with profit.

What are the sure criterions of a bad book? There is no better
authority on this subject than the Rev. Robert Collyer. He says: “If
when I read a book about God, I find that it has put Him farther from
me; or about man, that it has put me farther from him; or about this
universe, that it has shaken down upon it a new look of desolation,
turning a green field into a wild moor; or about life, that it has made
it seem a little less worth living, on all accounts, than it was; or
about moral principles, that they are not quite so clear and strong as
they were when this author began to talk;—then I know that on any of
these five cardinal things in the life of man,—his relations to God,
to his fellows, to the world about him, and the world within him, and
the great principles on which all things stable centre,—_that_, for me,
is a bad book. It may chime in with some lurking appetite in my own
nature, and so seem to be as sweet as honey to my taste; but it comes
to bitter, bad results. It may be food for another; I can say nothing
to that. He may be a pine while I am a palm. I only know this, that in
these great first things, if the book I read shall touch them at all,
it shall touch them to my profit or I will not read it. Right and wrong
shall grow more clear; life in and about me more divine; I shall come
nearer to my fellows, and God nearer to me, or the thing is a poison.
Faust, or Calvin, or Carlyle, if any one of these cardinal things is
the grain and the grist of the book, and that is what it comes to when
I read it, I am being drugged and poisoned; and the sooner I know it
the better. I want bread, and meat, and milk, not brandy, or opium, or

And Robert Southey, the poet, expresses nearly the same thing: “Young
readers,—you whose hearts are open, whose understandings are not yet
hardened, and whose feelings are not yet exhausted nor encrusted with
the world,—take from me a better rule than any professors of criticism
will teach you! Would you know whether the tendency of a book is good
or evil, examine in what state of mind you lay it down. Has it induced
you to suspect that what you have been accustomed to think unlawful may
after all be innocent, and that may be harmless which you have hitherto
been taught to think dangerous? Has it tended to make you dissatisfied
and impatient under the control of others, and disposed you to relax in
that self-government without which both the laws of God and man tell
us there can be no virtue, and, consequently, no happiness? Has it
attempted to abate your admiration and reverence for what is great
and good, and to diminish in you the love of your country and your
fellow-creatures? Has it addressed itself to your pride, your vanity,
your selfishness, or any other of your evil propensities? Has it
defiled the imagination with what is loathsome, and shocked the heart
with what is monstrous? Has it disturbed the sense of right and wrong
which the Creator has implanted in the human soul? If so, if you are
conscious of any or all of these effects, or if, having escaped from
all, you have felt that such were the effects it was intended to
produce, throw the book in the fire, whatever name it may bear in the
titlepage! Throw it in the fire, young man, though it should have
been the gift of a friend; young lady, away with the whole set, though
it should be the prominent furniture of a rosewood bookcase.”[2]

“It is the case with literature as with life,” says Arthur
Schopenhauer, the German philosopher. “Wherever we turn we come upon
the incorrigible mob of humankind, whose name is Legion, swarming
everywhere, damaging everything, as flies in summer. Hence the
multiplicity of bad books, those exuberant weeds of literature which
choke the true corn. Such books rob the public of time, money, and
attention, which ought properly to belong to good literature and
noble aims; and they are written with a view merely to make money or
occupation. They are therefore not merely useless, but injurious. Nine
tenths of our current literature has no other end but to inveigle a
thaler or two out of the public pocket, for which purpose author,
publisher, and printer are leagued together.... Of bad books we can
never read too little; of the good, never too much. The bad are
intellectual poison, and undermine the understanding.”[3]

From Thomas Carlyle’s inaugural address at Edinburgh on the occasion
of his installation as rector of the University in 1866, I quote
the following potent passage: “I do not know whether it has been
sufficiently brought home to you that there are two kinds of books.
When a man is reading on any kind of subject, in most departments of
books,—in all books, if you take it in a wide sense,—he will find
that there is a division into good books and bad books: everywhere
a good kind of a book and a bad kind of a book. I am not to assume
that you are unacquainted or ill-acquainted with this plain fact; but
I may remind you that it is becoming a very important consideration
in our day.... There is a number, a frightfully increasing number, of
books that are decidedly, to the readers of them, not useful. But an
ingenious reader will learn, also, that a certain number of books were
written by a supremely noble kind of people; not a very great number of
books, but still a number fit to occupy all your reading industry, do
adhere more or less to that side of things. In short, as I have written
it down somewhere else, I conceive that books are like men’s souls,
divided into sheep and goats. Some few are going up, and carrying us
up, heavenward; calculated, I mean, to be of priceless advantage in
teaching,—in forwarding the teaching of all generations. Others, a
frightful multitude, are going down, down; doing ever the more and the
wider and the wilder mischief. Keep a strict eye on that latter class
of books, my young friends!”

Speaking of those books whose inward character and influence it is hard
at first to discern, John Ruskin says: “Avoid especially that class
of literature which has a knowing tone; it is the most poisonous of
all. Every good book, or piece of book, is full of admiration and awe:
it may contain firm assertion or stern satire, but it never sneers
coldly, nor asserts haughtily; and it always leads you to reverence
or love something with your whole heart. It is not always easy to
distinguish the satire of the venomous race of books from the satire
of the noble and pure ones; but, in general, you may notice that the
cold-blooded Crustacean and Batrachian books will sneer at sentiment,
and the warm-blooded, human books at sin.... Much of the literature of
the present day, though good to be read by persons of ripe age, has a
tendency to agitate rather than confirm, and leaves its readers too
frequently in a helpless or hopeless indignation, the worst possible
state into which the mind of youth can be thrown. It may, indeed,
become necessary for you, as you advance in life, to set your hand
to things that need to be altered in the world, or apply your heart
chiefly to what must be pitied in it, or condemned; but for a young
person the safest temper is one of reverence, and the safest place one
of obscurity. Certainly at present, and perhaps through all your life,
your teachers are wisest when they make you content in quiet virtue;
and that literature and art are best for you which point out, in common
life and familiar things, the objects for hopeful labor and for humble

There would be fewer bad books in the world if readers were properly
informed and warned of their character; and we may believe that the
really vicious books would soon cease to exist if their makers and
publishers were popularly regarded with the same detestation as other
corrupters of the public morals. “He who has published an injurious
book,” says Robert South, “sins, as it were in his very grave; corrupts
others while he is rotting himself.” Addison says much the same thing:
“Writers of great talents, who employ their parts in propagating
immorality, and seasoning vicious sentiments with wit and humor, are
to be looked upon as the pests of society and the enemies of mankind.
They leave books behind them to scatter infection and destroy their
posterity. They act the counterparts of a Confucius or a Socrates, and
seem to have been sent into the world to deprave human nature, and sink
it into the condition of brutality.”[5]

And William Cobbett is still more severe in his denunciation. In his
“Advice to Young Men,” he says: “I hope that your taste will keep you
aloof from the writings of those detestable villains who employ the
powers of their mind in debauching the minds of others, or in endeavors
to do it. They present their poison in such captivating forms that it
requires great virtue and resolution to withstand their temptations;
and they have, perhaps, done a thousand times as much mischief in the
world as all the infidels and atheists put together. These men ought
to be held in universal abhorrence, and never spoken of but with

But the shunning of bad books is only one of the problems presented
to us in the choice of our reading. In the great multitude of really
good and valuable books, how shall we choose those which are of the
most vital importance to us to know? The universal habit of desultory
reading—reading simply to be entertained—is a habit not to be indulged
in, nor encouraged, by scholars or by those who aspire to the station
of teachers. There are perhaps a score of books which should be read
and studied by every one who claims the title of reader; but, aside
from these, each person should determine, through a process of rigid
self-examination, what course of reading and what books are likely to
produce the most profitable results to him. Find out, if possible, what
is your special bent of mind. What line of inquiry or investigation is
the most congenial to your taste or mental capacity? Having determined
this question, let your reading all centre upon that topic of study
which you have made your own,—let it be Literature, Science, History,
Art, or any of the innumerable subdivisions of these subjects. In other
words, choose a specialty, and follow it with an eye single to it alone.

Says Frederic Harrison: “Every book that we take up without a purpose
is an opportunity lost of taking up a book with a purpose; every bit of
stray information which we cram into our heads without any sense of its
importance is for the most part a bit of the most useful information
driven out of our heads and choked off from our minds.... We know that
books differ in value as much as diamonds differ from the sand on the
sea-shore, as much as our living friend differs from a dead rat. We
know that much in the myriad-peopled world of books—very much in all
kinds—is trivial, enervating, inane, even noxious. And thus, where
we have infinite opportunities of wasting our effort to no end, of
fatiguing our minds without enriching them, of clogging the spirit
without satisfying it, there, I cannot but think, the very infinity
of opportunities is robbing us of the actual power of using them....
To know anything that turns up is, in the infinity of knowledge, to
know nothing. To read the first book we come across, in the wilderness
of books, is to learn nothing. To turn over the pages of ten thousand
volumes is to be practically indifferent to all that is good.”[6]

“It is of paramount importance,” says Schopenhauer, “to acquire the art
_not_ to read; in other words, of not reading such books as occupy the
public mind, or even those which make a noise in the world, and reach
several editions in their first and last year of existence. We should
recollect that he who writes for fools finds an enormous audience, and
we should devote the ever scant leisure of our circumscribed existence
to the master-spirits of all ages and nations, those who tower over
humanity, and whom the voice of Fame proclaims: only such writers
cultivate and instruct us.”[7]

And John Ruskin offers the following pertinent advice to beginners:
“It is of the greatest importance to you, not only for art’s sake, but
for all kinds of sake, in these days of book deluge, to keep out of
the salt swamps of literature, and live on a little rocky island of
your own, with a spring and a lake in it, pure and good. I cannot, of
course, suggest the choice of your library to you, for every several
mind needs different books; but there are some books which we all
need, and assuredly, if you read Homer, Plato, Æschylus, Herodotus,
Dante, Shakspeare, and Spenser as much as you ought, you will not
require wide enlargement of your shelves to right and left of them
for purposes of perpetual study. Among modern books, avoid generally
magazine and review literature. Sometimes it may contain a useful
abridgment or a wholesome piece of criticism; but the chances are ten
to one it will either waste your time or mislead you. If you want to
understand any subject whatever, read the best book upon it you can
hear of; not a review of the book.... A common book will often give you
much amusement, but it is only a noble book which will give you dear

If any of us could recall the time which we have spent in desultory and
profitless reading, and devote it now faithfully to the prosecution
of that special line of study which ought, long ago, to have been
chosen, how largely we might add to our fund of useful knowledge, and
how grandly we might increase our intellectual stature! “And again,”
remarks James Herbert Morse, “if I could recover the hours idly given
to the newspaper, not for my own gratification, but solely for my
neighbor at the breakfast-table, I could compass a solid course of
English and American history, get at the antecedents of political
parties in the two countries, and give the reasons for the existence of
Gladstone and Parnell, of Blaine and Edmunds, in modern politics—and
there is undoubtedly a reason for them all. Two columns a day in the
newspapers—which I could easily have spared, for they were given mainly
to murder-trials and the search for corpses, or to the romance of the
reporter concerning the same—have during the last ten years absorbed
just about the time I might have spent in reading a very respectable
course in history,—one embracing, say, Curtius and Grote for Greece,
Mommsen, Merivale, and Gibbon for Rome, Macaulay and Green for my
roots in Saxondom, Bancroft, Hildreth, and Palfrey for the ancestral
tree in America, together with a very notable excursion into Spain
and Holland with Motley and Prescott,—a course which I consider very
desirable, and one which should set up a man of middle age very fairly
in historical knowledge. I am sure I could have saved this amount out
of any ten years of my newspaper reading alone, without cutting off any
portion of that really valuable contribution for which the daily paper
is to be honored, and which would be needed to make me an intelligent
man in the history of my own times.”[8]

It is not necessary that, in selecting a library or in choosing what
you will read, you should have many books at your disposal. A few
books, well chosen and carefully read, will be of infinitely more
value to you than any miscellaneous collection, however large. It is
possible for “the man of one book” to be better equipped in knowledge
and literary attainments than he whose shelves are loaded with all the
fashionable literature of the day. If your means will not permit you
the luxury of a library, buy one book, or a few books, chosen with
special reference to the line of reading which you have determined
upon. Let no honey-mouthed book-agent persuade you to buy of his wares,
unless they bear exactly upon your specialty. You cannot afford to
waste money on mere catchpenny or machine publications, whose only
recommendation is that they are harmless and that they sell well. That
man is to be envied who can say, “I have a library of fifty or of a
hundred volumes, all relating to my chosen line of thought, and not a
single inferior or worthless volume among them.”

I have before me a list of books,—“books fashioned by the intellect
of godlike men,”—books which every person who aspires to the rank
of teacher or scholar should regard as his inheritance from the
master-minds of the ages. If you know these books—or some of them—you
know much of that which is best in the great world of letters. You
cannot afford to live in ignorance of them.

  Plato’s Dialogues (Jowett’s translation).
  The Orations of Demosthenes on the Crown.
  Bacon’s Essays.
  Burke’s Orations and Political Essays.
  Macaulay’s Essays.
  Carlyle’s Essays.
  Webster’s Select Speeches.
  Emerson’s Essays.
  The Essays of Elia, by Charles Lamb.
  Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott.
  David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens.
  Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray.
  Hypatia, by Charles Kingsley.
  The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot.
  The Marble Faun, by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  The Sketch Book, by Washington Irving.
  Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo.
  Wilhelm Meister, by Goethe (Carlyle’s trans.).
  Don Quixote, by Cervantes.
  Homer’s Iliad (Derby’s or Chapman’s translation).
  Homer’s Odyssey (Bryant’s translation).
  Dante’s Divina Commedia (Longfellow’s trans.).
  Milton’s Paradise Lost.
  Shakspeare’s Works.
  Mrs. Browning’s Poems.
  Longfellow’s Poetical Works.
  Goethe’s Faust (Bayard Taylor’s translation).

I have named but twenty-five authors; but each of these, in his
own line of thought and endeavor, stands first in the long roll of
immortals. When you have the opportunity to make the acquaintance of
such as these, will you waste your time with writers whom you would be
ashamed to number among your personal friends? “Will you go and gossip
with your housemaid or your stable boy, when you may talk with kings
and queens, while this eternal court is open to you, with its society
wide as the world, multitudinous as its days, the chosen, the mighty,
of every place and time? Into that you may enter always; in that you
may take fellowship and rank according to your wish; from that, once
entered into it, you can never be outcast but by your own fault; by
your aristocracy of companionship there, your inherent aristocracy will
be assuredly tested, and the motives with which you strive to take high
place in the society of the living, measured, as to all the truth and
sincerity that are in them, by the place you desire to take in this
company of the dead.”[9]




How to Read.

    And as for me, though I con but lite,
    On bookes for to rede I me delite,
    And to hem yeve I faith and credence,
    And in my herte have hem in reverence
    So hertely, that there is game none,
    That from my bookes maketh me to gone,
    But it be seldome on the holy daie,
    Save certainly, whan that the month of May
    Is comen, and that I heare the foules sing,
    And that the floures ginnan for to spring,
    Farwell my booke, and my devotion.


Having chosen the books which are to be our friends and counsellors,
the next question to be considered is, How shall we use them? Shall
we read them through as hastily as possible, believing that the more
we read, the more learned we are? Or shall we not derive more profit
by reading slowly, and by making the subject-matter of each book
_thoroughly our own_? I do not believe that any general rule can be
given with reference to this matter. Some readers will take in a page
at a glance, and will more thoroughly master a book in a week than
others could possibly master it in six months. It required Frederick
W. Robertson half a year to read a small manual of chemistry, and
thoroughly to digest its contents. Miss Martineau and Auguste Comte
were remarkably slow readers; but then, that which they read “lay
fructifying, and came out a living tree with leaves and fruit.” Yet it
does not follow that the same rule should apply to readers of every
grade of genius.

It is generally better to read by subjects, to learn what different
writers have thought and said concerning that matter of which you are
making a special study. Not many books are to be read hastily through.
“A person who was a very great reader and hard thinker,” says Bishop
Thirlwall, “once told me that he never took up a book except with the
view of making himself master of some subject which he was studying,
and that while he was so engaged he made all his reading converge to
that point. In this way he might read parts of many books, but not a
single one from ‘end to end.’ This I take to be an excellent method of
study, but one which implies the command of many books as well as of
much leisure.”

Seneca, the old Roman teacher, says: “Definite reading is profitable;
miscellaneous reading is pleasant.... The reading of many authors and
of all kinds of works has in it something vague and unstable.”

Says Quintilian: “Every good writer is to be read, and diligently; and
when the volume is finished, it is to be gone through again from the

Martin Luther, in his “Table Talk,” says: “All who would study with
advantage in any art whatsoever ought to betake themselves to the
reading of some sure and certain books oftentimes over; for to read
many books produceth confusion rather than learning, like as those who
dwell everywhere are not anywhere at home.”

“Reading,” says Locke the philosopher, “furnishes the mind only with
materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what are read over.
We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves
with a great load of collections; unless we chew them over again, they
will not give us strength and nourishment.”

“Much reading,” says Dr. Robert South, “is like much eating,—wholly
useless without digestion.”

“Desultory reading,” writes Julius C. Hare, “is indeed very
mischievous, by fostering habits of loose, discontinuous thought, by
turning the memory into a common sewer for rubbish of all thoughts
to flow through, and by relaxing the power of attention, which of
all our faculties most needs care, and is most improved by it. But a
well-regulated course of study will no more weaken the mind than hard
exercise will weaken the body; nor will a strong understanding be
weighed down by its knowledge, any more than oak is by its leaves or
than Samson was by his locks. He whose sinews are drained by his hair
must already be a weakling.”[10]

Says Thomas Carlyle: “Learn to be good readers,—which is perhaps a more
difficult thing than you imagine. Learn to be discriminative in your
reading; to read faithfully, and with your best attention, all kinds of
things which you have a real interest in,—a real, not an imaginary,—and
which you find to be really fit for what you are engaged in. The most
unhappy of all men is the man who cannot tell what he is going to do,
who has got no work cut out for him in the world, and does not go into
it. For work is the grand cure of all the maladies and miseries that
ever beset mankind,—honest work, which you intend getting done.”

Says Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The best rule of reading will be a method
from nature, and not a mechanical one of hours and pages. It holds
each student to a pursuit of his native aim, instead of a desultory
miscellany. Let him read what is proper to him, and not waste his
memory on a crowd of mediocrities. ... The three practical rules which
I have to offer are: 1. Never read any book that is not a year old. 2.
Never read any but famed books. 3. Never read any but what you like;
or, in Shakspeare’s phrase,—

    ‘No profit goes where is no pleasure ta’en:
    In brief, sir, study what you most affect.’”[11]

“Let us read good works often over,” says another writer.[12] “Some
skip from volume to volume, touching on all points, resting on none.
We hold, on the contrary, that if a book be worth reading once, it is
worth reading twice, and that if it stands a second reading, it may
stand a third. This, indeed, is one great test of the excellence of
books. Many books require to be read more than once, in order to be
seen in their proper colors and latent glories, and dim-discovered
truths will by-and-by disclose themselves.... Again, let us read
thoughtfully; this is a great secret in the right use of books.
Not lazily, to mumble, like the dogs in the siege of Corinth, as
dead bones, the words of the author,—not slavishly to assent to his
every word, and cry Amen to his every conclusion,—not to read him
as an officer his general’s orders, but to read him with suspicion,
with inquiry, with a free exercise of your own faculties, with the
admiration of intelligence, and not with the wonder of ignorance,—that
is the proper and profitable way of reading the great authors of your
native tongue.”

Says Sir Arthur Helps: “There is another view of reading which, though
it is obvious enough, is seldom taken, I imagine, or at least acted
upon; and that is, that in the course of our reading we should lay up
in our minds a store of goodly thoughts in well-wrought words, which
should be a living treasure of knowledge always with us, and from
which, at various times and amidst all the shifting of circumstances,
we might be sure of drawing some comfort, guidance, and sympathy....
In any work that is worth carefully reading, there is generally
something that is worth remembering accurately. A man whose mind is
enriched with the best sayings of his own country is a more independent
man, walks the streets in a town or the lanes in the country with
far more delight than he otherwise would have, and is taught by wise
observers of man and nature to examine for himself. Sancho Panza,
with his proverbs, is a great deal better than he would have been
without them; and I contend that a man has something in himself to
meet troubles and difficulties, small or great, who has stored in his
mind some of the best things which have been said about troubles and

And John Ruskin: “No book is worth anything which is not worth _much_;
nor is it serviceable until it has been read, and reread, and loved,
and loved again; and marked, so that you can refer to the passages you
want in it, as a soldier can seize the weapons he needs in an armory,
or a housewife bring the spice she needs from her store.”

“I am not at all afraid,” says Matthew Browne, “of urging overmuch the
propriety of frequent, very frequent, reading of the same book. The
book remains the same, but the reader changes; and the value of reading
lies in the collision of minds. It may be taken for granted that _no_
conceivable amount of reading could ever put me into the position with
respect to his book—I mean as to intelligence only—in which the author
strove to place me. I may read him a hundred times, and not catch the
precise right point of view; and may read him a hundred and one times,
and approach it the hundred and first. The driest and hardest book that
ever was, contains an interest over and above what can be picked out of
it, and laid, so to speak, on the table. It is interesting as my friend
is interesting; it is a problem which invites me to closer knowledge,
and _that_ usually means better liking. He must be a poor friend that
we only care to see once or twice, and then forget.”[14]

“The great secret of reading consists in this,” says Charles F.
Richardson, “that it does not matter so much what we read, or how we
read it, as what we think and how we think it. Reading is only the
fuel; and, the mind once on fire, any and all material will feed the
flame, provided only it have any combustible matter in it. And we
cannot tell from what quarter the next material will come. The thought
we need, the facts we are in search of, may make their appearance in
the corner of the newspaper, or in some forgotten volume long ago
consigned to dust and oblivion.... The mind that is not awake and alive
will find a library a barren wilderness. Now, gather up the scraps
and fragments of thought on whatever subject you may be studying,—for
of course by a note-book I do not mean a mere receptacle for odds
and ends, a literary dust-bin,—but acquire the habit of gathering
everything whenever and wherever you find it, that belongs in your line
or lines of study, and you will be surprised to see how such fragments
will arrange themselves into an orderly whole by the very organizing
power of your own thinking, acting in a definite direction. This is
a true process of self-education; but you see it is no mechanical
process of mere aggregation. It requires activity of thought; but
without that, what is any reading but mere passive amusement? And it
requires method. I have myself a sort of literary book-keeping. I post
my literary accounts, bringing together in proper groups the fruits of
much casual reading.”[15]

Edward Gibbon the historian tells us that a taste for books was the
pleasure and glory of his life. “Let us read with method,” he says,
“and propose to ourselves an end to what our studies may point. The use
of reading is to aid us in thinking.”

Among practical suggestions to those who would read for profit, I have
found nothing more pertinent than the following from the posthumous
papers of Bryan Waller Procter: “Always read the preface to a book. It
places you on vantage ground, and enables you to survey more completely
the book itself. You frequently also discover the character of the
author from the preface. You see his aims, perhaps his prejudices. You
see the point of view from which he takes his pictures, the rocks and
impediments which he himself beholds, and you steer accordingly....
Understand every word you read; if possible, every allusion of the
author,—if practicable, while you are reading; if not, make search
and inquiry as soon as may be afterward. Have a dictionary near you
when you read; and when you read a book of travels, always read
with a map of the country at hand. Without a map the information is
vague and transitory.... After having read as much as your mind will
easily retain, sum up what you have read,—endeavor to place in view
the portion or subject that has formed your morning’s study; and
then reckon up (as you would reckon up a sum) the facts or items of
knowledge that you have gained. It generally happens that the amount
of three or four hours’ reading may be reduced to and concentrated in
half a dozen propositions. These are your gains,—these are the facts
or opinions that you have acquired. You may investigate the truth of
them hereafter. Although I think that one’s general reading should
extend over many subjects, yet for serious _study_ we should confine
ourselves to some branch of literature or science. Otherwise the mind
becomes confused and enfeebled, and the thoughts, dissipated on many
things, will settle profitably on none. A man whose duration of life
is limited, and whose powers are limited also, should not aim at all
things, but should content himself with a few. By such means he may
master one, and become tolerably familiar perhaps with two or three
arts or sciences. He may indeed even make valuable contributions to
them. Without this economy of labor, he cannot produce any complete
work, nor can he exhaust any subject.”[16]

Every scholar is familiar with Lord Bacon’s classification of
books,—some “to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be
chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts;
others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly,
and with diligence and attention.” Coleridge’s classification of the
various kinds of readers is perhaps not quite so well known. He said
that some readers are like jelly-bags,—they let pass away all that is
pure and good, and retain only what is impure and refuse. Another class
he typified by a sponge; these are they whose minds suck all up, and
give it back again, only a little dirtier. Others, again, he likened to
an hour-glass, and their reading to the sand which runs in and out, and
leaves no trace behind. And still others he compared to the slave in
the Golconda mines, who retains the gold and the gem, and casts aside
the dust and the dross. Charles C. Colton, the author of “Lacon,” says
there are three kinds of readers: first, those who read to think,—and
they are rare; second, those who read to write,—and they are common;
third, those who read to talk,—and they form the great majority. And
Goethe, the greatest name in German literature, makes still a different
classification: some readers, he tells us, enjoy without judgment;
others judge without enjoyment; and some there are who judge while they
enjoy, and enjoy while they judge.

In these days, when, so far as reading-matter is concerned, we are
overburdened with an embarrassment of riches, we cannot afford to read,
even in the books which we have chosen as ours, those things which have
no relationship to our studies, which do not concern us, and which
are sure to be forgotten as soon as read. The art of reading, says
Philip Gilbert Hamerton in his admirable essay on “The Intellectual
Life,” “is to skip judiciously. The art is to skip all that does not
concern us, whilst missing nothing that we really need. No external
guidance can teach this; for nobody but ourselves can guess what
the needs of our intellect may be. But let us select with decisive
firmness, independently of other people’s advice, independently of
the authority of custom.” And Charles F. Richardson, referring to the
same subject, remarks: “The art of skipping is, in a word, the art of
noting and shunning that which is bad, or frivolous, or misleading,
or unsuitable for one’s individual needs. If you are convinced that
the book or the chapter is bad, you cannot drop it too quickly. If it
is simply idle and foolish, put it away on that account,—unless you
are properly seeking amusement from idleness and frivolity. If it is
something deceitful and disingenuous, your task is not so easy; but
your conscience will give you warning, and the sharp examination which
should follow will tell you that you are in poor literary company.”




On the Value and Use of Libraries.

    All round the room my silent servants wait,—
    My friends in every season, bright and dim
    Angels and seraphim
    Come down and murmur to me, sweet and low,
    And spirits of the skies all come and go
    Early and late;
    From the old world’s divine and distant date,
    From the sublimer few,
    Down to the poet who but yester-eve
    Sang sweet and made us grieve,
    All come, assembling here in order due.
    And here I dwell with Poesy, my mate,
    With Erato and all her vernal sighs,
    Great Clio with her victories elate,
    Or pale Urania’s deep and starry eyes.
                              BRYAN WALLER PROCTER.

A library is the scholar’s workshop. To the teacher or professional
man, a collection of good books is as necessary as a kit of tools
to a carpenter. And yet I am aware that many persons are engaged in
teaching, who have neither a library of their own, nor access to any
other collection of books suitable to their use. There are others
who, having every opportunity to secure the best of books,—with a
public library near at hand offering them the free use of works most
valuable to them,—yet make no effort to profit by these advantages.
They care nothing for any books save the text-books indispensable to
their profession, and for these only so far as necessity obliges them
to do so. The libraries of many persons calling themselves teachers
consist solely of school-books, many of which have been presented
them by accommodating book-agents, “for examination with a view to
introduction.” And yet we hear such teachers talk learnedly about
the introduction of English literature into the common schools of
the country, and the necessity of cultivating among the children
a wholesome love and taste for reading. If inquiry were made, we
might discover that by a study of English literature these teachers
understand some memoriter exercises in Shaw’s “Manual” or Brooke’s
“Primer,” and that, as to good reading, some there are who are
entertained more deeply by Peck’s “Bad Boy” than by Shakspeare’s
“Merchant of Venice.” Talk not about directing and cultivating the
reading-tastes of your pupils until you have successfully directed
and cultivated your own! And the first step towards doing this is the
selection and purchase of a library for yourself, which shall be all
your own. A very few books will do, if they are of the right kind;
and they must be _yours_. A borrowed book is but a cheap pleasure, an
unappreciated and unsatisfactory tool. To know the true value of books,
and to derive any satisfactory benefit from them, you must first feel
the sweet delight of buying them,—you must know the preciousness of

You plead poverty,—the insufficiency of your salary? But do you not
spend for other things, entirely unnecessary, much more every year
than the cost of a few books? The immediate outlay need not be large,
the returns which you will realize will be great in proportion to your
good judgment and earnestness. Not only will the possession of a good
library add to your means of enjoyment and increase your capacity for
doing good, it may, if you are worldly-minded,—and we all are,—put you
in the way of occupying a more desirable position and earning a more
satisfactory reward for your labors.

There are two kinds of books that you will need in your library: first,
those which are purely professional, and are in the strictest sense
the tools of your craft; second, those which belong to your chosen
department of literature, and are to be regarded as your friends,
companions, and counsellors. I cannot, of course, dictate to you what
these books shall be. The lists given in the chapters which follow this
are designed simply as suggestive aids. But in a library of fifty or
even thirty well-chosen volumes you may possess infinite riches, and
means for a lifetime of enjoyment; while, on the other hand, if your
selection is injudicious, you may expend thousands of dollars for a
collection of the odds and ends of literature, which will be only an
incumbrance and a hindrance to you.

  “I would urge upon every young man, as the beginning of
  his due and wise provision for his household,” says John
  Ruskin, “to obtain as soon as he can, by the severest
  economy, a restricted, serviceable, and steadily—however
  slowly—increasing series of books for use through life; making
  his little library, of all the furniture in his room, the most
  studied and decorative piece; every volume having its assigned
  place, like a little statue in its niche, and one of the
  earliest and strictest lessons to the children of the house
  being how to turn the pages of their own literary possessions
  lightly and deliberately, with no chance of tearing or

And Henry Ward Beecher emphasizes the same thing, remarking that, among
the early ambitions to be excited in clerks, workmen, journeymen,
and indeed among all that are struggling up in life from nothing to
something, the most important is that of forming and continually adding
to a library of good books. “A little library, growing larger every
year, is an honorable part of a man’s history. It is a man’s duty to
have books. A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessaries of

“How much do you think we spend altogether on our libraries, public or
private, as compared with what we spend on our horses?” asks another
enthusiastic lover of books, already quoted. “If a man spends lavishly
on his library, you call him mad,—a bibliomaniac. But you never call
any one a horse-maniac, though men ruin themselves every day by their
horses, and you do not hear of people ruining themselves by their
books.... We talk of food for the mind, as of food for the body: now,
a good book contains such food inexhaustibly; it is a provision for
life, and for the best of us; yet how long most people would look at
the best book before they would give the price of a large turbot for
it! Though there have been men who have pinched their stomachs and
bared their backs to buy a book, whose libraries were cheaper to them,
I think, in the end than most men’s dinners are. We are few of us put
to such trial, and more the pity: for, indeed, a precious thing is all
the more precious to us if it has been won by work or economy; and if
public libraries were half as costly as public dinners, or books cost
the tenth part of what bracelets do, even foolish men and women might
sometimes suspect there was good in reading, as well as in munching and
sparkling; whereas the very cheapness of literature is making even wise
people forget that if a book is worth reading, it is worth buying.”

“The truest owner of a library,” says the author of “Hesperides,”
“is he who has bought each book for the love he bears to it,—who is
happy and content to say, ‘Here are my jewels, my choicest material
possessions!’—who is proud to crown such assertion thus: ‘I am content
that this library shall represent the use of the talents given me by
Heaven!’ That man’s library, though not commensurate with his love
for books, will demonstrate what he has been able to accomplish with
his resources; it will denote economy of living, eagerness to possess
the particles that compose his library, and quick watchfulness to
seize them when means and opportunities serve. Such a man has built a
temple, of which each brick has been the subject of curious and acute
intelligent examination and appreciation before it has been placed in
the sacred building.”

“Every man should have a library!” exclaims William Axon. “The works of
the grandest masters of literature may now be procured at prices that
place them within the reach almost of the very poorest, and we may all
put Parnassian singing-birds into our chambers to cheer us with the
sweetness of their songs. And when we have got our little library we
may look proudly at Shakspeare and Bacon and Bunyan, as they stand in
our bookcase with other noble spirits, and one or two of whom the world
knows nothing, but whose worth we have often tested. These may cheer
and enlighten us, may inspire us with higher aims and aspirations, may
make us, if we use them rightly, wiser and better men.”[18]

Good old George Dyer, the friend of the poet Southey, as learned as
he was benevolent, was wont to say: “Libraries are the wardrobes of
literature, whence men, properly informed, may bring forth something
for ornament, much for curiosity, and more for use.” “Any library is
an attraction,” says the venerable A. Bronson Alcott; and Victor Hugo

    “A library implies an act of faith,
    Which generations still in darkness hid
    Sign in their night in witness of the dawn.”

John Bright, the great English statesman and reformer, in a speech at
the opening of the Birmingham Free Library a short time ago, remarked:
“You may have in a house costly pictures and costly ornaments, and a
great variety of decoration; yet, so far as my judgment goes, I would
prefer to have one comfortable room well stocked with books to all you
can give me in the way of decoration which the highest art can supply.
The only subject of lamentation is—one feels that always, I think,
in the presence of a library—that life is too short, and I am afraid
I must say also that our industry is so far deficient that we seem to
have no hope of a full enjoyment of the ample repast that is spread
before us. In the houses of the humble a little library, in my opinion,
is a most precious possession.”

Jean Paul Richter, it is said, was always melancholy in a large
library, because it reminded him of his ignorance.

  “A library may be regarded as the solemn chamber in which a
  man can take counsel of all that have been wise and great and
  good and glorious amongst the men that have gone before him,”
  said George Dawson, also at Birmingham. “If we come down for
  a moment and look at the bare and immediate utilities of a
  library, we find that here a man gets himself ready for his
  calling, arms himself for his profession, finds out the facts
  that are to determine his trade, prepares himself for his
  examination. The utilities of it are endless and priceless.
  It is, too, a place of pastime; for man has no amusement more
  innocent, more sweet, more gracious, more elevating, and more
  fortifying than he can find in a library. If he be fond of
  books, his fondness will discipline him as well as amuse
  him.... A library is the strengthener of all that is great in
  life, and the repeller of what is petty and mean; and half the
  gossip of society would perish if the books that are truly
  worth reading were read.... When we look through the houses
  of a large part of the middle classes of this country, we
  find there everything but what there ought most to be. There
  are no books in them worth talking of. If a question arises
  of geography, they have no atlases. If the question be when
  a great man was born, they cannot help you. They can give
  you a gorgeous bed, with four posts, marvellous adornments,
  luxurious hangings, and lacquered shams all round; they can
  give you dinners _ad nauseam_, and wine that one can, or
  cannot, honestly praise. But useful books are almost the
  last things that are to be found there; and when the mind is
  empty of those things that books can alone fill it with, then
  the seven devils of pettiness, frivolity, fashionableness,
  gentility, scandal, small slander, and the chronicling of
  small beer come in and take possession. Half this nonsense
  would be dropped if men would only understand the elevating
  influences of their communing constantly with the lofty
  thoughts and high resolves of men of old times.”

The author of “Dreamthorpe,” filled with love and enthusiasm,
discourses thus: “I go into my library, and all history unrolls before
me. I breathe the morning air of the world while the scent of Eden’s
roses yet lingers in it, while it vibrates only to the world’s first
brood of nightingales and to the laugh of Eve. I see the pyramids
building; I hear the shoutings of the armies of Alexander; I feel the
ground shake beneath the march of Cambyses. I sit as in a theatre,—the
stage is time; the play is the play of the world. What a spectacle it
is! What kingly pomp, what processions file past, what cities burn to
heaven, what crowds of captives are dragged at the chariot wheels of
conquerors! I hiss, or cry ‘Bravo,’ when the great actors come on,
shaking the stage. I am a Roman emperor when I look at a Roman coin.
I lift Homer, and I shout with Achilles in the trenches. The silence
of the unpeopled Assyrian plains, the out-comings and in-goings of
the patriarchs,—Abraham and Ishmael, Isaac in the fields at eventide,
Rebekah at the well, Jacob’s guile, Esau’s face reddened by desert
sun-heat, Joseph’s splendid funeral procession, —all these things I
find within the boards of my Old Testament. What a silence in those
old books as of a half-peopled world,—what bleating of flocks, what
green pastoral rest, what indubitable human existence! Across brawling
centuries of blood and war, I hear the bleating of Abraham’s flocks,
the tinkling of the bells of Rebekah’s camels. O men and women, so far
separated yet so near, so strange yet so well-known, by what miraculous
power do I know you all? Books are the true Elysian fields, where
the spirits of the dead converse; and into these fields a mortal may
venture unappalled. What king’s court can boast such company? What
school of philosophy, such wisdom? The wit of the ancient world is
glancing and flashing there. There is Pan’s pipe, there are the songs
of Apollo. Seated in my library at night, and looking on the silent
faces of my books, I am occasionally visited by a strange sense of
the supernatural. They are not collections of printed pages, they are
ghosts. I take one down, and it speaks with me in a tongue not now
heard on earth, and of men and things of which it alone possesses
knowledge. I call myself a solitary, but sometimes I think I misapply
the term. No man sees more company than I do. I travel with mightier
cohorts around me than did ever Timour or Genghis Khan on their fiery
marches. I am a sovereign in my library; but it is the dead, not the
living, that attend my levees.”




Books for every Scholar.

  These books of mine, as you well know, are not drawn
  up here for display, however much the pride of the eye
  may be gratified in beholding them; they are on actual

To assist teachers and scholars, and those who aspire to become
such, in making judicious selection of world-famous books for their
libraries, I submit the following list, which includes the greater part
of all that is the very best and the most enduring in our language.
It is not intended to embrace professional works, nor works suited
merely for students of specialties. The books named are such as will
grace the library of any scholar, no matter what his profession or his
preferences; they are books which every teacher ought to know; they
are books of which no one can ever feel ashamed. “The first thing
naturally, when one enters a scholar’s study or library,” says Holmes,
“is to look at his books. One gets a notion very speedily of his tastes
and the range of his pursuits by a glance round his book-shelves.” And,
take my word for it, if you want a library of which you will be proud,
you cannot be too careful as to the character of the books you put in


  _Chaucer’s Poetical Works_, or, if not the complete works, at least
  the “Canterbury Tales.” In speaking of the great works in English
  Poetry, it is natural to mention Chaucer first, although, as a
  general rule, he should be one of the last read. “It is sufficient to
  say, according to the proverb, that _here is God’s plenty_.”—DRYDEN.

  _Spenser’s Faerie Queene_, not to be read through, but in selections.
  “We can scarcely comprehend how a perusal of the Faerie Queene
  can fail to insure to the true believer a succession of halcyon

  _The Works of William Shakspeare._ The following editions of
  Shakspeare have been issued within the present century: The first
  Variorum (1813); The Variorum (1821); Singer’s (10 vols. 1826);
  Knight’s (8 vols. 1841); Collier’s (8 vols. 1844); Verplanck’s (3
  vols. 1847); Hudson’s (11 vols. 1857); Dyce’s (6 vols. 1867); Mary
  Cowden Clarke’s (2 vols. 1860); R. G. White’s (12 vols. 1862); Clark
  and Wright’s (9 vols. 1866); The Leopold Edition (1 vol. 1877); The
  Harvard Edition (20 vols. 1881); The Variorum (—vols. 1871—); Rolfe’s
  School Shakspeare (1872-81); Hudson’s School Shakspeare. “Above all
  poets, the mysterious dual of hard sense and empyrean fancy.”—LORD

  _Ben Jonson’s Dramatic and Poetical Works_, to be read also in
  selections. “O rare Ben Jonson!”

  _Christopher Marlowe’s Dramatic Works_, especially “Tamburlaine,”
  “Doctor Faustus,” and “The Jew of Malta.” “He had in him all those
  brave translunary things which the first poets did have.”—DRAYTON.

  _Beaumont and Fletcher_, and especially “The Faithful Shepherdess,” a
  play “very characteristic of Fletcher, being a mixture of tenderness,
  purity, indecency, and absurdity.”—HALLAM.

  _John Webster’s Tragedies._ “To move a horror skilfully, to touch a
  soul to the quick, to lay upon fear as much as it can bear, to wean
  and weary a life till it is ready to drop, and then step in with
  mortal instruments to take its last forfeit: this only a Webster can

  _George Herbert’s Poems._ “In George Herbert there is poetry, and
  enough to spare; it is the household bread of his existence.”—GÉORGE

  _Milton’s Poetical Works._ The “Paradise Lost” was mentioned in the
  former list; but you cannot well do without his shorter poems also.
  “Milton almost requires a solemn service of music to be played before
  you enter upon him.”—CHARLES LAMB.

  _Pope’s Poetical Works._ “Come we now to Pope, that prince of sayers
  of acute and exquisite things.”—ROBERT CHAMBERS.

  _Dryden’s Poems._ “Dryden is even better than Pope. He has immense
  masculine energies.”—IBID.

  _Goldsmith’s Select Poems._ “No one like Goldsmith knew how to be
  at once natural and exquisite, innocent and wise, a man and still a
  child.”—EDWARD DOWDEN.

  _The Poems of Robert Burns._ “Burns should be my stand-by of a winter
  night.”—J. H. MORSE.

  _Wordsworth’s Select Poems._ “Nearest of all modern writers to
  Shakspeare and Milton, yet in a kind perfectly unborrowed and his

  _The Poems of Sir Walter Scott._ “Walter Scott ranks in imaginative
  power hardly below any writer save Homer and Shakspeare.”—GOLDWIN

  _The Poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning._ “Mrs. Browning’s ‘Aurora
  Leigh’ is, as far as I know, the greatest poem which the century has
  produced in any language.”—RUSKIN.

  _Coleridge’s Select Poems._ “The Ancient Mariner,” “Christabel,” and
  “Genevieve.” “These might be bound up in a volume of twenty pages,
  but they should be bound in pure gold.”—STOPFORD BROOKE.

  _The Poems of John Keats._ “No one else in English poetry, save
  Shakspeare, has in expression quite the fascinating felicity of
  Keats, his perfection of loveliness.”—MATTHEW ARNOLD.

  _The Christian Year_, by John Keble. “I am not a churchman,—I don’t
  believe in planting oaks in flower-pots,—but such a poem as ‘The
  Rosebud’ makes one a proselyte to the culture it grows from.”—DR.

  _Tennyson’s Poems._ “Tennyson is a born poet, that is, a builder of
  airy palaces and imaginary castles; he has chosen amongst all forms
  the most elegant, ornate, exquisite.”—M. TAINE.

  _Longfellow’s Poetical Works._ “In the pure, amiable, home-like
  qualities that reach the heart and captivate the ear, no one places
  Longfellow second.”—THE CRITIC.

  _Bryant’s Poetical Works._ “The great characteristics of Bryant’s
  poetry are its strong common-sense, its absolute sanity, and its
  inexhaustible imagination.”—R. H. STODDARD.

  _The Poems of John G. Whittier._ “The lyric poet of America, his
  poems are in the broadest sense national.”—ANON.

In addition to the works named above, there are several collections of
short poems and selections of poetry invaluable to the student. They
are “infinite riches in little room.” I name—

  Bryant’s Library of Poetry and Song.
  Emerson’s Parnassus.
  Ward’s English Poets.
  Piatt’s American Poetry and Art.
  Appleton’s Library of British Poetry.
  Palgrave’s Golden Treasury.

“A large part of what is best worth knowing in ancient literature,
and in the literature of France, Italy, Germany, and Spain,” says
Lord Macaulay, “has been translated into our own tongue. I would not
dissuade any person from studying either the ancient languages or the
languages of modern Europe; but I would console those who have not time
to make themselves linguists by assuring them that, by means of their
own mother tongue, they may obtain ready access to vast intellectual
treasures, to treasures such as might have been envied by the greatest
linguists of the age of Charles the Fifth, to treasures surpassing
those which were possessed by Aldus, by Erasmus, and by Melanchthon.”

I name some of the treasures which you may thus acquire—

  _Homer’s Iliad._ Of this work, without which no scholar’s
  library is complete, many translations have been made. The
  most notable are George Chapman’s (1611), Pope’s (1715),
  Tickell’s (1715), Cowper’s (1781), Lord Derby’s (1867),
  Bryant’s (1870). Americans will, of course, prefer Bryant’s
  translation; but Derby’s is more poetical, and the greatest
  scholars award the palm of merit to Chapman. Says Lowell:
  “Chapman has made for us the best poem that has yet been
  Englished out of Homer.”

  _Æschylus._ “Prometheus Bound” has been rendered into English
  verse by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Agamemnon” has been
  translated by Dean Milman, and the entire seven tragedies by
  Dean Potter. “The ‘Prometheus’ is a poem of the like dignity
  and scope as the Book of Job, or the Norse Edda.”—EMERSON.

  _Aristophanes._ The translation by John Hookham Frere is
  admirable. “We might apply to the pieces of Aristophanes the
  motto of a pleasant and acute adventurer in Goethe: ‘Mad, but
  clever.’”—A. W. SCHLEGEL.

  _Virgil’s Æneid._ The best known translations of Virgil are
  Dryden’s (1697), Christopher Pitt’s (1740), John Conington’s
  (1870), William Morris’s (1876). Your choice among these will
  lie between the last two. “Virgil is far below Homer; yet
  Virgil has genius enough to be two men.”—LORD LYTTON.

  _Horace’s Odes, Epodes, and Satires._ There are excellent
  translations by Conington, Lord Lytton, and T. Martin. “There
  is Horace, charming man of the world, who will condole with
  you feelingly on the loss of your fortune, ... but who will
  yet show you that a man may be happy with a vile modicum or
  _parva rura_.”—IBID.

  _Dante’s Divina Commedia._ Translated by Longfellow. “The
  finest narrative poem of modern times.”—MACAULAY.

  _Goethe’s Faust._ Translated by Bayard Taylor. “What
  constitutes Goethe’s glory is, that in the nineteenth century
  he did produce an epic poem—I mean a poem in which genuine
  gods act and speak.”—H. A. TAINE.

  Of the best poetry written in the modern foreign tongues, you
  will have no difficulty in finding excellent translations.
  There are good English editions of Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto,
  and Tasso; of Calderon and Camoens; of Molière, Corneille,
  Racine, and Victor Hugo; and of Goethe and Schiller. And
  to make your collection complete for all the purposes of a
  scholar, you will want Longfellow’s “Poets and Poetry of
  Europe,” containing translations of the best short poems
  written in the modern European languages.

  Of modern poetry, John Ruskin advises beginners to “keep to
  Scott, Wordsworth, Keats, Crabbe, Tennyson, the two Brownings,
  Lowell, Longfellow, and Coventry Patmore, whose ‘Angel in the
  House’ is a most finished piece of writing, and the sweetest
  analysis we possess of quiet modern domestic feeling.... Cast
  Coleridge at once aside as sickly and useless; and Shelley as
  shallow and verbose; Byron, until your taste is fully formed,
  and you are able to discern the magnificence in him from the
  wrong. Never read bad or common poetry, nor write any poetry
  yourself; there is, perhaps, rather too much than too little
  in the world already.”

  Says Frederic Harrison: “I am for the school of all the great
  men; and I am against the school of the smaller men. I care
  for Wordsworth as well as for Byron, for Burns as well as
  for Shelley, for Boccaccio as well as for Milton, for Bunyan
  as well as Rabelais, for Cervantes as much as for Dante,
  for Corneille as well as for Shakspeare, for Goldsmith as
  well as Goethe. I stand by the sentence of the world; and I
  hold that in a matter so human and so broad as the highest
  poetry, the judgment of the nations of Europe is pretty well
  settled.... The busy world may fairly reserve the lesser
  lights for the time when it knows the greatest well.... Nor
  shall we forget those wonderful idealizations of awakening
  thought and primitive societies, the pictures of other races
  and types of life removed from our own: all those primeval
  legends, ballads, songs, and tales, those proverbs, apologues,
  and maxims which have come down to us from distant ages of
  man’s history,—the old idyls and myths of the Hebrew race; the
  tales of Greece, of the Middle Ages, of the East; the fables
  of the old and the new world; the songs of the Nibelungs;
  the romances of early feudalism; the ‘Morte d’Arthur’; the
  ‘Arabian Nights;’ the ballads of the early nations of Europe.”


In the following list I shall endeavor to name only the truly great
and time-abiding books,—books to be used not simply as tools, but for
the “building up of a lofty character,” the turning of the soul inward
upon itself, concentrating its forces, and fitting it for greater
and stronger achievements. They embody the best thoughts of the best
thinkers; and almost any one of them, if properly read and “energized
upon,” will furnish food for study, and meditation, and mind-growth,
enough for the best of us.


  _The Works of Lord Bacon._ (Popular edition.) “He seemed to me
  ever, by his work, one of the greatest men, and most worthy of
  admiration, that had been in many ages.”—BEN JONSON.

  _Religio Medici_, by Sir Thomas Browne. “One of the most
  beautiful prose poems in the language.”—LORD LYTTON.

  _The Anatomy of Melancholy_, by Robert Burton. Byron says
  that “if the reader has patience to go through the ‘Anatomy
  of Melancholy,’ he will be more improved for literary
  conversation than by the perusal of any twenty other works
  with which I am acquainted.”

  _Montaigne’s Essays._ (Best edition.) “Montaigne comes in for
  a large share of the scholar’s regard; opened anywhere, his
  page is sensible, marrowy, quotable.”—A. BRONSON ALCOTT.

  _Areopagitica_, by John Milton. “A sublime treatise, which
  every statesman should wear as a sign upon his hand and as
  frontlets between his eyes.”—MACAULAY.

  _The Spectator._ “The talk of Addison and Steele is the
  brightest and easiest talk that was ever put in print.”—JOHN

  _Burke’s Orations and Political Essays._ “In amplitude of
  comprehension and richness of imagination, Burke was superior
  to every orator, ancient or modern.”—LORD MACAULAY.

  _Webster’s Best Speeches._ “But after all is said, we come
  back to the simple statement that he was a very great man;
  intellectually, one of the greatest men of his age.”—HENRY

  _The Orations of Demosthenes._ A good translation is that of
  Kennedy in Bohn’s Classical Library.

  _Cicero’s Orations_; also Cicero’s Offices, Old Age,
  Friendship, etc.

  _Plutarch’s Lives._ Arthur Hugh Clough’s revision of Dryden’s
  Plutarch. “Without Plutarch, no library were complete.”—A.

  _The Six Chief Lives from Johnson’s Lives of the Poets_,
  edited by Matthew Arnold.

  _Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson._ “Scarcely since the days
  of Homer has the feat been equalled; indeed, in many senses,
  this also is a kind of heroic poem.”—CARLYLE.

  _Charles Lamb’s Essays._ “People never weary of reading
  Charles Lamb.”—ALEXANDER SMITH.

  _Carlyle’s Works._ “No man of his generation has done as much
  to stimulate thought.”—ALFRED GUERNSEY.

  _Macaulay’s Essays._ “I confess to a fondness for books of
  this kind.”—H. A. TAINE.

  _Froude’s Short Studies on Great Subjects._ “Models of style
  and clear-cut thought.”—ANON.

  _The Works of Washington Irving._ “In the department of pure
  literature the earliest classic writer of America.”

  _The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table_, by Oliver Wendell
  Holmes. “Something more than an essayist; he is contemplative,
  discursive, poetical, thoughtful, philosophical, amusing,
  imaginative, tender—never didactic.”—MACKENZIE.

  _Emerson’s Essays._ “A diction at once so rich and so homely
  as his, I know not where to match in these days of writing by
  the page; it is like home-spun cloth-of-gold.”—J. R. LOWELL.


  The novel, in its best form, I regard as one of the most
  powerful engines of civilization ever invented.


  Novels are sweets. All people with healthy literary appetites
  love them,—almost all women; a vast number of clever,
  hard-headed men, judges, bishops, chancellors, mathematicians,
  are notorious novel-readers, as well as young boys and sweet
  girls, and their kind, tender mothers.


  _Robinson Crusoe_, by Daniel Defoe. “‘Robinson Crusoe’
  contains (not for boys, but for men) more religion, more
  philosophy, more psychology, more political economy, more
  anthropology, than are found in many elaborate treatises on
  these special subjects.”—F. HARRISON.

  _Don Quixote de la Mancha_, by Cervantes. “The work of
  Cervantes is the greatest in the world after Homer’s Iliad,
  speaking of it, I mean, as a work of entertainment.”—DR.

  _Gulliver’s Travels_, by Dean Swift. “Not so indispensable,
  but yet the having him is much to be rejoiced in.”—R. CHAMBERS.

  _The Vicar of Wakefield_, by Goldsmith. “The blotting out
  of the ‘Vicar of Wakefield,’ from most minds, would be more
  grievous than to know that the island of Borneo had sunk in
  the sea.”—IBID.

  _The Waverley Novels._ If not all, at least the following:
  Ivanhoe; The Talisman; Kenilworth; The Monastery; The Abbot;
  Old Mortality; The Antiquary; Guy Mannering; The Bride of
  Lammermoor; The Heart of Midlothian.

  _Cooper’s Leather-Stocking Tales._

  _Dickens’s Novels._ Not all, but the following: David
  Copperfield; Dombey and Son; Nicholas Nickleby; Old Curiosity
  Shop; Oliver Twist; and The Pickwick Papers.

  _Thackeray’s Novels._ Vanity Fair; Pendennis; The Newcomes;
  The Virginians; Henry Esmond.

  _George Eliot’s Novels._ Adam Bede; The Mill on the Floss;
  Romola; Middlemarch; Daniel Deronda.

  _Corinne_, by Madame de Staël.

  _Telemachus_, by Fénelon. (Hawkesworth’s translation.)

  _Tom Jones_, by Fielding. “We read his books as we drink a
  pure, wholesome, and rough wine, which cheers and fortifies
  us, and which wants nothing but bouquet.”—H. A. TAINE.

  _Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship_, by Goethe. (Carlyle’s

  _Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Novels._ The Scarlet Letter; The Marble
  Faun; The Blithedale Romance; The House of Seven Gables.

  _Les Misérables_, by Victor Hugo.

  _Hypatia_ and _Alton Locke_, by Charles Kingsley.

  _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_, by Mrs. Stowe. “We have seen an American
  woman write a novel of which a million copies were sold in
  all languages, and which had one merit, of speaking to the
  universal heart, and was read with equal interest to three
  audiences, namely, in the parlor, in the kitchen, and in the
  nursery of every house.”—EMERSON.

  _Innocents Abroad_, by Mark Twain.

  _Bulwer-Lytton’s Novels._ The Caxtons; My Novel; Zanoni; The
  Last of the Barons; Harold; The Last Days of Pompeii.

  _Jane Eyre_, by Charlotte Brontë.

  _John Halifax, Gentleman_, by Mrs. Craik.

This list might be readily extended; but I forbear, resolved rather to
omit some meritorious works than to include any that are unworthy of
the best companionship.

I close this chapter with Leigh Hunt’s pleasant word-picture
descriptive of his own library: “Sitting last winter among my books,
and walled round with all the comfort and protection which they and my
fireside could afford me,—to wit, a table of high-piled books at my
back, my writing-desk on one side of me, some shelves on the other,
and the feeling of the warm fire at my feet,—I began to consider how
I loved the authors of those books; how I loved them too, not only
for the imaginative pleasures they afforded me, but for their making
me love the very books themselves, and delight to be in contact with
them. I looked sideways at my Spenser, my Theocritus, and my Arabian
Nights; then above them at my Italian Poets; then behind me at my
Dryden and Pope, my Romances, and my Boccaccio; then on my left side
at my Chaucer, who lay on my writing-desk; and thought how natural
it was in Charles Lamb to give a kiss to an old folio, as I once saw
him do to Chapman’s Homer.... I entrench myself in my books, equally
against sorrow and the weather. If the wind comes through a passage,
I look about to see how I can fence it off by a better disposition of
my movables; if a melancholy thought is importunate, I give another
glance at my Spenser. When I speak of being in contact with my books, I
mean it literally. I like to be able to lean my head against them....
The very perusal of the backs is a ‘discipline of humanity.’ There Mr.
Southey takes his place again with an old Radical friend; there Jeremy
Collier is at peace with Dryden; there the lion, Martin Luther, lies
down with the Quaker lamb, Sewell; there Guzman d’Alfarache thinks
himself fit company for Sir Charles Grandison, and has his claims
admitted.... Nothing, while I live and think, can deprive me of my
value for such treasures. I can help the appreciation of them while I
last, and love them till I die; and perhaps I may chance, some quiet
day, to lay my over-beating temples on a book, and so have the death I
most envy.”



What Books Shall Young Folks Read?

The greatest problem presented to the consideration of parents and
teachers now-a-days is how properly to regulate and direct the reading
of the children. There is no scarcity of reading-matter. The poorest
child may have free access to books and papers, more than he can read.
The publication of periodicals and cheap books especially designed
to meet the tastes of young people has developed into an enterprise
of vast proportions. Every day, millions of pages of reading matter
designed for children are printed and scattered broadcast over the
land. But unlimited opportunities often prove to be a damage and a
detriment; and over-abundance, rather than scarcity, is to be deplored.
As a general rule, the books read by young people are not such as lead
to studious habits, or induce correct ideas of right living. They are
intended simply to amuse; there are no elements of strength in them,
leading up to a noble manhood. I doubt if in the future it can be said
of any great statesman or scholar that his tastes had been formed, and
his energies directed and sustained, through the influence of his early
reading; but rather that he had attained success, and whatever of true
nobility there is in him, in spite of such influence.

This was not always so. The experience of a few well-known scholars
will illustrate. “From my infancy,” says Benjamin Franklin, “I was
passionately fond of reading, and all the money that came into my hands
was laid out in the purchasing of books. I was very fond of voyages.
My first acquisition was Bunyan’s works in separate little volumes.
I afterwards sold them to enable me to buy R. Burton’s Historical
Collections. They were small chapmen’s books, and cheap; forty volumes
in all. My father’s little library consisted chiefly of books in
polemic divinity, most of which I read. I have often regretted that
at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge more proper books
had not fallen in my way, since it was resolved I should not be bred
to divinity. There was among them Plutarch’s Lives, which I read
abundantly, and I still think the time spent to great advantage. There
was also a book of Defoe’s called ‘An Essay on Projects,’ and another
of Dr. Mather’s, called ‘An Essay to Do Good,’ which perhaps gave me a
turn of thinking that had an influence on some of the principal future
events of my life. This bookish inclination at length determined my
father to make me a printer.... I stood out some time, but at last
was persuaded, and signed the indenture when I was yet but twelve
years old.... I now had access to better books. An acquaintance with
the apprentices of booksellers enabled me sometimes to borrow a small
one, which I was careful to return soon, and clean. Often I sat up in
my chamber the greatest part of the night, when the book was borrowed
in the evening and to be returned in the morning, lest it should be
found missing.... About this time I met with an odd volume of the
‘Spectator.’ I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it
over and over, and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing
excellent, and wished if possible to imitate it. With that view I
took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiments
in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking
at the book, tried to complete the papers again, by expressing each
hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed
before, in any suitable words that should occur to me. Then I compared
my ‘Spectator’ with the original, discovered some of my faults, and
corrected them....

“Now it was, that, being on some occasions made ashamed of my ignorance
in figures, which I had twice failed learning when at school, I took
Cocker’s book on Arithmetic, and went through the whole by myself
with the greatest ease. I also read Seller’s and Sturny’s book on
Navigation, which made me acquainted with the little geometry it
contains; but I never proceeded far in that science. I read about this
time ‘Locke on the Human Understanding,’ and the ‘Art of Thinking,’ by
Messrs. de Port Royal.

“While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an English
Grammar (I think it was Greenwood’s), having at the end of it two
little sketches on the ‘Arts of Rhetoric and Logic,’ the latter
finishing with a dispute in the Socratic method. And soon after, I
procured Xenophon’s ‘Memorable Things of Socrates,’ wherein there are
many examples of the same method. I was charmed with it, adopted it,
dropped my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on
the humble inquirer.”[19]

Hugh Miller, that most admirable Scotchman and self-made man, relates
a similar experience: “During my sixth year I spelled my way through
the Shorter Catechism, the Proverbs, and the New Testament, and then
entered upon the highest form in the dame’s school as a member of
the Bible class. But all the while the process of learning had been
a dark one, which I slowly mastered, in humble confidence in the
awful wisdom of the schoolmistress, not knowing whither it tended;
when at once my mind awoke to the meaning of the most delightful of
all narratives,—the story of Joseph. Was there ever such a discovery
made before! I actually found out for myself that the art of reading
is the art of finding stories in books; and from that moment reading
became one of the most delightful of my amusements. I began by
getting into a corner on the dismissal of the school, and there
conning over to myself the new-found story of Joseph; nor did one
perusal serve;—the other Scripture stories followed,—in especial, the
story of Samson and the Philistines, of David and Goliath, of the
prophets Elijah and Elisha; and after these came the New Testament
stories and parables. Assisted by my uncles, too, I began to collect
a library in a box of birch bark about nine inches square, which I
found quite large enough to contain a great many immortal works: Jack
the Giant-Killer, and Jack and the Bean-Stalk, and the Yellow Dwarf,
and Blue Beard, and Sinbad the Sailor, and Beauty and the Beast, and
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, with several others of resembling
character. Those intolerable nuisances, the useful-knowledge books,
had not yet arisen, like tenebrious stars on the educational horizon,
to darken the world, and shed their blighting influence on the opening
intellect of the ‘youthhood;’ and so, from my rudimental books—books
that made themselves truly such by their thorough assimilation with
the rudimental mind—I passed on, without being conscious of break or
line of division, to books on which the learned are content to write
commentaries and dissertations, but which I found to be quite as nice
children’s books as any of the others. Old Homer wrote admirably for
little folk, especially in the Odyssey; a copy of which, in the only
true translation extant,—for, judging from its surpassing interest, and
the wrath of critics, such I hold that of Pope to be,—I found in the
house of a neighbor. Next came the Iliad; not, however, in a complete
copy, but represented by four of the six volumes of Bernard Lintot.
With what power and at how early an age true genius impresses! I saw,
even at this immature period, that no other writer could cast a javelin
with half the force of Homer. The missiles went whizzing athwart his
pages; and I could see the momentary gleam of the steel, ere it buried
itself deep in brass and bull-hide. I next succeeded in discovering for
myself a child’s book, of not less interest than even the Iliad, which
might, I was told, be read on Sabbaths, in a magnificent old edition
of the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’ printed on coarse whity-brown paper, and
charged with numerous wood-cuts, each of which occupied an entire
page, which, on principles of economy, bore letter-press on the other

“In process of time, I devoured, besides these genial works, Robinson
Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, Ambrose on Angels, the ‘judgment chapter’
in Howie’s Scotch Worthies, Byron’s Narrative, and the Adventures of
Philip Quarll, with a good many other adventures and voyages, real and
fictitious, part of a very miscellaneous collection of books made by my
father. It was a melancholy library to which I had fallen heir. Most
of the missing volumes had been with the master aboard his vessel when
he perished. Of an early edition of Cook’s Voyages, all the volumes
were now absent, save the first; and a very tantalizing romance, in
four volumes,—Mrs. Radcliffe’s ‘Mysteries of Udolpho,’—was represented
by only the earlier two. Small as the collection was, it contained
some rare books,—among the rest, a curious little volume entitled ‘The
Miracles of Nature and Art,’ to which we find Dr. Johnson referring, in
one of the dialogues chronicled by Boswell, as scarce even in his day,
and which had been published, he said, some time in the seventeenth
century by a bookseller whose shop hung perched on Old London Bridge,
between sky and water. It contained, too, the only copy I ever saw of
the ‘Memoirs of a Protestant condemned to the Galleys of France for
his Religion,’—a work interesting from the circumstance that, though
it bore another name on its titlepage, it had been translated from the
French for a few guineas by poor Goldsmith, in his days of obscure
literary drudgery, and exhibited the peculiar excellences of his style.
The collection boasted, besides, of a curious old book, illustrated
by very uncouth plates, that detailed the perils and sufferings of an
English sailor who had spent the best years of his life as a slave
in Morocco. It had its volumes of sound theology, too, and of stiff
controversy,—Flavel’s Works, and Henry’s Commentary, and Hutchinson on
the Lesser Prophets, and a very old treatise on the Revelations, with
the titlepage away, and blind Jameson’s volume on the Hierarchy, with
first editions of Naphtali, The Cloud of Witnesses, and the Hind Let
Loose.... Of the works of fact and incident which it contained, those
of the voyages were my special favorites. I perused with avidity the
Voyages of Anson, Drake, Raleigh, Dampier, and Captain Woods Rogers;
and my mind became so filled with conceptions of what was to be seen
and done in foreign parts, that I wished myself big enough to be a
sailor, that I might go and see coral islands and burning mountains,
and hunt wild beasts, and fight battles.”[20]

William and Robert Chambers, the founders of the great publishing-house
of W. & R. Chambers, Edinburgh, were self-educated men. “At little
above fourteen years of age,” writes William, “I was thrown on my own
resources. From necessity, not less than from choice, I resolved at
all hazards to make the weekly four shillings serve for everything.
I cannot remember entertaining the slightest despondency on the
subject.... I made such attempts as were at all practicable, while an
apprentice, to remedy the defects of my education at school. Nothing in
that way could be done in the shop, for there reading was proscribed.
But, allowed to take home a book for study, I gladly availed myself of
the privilege. The mornings in summer, when light cost nothing, were
my chief reliance. Fatigued with trudging about, I was not naturally
inclined to rise; but on this and some other points I overruled the
will, and forced myself to rise at five o’clock, and have a spell at
reading until it was time to think of moving off,—my brother, when
he was with me, doing the same. In this way I made some progress in
French, with the pronunciation of which I was already familiar from the
speech of the French prisoners of war at Peebles. I likewise dipped
into several books of solid worth,—such as Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations,’
Locke’s ‘Human Understanding,’ Paley’s ‘Moral Philosophy,’ and Blair’s
‘Belles-Lettres,’—fixing the leading facts and theories in my memory
by a note-book for the purpose. In another book I kept for years an
accurate account of my expenses, not allowing a single halfpenny to
escape record.”

And Robert, the younger brother, confirms the story, with even more
accurate attention to details. “My brother William and I,” he says,
“lived in lodgings together. Our room and bed cost three shillings
a week.... I used to be in great distress for want of fire. I could
not afford either that or a candle myself; so I have often sat by my
landlady’s kitchen fire,—if fire it could be called, which was only a
little heap of embers,—reading Horace and conning my dictionary by a
light which required me to hold the books almost close to the grate.
What a miserable winter that was! Yet I cannot help feeling proud
of my trials at that time. My brother and I—he then between fifteen
and sixteen, I between thirteen and fourteen—had made a resolution
together that we would exercise the last degree of self-denial. My
brother actually saved money out of his income. I remember seeing
him take five-and-twenty shillings out of a closed box which he
kept to receive his savings; and that was the spare money of only a

Rev. Robert Collyer, whose name is known and honored by every American
scholar, says: “Do you want to know how I manage to talk to you in this
simple Saxon? I will tell you. I read Bunyan, Crusoe, and Goldsmith
when I was a boy, morning, noon, and night. All the rest was task
work; these were my delight, with the stories in the Bible, and with
Shakspeare when at last the mighty master came within our doors.... I
took to these as I took to milk, and, without the least idea what I was
doing, got the taste for simple words into the very fibre of my nature.
There was day-school for me until I was thirteen years old, and then I
had to turn in and work thirteen hours a day.... I could not go home
for the Christmas of 1839, and was feeling very sad about it all, for
I was only a boy; and, sitting by the fire, an old farmer came in and
said, ‘I notice thou’s fond o’ reading, so I brought thee summat to
read.’ It was Irving’s ‘Sketch Book.’ I had never heard of the work. I
went at it, and was ‘as them that dream.’ No such delight had touched
me since the old days of Crusoe. I saw the Hudson and the Catskills,
took poor Rip at once into my heart, as everybody has, pitied Ichabod
while I laughed at him, thought the old Dutch feast a most admirable
thing; and long before I was through, all regret at my lost Christmas
had gone down the wind, and I had found out there are books and books.
That vast hunger to read never left me. If there was no candle, I poked
my head down to the fire; read while I was eating, blowing the bellows,
or walking from one place to another. I could read and walk four miles
an hour. I remember while I was yet a lad reading Macaulay’s great
essay on Bacon, and I could grasp its wonderful beauty.... Now, give a
boy a passion like this for anything, books or business, painting or
farming, mechanism or music, and you give him thereby a lever to lift
his world, and a patent of nobility, if the thing he does is noble.”

It may be questioned whether, in these days of opportunities, it
would be possible to find boys of thirteen and sixteen who would be
able to read understandingly, much less appreciate and enjoy, those
masterpieces of English literature so eagerly studied by Franklin and
Hugh Miller and the Chambers brothers. Their mental appetites have
been treated to a different kind of diet. If their minds have not
been dwarfed and stunted by indulgence in what has been aptly termed
“pen-poison,” their tastes have been perverted and the growth of their
reasoning powers checked by being fed upon the milk-and-water stuff
recommended as harmless literature. They are inveterate devourers of
stories, and novels, and the worthless material which is recommended
as good reading, but which, in reality, is nothing but a “discipline
of debasement.” Better that children should not read at all, than read
much of that which passes current now-a-days for entertaining reading.

All children like to read stories. The love of “the story,” in some
form or other, is indeed a characteristic of the human mind, and exists
everywhere, in all conditions of life. But stories are the sweets of
our mental existence, and only a few of the best and greatest have in
them the elements which will lead to a strong and vigorous mind-growth.
Constant feeding upon light literature—however good that literature may
be in itself—will debilitate and corrupt the mental appetite of the
child, much the same as an unrestrained indulgence in jam and preserves
will undermine and destroy his physical health. In either case, if no
result more serious occurs, the worst forms of dyspepsia will follow.
Literary dyspepsia is the most common form of mental disease among us,
and there is no knowing what may be the extent of its influence upon
American civilization. Fifty per cent of the readers who patronize
our great public libraries have weak literary stomachs; they cannot
digest anything stronger than that insipid solution, the last society
novel, or anything purer than the muddy decoctions poured out by the
periodical press. When, of all the reading done in a public library,
eighty per cent is of books in the different departments of fiction,
I doubt whether, after all, that library is a public benefit. Yet
this is but the natural result of the loose habits of reading which
we encourage among our children, and cultivate in ourselves,—the
habit of reading anything that comes to hand, provided only that it is

How then shall we so order the child’s reading as to avoid the
formation of desultory and aimless habits?

Naturally, the earliest reading is the story,—simple, short,
straightforward recitals of matters of daily occurrence, of the doings
of children and their parents, their friends or their pets. “The
Nursery,” a little magazine published in Boston, contains an excellent
variety of such stories. Now and then we may pick up a good book, too,
for this class of readers; but there are many worthless books here,
as elsewhere, and careful parents will look well into that which they
buy. The illuminated covers are often the only recommendation of books
of this kind. Numbers of them are made only for the holiday trade;
the illustrations of many are from second-hand cuts; and the text is
frequently written to fit the illustrations. A pure, fresh book for a
little child is a treasure to be sought for and appreciated.

Very early in child-life comes the period of a belief in fairies;
and the reading of fairy-stories is, to children, a very proper,
nay, a very necessary thing. I pity the boy or girl who must grow up
without having made intimate acquaintance with “Mother Goose,” and the
wonderful stories of “Jack the Giant-Killer,” and “Blue Beard,” and
“Cinderella,” and those other strange tales as old as the race itself,
and yet new to every succeeding generation. They are a part of the
inheritance of the English-speaking people, and belong, as a kind of
birthright, to every intelligent child.

As your little reader advances in knowledge and reading-ability, he
should be treated to stronger food. Grimm’s “Household Stories” and
the delightful “Wonder Stories” of Hans Christian Andersen, should
form a part of the library of every child as he passes through the
“fairy-story period” of his life; nor can we well omit to give
him Charles Kingsley’s “Water Babies,” and “Alice’s Adventures in
Wonderland.” And now, or later, as circumstances shall dictate, we may
introduce him to that prince of all wonder-books, “The Arabian Nights’
Entertainment,” in an edition carefully adapted to children’s reading.
The tales related in this book “are not ours by birth, but they have
nevertheless taken their place amongst the similar things of our own
which constitute the national literary inheritance. Altogether, it is a
glorious book, and one to which we cannot well show enough of respect.”

And while your reader lingers in the great world of poetic fancy and
child-wonder, let him revel for a while in those enchanting idyls and
myths which delighted mankind when the race was young and this earth
was indeed a wonder-world. These he may find, apparelled in a dress
adapted to our modern notions of propriety, in Hawthorne’s “Wonder
Book” and “Tanglewood Tales,” in Kingsley’s “Greek Heroes,” and, in
a more prosaic form, in Cox’s “Tales of Ancient Greece;” and in “The
Story of Siegfried,” and, later, in Morris’s “Sigurd the Volsung,” he
may read the no less charming myths of our own northern ancestors, and
the world-famous legend of the Nibelungen heroes. Then, by a natural
transition, you advance into the border-land which lies between
the world of pure fancy and the domains of sober-hued reality. You
introduce your reader to some wholesome adaptations of those Mediæval
Romances, which, with their one grain of fact to a thousand of fable,
gave such noble delight to lords and ladies in the days of chivalry.
These you will find in Sidney Lanier’s “Boy’s King Arthur” and “Boy’s
Mabinogion;” in “The Story of Roland,” by the author of the present
volume; and in Bulfinch’s “Legends of Charlemagne” and “The Age of

Do you understand now to what point you have led your young reader? You
have simply followed the order of nature and of human development, and
you have gradually—almost imperceptibly even to yourself—brought him
out of the world of child-wonder and fairy-land, through the middle
ground of chivalric romance, to the very borders of the domains of
history. He is ready and eager to enter into the realms of sober-hued
truth; but I would not advise undue haste in this matter. The mediæval
romances have inspired him with a desire to know more of those days
when knights-errant rode over sea and land to do battle in the name
of God and for the honor of their king, the Church, and the ladies;
he wants to know something more nearly the truth than that which the
minstrels and story-tellers of the Middle Ages can tell him. And yet
he is not prepared for a sudden transition from romance to history.
Let him read “Ivanhoe;” then give him Howard Pyle’s “Story of Robin
Hood” and Lanier’s “Boy’s Percy;” and if you care to allow him so much
more fiction, let him read Madame Colomb’s “Franchise” as translated
and adapted by Davenport Adams in his “Page, Squire, and Knight.” Can
you withhold history longer from your reader? I think not. He will
demand some authentic knowledge of Richard the Lion-hearted, and of
King John, and of the Saxons and Normans, and of the Crusades, and
of the Saracens, and of Charlemagne and his peers. Lose not your
opportunity, but pass over with your pupil into the promised land. The
transition is easy,—imperceptible, in fact,—and, leaving fiction and
“the story” behind you, you enter the fields of truth and history. As
for books, it is difficult now to advise; but there are Abbott’s little
histories,—give him the “History of Richard I.” to begin with, then
get the whole set for him. Yonge’s “Young Folks’ History of England,”
or Dickens’s “Child’s History” will also be in demand. The way is easy
now, the road is open, you need no further guidance—only, keep straight

There are other books, of course, which the young reader will find in
his way, and which it is altogether proper and necessary that he should
read. For instance, there is “Robinson Crusoe,” without a knowledge
of which the boy loses one of his dearest enjoyments. “How youth
passed long ago, when there was no Crusoe to waft it away in fancy
to the Pacific and fix it upon the lonely doings of the shipwrecked
mariner, is inconceivable; but we can readily suppose that it must
have been different,” says Robert Chambers. And no substitute for the
original Robinson will answer. Not one of the ten thousand tales of
adventure recently published for boys will fill the niche which this
book fills, or atone in the least for any neglect of its merits. “The
Swiss Family Robinson” approaches nearest in excellence to Defoe’s
immortal creation, and may very profitably form a part of every boy’s
or girl’s library. Then, among the really unexceptionable books, of
the healthful, hopeful, truthful sort, I may name “Tom Brown’s School
Days at Rugby,” Lamb’s “Tales from Shakspeare,” Mitchell’s “About Old
Story-Tellers;” the inimitable “Bodley Books,” Bayard Taylor’s “Boys of
Other Countries,” Abbott’s “Franconia Stories,” and a few others in the
line of History or Travels, to be mentioned in future chapters. These I
believe to be, in every sense, proper, wholesome books, free from all
kinds of mannerisms, free from improper language, free from sickly
sentiment and “gush;” and these, if not the most instructive books, are
the sort of books which the child or youth should read as a kind of
relish or supplement to the more methodical course of reading which I
have elsewhere indicated.

In this careful direction of the child’s reading, and in the
cultivation of his literary taste, if you have succeeded in bringing
him to the point which we have indicated, you have done much towards
forming his character for life. There is little danger that bad books
will ever possess any attractions for him; he will henceforth be apt to
go right of his own accord, preferring the wholesome and the true to
any of the flashy allurements of the “literary slums and grog-shops,”
which so abound and flourish in these days.

But perhaps the fundamental error in determining what books children
shall read lies in the very popular notion that to read much, and to
derive pleasure and profit from our reading, many books are necessary.
And the greatest obstacle in the way of forming and directing a
proper taste for good reading is to be found, not in the scarcity,
but in the superabundance of reading matter. The great flood of
periodical literature for young people is the worst hindrance to the
formation of right habits in reading. Some of these periodicals are
simply unadulterated “pen poison,” designed not only to enrich their
projectors, but to deprave the minds of those who read. Others are
published, doubtless, from pure motives and with the best intentions;
but, being managed by inexperienced or incapable editors, they are, at
the best, but thin dilutions of milk-and-water literature, leading to
mental imbecility and starvation. The periodicals fit to be placed in
the hands of reading children may be numbered on half your fingers; and
even these should not be read without due discrimination.

Too great a variety of books or papers placed at the disposal of
inexperienced readers offers a premium to desultoriness, and fosters
and encourages the habit of devouring every species of literary food
that comes to hand. Hence we should beware not only of the bad, but of
too great plenty of the good. “The benefit of a right good book,” says
Mr. Hudson, “all depends upon this, that its virtue just _soak_ into
the mind, and there become a living, generative force. To be running
and rambling over a great many books, tasting a little here, a little
there, and tying up with none, is good for nothing; nay, worse than
nothing. Such a process of unceasing change is also a discipline of
perpetual emptiness. The right method in the culture of the mind is to
take a few choice books, and weave about them

            ‘The fixed delights of house and home,
    Friendship that will not break, and love that cannot roam.’”



Hints on the Formation of School Libraries.

  What sort of reading are our schools planting an appetite
  for? Are they really doing anything to instruct and form
  the mental taste, so that the pupils on leaving them may
  be safely left to choose their reading for themselves? It
  is clear in evidence that they are far from educating the
  young to take pleasure in what is intellectually noble and
  sweet. The statistics of our public libraries show that some
  cause is working mightily to prepare them only for delight
  in what is both morally and intellectually mean and foul. It
  would not indeed be fair to charge our public schools with
  positively giving this preparation; but it is their business
  to forestall and prevent such a result. If, along with the
  faculty of reading, they cannot also impart some safeguards of
  taste and habit against such a result, will the system prove a
  success?—HENRY N. HUDSON.

Much is being said, now-a-days, about the utility of school libraries;
and in some instances much ill-directed, if not entirely misdirected,
labor is being expended in their formation. Public libraries are not
necessarily public benefits; and school libraries, unless carefully
selected and judiciously managed, will not prove to be unmixed
blessings. There are several questions which teachers and school
officers should seriously consider before setting themselves to the
task of establishing a library; and no teacher who is not himself a
knower of books, and a reader, should presume to regulate and direct
the reading of others.

What are the objects of a school library? They are twofold: First,
to aid in cultivating a taste for good reading; second, to supply
materials for supplementary study and independent research. Now,
neither of these objects can be attained unless your library
is composed of books selected especially with reference to the
capabilities and needs of your pupils. Dealing, as you do, with pupils
of various degrees of intellectual strength, warped by every variety of
moral influence and home training, the cultivation of a taste for good
reading among them is no small matter. To do this, your library must
contain none but truly good books. It is a great mistake to suppose
that every collection of books placed in a schoolhouse is a library;
and yet that is the name which is applied to many very inferior
collections. It is no uncommon thing to find these so-called libraries
composed altogether of the odds and ends of literature,—of donations,
entirely worthless to their donors; of second-hand school-books;
of Patent Office Reports and other public documents; and of the
dilapidated remains of some older and equally worthless collection
of books: and with these you talk about cultivating a taste for good
reading! One really good book, a single copy of “St. Nicholas,” is
worth more than all this trash. Get it out of sight at once! The value
of a library—no matter for what purpose it has been founded—depends
not upon the number of its books, but upon their character. And so the
first rule to be observed in the formation of a school library is, Buy
it at first hand, even though you should begin with a single volume,
and shun all kinds of donations, unless they be donations of cash, or
books of unquestionable value.

In selecting books for purchase, you will have an eye singly to the
wants of the students who are to use them. A school library should
be in no sense a public circulating library. You cannot cater to the
literary tastes of the public, and at the same time serve the best
interests of your pupils. Books relating to history, to biography, and
to travel will form a very large portion of your library. These should
be chosen with reference to the age and mental capacity of those who
are to read them. No book should be bought merely because it is a good
book, but because we know that it can be made useful in the attainment
of certain desired ends. The courses of reading indicated in the
following chapters of this work, it is hoped, will assist you largely
in making a wise selection as well as in directing to a judicious use
of books. For the selection of a book is only half of your duty: the
profitable use of it is the other half; and this lesson should be early
taught to your pupils.

If, through means of your school library or otherwise, you succeed
in enlisting the interest of a young person in profitable methodical
reading, you have accomplished a great deal towards the forwarding of
his education and the formation of his character. It is a great mistake
to suppose that a boy of twelve cannot pursue a course of reading in
English history; if properly directed and encouraged, he will enjoy it
far better than the perusal of the milk-and-water story-books which,
under the guise of “harmless juvenile literature,” have been placed in
his hands by well-meaning teachers or parents.

In a former chapter I have shown you how, with a library of only fifty
volumes, you may have in your possession the very best of all that
the world’s master-minds have ever written,—food, as I have said, for
study, and meditation, and mind growth enough for a lifetime. Such
a library is worth more than ten thousand volumes of the ordinary
“popular” kind of books. So, also, the reading of a very few books,
carefully and methodically, by your pupils—the constant presence of
the very best books in our language, and the exclusion of the trashy
and the vile—will give them more real enjoyment and infinitely greater
profit than the desultory or hasty reading of many volumes. A small
library is to be despised only when it contains inferior books.




Courses of Reading in History.

  History, at least in its state of ideal perfection, is a
  compound of poetry and philosophy.—MACAULAY.

  Let us search more and more into the Past; let all men explore
  it as the true fountain of knowledge, by whose light alone,
  consciously or unconsciously employed, can the Present and the
  Future be interpreted or guessed at.—CARLYLE.

  History is a voice forever sounding across the centuries the
  laws of right and wrong. Opinions alter, manners change,
  creeds rise and fall; but the moral law is written on the
  tablets of eternity.... Justice and truth alone endure and
  live. Injustice and falsehood may be long-lived, but doomsday
  comes at last to them in French revolutions and other terrible
  ways. That is one lesson of history. Another is, that we
  should draw no horoscopes; that we should expect little, for
  what we expect will not come to pass.—FROUDE.

  The student is to read history actively and not passively; to
  esteem his own life the text, and books the commentary. Thus
  compelled, the Muse of history will utter oracles, as never to
  those who do not respect themselves. I have no expectation
  that any man will read history aright who thinks that what
  was done in a remote age, by men whose names have resounded
  far, has any deeper sense than what he is doing to-day.... The
  instinct of the mind, the purpose of nature, betrays itself in
  the use we make of the signal narrations of history.—EMERSON.

I venture to propose the following courses of reading in history.
Properly modified with reference to individual needs and capabilities,
these lists will prove to be safe helps and guides to younger as well
as older readers, to classes in high schools and colleges as well as
private students and specialists. To read all the works here mentioned,
as carefully and critically as the nature of their contents demands,
would require no inconsiderable portion of one’s reading lifetime. Such
a thing is not expected. The wise teacher or the judicious scholar will
select from the list that which is most proper for him, and which best
meets his wants, or aids him most in the pursuit of his native aim.

The titles, so far as possible, are given in chronological order.
Those printed in _italics_ are of books indispensable for purposes of
reference; those printed in SMALL CAPITALS are of works especially
adapted to younger readers.



No reader can well do without a good classical dictionary. The
following are recommended as the best—

  Anthon: _Classical Dictionary_.

  Smith: _Student’s Classical Dictionary_.

  ———— _Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities_.

  Ginn & Heath’s _Classical Atlas_.

  Kiepert’s _Schulatlas_.

+General Histories.+

  Cox: General History of Greece.

  Smith: Smaller History of Greece.

  Felton: Ancient and Modern Greece.


  Grote: _History of Greece_ (12 vols.).

  Curtius: _History of Greece_ (5 vols.); translated from the German,
  by A. W. Ward.

  J. A. St. John: Ancient Greece.


  Dwight: _Grecian and Roman Mythology_.

  Murray: Manual of Mythology.

  Keightley: _Classical Mythology_.

  Gladstone: Juventus Mundi.

  Ruskin: The Queen of the Air.



  Hawthorne: THE WONDER BOOK.



  Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Chapman’s translation is the best. Of the
  later versions, that of Lord Derby is preferable.


  Butcher and Lang’s prose translation of the Odyssey.

  Collins: The Iliad and the Odyssey (two volumes of “Ancient Classics
  for English Readers”).

  Gladstone: Homer.

  De Quincey: Homer and the Homeridæ (essay in “Literary Criticism”).

  Fénelon: TELEMACHUS (translated by Hawkesworth).

  Benjamin: Troy.

  Goethe: Iphigenia in Tauris (drama, Swanwick’s translation).

The student of this period is referred also to Dr. Schliemann’s works:
Ilios, Troja, and Mykenai.


  Swayne: Herodotus (Ancient Classics).

  Brugsch Bey: History of Egypt.

  Freeman: Historical Essays (2d series).

  Ebers: Uarda (romance, descriptive of Egyptian life and manners
  fourteen centuries before Christ).

  ———— The Daughter of an Egyptian King (five centuries before Christ).

  Smith: _Student’s History of the East_.

  Cox: The Greeks and the Persians.



  Sankey: The Spartan Supremacy.

  Bulwer: Pausanias the Spartan (romance, 475 B.C.).

  Glover: Leonidas (epic poem).

  Croly: The Death of Leonidas (poem).

  Robert Browning: Pheidippides (poem in “Dramatic Idyls”).

  Lloyd: The Age of Pericles (fifth century before Christ).

  Cox: The Athenian Empire.

  Landor: Pericles and Aspasia (in “Imaginary Conversations”).

  Mrs. L. M. Child: Philothea (romance of the time of Pericles).

  Curteis: The Macedonian Empire.


  Butcher: Demosthenes (Classical Writers).

  Greenough: Apelles and his Contemporaries (a romance of the time of

  Dryden: Alexander’s Feast (poem).

  Bickersteth: Caubul (poem).


  Mahaffy: _History of Greek Literature_.

  Schlegel: History of Dramatic Literature (first fourteen chapters).


  Copleston: Æschylus (Ancient Classics).

  Mrs. Browning: Prometheus Bound (an English version of the great

  Bishop Milman: Agamemnon.

  Collins: Sophocles (Ancient Classics).

  De Quincey: The Antigone of Sophocles (essay in “Literary Criticism”).

  Donne: Euripides (Ancient Classics).

  Froude: Sea Studies (essay in “Short Studies on Great Subjects”).
  Collins: Aristophanes (Ancient Classics).

  Mitchell: The Clouds of Aristophanes.

  De Quincey: Theory of Greek Tragedy (essay in “Literary Criticism”).

  Brodribb: Demosthenes (Ancient Classics).

  Collins: Plato (Ancient Classics).

  Jowett: The Dialogues of Plato (4 vols.).

  The Phædo of Plato (Wisdom Series).

  Plato: The Apology of Socrates.

  A Day in Athens with Socrates.

  Plutarch: On the Dæmon of Socrates (essay in the “Morals”).

  Grant: Xenophon (Ancient Classics).

  Collins: Thucydides (Ancient Classics).

+Life and Manners.+

For a study of social life and manners in Greece, read or refer to the

  Becker: Charicles (romance, with copious notes and excursuses).

  Mahaffy: Social Life in Greece.

  ———— Old Greek Life.

  Guhl and Koner: Life of the Greeks and Romans.

+Special Reference.+

  Draper: History of the Intellectual Development of Europe (vol. i.).

  Clough: _Plutarch’s Lives_.



  It is good exercise, good medicine, the reading of Plutarch’s
  books,—good for to-day as it was in times preceding ours, salutary
  for all times.—A. BRONSON ALCOTT.


For purposes of reference the following books, already mentioned in the
course of Greek History, are indispensable—

  Anthon: _Classical Dictionary_.

  Smith: _Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities_.

  Ginn & Heath: _Classical Atlas_.

  Murray: _Manual of Mythology_.

+General Histories.+

  Smith: Smaller History of Rome.

  Merivale: Students’ History of Rome.


  Creighton: History of Rome.

For the period preceding the Empire—

  Mommsen: _History of Rome_ (4 vols.).




  Macaulay: Horatius (poem in “Lays of Ancient Rome”).

  Arnold: History of Rome.

  Ihne: Early Rome.

  Shakspeare: The Tragedy of Coriolanus (490 B.C.).

  Macaulay: Virginia (poem in “Lays of Ancient Rome,” 459 B.C.).


  Smith: Rome and Carthage.

  Dale: Regulus before the Senate (poem, 256 B.C.).

  Beesly: The Gracchi, Marius, and Sulla.

  Mrs. Mitchell: Spartacus to the Gladiators (poem, 73 B.C.).

For the period of the Cæsars and the early Empire—

  Merivale: _History of the Romans_ (4 vols.).

  ———— The Roman Triumvirates.


  Addison: The Tragedy of Cato (drama).

  Froude: Cæsar; a Sketch.

  Trollope: Life of Cicero.

  Ben Jonson: Catiline (drama).

  Beaumont and Fletcher: The False One (drama).


  Shakspeare: The Tragedy of Julius Cæsar.

  ———— Antony and Cleopatra.

  Capes: The Early Empire.

  De Quincey: The Cæsars.

  Ben Jonson: The Poetaster (drama, time of Augustus).

  Wallace: Ben Hur (romance, time of Tiberius).

  Longfellow: The Divine Tragedy (poem).

  Ben Jonson: Sejanus, his Fall (drama, time of Tiberius).

  Becker: Gallus (romance, with notes, time of Tiberius).

  Schele De Vere: The Great Empress (romance, time of Nero).


  W. W. Story: Nero (drama).

  Hoffman: The Greek Maid at the Court of Nero (romance).

  Farrar: Seekers after God (Seneca, Epictetus).

  Wiseman: The Church of the Catacombs (romance, time of the

  Mrs. Charles: The Victory of the Vanquished (romance).

  Church and Brodribb: Pliny’s Letters (Ancient Classics).

  Bulwer: The Last Days of Pompeii (romance, time of Vespasian).

  Massinger: The Roman Actor (drama, time of Domitian).

  ———— The Virgin Martyr (drama).

  Dickinson: The Seed of the Church.

  De Mille: Helena’s Household.

  Lockhart: Valerius.

The last three works are romances, depicting life and manners in the
time of Trajan.

For the period of the later Empire and the decline of the Roman power—

  Curteis: History of the Roman Empire (395-800).

  Gibbon: _Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_.

  Ebers: The Emperor (romance, time of Hadrian).

  Capes: The Age of the Antonines.

  Watson: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

  Hodgkin: Italy and her Invaders.

  William Ware: Zenobia (romance, A.D. 266).

  ———— Aurelian (romance, A.D. 275).

  Ebers: Homo Sum (romance, A.D. 330).

  Kouns: Arius the Libyan (romance, A.D. 336).

  Aubrey De Vere: Julian the Apostate (drama, A.D. 363).

  Beaumont and Fletcher: Valentinian (drama, A.D. 375).

  Edward Everett: Alaric the Visigoth; and Mrs. Hemans: Alaric in Italy
  (poems, A.D. 410).

  Kingsley: Hypatia (romance, A.D. 415).

  Mrs. Charles: Conquering and to Conquer (romance, A.D. 418).

  Mrs. Charles: Maid and Cleon (romance of Alexandria, A.D. 425).

  Kingsley: Roman and Teuton.

  Church: The Beginning of the Middle Ages.


  Simcox: History of Roman Literature.

  Schlegel: History of Dramatic Literature.

  Collins: Livy (Ancient Classics).

  Mallock: Lucretius (Ancient Classics).

  Trollope: Cæsar (Ancient Classics).

  Collins: Cicero (Ancient Classics).

  Morris: The Æneid of Virgil.

  Collins: Virgil, Ovid, Lucian (three volumes of Ancient Classics).

  Epictetus: Selections from Epictetus.

  Jackson: Apostolic Fathers (Early Christian Literature Primers).

+Special Reference.+

  Clough: _Plutarch’s Lives_.



  Coulange: _The Ancient City_.

  Draper: _History of the Intellectual Development of Europe_.

  Lecky: _History of European Morals_.

  Milman: History of Christianity.

  Stanley: History of the Eastern Church.

  Fisher: Beginnings of Christianity.

  Döllinger: The First Age of Christianity.

  Montalembert: The Monks of the West.

  Reber: History of Ancient Art.

  Hadley: Lectures on Roman Law.

  Maine: Ancient Law.


This course has been prepared with special reference to English
history. The right-hand column, headed Collateral Reading, will assist
students desiring to extend their reading so as to embrace the history
of Continental Europe. The figures affixed to some of the titles
indicate, as nearly as is thought necessary, the time covered or
treated of by the work mentioned. Historical romances and other prose
works of fiction are designated thus (*); dramas thus (†); other poems
thus (‡).


+General Histories.+

  KNIGHT: _History of England_ (9 vols.).
  STRICKLAND: _Lives of the Queens of England_ (7 vols.).
  PEARSON: _Historical Atlas of England_.


    WHITE: History of France.
    LEWIS: Students’ History of Germany.
    HUNT: History of Italy.
    HALLAM: View of the State of the Middle Ages.

+The Anglo-Saxon Period.+

  GREEN: History of the English People, book i.

  MRS. ARMITAGE: The Childhood of the English Nation.

  GREEN: The Making of England.

  PALGRAVE: History of the Anglo-Saxons.

  ———— ‡Paulinus and Edwin.

  TURNER: _History of the Anglo-Saxons_.

  GRANT ALLEN: Anglo-Saxon Britain.


  HUGHES: Life of Alfred the Great.

  THIERRY: The Conquest of England by the Normans.


  GREEN: The Conquest of England.

  FREEMAN: _History of the Norman Conquest of England_.

    GUIZOT: History of France, vol. i.

    JAMES: History of Charlemagne.

    BRYCE: The Holy Roman Empire.

    CUTTS: Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages.

    JOHNSON: The Normans in Europe.

    CARLYLE: The Early Kings of Norway.

    ANDERSON: Norse Mythology.

    LETTSOM: ‡The Nibelungenlied.

    DASENT: The Burnt Njal.


    MALLET: Northern Antiquities.

  MRS. CHARLES: *Early Dawn (romance of the Roman occupation of Britain).

  COWPER: ‡Boadicea.


  LOWELL: ‡The Vision of Sir Launfal.

  TENNYSON: ‡The Idylls of the King.

  SCOTT: ‡Sir Tristram.

  TAYLOR: †Edwin the Fair.

  BULWER: *Harold, the Last of the Saxons (1066).

  TENNYSON: †Harold; a Drama.

  LEIGHTON: †The Sons of Godwin.

  KINGSLEY: *Hereward, the Last of the Saxons.

    JAMES: History of Chivalry.

    BULFINCH: *The Age of Chivalry.


    LUDLOW: Popular Epics of the Middle Ages.

    BULFINCH: Legends of Charlemagne.


    ARIOSTO: ‡Orlando Furioso.

    LOCKHART: ‡Spanish Ballads.

    YONGE: Christians and Moors in Spain.

    SOUTHEY: Chronicles of the Cid.

    TENNYSON: ‡Godiva (1040).

+The Age of Feudalism.+

  JOHNSON: The Norman Kings and the Feudal System.

  GREEN: History of the English People, books ii. and iii.

    GUIZOT: History of France, vol. ii.

    COX: The Crusades.

  PALGRAVE: ‡Death in the Forest (1100).


  HUME: History of England.

  FROUDE: Life and Times of Thomas Becket.

  AUBREY DE VERE: †St. Thomas of Canterbury.

  JAMES: Life of Richard Cœur de Lion.

  FROUDE: A Bishop of the Twelfth Century (1190).

  STUBBS: The Early Plantagenets.


  SCOTT: *The Talisman (1193).

  ———— *Ivanhoe (1194).

  JAMES: Forest Days (1214).

  SHAKSPEARE: †King John (1215).

  DRAYTON: †The Barons’ Wars.

    MICHAUD: History of the Crusades.

    GRAY: The Children’s Crusade.

    GAIRDNER: Early Chroniclers of Europe.

    OLIPHANT: Francis of Assisi.


    HENTY: *THE BOY KNIGHT (1188).

    SCOTT: *The Betrothed.

    YONGE: *Richard the Fearless.

    JAMES: *Philip Augustus.

    SCOTT: *Count Robert of Paris.

    HALE: *In his Name.

  PAULI: Life of Simon de Montfort (1215).

  PEARSON: English History in the Fourteenth Century.

  YONGE: *The Prince and the Page (1280).

  GRAY: ‡The Bard (1282).

  CUNNINGHAM: *Sir Michael Scott (1300).

  PORTER: *The Scottish Chiefs.

  AGUILAR: *The Days of Bruce.

  CAMPBELL: ‡The Battle of Bannockburn.

  SCOTT: ‡The Lord of the Isles (1307).

  MARLOWE: †Edward II. (1327).

  WARBURTON: Edward III. (1327-77).



  SOUTHEY: †Wat Tyler (1381)

  CAMPBELL: ‡Wat Tyler’s Address to the King.

  SHAKSPEARE: †Richard II. (1399)

  BESANT AND RICE: Life of Whittington.

  PERCY: ‡The Ballad of Chevy Chase.

  GAIRDNER: The Houses of Lancaster and York.

  EDGAR: The Wars of the Roses.

  GREEN: History of the English People, book iv.

  SHAKSPEARE: †King Henry IV.

    KINGSLEY: †The Saint’s Tragedy (1220).

    BROWNING: ‡Sordello (1230).

    KINGTON-OLIPHANT: Frederick II. (1250).

    GUIZOT: History of France, vol. iii.

    HEMANS: †The Vespers of Palermo (1282).

    BOKER: †Francesca di Rimini (1300).

    SCHILLER: †Wilhelm Tell.

    BULWER: Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes (1347).

    BYRON: †Marino Faliero (1355).

    JAMISON: Life of Bertrand du Guesclin.

    LORD HOUGHTON: ‡Bertrand du Guesclin (1380).

    HUTTON: James and Philip Van Artevelde.

    TAYLOR: †Philip Van Artevelde (1382).

    MRS. BRAY: Joan of Arc and the Times of Charles VII. of France.

    SOUTHEY: ‡Joan of Arc.

    CALVERT: ‡The Maid of Orleans.

  Yonge: *The Caged Lion (1406).

  TOWLE: History of Henry V.

    BROWNING: †Luria (1405).

  EWALD: The Youth of Henry V. (in “Stories from the State Papers”).

  GAIRDNER: The Lollards.

  DRAYTON: ‡The Battle of Agincourt (1415).

  SHAKSPEARE: †King Henry VI.

  BULWER: *The Last of the Barons (1460).

  GAIRDNER: History of Richard III.

  ———— The Paston Letters.

  SHAKSPEARE: †King Richard III.


    JAMES: *Agincourt.

    Kirk: History of Charles the Bold.

    SCOTT: *Quentin Durward (1450).

    BYRON: †The two Foscari (1457).

    HERZ: ‡King Réné’s Daughter.

    SCOTT: *Anne of Geierstein.

    VICTOR HUGO: *The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

    BROWNING: †The Return of the Druses.

    MACAULAY: Essay on Machiavelli.

+Modern England.+

  BIRCHALL: England under the Tudors.

  GREEN: History of the English People, books v. and vi.

    PRESCOTT: The History of Ferdinand and Isabella.

    ANITA GEORGE: Isabel the Catholic.

  MANNING: The Household of Sir Thomas More.

  SCOTT: †Marmion (1513).

  JAMES: *Darnley (1520).

  FROUDE: History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of

  MÜHLBACH: *Henry VIII. and Catherine Parr.


  GEIKIE: History of the English Reformation.

  MILMAN: †Anne Boleyn (1536).

  AINSWORTH: *Tower Hill (1538).

  EWALD: Stories from the State Papers.


  AUBREY DE VERE: †Mary Tudor.

  TENNYSON: †Queen Mary.

  SCOTT: ‡Lay of the Last Minstrel.

  MANNING: *Colloquies of Edward Osborne (1554).

  ROWE: †Lady Jane Grey (1554).

  AINSWORTH: *The Tower of London (1554).


  CREIGHTON: The Age of Elizabeth.

  SCOTT: *Kenilworth (1560).

  MACAULAY: Essays on Lord Burleigh and Bacon.



  SCOTT: *The Monastery and The Abbot.

  YONGE: *Unknown to History (1587).

  SWINBURNE: †Chastelard.

  ———— †Bothwell.

  ———— †Mary Stuart (1587).

  SCHILLER: †Marie Stuart (1587).

  MELINE: Life of Mary Queen of Scots (Catholic).

    IRVING: The Conquest of Granada.

    ———— The Alhambra.

    AGUILAR: *The Edict (1492).

    ROBERTSON: History of Charles V.

    SEEBOHM: Era of the Protestant Revolution.

    FISHER: History of the Reformation.

    YONGE: *The Dove in the Eagle’s Nest (1519).

    MRS. CHARLES: *Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family.

    GEORGE ELIOT: *Romola.

    READE: *The Cloister and the Hearth.

    MRS. STOWE: *Agnes of Sorrento.

    MRS. MANNING: *Good Old Times (1549).

    PRESCOTT: History of Philip II.

    MOTLEY: The Rise of the Dutch Republic.

    ———— History of the United Netherlands.

    YONGE: *The Chaplet of Pearls (France, 1555).

    BARRETT: William the Silent (1533-1584).

    BAIRD: Rise of the Huguenots.

    SMILES: The Huguenots in France.


    GUIZOT: History of France, vol. iv.

    GOETHE: †Egmont (1568).

    JAMES: *The Man-at-Arms (1572).

    SOUTHEY: ‡St. Bartholomew’s Day (1572).

  KINGSLEY: *Westward Ho!

  WORDSWORTH: ‡The White Doe of Rylstone.

  MACAULAY: ‡The Armada.

  TENNYSON: ‡The Revenge.


  LANDOR: Elizabeth and Burleigh (in “Imaginary Conversations”).

    MACAULAY: ‡Ivry (1590).

    GOETHE: †Torquato Tasso (1590).

    TROLLOPE: *Paul the Pope and Paul the Friar.

  GREEN: History of the English People, book vii.

  CORDERY AND PHILLPOTT: King and Commonwealth.

  GARDINER: The Puritan Revolution.

  AINSWORTH: *Guy Fawkes (1605).

  SCOTT: *The Fortunes of Nigel.

  AINSWORTH: *The Spanish Match (1620).


  LETITIA E. LANDON: ‡The Covenanters (1638).


  SCOTT: ‡Rokeby (1644).

  ———— *Legend of Montrose (1646).

  PRAED: *Marston Moor (1644).

  CARLYLE: History of Oliver Cromwell.

    ROBSON: Life of Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642).

    JAMES: *Richelieu.

    BULWER: *Richelieu.

    MANZONI: *The Betrothed (1628).

    GOETHE: ‡The Destruction of Magdeburg.

    SCHILLER: †Wallenstein (1634).

    TOPELIUS: *Times of Gustaf Adolf.

    GARDINER: History of the Thirty Years’ War.

    SCHILLER: History of the Thirty Years’ War.

    MOTLEY: Life of John of Barneveld.

    PARDOE: *Louis XIV. and the Court of France.

    JAMES: Louis XIV.

  GUIZOT: History of the English Revolution.

  GOLDWIN SMITH: Three English Statesmen.

  MACAULAY: ‡The Cavalier’s March to London (1651).

  MASSON: Life and Times of John Milton.

  YONGE: *The Pigeon Pie; a Tale of Roundhead Times.

  SHORTHOUSE: *John Inglesant.

  JAMES: *The Cavalier (1651).

  BUTLER: ‡Hudibras.

  SCOTT: *Woodstock.

  MARVELL: ‡Blake’s Victory (1657).


  DRYDEN: ‡Annus Mirabilis (1666).

  BIRCHALL: England under the Stuarts.

  FOX: Life of James II.


    GUIZOT: History of France, vol. v.


    MANNING: *Idyl of the Alps.


    TOPELIUS: *Times of Battle and Rest.

  JAMES: *Russell.

  MACAULAY: History of England (1685-1702).

  ———— Essay on Sir William Temple.

  AYTOUN: ‡The Widow of Glencoe (1692).

  HALE: The Fall of the Stuarts.

  MORRIS: The Age of Anne.

  COXE: Memoirs of the Duke of Marlborough.

  SCOTT: *Old Mortality.

  ———— *The Bride of Lammermoor.

  DEFOE: *Memoirs of a Cavalier.

  ———— *History of the Great Plague in London.

  ADDISON: The Spectator.

  THACKERAY: *Henry Esmond.

  BLACKMORE: *Lorna Doone.

  ADDISON: *The Battle of Blenheim (1704).

  PEPYS: Diary (1659-1703).

  GREEN: History of the English People, book viii.

    MACAULAY: ‡Song of the Huguenots (1685).

    BROWNING: Hervé Riel (1692).


    SCHUYLER: History of Peter the Great.

    MAHON: War of the Spanish Succession.

    MÜHLBACH: *Prince Eugene and his Times.

    TOPELIUS: *Times of Charles XII.

    VOLTAIRE: History of Charles XII.

    MARTINEAU: *Messrs. Vandeput and Snoek (1695).

    LADY JACKSON: The Old Régime (Louis XIV. and XV.).

    MACAULAY: Essay on the War of the Succession in Spain.

  LECKY: History of England in the Eighteenth Century.

  GREEN: History of the English People, book ix.

  SCOTT: *Rob Roy (1715).

  ———— *The Heart of Mid-Lothian.

  THACKERAY: Lectures on the Four Georges.

  STEPHEN: History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century.

  MACAULAY: Essays on Lord Clive and Lord Chatham.

  FROUDE: The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century.

  CAMPBELL: ‡Lochiel’s Warning.

  SCOTT: *Waverley (1745).

  MOIR: ‡The Battle of Prestonpans (1745).

  SMOLLETT: ‡The Tears of Scotland.

  GOLDSMITH: *The Vicar of Wakefield.

  SOUTHEY: Life and Times of John Wesley.

  MRS. CHARLES: *Diary of Kitty Trevylyan.

  MITFORD: *Our Village.

  EDGEWORTH: *Castle Rackrent.

  THACKERAY: *The Virginians (1775).

  SCOTT: *Guy Mannering.

  DICKENS: *Barnaby Rudge (1780).

  MACAULAY: Essays on Warren Hastings, William Pitt, and Barère.

  GOLDWIN SMITH: Three English Statesmen.

  TREVELYAN: Early History of Charles James Fox.

  WADE: Letters of Junius.

  MORLEY: Edmund Burke, a Historical Sketch.

  BLACKMORE: *The Maid of Sker.

  GEORGE ELIOT: *Adam Bede.

  COOPER: *Wing and Wing.

  LEVER: *Charles O’Malley.

  MRS. CHARLES: *Against the Stream.

  THACKERAY: *Vanity Fair.

    TOPELIUS: *Times of Frederick I. (1721).


    HELPS: Ivan de Biron (1740).

    MACAULAY: Essay on Frederick the Great.


    DAVIS: *Fontenoy (1745).

    LONGMAN: Frederick the Great and the Seven Years’ War.

    CARLYLE: Life of Frederick the Great.

    YONGE: Life of Marie Antoinette.

    MÜHLBACH: *Frederick the Great and his Family.

    TOPELIUS: *Times of Linnæus.

    GUIZOT: History of France, vol. vi.

    TOPELIUS: *Times of Alchemy.

    TAINE: The Ancient Régime.

    ABBOTT: The French Revolution of 1789.




    ALISON: History of Europe (1789-1815), abridged by Gould.

    TAINE: Origins of Contemporary France.

    VAN LAUN: The French Revolutionary Epoch.

    ADAMS: Democracy and Monarchy in France.

    VICTOR HUGO: *Ninety-Three.

    COLERIDGE: ‡Destruction of the Bastile.

    RENAUD: ‡The Last Banquet.

    ERCKMANN-CHATRIAN: *Year One of the Republic.

    DICKENS: *A Tale of Two Cities.

    BLACKMORE: *Alice Lorraine.

    TROLLOPE: *La Vendée.

    SAINTINE: *Picciola.

  MAGINN: *Whitehall.

  PALGRAVE: ‡Trafalgar (1805).

  ROBERT BUCHANAN: †The Shadow of the Sword.

  KINGSLEY: *Alton Locke.

  DISRAELI: *Sybil.

  SOUTHEY: ‡The Battle of Algiers (1815).

  MCCARTHY: History of our own Times.

  MARTINEAU: History of the Thirty Years’ Peace.

  CARLYLE: Latter-Day Pamphlets.

  DISRAELI: *Lothair.

  KINGLAKE: The Invasion of the Crimea.

    FRITZ REUTER: *In the Year Thirteen.

    ERCKMANN-CHATRIAN: *The Conscript; The Invasion of France in 1814;
    and Waterloo.

    BYRON: ‡The Battle of Waterloo.

    MOORE: *The Fudge Family in Paris.

    MARTINEAU: *French Wine and Politics.

    VICTOR HUGO: *Les Misérables.

    GUIZOT: France under Louis Philippe.

    VICTOR HUGO: The History of a Crime.

    BULWER: *The Parisians.

    MURRAY: *The Member for Paris.

    FORBES: The Franco-German War.


+General Histories.+

  Bancroft: _History of the United States_ (12 vols., from the
  discovery of America to the adoption of the Constitution).

  Hildreth: _History of the United States_ (6 vols., from the
  discovery of America to 1820).

  Bryant and Gay: _History of the United States_ (from the
  discovery to 1880).

  Ridpath: _History of the United States_.


+Aboriginal America.+

  Baldwin: Ancient America.

  Donnelly: Atlantis.

  Foster: Prehistoric Races of the United States.

  Short: North Americans of Antiquity.

  Ellis: The Red Man and the White Man.

  H. H. Bancroft: Native Races of the Pacific States.

  Bourke: The Snake Dance of the Moquis of Arizona.

+The Period of the Discovery.+

  Irving: Columbus and his Companions.




  Helps: The Spanish Conquest of America (4 vols.).

  Prescott: The Conquest of Mexico (3 vols.).


  Helps: Hernando Cortez.

  Eggleston: MONTEZUMA.

  Wallace: *The Fair God, or the Last of the ’Tzins.

  Prescott: The Conquest of Peru (2 vols.).

  Towle: PIZARRO.

  ———— MAGELLAN.

  Irving: The Conquest of Florida by De Soto.

  Abbott: DE SOTO.

  Simms: *Vasconselos (1538).



  Hale: Stories of Discovery.

  Simms: *The Lily and the Totem (the story of the Huguenots at
  St. Augustine).

+The Colonial Period.+

  Coffin: Old Times in the Colonies.

  Simms: Life of John Smith.

  Kingston: *The Settlers (1607).

  Eggleston: POCAHONTAS.


  ———— Miles Standish.

  Longfellow: ‡The Courtship of Miles Standish.

  Mrs. Child: *The First Settlers of New England.

  ———— *Hobomok.

  Cheney: *A Peep at the Pilgrims.

  Clay: Annals of the Swedes on the Delaware.


  J. G. Holland: *The Bay Path (1638).

  Paulding: *Koningsmarke (a tale of the Swedes on the Delaware).



  Irving: *Knickerbocker’s History of New York.

  Abbott: KING PHILIP.

  Markham: King Philip’s War.

  Cooper: *The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish (1675).

  Palfrey: History of New England (4 vols.).

  Hawthorne: *The Scarlet Letter.

  Spofford: New England Legends.

  Longfellow: ‡New England Tragedies.

  Whittier: ‡Ballads of New England.

  Hale: Stories of Adventure.


  Banvard: Southern Explorers.


  Arthur: Cabinet History of Virginia.

  Simms: *The Cassique of Kiawah (a story of the early settlement
  of South Carolina, 1684).

  De Vere: Romance of American History.


  Parkman: Discovery of the Great West.

  ———— The Jesuits in North America.

  Sparks: Life of Father Marquette.

  Shea: Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi.

  Parkman: Frontenac, and New France under Louis XIV.

  Simms: *The Yemassee (1715).

  Longfellow: ‡Evangeline.

  Ladd: The Old French War.

  Parkman: Wolfe and Montcalm.

  ———— The Conspiracy of Pontiac.

  Paulding: *The Dutchman’s Fireside.

  Cooper: *The Pathfinder.

  ———— *The Last of the Mohicans.

  Kennedy: *Swallow Barn.

  Mrs. Stowe: *The Minister’s Wooing.

  Thackeray: *The Virginians.

+The Period of the Revolution.+



  Irving: Life of George Washington (5 vols.).

  Headley: Washington and his Generals.

  Longfellow: ‡Paul Revere’s Ride.

  Lowell: ‡Grandmother’s Story of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

  Coffin: THE BOYS OF ‘76.

  Cooper: *The Spy.

  ———— *The Pilot.

  Neal: *Seventy-Six.

  Greene: Life of Nathanael Greene.


  Parton: Life of Benjamin Franklin.

  Sparks: The Works of Benjamin Franklin.

  ———— Treason of Benedict Arnold.

  Arnold: Life of Benedict Arnold.

  Campbell: ‡Gertrude of Wyoming.

  Mrs. Child: *The Rebels.

  Paulding: *The Old Continentals.

  ———— *The Bulls and the Jonathans.

  Simms: *Eutaw.

  Kennedy: *Horse-Shoe Robinson.

  Grace Greenwood: *The Forest Tragedy.

  Lossing: Field Book of the Revolution.

  Carrington: Battles of the Revolution.

  Wirt: The Life of Patrick Henry.

  Dwight: Lives of the Signers.

  Magoon: Orators of the American Revolution.

  Greene: Historical View of the American Revolution.

+From the Close of the Revolution.+

  McMaster: History of the People of the United States from the
  Revolution to the Civil War.

  Frothingham: Rise of the Republic in the United States.

  Curtis: History of the Constitution.

  Von Holst: Constitutional History of the United States.



  Lodge: Life of Alexander Hamilton.

  Parton: Life of John Adams.

  ———— Life of Jefferson.


  John Esten Cooke: *Leatherstocking and Silk (1800).

  Cable: *The Grandissimes.

  Cooper: *The Prairie.

  Simms: *Beauchampe, or the Kentucky Tragedy.

  Parton: Life of Aaron Burr.

  Hale: *Philip Nolan’s Friends.

  ———— *The Man without a Country.

  Pioneer Life in the West.

  Lewis and Clarke’s Journey across the Rocky Mountains.

  Irving: Astoria.

  ———— Adventures of Captain Bonneville.

  Eggleston: Brant and Red Jacket.

  Johnson: The War of 1812.

  Lossing: Field Book of the War of 1812.

  Iron: *The Double Hero.

  Gleig: *The Subaltern.

  Cooper: History of the American Navy.

  Rives: Life of James Madison.

  Gilman: Life of James Monroe.

  Morse: Life of J. Q. Adams.

  Parton: Life of Andrew Jackson.

  Curtis: Life of Daniel Webster.

  Whipple: Webster’s Best Speeches.

  Schmucker: Life and Times of Henry Clay.

  Ripley: The War with Mexico.

  Kendall: The Santa Fé Expedition.

  Wilson: History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in

  King: The Great South.

  Olmsted: The Sea-Board Slave States.

  Mrs. Stowe: *Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

  Hildreth: *The White Slave.

  Whittier: ‡Voices of Freedom.

  Greeley: The American Conflict.

  Lossing: The Civil War in the United States.

  Draper: History of the American Civil War.

  Stephens: Constitutional History of the War between the States
  (Southern view).

  Harper’s Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion.


  Coffin: THE BOYS OF ‘61.


  Hale: Stories of War.

  Richardson: Field, Dungeon, and Escape.

  Swinton: Twelve Decisive Battles of the War.

  Cooke: Life of General Lee.

  Whittier: ‡In War Time.

  Lester: Our First Hundred Years.

  Lossing: The American Centenary.

  Tourgee: *A Fool’s Errand.

  ———— *Bricks without Straw.

  Headley: HEROES OF THE REBELLION (6 vols.).




Courses of Reading in Geography and Natural History

Geography is learned best by the careful reading of books of travel.
Pupils would derive infinitely more knowledge by the use, under
judicious instructors, of a library of this sort, than by years of
drudging through those masses of inanity known as School Geographies.
The following list is designed chiefly to aid teachers in the selection
of books suitable for geographical study at school, and to assist
private readers in the choice of useful and entertaining works on the
various subjects of interest in our own and foreign countries.

A good atlas is the first desideratum, and is an indispensable
auxiliary to the course of reading here indicated. Rand, McNally, &
Co.’s Atlas is one of the latest publications, and perhaps the most
accurate and complete in the market. Among other very good works of
this kind we may mention Gray’s, Johnson’s, Colton’s, and Zell’s, any
one of which will answer all the ordinary purposes of the reader.
When no complete work is available, the maps in the larger school
geographies will render very fair service.

+The World.+


  Curtis: Dottings round the Circle.



  Gerstacker: A Journey round the World.

  Prime: Around the World.

  Pumpelly: Across America and Asia.


  Nordhoff: MAN-OF-WAR LIFE.






  Figuier: The Ocean World.

  ———— The Insect World.

  Mrs. Brassey: Voyage in the Sunbeam.

  Ainsworth: All round the World.


  Humboldt: Cosmos.

+North America.+





  Ingersoll: FRIENDS WORTH KNOWING; Glimpses of American Natural


  Say: Insects of North America.

  Drake: Nooks and Corners of the New England Coast.

  Flagg: The Woods and By-Ways of New England.

  Nordhoff: *Cape Cod and all along Shore.

  Thoreau: The Maine Woods.

  ———— A Week on the Concord.

  ———— Cape Cod.

  ———— Excursions in Field and Forest.

  Samuels: The Birds of New England.


  Drake: AROUND THE HUB; A Boy’s Book about Boston.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vol. xxvi.

  Murray: Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp Life in the

  Warner: The Adirondacks Verified.

  Bromfield: Picturesque Journeys in America.

  Jordan: Vertebrates of the Northern States.

  Appleton: Picturesque America.

  ———— Our Native Land.

  Howells: *Their Wedding Journey.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vol. xxvii.

  King: The Great South.

  Olmsted: The Sea-Board Slave States.

  Baldwin: The Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi.

  Pollard: The Virginia Tourist. Twain: Life on the Mississippi.

  Lanier: Florida; its Scenery.

  Porte Crayon: Virginia Illustrated.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vol. xxviii.

  Lewis and Clarke’s Expedition across the Rocky Mountains.

  Irving: Astoria.

  ———— Adventures of Captain Bonneville.

  ———— A Tour on the Prairies.

  Meline: Two Thousand Miles on Horseback.

  Richardson: Beyond the Mississippi.

  Browne: Crusoe’s Island.

  Nordhoff: Northern California.

  Taylor: Eldorado.

  Codman: The Round Trip.

  Bird: A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains.

  Ingersoll: Knocking round the Rockies.

  Cozzens: The Marvellous Country; or, Three Years in Arizona and
  New Mexico.

  Browne: The Apache Country.

  Taylor: Colorado; A Summer Trip.

  Richardson: Wonders of the Yellowstone.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vol. xxix.

  Robinson: The Great Fur Land.

  Butler: The Great Lone Land.

  ———— The Wild North Land.

  Hartwig: The Polar World.

  Hayes: The Land of Desolation.

  Blake: Arctic Experiences.

  Nourse: American Explorations in the Ice Zones.

  Burton: Ultima Thule.


  Haven: Our Next-Door Neighbor.

  Wilson: Mexico; its Peasants and Priests.

  Ruxton: Adventures in Mexico.

  Stephens: Travels in Yucatan.

  ———— Travels in Central America.

  Squier: The States of Central America.


  Kingsley: A Christmas in the West Indies.

  Hurlbert: Gan Eden; or, Pictures of Cuba.

  Dana: To Cuba and Back.

+South America.+

  Holton: New Granada.

  Orton: The Andes and Amazon.

  Agassiz: Journey in Brazil.

  Ewbank: Life in Brazil.

  Fletcher: Brazil and the Brazilians.


  Marcoy: Travels across South America.

  Hassaurek: Four Years among Spanish Americans.

  Squier: Peru.


  Stephens: ON THE AMAZONS.

  Dixie: Across Patagonia.


  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vol. xxx.





  Hawthorne: Our Old Home.

  Taine: Notes on England.

  Escott: England.

  Miller: First Impressions of England and its People.

  Emerson: English Traits.

  Hoppin: Old England; Its Scenery, Art, and People.

  Abbott: A Summer in Scotland.

  Miller: Scenes and Legends of the North of Scotland.

  White: Natural History of Selborne.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vols. i.-v.

  Longfellow: Outre Mer.

  Taylor: Views Afoot.

  Macquoid: Through Normandy.

  Hamerton: Round My House.



  Bulwer: France, Literary, Social, and Political.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vols. vi.-x.

  Taine: Tour through the Pyrenees.


  De Amicis: Spain and the Spaniards.

  Bodfish: Through Spain on Donkey-Back.

  Hare: Wanderings in Spain.

  Hay: Castilian Days.

  Irving: The Alhambra.

  ———— Spanish Papers.

  Andersen: Pictures of Travel.

  Latouche: Travels in Portugal.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vols. xiv., xv.


  Browne: Yusef; Travels on the Shores of the Mediterranean.

  Eustis: Classical Tour through Italy.

  Dickens: Pictures from Italy.

  Hare: Cities of Northern and Central Italy.

  ———— Days near Rome.

  Hawthorne: English and Italian Notes.

  Howells: Italian Journeys.

  ———— Venetian Life.

  Taine: Italy (Florence and Venice).

  ———— Italy (Rome and Naples).

  Di Cesnola: Cyprus.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vols. xi.-xiii.

  Stephens: Travels in Greece and Turkey.

  Mahaffy: Rambles and Studies in Greece.

  Baird: Modern Greece.

  Townsend: A Cruise in the Bosphorus.

  De Amicis: Constantinople.

  Gautier: Constantinople.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vol. xix.

  Waring: Tyrol and the Skirt of the Alps.

  Whymper: Scrambles among the Alps.

  Taylor: The By-Ways of Europe.

  Hugo: Tour on the Rhine.

  Browne: An American Family in Germany.

  Hawthorne: Saxon Studies.

  Hugo: Home-Life in Germany.

  Baring-Gould: Germany, Past and Present.

  De Amicis: Holland.



  Havard: Picturesque Holland.


  Taylor: Northern Europe.

  Browne: Land of Thor.

  Du Chaillu: The Land of the Midnight Sun.

  Andersen: Pictures of Travel in Sweden.

  MacGregor: Rob Roy on the Baltic.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vols. xvii., xviii.


  Gautier: A Winter in Russia.

  Wallace: Russia.

  Richardson: Ralph’s Year in Russia.

  Morley: Sketches of Russian Life.

  Dixon: Free Russia.


  Kennan: Tent Life in Siberia.

  McGahan: Campaigning on the Oxus.

  Burnaby: A Ride to Khiva.

  Schuyler: Turkistan.

  Taylor: Central Asia.

  Arnold: Through Persia by Caravan.

  Stack: Six Months in Persia.

  Vámbéry: Travels in Central Asia.

  O’Donovan: The Merv Oasis.

  Curtis: The Howadji in Syria.

  Kinglake: Eöthen.

  MacGregor: Rob Roy on the Jordan.

  Prime: Tent Life in the Holy Land.

  Taylor: Travels in Arabia.

  Blunt: The Bedouin Tribes.

  Keane: Six Months in Mecca.

  Baker: Rifle and Hound in Ceylon.

  Butler: The Land of the Vedas.




  Vincent: The Land of the White Elephant.

  Leonowens: An English Governess at the Siamese Court.

  Kingston: *IN EASTERN SEAS.

  Wilson: The Abode of Snow.

  Markham: Thibet.

  Gordon: The Roof of the World.

  Williams: The Middle Kingdom.

  Taylor: India, China, and Japan.


  Eden: China, Japan, and India.

  Oppert: Corea.






  Griffis: The Mikado’s Empire.

  Bird: Unbeaten Tracks in Japan.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vols. xxi.-xxiii.









  Stanley: *MY KALULU.

  Baker: Ismailia.

  ———— Albert N’Yanza.

  Speke: Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile.

  Edwards: A Thousand Miles up the Nile.

  Taylor: Central Africa.

  Schweinfurth: The Heart of Africa.

  Livingstone: Last Journals.

  Stanley: How I found Livingstone.

  ———— Through the Dark Continent.

  Du Chaillu: Explorations in Central Africa.

  ———— Journey to Ashango Land.

  Anderson: Southwestern Africa.

  Livingstone: South Africa.

  Cumming: Hunter’s Life in South Africa.

  MacLeod: Madagascar and its People.

  Longfellow: Poems of Places, vol. xxiv.

+Australia and the Pacific.+

  Grant: Bush Life in Australia.

  Cook: Voyages round the World.

  Gironierre: Twenty Years in the Philippine Islands.

  Nordhoff: Stories of the Island World.

  Cheever: The Island World of the Pacific.

  Lamont: Wild Life among the Pacific Islanders.

  Bird: Six Months among the Sandwich Islands.

  Dana: Corals and Coral Islands.




Philosophy and Religion.

  A little philosophy inclineth a man’s mind to atheism, but depth
  in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.—BACON.

“The books which help you most are those which make you think the
most,” says Theodore Parker. “The hardest way of learning is by easy
reading; every man that tries it finds it so.”

And apropos of this, I present the following list of books recommended
by Dr. John Brown as suitable for the reading of young medical
students. Yet not only medical students, but students of other special
subjects, and teachers as well, will find it profitable to dig into and
through, to “energize upon” and master, such books as these—

  1. Arnauld’s Port Royal Logic; translated by T. S. Baynes.

  2. Thomson’s Outlines of the Necessary Laws of Thought.

  3. Descartes on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and
  Seeking Truth in the Sciences.

  4. Coleridge’s Essay on Method.

  5. Whately’s Logic and Rhetoric (new and cheap edition).

  6. Mill’s Logic (new and cheap edition).

  7. Dugald Stewart’s Outlines.

  8. Sir John Herschel’s Preliminary Dissertation.

  9. Isaac Taylor’s Elements of Thought.

  10. Sir William Hamilton’s edition of Reid: Dissertations and

  11. Professor Fraser’s Rational Philosophy.

  12. Locke on the Conduct of the Understanding.

“Taking up a book like Arnauld, and reading a chapter of his lively,
manly sense,” says Rab’s friend, “is like throwing your manuals, and
scalpels, and microscopes, and natural (most unnatural) orders out of
your hand and head, and taking a game with the Grange Club, or a run
to the top of Arthur Seat. Exertion quickens your pulse, expands your
lungs, makes your blood warmer and redder, fills your mouth with the
pure waters of relish, strengthens and supples your legs; and though on
your way to the top you may encounter rocks, and baffling débris, and
gusts of fierce winds rushing out upon you from behind corners, just
as you will find, in Arnauld and all truly serious and honest books of
the kind, difficulties and puzzles, winds of doctrine, and deceitful
mists, still you are rewarded at the top by the wide view. You see,
as from a tower, the end of all. You look into the perfections and
relations of things; you see the clouds, the bright lights, and the
everlasting hills on the horizon. You come down the hill a happier, a
better, and a hungrier man, and of a better mind. But, as we said, you
must eat the book,—you must crush it, and cut it with your teeth, and
swallow it; just as you must walk up, and not be carried up, the hill,
much less imagine you are there, or look upon a picture of what you
would see were you up, however accurately or artistically done; no,—you
yourself must _do_ both.”

The same may be said of all books that are the most truly helpful
to us, and mind-lifting. It is the hard reading that profits most,
provided, always, that due care be taken to digest that which is read.
Yet I would not recommend the same strong diet or the same severe
exercise to every person, or even to any considerable proportion of
readers. One man may be a palm, as says Dr. Collyer, and another a
pine; that which is wisdom to the one may be incomprehensible folly
to the other. But those whose mental constitutions are sufficiently
vigorous to digest and assimilate the food which the philosophers
offer, may find comfort and health, not only in the works above
recommended, but in the following—

  Plato’s Works: Jowett’s translation.

  G. H. Lewes: A Chapter from Aristotle.

  Lord Bacon: Novum Organum.

  Butler: Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed.

  Hume: A Treatise on Human Nature.

  Hamilton: Discussions on Philosophy and Literature.

  Mill: Examination of Hamilton’s Philosophy.

  Lewes: Problems of Life and Mind.

  Cousin: Lectures on the True, the Beautiful, and the Good.

  Martineau: The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte.

  Mill: Comte and Positivism.

  Mahaffy: Kant’s Critical Philosophy for English Readers.

  Fichte: The Science of Knowledge.

  Meiklejohn: Kant’s Critique of the Pure Reason (published in
  Bohn’s Philosophical Library).

  Spencer: First Principles of Philosophy.

  Bowen: Essays on Speculative Philosophy.

  Porter: Elements of Intellectual Science.

  ———— The Human Intellect.

  McCosh: Intuitions of the Mind.

  ———— System of Logic.

  Fiske: Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy.

  Everett: Science of Thought.

  Wallace: The Logic of Hegel.

  Hegel: The Philosophy of History (translated by J. Sibree, in
  Bohn’s Philosophical Library).

  Schopenhauer: Select Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer (translated
  by Droppers and Dachsel).

  Lewes: Biographical History of Philosophy.

  Morell: An Historical and Critical View of the Speculative
  Philosophy of Europe in the Nineteenth Century.

  Ueberweg: History of Philosophy.

  Masson: Recent British Philosophy.

  Lecky: History of European Morals.

  ———— History of Rationalism in Europe.

  Draper: History of the Intellectual Development of Europe.

To the foregoing list the following may be added—

  Plutarch’s Morals (translated by Goodwin).

  Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (in the “Wisdom Series”).

  Selections from Fénelon.

  Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy.

  Sydney Smith’s Sketches of Moral Philosophy.

  Watts on the Mind.

  Taine on Intelligence.

A course of reading which shall include any number of the works here
mentioned will be no child’s play; it will involve the severest
exercise of the thinking powers, but it will enable you “to look
into the perfections and relations of things, and to see the clouds,
the bright lights, and the everlasting hills on the horizon.” The
reading of such books is like the training of a gymnast; it will lead
to the healthy development of the parts most skillfully exercised,
but the strength of him who exercises should never be too severely
tested. Would you prefer a lighter course of reading, but one which
will probably lead you into pleasanter paths of contemplation and
reflection, and finally open up to your view a prospect equally
boundless and grand? Allow me to suggest the following, which is
neither philosophical nor religious, in the strictest acceptation of
these terms, but which leads us to an acquaintance with that which is
best in both.

We shall begin with the Bible, and throughout the course we shall
make that book our grand rallying-point. “Read the Bible reverently
and attentively,” says Sir Matthew Hale; “set your heart upon it, and
lay it up in your memory, and make it the direction of your life: it
will make you a wise and good man.” From the reverential reading of
the Bible, which to most of us is rather an act of religious duty
than of intellectual effort, we turn to the great masterpieces of
antiquity. In the Phædo and the Apology and Crito of Plato, we find
the ripest thoughts of the world’s greatest thinker; then we turn to
Aristotle’s Ethics, and, afterwards, we compare the doctrines of the
Greek philosophers with the Teachings of Confucius and of Mencius.[22]
If we have supplemented these readings with the proper acquaintance
with ancient history, we shall now be ready to understand the great
poems of antiquity, and to read them in a light different from that
which we have hitherto known. We read the Iliad, and the Odyssey, and
the Greek tragedians; then the old Indian epics, Arnold’s “The Light
of Asia,” and Swamy’s “Dialogues and Discourses of Gotama Buddha.”
Descending now to more modern times,—for we would not make this course
a long one,—we turn again to our Bible, and thoroughly acquaint
ourselves with “the unsurpassedly simple, loving, perfect idyls of the
life and death of Christ,” as we find them in the New Testament. After
this, we shall obtain more exalted ideas of the brotherhood of the
human race and the “hope of the nations,” if we spend some time in the
study of the majestic expressions of the universal conscience found
in such works as the “Vishnu Sarma” of the Hindoos, the “Gulistan” of
Saadi, the “Sentences” of Epictetus, and the “Thoughts” of Marcus
Aurelius Antoninus. Then, to get at the poetic interpretation of the
teachings of Mohammed, we read the “Pearls of Faith; or, Islam’s
Rosary,” and Lane Poole’s “Selections from the Koran.” Returning to the
study of Christian ethics and poetry, we take up the “Confessions of
Saint Augustine,” and the “Discourse” of Saint Bernard, and then the
“Imitation of Christ,” by Thomas à Kempis. We read Milton’s “Paradise
Lost” again, and Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress;” and we enjoy the wealth
of imagery in Jeremy Taylor’s “Holy Living and Holy Dying.” Holy George
Herbert’s “Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations” claim our attention
for a time, and then we take up Pascal’s “Thoughts,” and selections
from Fénelon’s “Telemachus” and “Dialogues of the Dead.” Finally, we
read Wordsworth’s “Excursion,” and Keble’s “Christian Year,” and return
after all to a further perusal of the Bible and the poems of antiquity.

You may say that this course is rather fragmentary, and so it is; but
it differs from the other courses which I have indicated, in that it is
undertaken as a heart-work rather than a head-work. Unlike the course
just preceding, it has to do with our emotional and devotional natures
rather than with our highest powers of thinking and reasoning. With few
exceptions only, the books here mentioned are voices out of the past,
speaking to us of the human soul’s belief and experience in different
ages of the world and under different dispensations. “I suppose,” says
George Eliot, speaking of the “Imitation of Christ,”—“I suppose that
is the reason why the small old-fashioned book, for which you need
only pay sixpence at a book-stall, works miracles to this day, turning
bitter waters into sweetness; while expensive sermons and treatises,
newly issued, leave all things as they were before. It was written down
by a hand that waited for the heart’s prompting; it is the chronicle of
a solitary, hidden anguish, struggle, trust, and triumph,—not written
on velvet cushions to teach endurance to those who are treading with
bleeding feet on the stones. And so it remains to all time a lasting
record of human needs and human consolations; the voice of a brother
who, ages ago, felt and suffered and renounced,—in the cloister,
perhaps with serge gown and tonsured head, with much chanting and long
fasts, and with a fashion of speech different from ours,—but under the
same silent far-off heavens, and with the same passionate desires, the
same strivings, the same failures, the same weariness.”

Writing of works like these, Emerson says: “Their communications are
not to be given or taken with the lips and the end of the tongue, but
out of the glow of the cheek, and with the throbbing heart.... These
are the Scriptures which the missionary might well carry over prairie,
desert, and ocean, to Siberia, Japan, Timbuctoo. Yet he will find that
the spirit which is in them journeys faster than he, and greets him on
his arrival,—was there long before him. The missionary must be carried
by it, and find it there, or he goes in vain. Is there any geography in
these things? We call them Asiatic, we call them primeval; but perhaps
that is only optical, for Nature is always equal to herself, and there
are as good eyes and ears now in the planet as ever were. Only these
ejaculations of the soul are uttered one or a few at a time, at long
intervals, and it takes millenniums to make a Bible.”

We are brought now naturally to the subject of Theological Literature.
The number of books in this department is very great, and there are
wide differences of opinion with regard to the merits of many of the
best-known works. Without attempting to select always the best, I shall
name only a sufficient number of books necessary for the use of such
non-professional readers as may desire to acquire a moderate knowledge
of the commonly accepted theological doctrines—

  McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and
  Ecclesiastical Literature (10 vols.).

  Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible.

  Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible.

  Barrow’s Sacred Geography and Antiquities.

  Dean Stanley’s Sinai and Palestine in connection with their

  Clark’s Bible Atlas, with Maps and Plans.

  Bissel’s Historic Origin of the Bible.

  Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures.

  Alford’s The Greek Testament; and The New Testament for English

  Oehler’s Theology of the Old Testament.

  Weiss’s Biblical Theology of the New Testament.

  Geikie’s Hours with the Bible.

  Lenormant’s The Beginnings of History, according to the Bible
  and the Traditions of Oriental Peoples.

  Dean Stanley’s Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church.

  Geikie’s Life and Works of Christ.

  Farrar’s Life of Christ.

  Farrar’s Life and Work of St. Paul.

  Conybeare and Howson’s Life and Epistles of St. Paul.

  Schaff’s History of the Christian Church.

  Dean Milman’s History of Latin Christianity (8 vols.).

  Dean Stanley’s Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church.

  Maurice’s Religions of the World.

  James Freeman Clarke’s Ten Great Religions.

  Moffatt’s Comparative History of Religions.

  Trench’s Lectures on Mediæval Church History.

  Ullman’s Reformers before the Reformation.

  Fisher’s History of the Reformation.

  Ranke’s History of the Popes during the Sixteenth and
  Seventeenth Centuries.

  Griesinger’s History of the Jesuits.

  Baird’s Rise and Progress of the Huguenots in France.

  Stevens’s History of Methodism.

  Tyerman’s Life and Times of John Wesley.

  Hagenbach’s History of Christian Doctrines (translated by C. W.

  Fisher’s Faith and Rationalism.

  McCosh’s Christianity and Positivism.

  Farrar’s Critical History of Free Thought in reference to the
  Christian Religion.

  Smith’s Faith and Philosophy.

  Calderwood’s Relations of Science and Religion.

  Max Müller’s Science of Religion.

  Christlieb’s Counteracting Modern Infidelity.

  Trench’s Shipwrecks of Faith.

  Walker’s Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation.

  Smyth’s Old Faiths in New Light.

  Brooks’s Yale Lectures on Preaching.

  Dorner’s System of Christian Doctrine.

  Goulburn’s Thoughts on Personal Religion.

Richard Baxter, speaking of this class of books, says: “Such books have
the advantage in many other respects: you may read an able preacher
when you have but a mean one to hear. Every congregation cannot hear
the most judicious or powerful preachers; but every single person may
read the books of the most powerful and judicious. Preachers may be
silenced or banished, when books may be at hand; books may be kept at
a smaller charge than preachers: we may choose books which treat of
that very subject which we desire to hear of. Books we may have at
hand every day and hour, when we can have sermons but seldom, and at
set times. If sermons be forgotten, they are gone. But a book we may
read over and over until we remember it; and if we forget it, may again
peruse it at our pleasure or at our leisure.”




Political Economy and the Science of Government.

  This is that noble Science of Politics, which is equally removed
  from the barren theories of the utilitarian sophists, and from
  the petty craft, so often mistaken for statesmanship by minds
  grown narrow in habits of intrigue, jobbing, and official
  etiquette,—which of all sciences is the most important to the
  welfare of nations,—which of all sciences most tends to expand
  and invigorate the mind,—which draws nutriment and ornament from
  every part of philosophy and literature, and dispenses in return
  nutriment and ornament to all.—MACAULAY.

To the student of Political Economy and the Science of Government I
offer the following lists of books, embracing the best works on the
various subjects connected with this study. The classification has been
made solely with reference to the subject-matter, without any attempt
to indicate the order in which the books are to be studied,—as this
would be impossible.

+Constitutional History, etc.+

  Freeman: Growth of the English Constitution.

  Creasy: Rise and Progress of the English Constitution.

  Stubbs: Constitutional History of England.

  Hallam: Constitutional History of England (1485-1759).

  Curtis: History of the Constitution of the United States.

  Von Holst: Constitutional History of the United States.

  De Tocqueville: Democracy in the United States.



  Andrews: Manual of the United States Constitution.

  Mulford: The Nation.

  Story: Familiar Exposition of the United States Constitution.

  Bancroft: History of the United States (vol. xi.).

  Amos: The Science of Politics.

+General Works on Political Economy.+




  John Stuart Mill: Principles of Political Economy (People’s

  Cairnes: Some Leading Principles of Political Economy Newly

  Walker: The Elements of Political Economy.

  Perry: Elements of Political Economy.

  Bastiat: Essays on Political Economy.

  Bowen: American Political Economy.

  Mason and Lalor: Primer of Political Economy.

+On Population.+

  Malthus: The Principles of Population.

Mr. Malthus’s doctrines are opposed in the following works—

  Godwin: On Population (1820).

  Sadler: The Law of Population (1830).

  Alison: The Principles of Population, and their Connection with
  Human Happiness (1840).

  Doubleday: The True Law of Population shown to be connected with
  the Food of the People (1854).

  Herbert Spencer: The Principles of Biology (vol. ii.).

  Rickards: Population and Capital (1854).

  Greg: Enigmas of Life (1872).

The Malthusian doctrine is supported wholly or in part by—

  Macaulay, in his Essay on Sadler’s Law of Population;

  Rev. Thomas Chalmers, in Political Economy in connection with
  the Moral State and Moral Prospects of Society;

  David Ricardo, in Principles of Political Economy; and some
  other writers. See, also, Roscher’s Political Economy.

+On Wealth and Currency.+

  Adam Smith: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of Wealth.

    Probably the most important book that has ever been written, and
    certainly the most valuable contribution ever made by a single
    man towards establishing the principles on which government
    should be based.—H. T. BUCKLE.

  Jevons: Money and the Mechanism of Exchange.

  A. Walker: The Science of Wealth.

  F. A. Walker: Money.

  Bagehot: Lombard Street; a Description of the Money Market.

  Bonamy Price: Principles of Currency.

  ———— Currency and Banking.

  Chevalier: Essay on the Probable Fall in the Value of Gold
  (translated by Cobden).

  Ricardo: Proposals for an Economical Currency.

  Poor: Money; its Laws and History.

  McCulloch: On Metallic and Paper Money, and Banks.

  Newcomb: The A B C of Finance.

  Wells: Robinson Crusoe’s Money.

  Harvey: Paper Money, the Money of Civilization.

  Sumner: History of American Currency.

  Maclaren: History of the Currency.

  Linderman: Money and Legal Tender of the United States.

  Bolles: Financial History of the United States, from 1789 to

+On Banking.+

  Macleod: The Elements of Banking.

  ———— Theory and Practice of Banking.

  Bonamy Price: Currency and Banking.

  Gibbons: The Banks of New York.

  Atkinson: What is a Bank?

  Gilbart: Principles and Practice of Banking.

  Bagehot: Lombard Street.

  Morse: Treatise on the Laws relating to Banks and Banking.

+On Labor and Wages.+

  Henry George: Progress and Poverty.

  Mallock: Property and Progress.

  Walker: Wages and the Wages Class.

  Brassey: Work and Wages.

  Jevons: The State in relation to Labor.

  Jervis: Labor and Capital.

  Thornton: On Labor; its Wrongful Claims and Rightful Dues.

  Wright: A Practical Treatise on Labor.

  Young: Labor in Europe and America.

  Bolles: Conflict of Labor and Capital.

  About: Hand-Book of Social Economy.

+On Socialism and Co-operation.+

  Nordhoff: Communistic Societies of the United States.

  Noyes: History of American Socialism.

  Ely: French and German Socialism in Modern Times.

  Holyoake: History of Co-operation.

  Woolsey: Socialism.

  Barnard: Co-operation as a Business.

The student of socialism will doubtless be interested in reading some
of the philosophical fictions and other works, written in various ages,
describing fanciful or ideal communities and governments. The following
are the best—

  Plato’s Republic.

  Sir Thomas More’s Utopia.

  Bacon’s New Atlantis.

  Hall’s _Mundus Alter et Idem_.

  Harrington’s Oceana.

  Defoe’s Essay on Projects.

  Disraeli’s Coningsby, or the New Generation.

  Bulwer’s The Coming Race.

+On Taxation and Pauperism.+

  Peto: Taxation; its Levy and Expenditure.

  Cobden Club Essay,—On Local Government and Taxation.

  Encyclopædia Britannica: The Article on Taxation.

  Fawcett: Pauperism; its Causes and Remedies.

  Sir George Nicholl: Histories of the English, Scotch, and Irish Poor

  Lecky: History of European Morals (vol. ii.).

+On the Tariff Question.+

The following works favor, more or less strongly, the doctrine of Free

  Adam Smith: On the Wealth of Nations.

  Walter: What is Free Trade?

  Sumner: Lectures on the History of Protection in the United States.

  Mongredien: History of the Free-Trade Movement.

  Grosvenor: Does Protection Protect?

  Bastiat: Sophisms of Protection.

  Fawcett: Free Trade and Protection.

  Butts: Protection and Free Trade.

The following are the most important works favoring Protection—

  Horace Greeley: The Science of Political Economy.

  E. Peshine Smith: A Manual of Political Economy.

  R. E. Thompson: Social Science and National Economy.

  H. C. Carey: Principles of Social Science.

  Byles: Sophisms of Free Trade.

+Works of Reference.+

  McCulloch: Literature of Political Economy.

  Macleod: A Dictionary of Political Economy, Biographical,
  Historical, and Practical.

  Lalor: Cyclopædia of Political Science and Political Economy.

  McCulloch: Dictionary of Commerce.

  Tooke: History of Prices, 1793 to 1856.

  Rogers: History of Agriculture and Prices in England.




On the Practical Study of English Literature.

  The ocean of literature is without limit. How then shall we be
  able to perform a voyage, even to a moderate distance, if we
  waste our time in dalliance on the shore? Our only hope is in
  exertion. Let our only reward be that of industry.—RINGELBERGIUS.

The student of English literature has indeed embarked upon a limitless
ocean. A lifetime of study will serve only to make him acquainted with
parts of that great expanse which lies open before him. He should
pursue his explorations earnestly, and with the inquiring spirit of
a true discoverer. His thirst for knowledge should be unquenchable;
he should long always for that mind food which brings the right kind
of mind growth. He should not rest satisfied with merely superficial
attainments, but should strive for that thoroughness of knowledge
without which there can be neither excellence nor enjoyment.

English literature is not to be learned from manuals. They are only
helps,—charts, buoys, light-houses, if you will call them so; or they
serve to you the purposes of guide-books. What do you think of the
would-be tourist who stays at home and studies his Baedeker with the
foolish thought that he is actually seeing the countries which the book
describes? And yet I have known students, and not a few teachers, do a
thing equally as foolish. With a Morley, or a Shaw, or even a Brooke
in their hands, and a few names and dates at their tongues’ ends, they
imagine themselves viewing the great ocean of literature, ploughing its
surface and exploring its depths, when in reality they are only wasting
their time “in dalliance on the shore.”

English literature does not consist in a mere array of names and
dates and short biographical sketches of men who have written books.
Biography is biography; literature “is a record of the best thoughts.”
But the former is frequently studied in place of the latter. “For once
that we take down our Milton, and read a book of that ‘voice,’ as
Wordsworth says, ‘whose sound is like the sea,’ we take up fifty times
a magazine with something about Milton, or about Milton’s grandmother,
or a book stuffed with curious facts about the houses in which he
lived, and the juvenile ailments of his first wife.”[23] Instead of
becoming acquainted at first hand with books in which are stored the
energies of the past, we content ourselves with knowing only something
about the men who wrote them. Instead of admiring with our own eyes the
architectural beauties of St. Paul’s Cathedral, we read a biography of
Sir Christopher Wren.

Again, it must be borne in mind that literature is one thing, and the
history of literature is another. The study of the latter, however
important, cannot be substituted for that of the former; yet it is not
desirable to separate the two. To acquire any serviceable knowledge
of a book, you will be greatly aided by knowing under what peculiar
conditions it was conceived and produced,—the history of the country,
the manners of the people, the status of morals and politics at the
time it was written. Between history and literature there is a mutual
relationship which should not be overlooked. “A book is the offspring
of the aggregate intellect of humanity,” and it gives back to humanity,
in the shape of new ideas and new combinations of old ideas, not only
all that which it has derived from it, but more,—increased intellectual
vitality, and springs of action hitherto unknown.

In the study of literature, one should begin with an author and with
a subject not too difficult to understand. A beginner will be likely
to find but little comfort in Chaucer or Spenser, or even in Emerson;
but after he has worked up to them he may study them with unbounded
delight. For a ready understanding and correct appreciation of the
great masterpieces of English literature, a knowledge of Greek and
Roman mythology and history is almost indispensable. The student will
find the courses of historical reading given in a former chapter of
this book of much value in supplementing his literary studies.

The great works of the world’s master-minds should be studied
together, with reference to the similarity of their subject-matter.
For example, the reading of Shakspeare will give occasion to the study
of dramatic literature in all its forms; the reading of Milton’s
“Paradise Lost” will introduce us to the great epics, and to heroic
poetry in general; Sir Walter Scott’s “Lay of the Last Minstrel”
will lead naturally to the romance literature of modern and mediæval
times; Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” fitly illustrate the story-telling
phase of poetry; the study of lyric poetry may centre around the old
ballads, the poems of Robert Burns, and the religious hymns of our
language; Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” introduces us to allegory, and
Milton’s “Lycidas” to elegiac and pastoral poetry; and to know the best
specimens of argumentative prose, we begin with the speeches of Daniel
Webster and end with the orations of Demosthenes.

The following schemes for the study of different departments of English
literature have been tested both with private students and with
classes at school. Of course, many of the books mentioned are to be
used chiefly as works of reference; some of them may be conveniently
omitted in case it is desirable to abridge the course, and others may
be exchanged for similar works upon the same subject.


+For the Study of Dramatic Literature.+


  For manuals use any or all of the following works—

  SHAW’S _Manual of English Literature_.

  MORLEY’S _First Sketch of English Literature_.

  BALDWIN’S _English Literature and Literary Criticism_.

  BROOKE’S _Primer of English Literature_.

  WELCH’S _Development of English Literature_.

  RICHARDSON’S _Familiar Talks on English Literature_.


    English histories for study and reference—

    GREEN’S _History of the English People_.

    KNIGHT’S _History of England_.

    YONGE’S _Young Folks’ England_.

  To be read—

  “Rise and Progress of the English Drama,” in White’s Shakspeare, vol. i.

  “Origin and Growth of the Drama in England,” in Hudson’s _Life, Art,
  and Characters of Shakspeare_, vol. i.

  “Life of Shakspeare” in either of the works just named.

    Study the history of England from 1066 to 1580.

    Write an essay on one of the following subjects—

    1. Miracles and Mysteries.

    2. Popular Amusements of the Middle Ages.

    3. The Church and the Early Drama.

    4. The Social Condition of England in the Time of Queen Elizabeth.

    5. The Early Theatres.

  To be referred to—

  DOWDEN’S _Shakspere Primer_.

  ABBOTT’S _Shakspearian Grammar_.

  _Taine’s English Literature_, the chapter on “Shakspeare.”

  To be studied—


    I. Study the history and topography of Venice.

    Write essays on various subjects suggested by the play


    II. Read Plutarch’s Life of Coriolanus or of Julius Cæsar.

    Study the peculiarities of Roman life and manners.

    Refer to Mommsen’s Rome.


    III. Study the history of Richard III. as related by
    trustworthy historians. Write an essay in his defence.


    IV. Study the sources from which this play has been derived.
    Write essays on subjects suggested by it.


    V. Read Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account of King Lear. Learn
    what you can of the historical legends of early Britain and

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these plays.


    VI. HAMLET. Study the sources of the play. Write essays.
    Discuss the question of Hamlet’s madness.

  Books for study and reference while studying Shakspeare—

  HAZLITT’S _Characters of Shakspeare’s Plays_.

  COLERIDGE’S _Literary Remains_.

  LEIGH HUNT’S _Imagination and Fancy_.

  LAMB’S _Essay on Shakspeare’s Tragedies_.

  DOWDEN’S _Mind and Art of Shakspeare_.

  WEISS’S _Wit, Humor, and Shakspeare_.

  MORGAN’S _The Shakspearian Myth_.

  Also, the various works of the Shakspeare Society and of the New
  Shakspere Society.

    Write an essay on Shakspeare’s works, his life, his art.

    Discuss the Baconian theory of the authorship of Shakspeare’s

+General Study of the Drama.+

  1. _The Greek Drama._—Refer to, or read,—

  MAHAFFY’S _Greek Literature_.

  SCHLEGEL’S _Dramatic Literature_.

  COPLESTON’S _Æschylus_.

  CHURCH’S _Stories from the Greek Tragedians_.

  MRS. BROWNING’S translation of _Prometheus Bound_.

  DONNE’S _Euripides_.

  FROUDE’S essay,—_Sea Studies_.

  DONALDSON’S _Theatre of the Greeks_.

    1. _The Greek Drama._—Study the history of Greece from some
    brief text-book like Smith’s _Smaller History_. Study the
    life and manners of the Greeks by referring to Becker’s
    _Charicles_, or Mahaffy’s _Old Greek Life_.

    Refer to Grote and Curtius.

    Read the old Greek Myths.

    Write essays on the Greek Stage, the Greek Tragedy, and
    kindred subjects.

    Discuss the subjects suggested by reading “Prometheus Bound.”

  2. _The Roman Drama._—See the following works—

  SCHLEGEL’S _Dramatic Literature_.

  SIMCOX’S _History of Latin Literature_.

  QUACKENBOS’S _Classical Literature_.

    2. Refer to Mommsen’s _Rome_, especially the chapters relating
    to literature and art.

  3. _Mysteries and Miracle-Plays._—Refer to—

  “An Essay on the Origin of the English Stage,” in Percy’s
  _Reliques of Ancient English Poetry_.

  WARTON’S _History of English Poetry_.

  MORLEY’S _English Writers_; and the essays of White and Hudson,
  already named.

    3. Review the history of England from 1066 to 1580, with
    special reference to the social, religious, and political
    progress of the people.

  4. _The Elizabethan Drama._—See the works on Shakspeare,
  mentioned above; also,—

  WHIPPLE’S _Literature of the Age of Elizabeth_.

  HAZLITT’S _Age of Elizabeth_.

  LAMB’S _Notes on the Elizabethan Dramatists_.

  WARD’S _English Dramatic Literature_.

  Study selections from—

  JONSON’S _Every Man in his Humor_.

  MARLOWE’S _Doctor Faustus_, or _Tamburlaine_.

  Also, selections from Webster, Beaumont and Fletcher, and others.

    4. Subjects for special study—

    The history of the reigns of Elizabeth and James I.

    The causes and character of the Renaissance in England.

    Character of the Elizabethan dramatists.

    Causes of the decline of dramatic literature.

    The character of James I.

    The Puritans and their influence upon the manners of the
    English people.

    The Puritans and the drama.

    PRYNNE’S _Histrio-Mastix_.

    The reign of Charles I.

  5. Study Milton’s _Comus_.

  Read Milton’s _Samson Agonistes_.

    5. Study the history of Oliver Cromwell and Puritan England.
    Suppression of the drama.

    Read Macaulay’s _Essay on Milton_.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.

    Discuss the character of the Puritans.

  6. _The Drama of the Restoration._—Read—

  HAZLITT’S _English Comic Writers_.

  JOHNSON’S _Life of Dryden_.

  THACKERAY’S _English Humorists_.

  MACAULAY’S Essay on the _Comic Dramatists of the Restoration_.

  WARD’S _History of the Drama_.

    6. Study the state of society at the time of the Restoration.

    The history of England from 1660 to 1760.

    Write essays on subjects relating to the drama or the public
    manners of this period.


  7. _The Later Drama._—See the following—

  FITZGERALD’S _Life of David Garrick_.

  _The Life and Dramatic Works of R. B. Sheridan._

  _Lives of the Kembles._

  MACREADY’S _Reminiscences_.

  LEWES’S _Actors and the Art of Acting_.

  HUTTON’S _Plays and Players_.

  GOLDSMITH’S _She Stoops to Conquer_.

  SHERIDAN’S _School for Scandal_.

  BULWER’S _Richelieu_.

  TENNYSON’S _Drama of Queen Mary_.

  SHELLEY’S _Prometheus Unbound_.

  SWINBURNE’S _Atalanta in Calydon_.


    7. Study the history of England to the close of the eighteenth

    Write an essay on the “Influence of the Drama.”

    Discuss the means by which the stage may be made beneficial as
    a means of popular education.

    Study the character of the drama of our own times, and how it
    may be improved.


+For the Study of Epic Poetry.+


  For manuals, etc., see Scheme I.

  To be studied—

  MILTON’S _Paradise Lost_.


  MACAULAY’S _Essay on Milton_.

  DR. JOHNSON’S _Life of Milton_.



  HAZLITT’S Essay on “Shakspeare and Milton,” in _English Poets_.

  HAZLITT’S Essay on _Milton’s Eve_.

  DE QUINCEY’S Essay on _Milton vs. Southey and Landor_.

  HIMES’S _A Study of Paradise Lost_.

  _The Spectator_; the numbers issued on Saturdays from Jan. 5 to
  May 3, 1712.

  MASSON’S _Introduction to Milton’s Poetical Works_.

  GOSSE’S Essay on Milton and Vondel, in “Studies in Northern

  Refer to—

  MASSON’S _Life of Milton_.

  BOYD’S _Milton’s Paradise Lost_ (with copious notes).


    For English histories, see Scheme I.

    Read the account of the Creation as related in the book of

    Study the character of the Puritans in England.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by the study of “Paradise

    Study the mythological allusions found in the poem. The
    following works of reference are recommended for this purpose—

    SMITH’S _Classical Dictionary_.

    MURRAY’S _Manual of Mythology_.

    KEIGHTLEY’S _Classical Mythology_.

    Write an essay on the general plan of the poem.

    Discuss Milton’s theory of the universe as understood from the
    reading of “Paradise Lost.”

  A notice of the other great Epics—

  1. HOMER’S _Iliad and Odyssey_. Selections read and studied.

  (See list of books suggested for the study of Greek history,

  2. VIRGIL’S _Æneid_ (Morris’s translation). General plan of the
  work observed.

    See list of books elsewhere given, relating to Greek
    Mythology, the Trojan War, etc.

  3. DANTE’S _Divina Commedia_ (Longfellow’s or Carey’s
  translation). General plan of the work observed.


    LOWELL’S Essay on Dante, in _Among My Books_.

    SYMOND’S _Introduction to the Study of Dante_.

    BOTTA’S _Dante as a Philosopher, Patriot, and Poet_.

    CARLYLE’S _Heroes and Hero-Worship_.

  _Attempted Epics_—

  COWLEY’S _Davideis_.

  GLOVER’S _Leonidas_.

  SOUTHEY’S _Joan of Arc_, _Madoc_, _Thalaba_, and _The Curse of

  LANDOR’S _Gebir_.

  Why these poems fail to be epics.

    Historical studies suggested by these attempted poems.

    Write an essay on the qualities requisite to a great epic poem.

    Discuss the possibility of another great epic being written.

  _Heroic Poems_—

  BARBOUR’S Bruce.

  DAVENANT’S Gondibert.

    Study the legends and historical events upon which these poems
    are founded.

  _The Mock-Heroic_—

  POPE’S _Rape of the Lock_. The general plan. Selections studied.

    Write an essay on some subject suggested by these studies.


+For the Study of Poetical Romance.+


  For manuals, see Scheme I.

  To be studied—

  Sir Walter Scott’s great poems,—

  _The Lay of the Last Minstrel._


  _The Lady of the Lake._

  To be read—

  CARLYLE’S Essay on _Sir Walter Scott_.

  HAZLITT on Scott, in _The Spirit of the Age_.

  The chapter on Scott in Shaw’s _Manual of English Literature_.


    For histories, see Scheme I.

    Read the history of Scotland from the earliest period to the
    reign of James V.

    MISS PORTER’S _Scottish Chiefs_.

    SCOTT’S _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_.

    AYTOUN’S _Ballads of Scotland_.

    SCOTT’S _Fair Maid of Perth_.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.

    Discuss the character of the Scotch people in feudal times.

  R. H. HUTTON’S _Sir Walter Scott_, in “English Men of Letters.”

  How the Romance poetry differed from Classic poetry.

  See Macaulay’s Essay on _Southey’s Life of Byron_.

    Compare selections from Scott with selections from Pope. Find
    other illustrations of the difference between the two schools
    of poetry.

  _The Origin of Romance Literature._—Refer to—

  WARTON’S _History of Poetry_.

  The Introduction to Ellis’s _Early English Metrical Romances_.

  RITSON’S _Ancient English Metrical Romances_.

  PERCY’S _Reliques_, introductory essay to book iii.

    Read the chapter on the Troubadours, in Sismondi’s _Literature
    of Southern Europe_; also in Van Laun’s _History of French

    Refer to Miss Prescott’s _Troubadours and Trouvères_.

  To be studied—

  TENNYSON’S _Idylls of the King_.

  Refer to Taine’s criticism of Tennyson’s Poetry, in his _English
  Literature_, vol. iv.

    Read the account of the romances of King Arthur as related in
    the books already mentioned.


    LANIER’S _Boy’s King Arthur_.

    BULFINCH’S _Age of Chivalry_.

    GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH’S _British History_, books viii. and ix.

    Write an essay on the King Arthur legends.

  Read selected portions of Byron’s poetical romances—

  _The Giaour._

  _The Corsair._

  _The Bride of Abydos._

  _The Siege of Corinth._

  Read _Byron_, by John Nichol, in “English Men of Letters.”

  Read Matthew Arnold’s Introduction to the _Selected Poems of
  Lord Byron_.

    Compare Byron’s poetry with that of Sir Walter Scott,

    1st. As to matter.

    2d. As to style.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.

    Discuss reasons why Lord Byron’s poetry is much less popular
    than formerly.

  Study selections from Moore’s _Lalla Rookh_.

  Read Hazlitt’s criticisms on Moore, in his “English Poets.”

  Also, W. M. Rossetti’s Introduction to the _Poems of Thomas

    Study, from whatever sources are available, Oriental life and
    manners as portrayed in _Lalla Rookh_. Write essays on the

  Study selections from Morris’s _Sigurd the Volsung_; also from
  _The Earthly Paradise_ by the same author.

    Study the myths of the north, referring to Mallet’s _Northern
    Antiquities_ and Anderson’s _Norse Mythology_.


+For the Study of Story-Telling Poetry.+


  Use manuals for reference as indicated in Scheme I. To these may
  be added Underwood’s _American Literature_, and White’s _Story
  of English Literature_.


    Use for reference, Green’s _History of the English People_, or
    Knight’s _History of England_; also, some standard history of

  CHAUCER’S _Canterbury Tales_.

  Study the _Prologue_ and either the _Knightes Tale_ or the
  _Clerkes Tale_.

  Refer to, or read,—

  _The Riches of Chaucer_, by Charles Cowden Clarke.

  LOWELL’S Essay on _Chaucer_, in “My Study Windows.”

  CARPENTER’S _English of the Fourteenth Century_.

  _Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales Explained_, by Saunders.

  _Canterbury Chimes_, by Storr and Turner.

  _Stories from Old English Poetry_, by Mrs. Richardson.

    Study the history of England in the fourteenth century, and
    especially the social condition of the people during that

    Make some acquaintance with the great Italian writers who
    flourished about this time, and exerted a marked influence
    upon Chaucer’s work.

    Refer to—

    SISMONDI’S _Literature of Southern Europe_;

    CAMPBELL’S _Life of Petrarch_;

    BOTTA’S _Dante as Philosopher, Patriot, and Poet_; etc.

  Read some of Scott’s shorter narrative poems,—


  _The Bridal of Triermain._

  _Harold the Dauntless._

  For criticisms and essays on Scott, see Scheme III.

    Study the historical subjects, suggested by these poems.

    See Parallel Studies in connection with Scott’s longer poems,
    Scheme III.

  Study _The Prisoner of Chillon_, by Lord Byron.

    See criticisms on Byron, in Taine’s _English Literature_.

  Read Wordsworth’s story-poems,—

  _The White Doe of Rylstone_;

  _Peter Bell_;

  _We are Seven_; etc.

  Study Coleridge’s _The Ancient Mariner_, and Keats’s _The Eve of St.

    Read Hazlitt’s estimate of Wordsworth, in _The Spirit of the

    DE QUINCEY on Wordsworth’s poetry, in _Literary Criticism_.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.

  For criticisms on the poets last read, refer to—

  HAZLITT’S _English Poets_.

  SWINBURNE’S _Studies and Essays_.

  SHAIRP’S _Studies in Poetry_.

  LORD HOUGHTON’S _Life of Keats_.

  MATTHEW ARNOLD’S Essay on Keats, in Ward’s _English Poets_.

  CARLYLE’S _Reminiscences_.

    Study the history of the English people from 1760 to 1820,
    with special reference to their social condition, and the
    progress of literature.

    Write essays on suggested subjects.

  Read Campbell’s _Gertrude of Wyoming_.

    Read the historical account of the Massacre of Wyoming.

  Read selections from Mrs. Hemans.

  Read Mrs. Browning’s _Lady Geraldine’s Courtship_; also some of
  her shorter poems.

    Read biographies of Mrs. Hemans and Mrs. Browning. Discuss
    reasons why Mrs. Hemans’ poetry is no longer popular.

  Study Tennyson’s poems,—

  _The Princess._


  _Enoch Arden._

  Also his shorter poems.


    STEDMAN’S _Victorian Poets_.

    HADLEY’S _Essays_.

    KINGSLEY’S _Miscellanies_.

  Study at least two poems in Morris’s _Earthly Paradise_.

    Study the classical and Norse legends upon which these stories
    are based.

  Study Longfellow’s poems,—


  _Miles Standish._


  _Tales of a Wayside Inn._

  _The Skeleton in Armor._

  Read Underwood’s _Life of Longfellow_.


    BANCROFT’S _History of the United States_, vol. iv.

    ABBOTT’S _Life of Miles Standish_.

    Study other historical references, etc., suggested by these

  Study the story-poems of John G. Whittier: _Maud Muller_; _Flud
  Ireson_; etc.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.


+For the Study of Allegory.+


  ÆSOP’S Fables.

  Oriental parables and fables.

  Study Bunyan’s _Pilgrim’s Progress_, as being the most popular
  allegory in the English language.


  MACAULAY’S _Essay on John Bunyan_.

  CHEEVER’S _Lectures on Bunyan_.

  Anglo-Saxon parables and allegories. The growth of the allegory.

  _The Vision of Piers Plowman._

  The great French allegory, the _Roman de la Rose_.

  CHAUCER’S _Romaunt of the Rose_.

  Other allegorical poems usually ascribed to Chaucer,—

  _The Court of Love._

  _The Cuckow and the Nightingale._

  _The Parlament of Foules._

  _The Flower and the Leaf._

  Refer to Taine’s _English Literature_.

  Notice, next, Dunbar’s _The Thistle and the Rose_; also, _The
  Golden Terge_, and the _Dance of the Seven Sins_.

  STEPHEN HAWES’S _Grand Amour and la Bell Pucell_.

  Study selected passages from Spenser’s _Faerie Queene_; also the
  general plan of the poem.


  LOWELL’S _Among My Books_.

  CRAIK’S _Spenser and his Poetry_.


    Rhetorical definition of allegory. The distinction between
    fables and parables.

    Study the history of the rise and progress of Puritanism in

    Refer to Green’s _History of the English People_, and to
    Taine’s _English Literature_.


    MORLEY’S _English Writers_.

    WARTON’S _History of English Poetry_.

    GEORGE P. MARSH’S _Lectures on the Origin and History of the
    English Language_.

    SKEATS’S _Specimens of English Literature_.

    Study the social condition of England in the thirteenth,
    fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries. Refer to the histories
    already mentioned; also to—

    PEARSON’S _History of England in the Fourteenth Century_.

    LANIER’S _Boy’s Froissart_, or the abridged edition of
    _Froissart’s Chronicles_.

    TOWLE’S _History of Henry V_.

    Study the social and literary history of England during the
    sixteenth century.

    Refer to Froude’s _History of England_.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.


  PHINEAS FLETCHER’S _Purple Island_.

  THOMSON’S _Castle of Indolence_.

  LOWELL’S _Vision of Sir Launfal_.

  GAY’S _Fables_.

  BURNS’S _The Twa Dogs_, and _The Brigs of Ayr_.

  _Abou Ben Adhem._

    Discuss the value of allegory as an aid in education.

    Why has the taste for allegory steadily declined?

    Write in plain prose the lesson learned in each of the fables

    What relationship exists between fables and myths?


+For the Study of Didactic Poetry.+


  DRYDEN’S _Religio Laici_; and _The Hind and the Panther_.

  Study selected passages from Pope’s _Essay on Criticism_, and
  _Essay on Man_.

  YOUNG’S _Night Thoughts_.

  JOHNSON’S _Vanity of Human Wishes_.

  AKENSIDE’S _Pleasures of the Imagination_.

  WARTON’S _Pleasures of Melancholy_.

  ROGERS’ _Pleasures of Memory_.

  CAMPBELL’S _Pleasures of Hope_.

  GRAHAME’S _The Sabbath_.

  Study selected passages from Wordsworth’s _Excursion_.

  Select and study some of the best-known shorter didactic poems
  in the language.


Refer to—

    HAZLITT’S _English Poets_; Lowell’s _Among My Books_ (essay
    on Dryden); Macaulay’s Essay on Dryden; and Taine’s _English

    JOHNSON’S _Lives of the Poets_; Stephen’s _Hours in a
    Library_; De Quincey’s _Literature of the Eighteenth Century_.

    MACAULAY’S Essay on _Samuel Johnson_; Boswell’s _Life of Dr.
    Johnson_; Carlyle’s Essay on _Boswell’s Life of Johnson_;
    Stephen’s _Johnson_, in “English Men of Letters.”

    WHIPPLE’S Essay on Wordsworth, in “Literature and Life.”

    SHAIRP’S _Studies in Poetry and Philosophy_; Hazlitt’s _Spirit
    of the Age_; Charles Lamb’s Essay on Wordsworth’s _Excursion_.


+For the Study of Lyric Poetry.+



+The Early Ballads.+

  Ballads of Robin Hood.

  Ballads of the Scottish Border.

  Modern Ballads.


    Read histories and stories of the mediæval times.

    Refer to Percy’s _Reliques_; Aytoun’s _Scottish Ballads_;
    Scott’s _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_.


+Songs of Patriotism.+

  Read and study the best-known patriotic poems in the language.

    Study the historical events, or other circumstances which led
    to the production of these poems.


+Battle Songs.+

  The battle scenes in Scott’s poems. Burns: “Scots wha hae wi’
  Wallace bled.” Macaulay’s _Battle of Ivry_, _Naseby_, _Horatius
  at the Bridge_. Tennyson’s _Charge of the Light Brigade_.
  Drayton’s _Battle of Agincourt_.

    Study the historical events which gave rise to these poems.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.


+Religions Songs and Hymns.+

  GEORGE HERBERT’S _Temple_. Read selections from Crashaw and
  Vaughan. Study Milton’s _Hymn on the Nativity_, and selections
  from Keble’s _Christian Year_. Read Pope’s _Universal Prayer_,
  and _The Dying Christian_; also selections from Moore’s _Sacred
  Songs_, Byron’s _Hebrew Melodies_, and Milman’s _Hymns for
  Church Service_.

    For specimens and extracts of lyric poetry of every class,
    consult Ward’s _English Poets_; Appleton’s _Library of
    British Poets_; _The Family Library of British Poets_;
    Emerson’s _Parnassus_; Chambers’ _Cyclopædia of English
    Literature_; Bryant’s _Library of Poetry and Song_; and
    Piatt’s _American Poetry and Art_.


+Love Lyrics.+

  The Songs of the Troubadours. Wyatt’s Poems. Marlowe’s
  _Passionate Shepherd_. Raleigh’s _The Nymph’s Reply_. Robert
  Herrick’s Poems. Selections from the poems of Sir John Suckling.
  The love poems of Robert Burns. Coleridge’s _Genevieve_.
  Selections from other poets.

    Consult Miss Prescott’s _Troubadours and Trouvères_; Warton’s
    _History of English Poetry_. Study the biographies of Marlowe,
    Raleigh, Herrick, and Suckling. Read Carlyle’s Essay on
    _Robert Burns_; and Principal Shairp’s _Burns_, in “English
    Men of Letters.”



  The origin of the sonnet. Selections from the sonnets of
  Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney, Shakspeare, Drayton, Drummond, Milton,
  Wordsworth, Keats, and others. Mrs. Browning’s _Sonnets from the

    See Leigh Hunt’s _Book of the Sonnet_; Dennis’s _English
    Sonnets_; French’s _Dublin Afternoon Lectures_; Massey’s
    _Shakspeare’s Sonnets_; Henry Brown’s _Sonnets of Shakspeare
    Solved_; Tomlinson’s _The Sonnet: its Origin, Structure, and
    Place in Poetry_.



  DRYDEN’S _Alexander’s Feast_.

  POPE’S _Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day_.

  COLLINS’S _Ode on the Passions_, and other odes.

  GRAY’S _Ode on the Progress of Poesy_, and _The Bard_.

  KEATS’S _Sleep and Poetry_.

  SHELLEY’S _Ode to Liberty_, and _To the West Wind_.

  COLERIDGE’S _Ode on France_, and _To the Departing Year_.

  WORDSWORTH’S _Ode on the Intimations of Immortality_.

    See Husk’s Account of the Musical Celebrations on St.
    Cecilia’s Day, in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth,
    and Eighteenth Centuries.

    Study the construction of the ode. Compare the English ode
    with the Greek and Latin ode. Learn something of the odes of

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.



  Study Milton’s _Lycidas_. Read selections from Spenser’s _Astrophel_;
  Shelley’s _Adonais_; Tennyson’s _In Memoriam_; _Ode on the Death of
  the Duke of Wellington_; Pope’s _Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady_. Study
  Gray’s _Elegy in a Country Churchyard_; The Dirge in _Cymbeline_; and
  Collins’s _Dirge in Cymbeline_. Read Shenstone’s _Elegies_; Cowper’s
  _The Castaway_; and Bryant’s _Thanatopsis_.

    For references to Milton and Spenser, see other schemes.
    For Shelley’s _Adonais_, see Hutton’s _Essays_. See F. W.
    Robertson’s _Analysis of In Memoriam_. See also, for subjects
    connected with these studies, Roscoe’s _Essays_; Hazlitt’s
    _English Poets_; Dr. Johnson’s _Life of Gray_; E. W. Gosse’s
    _Gray_, in “English Men of Letters;” Parke Godwin’s _Life of
    William Cullen Bryant_.


+Miscellaneous Lyrics.+

  Study selections from the poems of Burns, Ramsay, and Fergusson;
  Whittier, Bryant, and Longfellow; William Blake; Mrs. Browning,
  Tennyson, and Swinburne; and others, both British and American.

    Refer to the manuals elsewhere mentioned.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.

    Discuss the distinctive qualities of Lyric Poetry, and the
    place which it occupies in English Literature.


+For the Study of Descriptive Poetry, Etc.+


  Study selections from the poems of William Cullen Bryant.

  Study Whittier’s _Snow-Bound_, and other descriptive poems.

  Study Milton’s _L’Allegro_ and _Il Penseroso_.

  Study selections from Thomson’s _Seasons_, and Cowper’s _Task_.

  Study Goldsmith’s _Traveller_, and _The Deserted Village_; also,
  Shenstone’s _Schoolmistress_.

  Find and read characteristic descriptive passages in the poems of
  Scott, Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, Browning, and others.
  Compare Scott’s descriptions with the descriptions in Pope’s _Windsor
  Forest_ and in Denham’s _Cooper’s Hill_.

  Select and study descriptive passages from Chaucer’s Poems, and from
  Spenser’s _Faerie Queene_.

  Read selections from Gay’s _Rural Sports_, and from Bloomfield’s
  _Farmer’s Boy_.


    See Godwin’s _Life of William Cullen Bryant_; and Underwood’s
    biography of John G. Whittier. See Stopford Brooke’s _Milton_;
    and Mark Pattison’s _Milton_, in “English Men of Letters;”
    Irving’s _Life of Goldsmith_; Thackeray’s _English Humorists
    of the Eighteenth Century_; William Black’s _Goldsmith_, in
    “English Men of Letters;” Hazlitt’s _English Poets_; and De
    Quincey’s _Literature of the Eighteenth Century_.

    Read Macaulay’s Essay on _Moore’s Life of Byron_.

    Refer to Goldwin Smith’s _Cowper_, in “English Men of
    Letters;” also to Charles Cowden Clarke’s _Life of Cowper_.

    See references to Chaucer and Spenser elsewhere given.

+Pastoral Poetry.+

  Study Milton’s _Arcades_, and selections from Pope’s
  _Pastorals_; also from Spenser’s _Shepherd’s Calendar_.

  See Drayton’s _Shepherd’s Garland_; Browne’s _Britannia’s
  Pastorals_; Jonson’s _Sad Shepherd_; Fletcher’s _Faithful
  Shepherdess_; Gay’s _Shepherd’s Week_; Ramsay’s _Gentle
  Shepherd_; and Shenstone’s _Pastoral Ballads_.

    Read Pope’s _Essay on Pastoral Poetry_.

    Learn something about Theocritus and his _Idyls_, and about
    the _Eclogues_ of Virgil. A translation of the former may be
    found in Bohn’s Classical Library. The latest translation of
    the _Eclogues_ is that by Wilstach.


+For the Study of Satire, Wit, and Humor.+


  DEAN SWIFT, the great English satirist. Study his life and
  character. See Forster’s _Life of Swift_; or Leslie Stephen’s
  _Swift_, in “English Men of Letters.”

  Read selections from _Gulliver’s Travels_, and the _Tale of a
  Tub_. Read, also, his _Modest Proposal_.

  DANIEL DEFOE’S Satirical Essays: _The Shortest Way with
  Dissenters_, etc.

  See Minto’s _Defoe_, in “English Men of Letters.”


    RABELAIS, the great satirist of France. Read Besant’s _French
    Humorists_; and _Rabelais_, by the same author. Refer also to
    Van Laun’s _History of French Literature_.

    VOLTAIRE, the third of the great modern satirists. Read
    Parton’s _Life of Voltaire_; or _Voltaire_, by John Morley; or
    Colonel Hamley’s _Voltaire_, in “Foreign Classics for English

  The origin and growth of satirical literature in England.

  JOHN SKELTON’S _Satires_. See Warton’s _History of English
  Poetry_, and Taine’s _English Literature_.

  BARCLAY’S _Shyp of Fooles_. See Warton’s _History_.

  The Satires of Surrey and Wyatt. See Hallam’s _Literary
  History_, and Chalmers’ _Collection of the Poets_.

  GASCOIGNE’S _The Steele Glass_.

  DONNE’S _Satires_. See Pope’s _The Satires of Dr. Donne

  HALL’S _Virgidemiarum_. See Warton’s _History_, and
  Campbell’s _Specimens of the English Poets_.

  Study selected passages from Butler’s _Hudibras_.

  Refer to Hazlitt’s _Comic Writers_, and Leigh Hunt’s _Wit and

  DRYDEN’S _Absalom and Achitophel_, and the publications which
  followed it.

    Satirical literature in Rome.

    The great poetical satirists of ancient times,—Horace and
    Juvenal. See Lord Lytton’s translation of the _Epodes and
    Satires of Horace_; and Dryden’s _Imitations of Juvenal_. Dr.
    Johnson’s _London_ and _The Vanity of Human Wishes_ are also
    imitations of Juvenal. See Dryden’s _Essay on Satire_.

    To understand the satires of Hall, Butler, Dryden, and Pope,
    it is absolutely necessary to be well acquainted with the
    history and social condition of England during the seventeenth

    Study Green’s _History of the English People_.

    Study the political agitations in England just preceding the
    Revolution of 1688.

  DRYDEN’S _MacFlecknoe_.

  POPE’S _Dunciad_.

  BYRON’S _English Bards and Scotch Reviewers_.

  LOWELL’S _Fable for Critics_.

    Compare these four personal satires, and write essays on the
    subjects suggested by their study.

  POPE’S _Moral Essays_.

  SWIFT’S Satirical Poems.

  The humor of Fielding, Smollett, and Goldsmith, as exhibited in
  their writings.

  CHATTERTON’S _Prophecy_.

  Read Burns’ _Holy Willie’s Prayer_, and the _Holy Fair_.

    Read Thackeray’s _Humorists of the Eighteenth Century_, and
    Hazlitt’s _Comic Writers_.

    Study the social condition of England in the eighteenth

  SYDNEY SMITH. See the _Wit and Wisdom of Sydney Smith_ (1861).

  _The Fudge Family in Paris_, by Thomas Moore.

  The Humorous Essays of Charles Lamb.

  THOMAS CARLYLE’S _Sartor Resartus_, and _Latter-Day Pamphlets_.
  Study selections.

    Study the political agitations in England during the first
    half of the present century. Refer to _Knight’s History of
    England_, and to Justin McCarthy’s _History of Our Own Times_.
    Miss Martineau’s _History of the Thirty Years’ Peace_ may be
    read with profit.

    Write essays on subjects suggested by these studies.

  THACKERAY as a humorist. Read his _Irish Sketch-Book_, and
  selections from the _Book of Snobs_, but especially observe his
  power in _Vanity Fair_.

  Read and study Dr. Holmes’ _Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table_.

    Study the true distinctions between Wit, Humor, and Satire;
    and select from what you have read a number of illustrative

    Discuss questions which may arise from these studies; and
    write essays on the same.

  Read Lowell’s _Biglow Papers_.

  Read selections from Mark Twain and other living American

  Compare the humor of the present day with that of the last
  generation. Read selections from Irving’s _Sketch Book_, and
  _Knickerbocker’s New York_.

  Read Burns’ _Tam O’Shanter_; and selections from Hood, John G.
  Saxe, and others.

    Study the biographies of Irving, Lowell, Holmes, Mark Twain,
    Saxe, and other American authors whose works have been noticed
    in this scheme.


+For the Study of English Prose Fiction.+

+General Works of Reference.+


  DUNLOP’S _History of Fiction_.

  JEAFFRESON’S _Novels and Novelists_.

  MASSON’S _British Novelists and their Styles_.

  TUCKERMAN’S _History of English Prose Fiction_.


    The historical works and also the literary manuals mentioned
    in Scheme IV. should be at hand for constant reference.


+The First Romances.+

  SIDNEY’S _Arcadia_.

  LYLY’S _Euphues_.

  GREENE’S _Pandosto, or the Triumph of Time_.

  The Novels of Thomas Nash.

    Study the conditions of life and thought in England under
    which these first attempts at the writing of prose romance
    were made.


+Fabulous Voyages and Travels.+

  GODWIN’S _Man in the Moon_.

  HALL’S _Mundus Alter et Idem_.

  SWIFT’S _Gulliver’s Travels_;—read selections.

  Study _Robinson Crusoe_.

  _The Adventures of Peter Wilkins._

  EDGAR A. POE’S _Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym_.

    See Collins’ _Lucian_, in “Ancient Classics for English
    Readers,” for an account of Lucian’s _Veracious History_.

    Read the voyage of Gargantua by Rabelais; or, better, consult
    Besant’s _Rabelais_.

    Read Minto’s _Defoe_, in “English Men of Letters.”

    See Forster’s _Life of Dean Swift_; Scott’s _Memoir of Dean
    Swift_; and Minto’s _Manual of English Prose_.


+Romances of the Supernatural.+

  WALPOLE’S _The Castle of Otranto_.

  MRS. RADCLIFFE’S _Romances_.

  GODWIN’S _St. Leon_.

  BULWER’S _Zanoni_.

  MRS. SHELLEY’S _Frankenstein_.

  LEWIS’S _The Monk_.

    See Tuckerman’s _Literature of Fiction_ (an essay); C. Kegan
    Paul’s _Life of William Godwin_; Macaulay’s Essay on _Horace
    Walpole_; Miss Kavanagh’s _English Women of Letters_.


+Oriental Romances+

  BECKFORD’S _Vathek_.

  HOPE’S _Anastasius_.

  _The Adventures of Hajji Baba._


+Historical Romances.+

  MISS PORTER’S _Scottish Chiefs_.

  SCOTT’S _Waverley Novels_.

  The Novels of G. P. R. James.

  BULWER’S _Last Days of Pompeii_; _Rienzi_; _Harold_; _The Last of the

  LOCKHART’S _Valerius_.

  KINGSLEY’S _Hypatia_.

  GEORGE ELIOT’S _Romola_.

    See Lockhart’s _Life of Scott_; Stephen’s _Hours in a
    Library_; Carlyle’s Essay on _Sir Walter Scott_; Shaw’s
    _Manual of English Literature_; Hutton’s _Scott_, in “English
    Men of Letters;” Nassau Senior’s _Essays on Fiction_; _The
    Life of Edward Bulwer-Lytton_, by his son, the present Lord


+Novels of Social Life, etc.+

  RICHARDSON’S _Novels_.

  FIELDING’S _Tom Jones_.

  SMOLLETT’S Novels.

  STERNE’S _Tristram Shandy_.

  GOLDSMITH’S _Vicar of Wakefield_.


  GODWIN’S _Caleb Williams_.


  SCOTT’S _Guy Mannering_; _The Heart of Mid-Lothian_; _The Bride of
  Lammermoor_; _The Antiquary_; etc.


  THACKERAY’S _Vanity Fair_.

  DICKENS’S _Pickwick Papers_.

  Other Novels of Dickens and Thackeray.


  BULWER’S Novels.

  DISRAELI’S _Vivian_; and _Lothair_.



    See Stephen’s _Hours in a Library_; Hazlitt’s _English
    Novelists_; Thackeray’s _English Humorists of the Eighteenth
    Century_; Irving’s _Life of Goldsmith_; Macaulay’s Essay on
    _Madame d’Arblay_; Miss Kavanagh’s _English Women of Letters_;
    James T. Fields’ _Yesterdays with Authors_; Horne’s _New
    Spirit of the Age_; John Forster’s _Life of Charles Dickens_;
    Hannay’s _Studies on Thackeray_; Hannay’s _Characters and
    Sketches_; Anthony Trollope’s _Thackeray_, in “English Men
    of Letters;” Taine’s _English Literature_, vol. iv.; Mrs.
    Gaskell’s _Life of Charlotte Brontë_; Miss Martineau’s
    _Biographical Sketches_; Thackeray’s _Roundabout Papers_; Life
    of _Charles Brockden Brown_, in Sparks’ “American Biography;”
    Griswold’s _Prose_

_American Fiction_—

  CHARLES BROCKDEN BROWN’S _Wieland_, and other Novels.

  COOPER’S Novels.





  The later and living novelists.

    _Writers of America_; Prescott’s _Miscellaneous Essays_; J.
    T. Fields’ _Hawthorne_; H. A. Page’s _Life of Hawthorne_;
    Lathrop’s _Study of Hawthorne_; Roscoe’s _Essays_;
    _Hawthorne_, by Henry James, in “English Men of Letters;”
    Cooke’s _George Eliot: a Critical Study of her Life, Writings,
    and Philosophy_; (Round-Table Series) _George Eliot, Moralist
    and Thinker_.


+Didactic Fiction.+

  MORE’S _Utopia_.

  HARRINGTON’S _Oceana_.

  DISRAELI’S _Coningsby_.

  BULWER-LYTTON’S _The Coming Race_.

  BUNYAN’S _Pilgrim’s Progress_.


  JOHNSON’S _Rasselas_.

  The modern didactic novel.

    See Hallam’s _Literary History_; and references given in the
    preceding schemes.



An After Word.

  _HERE let us face the last question of all: In the shade and
  valley of Life, on what shall we repose? When we must withdraw
  from the scenes which our own energies and agonies have somewhat
  helped to make glorious; when the windows are darkened, and the
  sound of the grinding is low,—where shall we find the beds of
  asphodel? Can any couch be more delectable than that amidst the
  Elysian leaves of Books? The occupations of the morning and the
  noon determine the affections, which will continue to seek their
  old nourishment when the grand climacteric has been reached._






Addison, Joseph, 32, 78.

Æschylus, 74.

Alcott, A. Bronson, 63.

Allegory, 183.

American Fiction, 195.

Areopagitica, 78.

Aristophanes, 74.

Axon, William, 62.

Bacon, Lord, 53, 78.

Ballads, 186.

Banking, 164.

Battle Songs, 186.

Baxter, Richard, 159.

Beaumont and Fletcher, 71.

Beecher, Henry Ward, 60.

Bennoch, Francis, 17.

Bible, The, 153.

Borrowed Books, 58.

Boswell’s Johnson, 79.

Bright, John, 17, 63.

Brontë, Charlotte, 82.

Brown, Dr. John, 148.

Browne, Matthew, 49.

Browne, Sir Thomas, 78.

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 72.

Bryant, William Cullen, 73.

Bulwer Lytton, 82.

Burke, Edmund, 78.

Burns, Robert, 72.

Burton, Robert, 21.

Bury, Richard de, 9.

Carlyle, Thomas, 15, 29, 79.

Carr, Frank (“Launcelot Cross”), 61.

Cervantes, 80.

Chambers, William and Robert, 93.

Chaucer, Geoffrey, 70.

Children’s Books, 84.

Chivalry, Tales of, 102.

Choice of Books, 23, 165.

Christian Year, The, 72.

Cicero’s Orations, 79.

Clarke, James Freeman, 19.

Cobbett, William, 33.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 53, 72.

Collier, Jeremy, 13.

Collyer, Robert, 25, 95.

Colton, Charles C., 54.

Constitutional History, 162.

Cooper, James Fenimore, 81.

Craik, Dinah Mulock, 82.

Crusoe, Robinson, 80, 104.

Currency and Wealth, 163.

Dante’s Divina Commedia, 75.

Dawson, George, 64.

Defoe, Daniel, 80.

Demosthenes, 79.

Descriptive Poetry, 189.

Dickens, Charles, 81.

Didactic Fiction, 195.

Didactic Poetry, 185.

Dryden, John, 71.

Dyer, George, 63.

Elegies, 188.

Eliot, George, 81, 156.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 16, 46, 79.

English Literature, 168.

Epic Poetry, 177.

Fabulous Voyages, 193.

Fairy Stories, 99.

Fénelon’s Telemaque, 81.

Fiction, English Prose, 192.

Fielding, Henry, 81.

Franklin, Benjamin, 85.

Froude, James Anthony, 79.

Geography, 138.

Gibbon, Edward, 51.

Gilfillan, George, 46.

Goethe, 54, 75, 81.

Goldsmith, Oliver, 72, 80.

Government, Science of, 161.

Hale, Sir Matthew, 153.

Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 54.

Hare, Julius C., 45.

Harrison, Frederic, 34, 76.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 81.

Helps, Sir Arthur, 47.

Herbert, George, 71.

Historical Romances, 194.

History, Courses of Reading in, 113.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 70, 79.

Homer, 74, 90.

Horace, 74.

Hugo, Victor, 81.

Humor, Wit and, 190.

Hunt, Leigh, 82.

Hymns, 186.

Irving, Washington, 79, 96.

Johnson, Samuel, 79.

Jonson, Ben, 71.

Keats, John, 72.

Keble, John, 72.

Kempis, Thomas à, 156.

Kingsley, Charles, 22, 81.

Labor and Wages, 164.

Lamb, Charles, 79.

Libraries 56, 108.

Locke, John, 44.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 72.

Love Lyrics, 187.

Luther, Martin, 44.

Lyric Poetry, 186.

Macaulay, Thomas Babington, 73, 79, 96.

Marlowe, Christopher, 71.

Miller, Hugh, 88.

Milton, John, 12, 71, 78.

Montaigne’s Essays, 78.

Morse, James Herbert, 37.

Mythology, 101.

Natural History, 138.

Nibelungen Lied, 101.

Novels, 194.

Odes, 187.

Oriental Romances, 193.

Parker, Theodore, 17, 148.

Pastoral Poetry, 189.

Patmore, Coventry, 76.

Patriotism, Songs of, 186.

Pauperism, 166.

Petrarca, Francesco, 10.

Philosophy and Religion, 148.

Plutarch’s Lives, 79, 86.

Political Economy, 161.

Pope, Alexander, 71.

Population, 163.

Praise of Books, 9.

Prefaces always to be read, 51.

Procter, Bryan Waller, 51, 56.

Rantzau, Henry, 22.

Religious Books, 148.

Religious Poetry, 186.

Rhodiginus, Balthasar Bonifacius, 12.

Richardson, Charles F., 49.

Richter, Jean Paul, 64.

Romances, 179, 193.

Romances of the Middle Ages, 101.

Rules for Reading, 42, 46.

Ruskin, John, 36, 59, 76.

Satire, 190.

Scholar, Books for every, 69.

School Libraries, 108.

Schopenhauer, Arthur, 28, 35.

Scott, Sir Walter, 81.

Searle, January, 18.

Seneca, 44.

Shakspeare, 70.

Smith, Alexander, 66.

Socialism, 165.

Sonnets, 187.

South, Robert, 44.

Southey, Robert, 27.

Spectator, The, 78, 86.

Spenser, Edmund, 70.

Story-telling Poetry, 181.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 81.

Tariff, Books on the, 166.

Taxation, 166.

Tennyson, Alfred, 72.

Thackeray, William Makepeace, 81.

Theological Literature, 157.

Travels and Adventure, 138.

Twain, Mark, 81.

Value and Use of Libraries, 56.

Virgil’s Æneid, 74.

Wages and Labor, 164.

Wealth and Currency, 163.

Webster, Daniel, 78.

Webster, John, 71.

Whipple, Edwin P., 20.

Whittier, John G., 73.

Wit, Humor, and Satire, 190.

Wordsworth, William, 72.

Young Folks, Books for, 84.




[1] Robert Collyer: _Addresses and Sermons_.

[2] _The Doctor_, Interchapter V., 1856.

[3] Arthur Schopenhauer: _Parerga und Paralipomena_, 1851.

[4] _The Elements of Drawing, in Three Letters to Beginners_, 1857.

[5] _The Spectator_, No. 166.

[6] _Fortnightly Review_ (April, 1879),—“On the Choice of Books.”

[7] _Parerga und Paralipomena_ (1851).

[8] _The Critic_ (July 5, 1884),—“Leisure Reading.”

[9] John Ruskin: _Sesame and Lilies_.

[10] _Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers_, 1848.

[11] _Society and Solitude_,—“Books.”

[12] George Gilfillan.

[13] _Friends in Council._

[14] _Views and Opinions_, by Matthew Browne (W. H. Rands).

[15] _The Choice of Books._

[16] _Temple Bar_ (September, 1884),—“Barry Cornwall on the Reading of

[17] _Sesame and Lilies._

[18] _Meliora_ (October, 1867).

[19] Sparks’s _Life of Franklin_, part i.

[20] _My Schools and Schoolmasters._

[21] _Memoir of Robert Chambers: with Autobiographic Reminiscences of
William Chambers._

[22] _Chinese Classics_, by J. Legge. 3 vols.

[23] Frederic Harrison: _Fortnightly Review_ (April, 1879), “On the
Choice of Books.”


THE SURGEON’S STORIES. By Z. TOPELIUS, Professor of History, University
of Finland. Translated from the original Swedish comprising—

              TIMES OF FREDERICK I.,
                  TIMES OF LINNÆUS,
                      TIMES OF ALCHEMY.

  In cloth, per volume         $ 1.25
  The same, in box, per set      7.50
  In half calf, per set         16.50
  In half morocco, per set      18.00

These stories have been everywhere received with the greatest favor.
They cover the most interesting and exciting periods of Swedish
and Finnish history. They combine history and romance, and the two
are woven together in so skilful and attractive a manner that the
reader of one volume is rarely satisfied until he has read all. Of
their distinguished author the _Saturday Review_, London, says: “He
enjoys the greatest celebrity among living Swedish writers;” and R.
H. Stoddard has styled them “the most important and certainly the
most readable series of foreign fiction that has been translated into
English for many years.” They should stand on the shelves of every
library, public and private, beside the works of Sir Walter Scott.

The Graphic, New York, says:

“Topelius is evidently a great romancer,—a great romancer in the
manner of Walter Scott. At moments in his writing there is positive
inspiration, a truth and vivid reality that are startling.”

The Sun, Philadelphia, says:

“We would much prefer teaching a youth Swedish history from the novels
of Topelius than from any book of strict historical narrative.”


  +LIFE OF LISZT.+ With Portrait.
  +LIFE OF HAYDN.+ With Portrait.
  +LIFE OF MOZART.+ With Portrait.
  +LIFE OF WAGNER.+ With Portrait.
  +LIFE OF BEETHOVEN.+ With Portrait.

  _From the German of Dr. Louis Nohl._

  In cloth, per volume              $ 1.25
  The same, in neat box, per set      6.25
  In half calf, per set              13.75

Of the “Life of Liszt,” the _Herald_ (Boston) says: “It is written in
great simplicity and perfect taste, and is wholly successful in all
that it undertakes to portray.”

Of the “Life of Haydn,” the _Gazette_ (Boston) says: “No fuller history
of Haydn’s career, the society in which he moved, and of his personal
life can be found than is given in this work.”

Of the “Life of Mozart,” the _Standard_ says: “Mozart supplies a
fascinating subject for biographical treatment. He lives in these pages
somewhat as the world saw him, from his marvellous boyhood till his
untimely death.”

Of the “Life of Wagner,” the _American_ (Baltimore) says: “It gives
in vigorous outlines those events of the life of the tone poet which
exercised the greatest influences upon his artistic career.... It is a
story of a strange life devoted to lofty aims.”

Of the “Life of Beethoven,” the _National Journal of Education_ says:
“Beethoven was great and noble as a man, and his artistic creations
were in harmony with his great nature. The story of his life, outlined
in this volume, is of the deepest interest.”


  +MEMORIES. A Story of German Love.+ By MAX MULLER.

  +GRAZIELLA. A Story of Italian Love.+ By A. DE LAMARTINE.

  +MADELEINE. A Story of French Love.+ By JULES SANDEAU.

  +MARIE. A Story of Russian Love.+ By ALEX. PUSHKIN.

  In cloth, full gilt, per volume       $1.25
  The same, in neat box, per set         5.00
  In half calf or morocco, per set      12.00

The series of four volumes forms, perhaps, the choicest addition to the
English language that has been made in recent years.

Of “Memories,” the London _Academy_ says: “It is a prose poem.... Its
beauty and pathos show us a fresh phase of a many-sided mind, to which
we already owe large debts of gratitude.”

Of “Graziella,” the Boston _Post_ says: “It is full of beautiful
sentiment, unique and graceful in style, of course, as were all the
writings that left the hands of this distinguished French author.”

Of “Madeleine,” the New York _Evening Mail_ says: “It is one of the
most exquisite love tales that ever was written, abounding in genuine
pathos and sparkling wit, and so pure in its sentiment that it may be
read by a child.”

Of “Marie,” the Cincinnati _Gazette_ says: “It is one of the purest,
sweetest little narratives that we have read for a long time. It is a
little classic, and a Russian classic, too.”

Epochs of English Literature, from the English conquest of Britain,
449, to the death of Walter Scott, 1832. By ABBY SAGE RICHARDSON.
Fourth edition, revised. Price $1.75.

The Boston Transcript says:

“The work shows thorough study and excellent judgment, and we can
warmly recommend it to schools and private classes for reading as an
admirable text-book.”

The New York Evening Mail says:

“What the author proposed to do was to convey to her readers a clear
idea of the variety, extent, and richness of English literature.... She
has done just what she intended to do, and done it well.”

The New York Nation says:

“It is refreshing to find a book designed for young readers which seeks
to give only what will accomplish the real aim of the study; namely, to
excite an interest in English literature, cultivate a taste for what
is best in it, and thus lay a foundation on which they can build after

Prof. Moses Coit Tyler says:

“I have had real satisfaction in looking over the book. There are
some opinions with which I do not agree; but the main thing about
the book is a good thing; namely, its hearty, wholesome love of
English literature, and the honest, unpretending, but genial and
conversational, manner in which that love is uttered. It is a charming
book to read, and it will breed in its readers the appetite to read
English literature for themselves.”

TALES OF ANCIENT GREECE. By the Rev. Sir G. W. COX, Bart., M.A.,
Trinity College, Oxford.

12mo, extra, cloth, black and gilt, $1.50.

“Written apparently for young readers, it yet possesses a charm of
manner which will recommend it to all.”—_The Examiner, London._

“It is only when we take up such a book as this that we realize how
rich in interest is the mythology of Greece.”—_Inquirer, Philadelphia._

“Admirable in style, and level with a child’s comprehension. These
versions might well find a place in every family.”—_The Nation, New

“The author invests these stories with a charm of narrative entirely
peculiar. The book is a rich one in every way.”—_Standard, Chicago._

“In Mr. Cox will be found yet another name to be enrolled among those
English writers who have vindicated for this country an honorable rank
in the investigation of Greek history.”—_Edinburgh Review._

“It is doubtful if these tales—antedating history in their origin,
and yet fresh with all the charms of youth to all who read them for
the first time—were ever before presented in so chaste and popular
form.”—_Golden Rule, Boston._

“The grace with which these old tales of the mythology are re-told
makes them as enchanting to the young as familiar fairy tales or the
‘Arabian Nights.’ ... We do not know of a Christmas book
which promises more lasting pleasures.”—_Publishers’ Weekly._

“Its exterior fits it to adorn the drawing-room table, while its
contents are adapted to the entertainment of the most cultivated
intelligence.... The book is a scholarly production, and a welcome
addition to a department of literature that is thus far quite too
scantily furnished.”—_Tribune, Chicago._

author of “Six Little Cooks,” “Dora’s Housekeeping,” &c.

12mo, extra, cloth, black and gilt, $1.50.

“A very ably written sketch of French history, from the earliest times
to the foundation of the existing Republic.”—_Cincinnati Gazette._

“The narrative is not dry on a single page, and the little history may
be commended as the best of its kind that has yet appeared.”—_Bulletin,

“A book both instructive and entertaining. It is not a dry compendium
of dates and facts, but a charmingly written history.”—_Christian
Union, New York._

“After a careful examination of its contents, we are able to
conscientiously give it our heartiest commendation. We know no
elementary history of France that can at all be compared with
it.”—_Living Church._

“A spirited and entertaining sketch of the French people and
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and girls who have a chance to read it.”—_Sunday Afternoon, Springfield

“We find its descriptions universally good, that it is admirably simple
and direct in style, without waste of words or timidity of opinion.
The book represents a great deal of patient labor and conscientious
study.”—_Courant, Hartford (Conn.)._

“Miss Kirkland has composed her ‘Short History of France’ in the way
in which a history for young people ought to be written; that is, she
has aimed to present a consecutive and agreeable story, from which the
reader can not only learn the names of kings and the succession of
events, but can also receive a vivid and permanent impression as to the
characters, modes of life, and the spirit of different periods.”—_The
Nation, New York._

_Sold by all booksellers, or mailed, on receipt of price, by_



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