How To Read|
I.--The Choice of Books.
You are not to expect any stories this time. There will be very few wordsabout Stephen, or Sybil, or Sarah. My business now is rather to answer, aswell as I can, such questions as young people ask who are beginning tohave their time at their own command, and can make their own selection ofthe books they are to read. I have before me, as I write, a handful ofletters which have been written to the office of "The Young Folks," askingsuch questions. And all my intelligent young friends are asking each othersuch questions, and so ask them of me every day. I shall answer thesequestions by laying down some general rules, just as I have done beforebut I shall try to put you into the way of choosing your own books, ratherthan choosing for you a long, defined list of them.
I believe very thoroughly in courses of reading, because I believe inhaving one book lead to another. But, after the beginning, these coursesfor different persons will vary very much from each other. You all go outto a great picnic, and meet together in some pleasant place in the woods,and you put down the baskets there, and leave the pail with the ice in theshadiest place you can find, and cover it up with the blanket. Then youall set out in this great forest, which we call Literature. But it is onlya few of the party, who choose to start hand in hand along a gravel-paththere is, which leads straight to the Burgesses' well, and probably thosefew enjoy less and gain less from the day's excursion than any of therest. The rest break up into different knots, and go some here and somethere, as their occasion and their genius call them. Some go afterflowers, some after berries, some after butterflies; some knock the rocksto pieces, some get up where there is a fine view, some sit down and copythe stumps, some go into water, some make a fire, some find a camp ofIndians and learn how to make baskets. Then they all come back to thepicnic in good spirits and with good appetites, each eager to tell theothers what he has seen and heard, each having satisfied his own taste andgenius, and each and all having made vastly more out of the day than ifthey had all held to the gravel-path and walked in column to theBurgesses' well and back again.
This, you see, is a long parable for the purpose of making you rememberthat there are but few books which it is necessary for every intelligentboy and girl, man and woman, to have read. Of those few, I had as liefgive the list here.
First is the Bible, of which not only is an intelligent knowledgenecessary for your healthy growth in religious life, but--which is of lessconsequence, indeed--it is as necessary for your tolerable understandingof the literature, or even science, of a world which for eighteencenturies has been under the steady influence of the Bible. Around theEnglish version of it, as Mr. Marsh shows so well, the English languageof the last three centuries has revolved, as the earth revolves around thesun. He means, that although the language of one time differs from that ofanother, it is always at about the same distance from the language of KingJames's Bible.
[Footnote: Marsh's Lectures on the English Language: veryentertaining books.]
Second, every one ought to be quite well informed as to the history of thecountry in which he lives. All of you should know the general history ofthe United States well. You should know the history of your own State inmore detail, and of your own town in the most detail of all.
Third, an American needs to have a clear knowledge of the general featuresof the history of England.
Now it does not make so much difference how you compass this generalhistorical knowledge, if, in its main features, you do compass it. WhenMr. Lincoln went down to Norfolk to see the rebel commissioners, Mr.Hunter, on their side, cited, as a precedent for the action which hewanted the President to pursue, the negotiations between Charles theFirst and his Parliament. Mr. Lincoln's eyes twinkled, and he said, "Uponquestions of history I must refer you to Mr. Seward, for he is posted uponsuch things, and I do not profess to be. My only distinct recollection ofthe matter is, that Charles lost his head." Now you see it is of no sortof consequence how Mr. Lincoln got his thoroughly sound knowledge of thehistory of England,--in which, by the way, he was entirely at home,--andhe had a perfect right to pay the compliment he did to Mr. Seward; but itwas of great importance to him that he should not be haunted with the fearthat the other man did know, really, of some important piece ofnegotiation of which he was ignorant. It was important to him to knowthat, so that he might be sure that his joke was--as it was--exactly thefitting answer.
Fourth, it is necessary that every intelligent American or Englishmanshould have read carefully most of Shakespeare's plays. Most people wouldhave named them before the history, but I do not. I do not care, however,how early you read them in life, and, as we shall see, they will be amongyour best guides for the history of England.
Lastly, it is a disgrace to read even the newspaper, without knowingwhere the places are which are spoken of. You need, therefore, the verybest atlas you can provide yourself with. The atlas you had when youstudied geography at school is better than none. But if you can compassany more precise and full, so much the better. Colton's American Atlas isgood. The large cheap maps, published two on one roller by Lloyd, aregood; if you can give but five dollars for your maps, perhaps this is thebest investment. Mr. Fay's beautiful atlas costs but three and a halfdollars. For the other hemisphere, Black's Atlas is good. Rogers's,published in Edinburgh, is very complete in its American maps. Stieler'sis cheap and reliable.
When people talk of the "books which no gentleman's library should bewithout," the list may be boiled down, I think--if in any stress we shouldbe reduced to the bread-and-water diet--to such books as will cover thesefive fundamental necessities. If you cannot buy the Bible, the agent ofthe County Bible Society will give you one. You can buy the whole ofShakespeare for fifty cents in Dicks's edition. And, within two miles ofthe place where you live, there are books enough for all the historicalstudy I have prescribed. So, in what I now go on to say, I shall take itfor granted that we have all of us made thus much preparation, or can makeit. These are the central stores of the picnic, which we can fall backupon, after our explorations in our various lines of literature.
Now for our several courses of reading. How am I to know what are yourseveral tastes, or the several lines of your genius? Here are, as I learnfrom Mr. Osgood, some seventy-six thousand five hundred and forty-threeYoung Folks, be the same more or less, who are reading this paper. How amI to tell what are their seventy-six thousand five hundred and forty-threetastes, dispositions, or lines of genius? I cannot tell. Perhaps theycould not tell themselves, not being skilled in self-analysis; and it isby no means necessary that they should be able to tell. Perhaps we can setdown on paper what will be much better, the rules or the system by whicheach of them may read well in the line of his own genius, and so find out,before he has done with this life, what the line of that genius is, as faras there is any occasion.
Do Not Try To Read Everything.
That is the first rule. Do not think you must be a Universal Genius. Donot "read all Reviews," as an old code I had bade young men do. And giveup, as early as you can, the passion, with which all young peoplenaturally begin, of "keeping up with the literature of the time." As forthe literature of the time, if one were to adopt any extreme rule, Mr.Emerson's would be the better of the two possible extremes. He says it iswise to read no book till it has been printed a year; that, before theyear is well over, many of those books drift out of sight, which just nowall the newspapers are telling you to read. But then, seriously, I do notsuppose he acts on that rule himself. Nor need you and I. Only, we willnot try to read them all.
Here I must warn my young friend Jamie not to go on talking aboutrenouncing "nineteenth century trash."
It will not do to use such words about a century in which have writtenGoethe, Fichte, Cuvier, Schleiermacher, Martineau, Scott, Tennyson,Thackeray, Browning, and Dickens, not to mention a hundred others whomJamie likes to read as much as I do.
No. We will trust to conversation with the others, who have had theirdifferent paths in this picnic party of ours, to learn from them just thebrightest and best things that they have seen and heard. And we will tryto be able to tell them, simply and truly, the best things we find on ourown paths. Now, for selecting the path, what shall we do,--since onecannot in one little life attempt them all?
You can select for yourself, if you will only keep a cool head, and haveyour eyes open. First of all, remember that what you want from books isthe information in them, and the stimulus they give to you, and theamusement for your recreation. You do not read for the poor pleasure ofsaying you have read them. You are reading for the subject, much more thanfor the particular book, and if you find that you have exhausted all thebook has on your subject, then you are to leave that book, whether youhave read it through or not. In some cases you read because the author'sown mind is worth knowing; and then the more you read the better you knowhim. But these cases do not affect the rule. You read for what is in thebooks, not that you may mark such a book off from a "course of reading,"or say at the next meeting of the "Philogabblian Society" that you "havejust been reading Kant" or "Godwin." What is the subject, then, which youwant to read upon?
Half the boys and girls who read this have been so well trained that theyknow. They know what they want to know. One is sure that she wants to knowmore about Mary Queen of Scots; another, that he wants to know more aboutfly-fishing; another, that she wants to know more about the Egyptianhieroglyphics; another, that he wants to know more about propagating newvarieties of pansies; another, that she wants to know more about "The Ringand the Book"; another, that he wants to know more about the "Tenure ofOffice bill" Happy is this half. To know your ignorance is the great firststep to its relief. To confess it, as has been said before, is the second.In a minute I will be ready to say what I can to this happy half; but oneminute first for the less happy half, who know they want to read somethingbecause it is so nice to read a pleasant book, but who do not know whatthat something is. They come to us, as their ancestors came to a relativeof mine who was librarian of a town library sixty years ago: "Please, sir,mother wants a sermon book, and another book."
To these undecided ones I simply say, now has the time come for decision.Your school studies have undoubtedly opened up so many subjects to youthat you very naturally find it hard to select between them. Shall youkeep up your drawing, or your music, or your history, or your botany, oryour chemistry? Very well in the schools, my dear Alice, to have startedyou in these things, but now you are coming to be a woman, it is for youto decide which shall go forward; it is not for Miss Winstanley, far lessfor me, who never saw your face, and know nothing of what you can orcannot do.
Now you can decide in this way. Tell me, or tell yourself, what is thepassage in your reading or in your life for the last week which rests onyour memory. Let us see if we thoroughly understand that passage. If we donot, we will see if we cannot learn to. That will give us a "course ofreading" for the next twelve months, or if we choose, for the rest of ourlives. There is no end, you will see, to a true course of reading; and, onthe other hand, you may about as well begin at one place as another.Remember that you have infinite lives before you, so you need not hurry inthe details for fear the work should be never done.
Now I must show you how to go to work, by supposing you have beeninterested in some particular passage. Let us take a passage fromMacaulay, which I marked in the Edinburgh Review for Sydney to speak,twenty-nine years ago,--I think before I had ever heard Macaulay's name. Agreat many of you boys have spoken it at school since then, and many ofyou girls have heard scraps from it. It is a brilliant passage, rather tooornate for daily food, but not amiss for a luxury, more than candiedorange is after a state dinner. He is speaking of the worldly wisdom andskilful human policy of the method of organization of the Roman CatholicChurch. He says:--
"The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of humancivilization. No other institution is left standing which carries the mindback to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, whencamelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudestroyal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of theSupreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from thePope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century, to the Pope whocrowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the augustdynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The Republic ofVenice came next in antiquity. But the Republic of Venice was modern whencompared to the Papacy; and the Republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacyremains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full oflife and youthful vigor. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to thefarthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed inKent with Augustine; and still confronting hostile kings with the samespirit with which she confronted Attila....
"She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain,before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence stillflourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple ofMecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigor, when some travellerfrom New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his standon a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's."
I. We will not begin by considering the wisdom or the mistake of thegeneral opinion here laid down. We will begin by trying to make out whatis the real meaning of the leading words employed. Look carefully alongthe sentence, and see if you are quite sure of what is meant by such termsas "The Roman Catholic Church," "the Pantheon," "the Flavianamphitheatre," "the Supreme Pontiffs," "the Pope who crowned Napoleon,""the Pope who crowned Pepin," "the Republic of Venice," "the missionarieswho landed in Kent," "Augustine," "the Saxon had set foot in Britain,""the Frank had passed the Rhine," "Grecian eloquence still flourished atAntioch," "idols in Mecca," "New Zealand," "London Bridge," "St. Paul's."
For really working up a subject--and this sentence now is to be oursubject--I advise a blank book, and, for my part, I like to write down thekey words or questions, in a vertical line, quite far apart from eachother, on the first pages. You will see why, if you will read on.
II. Now go to work on this list. What do you really know about theorganization of the Roman Catholic Church? If you find you are vague aboutit, that such knowledge as you have is only half knowledge, which is noknowledge, read till you are clear. Much information is not necessary, butgood, as far as it goes, is necessary on any subject. This is acontroverted subject. You ought to try, therefore, to read some statementby a Catholic author, and some statement by a Protestant. To find out whatto read on this or any subject, there are different clews.
1. Any encyclopA|dia, good or bad, will set you on the trail. Most of youhave or can have an encyclopA|dia at command. There are one-volumeencyclopA|dias better than nothing, which are very cheap. You can pick upan edition of the old EncyclopA|dia Americana, in twelve volumes, for tenor twelve dollars. Or you can buy Appleton's, which is really quite good,for sixty dollars a set. I do not mean to have you rest on anyencyclopA|dia, but you will find one at the start an excellent guide-post.Suppose you have the old EncyclopA|dia Americana. You will find there thatthe "Roman Catholic Church" is treated by two writers,--one a Protestant,and one a Catholic. Read both, and note in your book such allusions asinterest you, which you want more light upon. Do not note everything whichyou do not know, for then you cannot get forward. But note all thatspecially interests you. For instance, it seems that the Roman CatholicChurch is not so called by that church itself. The officers of that churchmight call it the Roman church, or the Catholic church, but would not callit the Roman Catholic church. At the Congress of Vienna, Cardinal Consalviobjected to the joint use of the words Roman Catholic church. Do you knowwhat the Congress of Vienna was? No? then make a memorandum, if you wantto know. We might put in another for Cardinal Consalvi. He was a man, whohad a father and mother, perhaps brothers and sisters. He will give us alittle human interest, if we stop to look him up. But do not stop for himnow. Work through "Roman Catholic Church," and keep these memoranda inyour book for another day.
2. Quite different from the encyclopA|dia is another book of reference,"Poole's Index." This is a general index to seventy-three magazines andreviews, which were published between the years 1802 and 1852. Now a greatdeal of the best work of this century has been put into such journals. Areference, then, to "Poole's Index" is a reference to some of the bestseparate papers on the subjects which for fifty years had most interestfor the world of reading men and women. Let us try "Poole's Index" on "TheRepublic of Venice." There are references to articles on Venice in the NewEngland Magazine, in the Pamphleteer, in the Monthly Review, Edinburgh,Quarterly, Westminster, and De Bow's Reviews. Copy all these referencescarefully, if you have any chance at any time of access to any of thesejournals. It is not, you know, at all necessary to have them in thehouse. Probably there is some friend's collection or public library whereyou can find one or more of them. If you live in or near Boston, or NewYork, or Philadelphia, or Charleston, or New Orleans, or Cincinnati, orChicago, or St. Louis, or Ithaca, you can find every one.
When you have carefully gone down this original list, and made yourmemoranda for it, you are prepared to work out these memoranda. You beginnow to see how many there are. You must be guided, of course, in yourreading, by the time you have, and by the opportunity for getting thebooks. But, aside from that, you may choose what you like best, for abeginning. To make this simple by an illustration, I will suppose you havebeen using the old EncyclopA|dia Americana, or Appleton's CyclopA|dia andPoole's Index only, for your first list. As I should draw it up, it wouldlook like this:--
CYCLOPADIA. POOLE'S INDEX.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
See (for instance) Eclectic Rev., 4th S. 13, 485.Council of Trent. Quart. Rev., 71, 108.Chrysostom. For. Quart. Rev., 27, 184.Congress of Vienna. Brownson's Rev., 2d S. 1, 413; 3, 309.Cardinal Consalvi. N. Brit. Rev., 10, 21.
Built by Agrippa. Consecrated,607, to St. Mary ad Martyros.Called Rotunda.
THE FLAVIAN AMPHITHEATRE.
The Coliseum, b. by T. FlaviusVespasian.
Popes. The line begins with New-Englander, 7, 169.St. Peter, A. D. 42. Ends N. Brit. Rev., 11, 135.with Pius IX., 1846.
POPE WHO CROWNED NAPOLEON.
Pius VII., at Notre Dame, in For. Quart. Rev., 20, 54.Paris, Dec. 2, 1804.
POPE WHO CROWNED PEPIN.
Probably Pepin le Bref is meant.But he was not crowned bya Pope. Crowned by ArchbishopBoniface of Mayence,at the advice of Pope Zachary.b. @ 715. d. 768.
REPUBLIC OF VENICE.
452 to 1815. St. Real's History. Quart. Rev. 31, 420.Otway's Tragedy, Venice Preserved. Month. Rev., 90, 525.Hazlitt's Hist, of Venice. West. Rev., 23, 38.Ruskin's Stones of Venice.
MISSIONARIES IN KENT.
Dublin Univ. Mag., 21, 212.
There are two Augustines. Thisis St. Austin, b. in 5th century,d. 604-614.Southey's Book of Church.Sharon Turner's Anglo-Saxons.Wm. of Malmesbury.Bede's Ecc. History.
SAXON IN BRITAIN.
Turner as above. Edin. Rev., 89, 79.Ang.-Saxon Chronicle. Quart. Rev., 7, 92.Six old Eng. Chronicles. Eclect. Rev., 25, 669.
FRANK PASSED THE RHINE.
Well established on west side, For. Quart. Rev., 17, 139.at the beginning of 5th century.
GREEK ELOQUENCE AT ANTIOCH.
Muller's Antiquitates AntiochianA| Greek Orators. Ed. Rev., 36, 62.
IDOLS IN MECCA.
Burckhardt's Travels.Burton's Travels.
3 islands, as large as Italy. N. Am. Rev., 18, 328.Discovered, 1642; taken by Cookfor England, 1769.Gov. sent out, 1838. West. Rev., 45, 133.Thomson's story of N. Z. Edin. Rev., 91, 231; 56, 333.Cook's Voyages. N. Brit. Rev., 16, 176.Sir G. Gray's Poems, &c. of Living Age.Maoris.
5 elliptical arches. "Presentsan aspect unequalled for interestand animation."
Built in thirty years between1675 and 1705, by Christ.Wren.
Now I am by no means going to leave you to the reading of cyclopA|dias.The vice of cyclopA|dias is that they are dull. What is done for thispassage of Macaulay in the lists above is only preliminary. It could beeasily done in three hours' time, if you went carefully to work. And whenyou have done it, you have taught yourself a good deal about your ownknowledge and your own ignorance,--about what you should read and whatyou should not attempt. So far it fits you for selecting your own courseof reading.
I have arranged this only by way of illustration. I do not mean that Ithink these a particularly interesting or particularly important series ofsubjects. I do mean, however, to show you that the moment you will siftany book or any series of subjects, you will be finding out where yourignorance is, and what you want to know.
Supposing you belong to the fortunate half of people who know what theyneed, I should advise you to begin in just the same way.
For instance, Walter, to whom I alluded above, wants to know aboutFly-Fishing. This is the way his list looks.
CYCLOPEDIA. POOLE'S INDEX.
(For instance) Quart. Rev., 69, 121; 37, 345.W. Scott, Redgauntlet. Edin. Rev., 78, 46, or 87; 93,174, or 340.
Dr. Davy's Researches, 1839. Am. Whig Rev., 6, 490.Cuvier and Valenciennes, Hist. N. Brit. Rev., 11, 32, or 95; I,Naturelle des Poissons, Vol. 326; 8, 160; or Liv. Age, 2,XXI. 291; 17, I.Blackwood, 51, 296.Richardson's Fauna Bor. Amer. Quart. Rev., 67, 98, or 332; 69,226.Blackwood, 10, 249; 49, 302;De Kay, ZoAlogy of N. Y. 21, 815; 24, 248; 35, 775;Agassiz, Lake Superior. 38, 119; 63, 673; 5, 123; 5,281; 7, 137.Fraser, 42, 136.
Izaak Walton, Compleat Angler. (Walton and Cotton first appeared, 1750.)Humphrey Day's Salmonia, or The Days of Fly-Fishing,Blakey, History of Angling Literature.Oppianus, De Venatione, Piscatione et Aucupio. (Halieutica translated.)Jones's English translation was published in Oxford, 1722.Bronner, Fischergedichte und Erzahlungen (Fishermen's Songs and Stories).Norris, T., American Angler's Book.Zouch, Life of Iz. Walton.Salmon Fisheries. Parliamentary Reports. Annual."Blackwood's Magazine, an important landmark in English anglingliterature." See Noctes AmbrosianA|.H. W. Beecher, N. Y. Independent, 1853.In the New York edition of Walton and Cotton is a list of books onAngling, which Blakey enlarges. His list contains four hundred andfifty titles.American Angler's Guide, 1849.Storer, D. H., Fishes of Massachusetts.Storer, D. H., Fishes of N. America.Girard, Fresh-Water Fishes of N. America (SmithsonianContributions, Vol. III.).Richard Penn, Maxims and Hints for an Angler, and Miseries of Fishing,1839.James Wilson, The Rod and the Gun, 1840.Herbert, Frank Forester's Fish of N. America.Yarrel's British Fishes.The same, on the Growth of Salmon.Boy's Own Book.
Please to observe, now, that nobody is obliged to read up all theauthorities that we have lighted on. What the lists mean is this;--thatyou have made the inquiry for "a sermon book and another book," and youare now thus far on your way toward an answer. These are the first answersthat come to hand. Work on and you will have more. I cannot pretend togive that answer for any one of you,--far less for all those who would belikely to be interested in all the subjects which are named here. But withsuch clews as are given above, you will soon find your ways into thedifferent parts that interest you of our great picnic grove.
Remember, however, that there are no royal roads. The difference between awell-educated person and one not well educated is, that the first knowshow to find what he needs, and the other does not. It is not so much thatthe first is better informed on details than the second, though heprobably is. But his power to collect the details at short notice isvastly greater than is that of the uneducated or unlearned man.
In different homes, the resources at command are so different that I mustnot try to advise much as to your next step beyond the lists above. Thereare many good catalogues of books, with indexes to subjects. In theCongressional Library, my friend Mr. Vinton is preparing a magnificent"Index of Subjects," which will be of great use to the whole nation. InHarvard College Library they have a manuscript catalogue referring to thesubjects described in the books of that collection. The "Cross-References"of the Astor Catalogue, and of the Boston Library Catalogue, areinvaluable to all readers, young or old. Your teacher at school can helpyou in nothing more than in directing you to the books you need on anysubject. Do not go and say, "Miss Winstanley, or Miss Parsons, I want anice book"; but have sense enough to know what you want it to be about.Be able to say,--"Miss Parsons, I should like to know about heraldry," or"about butterflies," or "about water-color painting," or "about RobertBrowning," or "about the Mysteries of Udolpho." Miss Parsons will tell youwhat to read. And she will be very glad to tell you. Or if you are not atschool, this very thing among others is what the minister is for. Do notbe frightened. He will be very glad to see you. Go round to his house, noton Saturday, but at the time he receives guests, and say to him: "Mr.Ingham, we girls have made quite a collection of old porcelain, and wewant to know more about it. Will you be kind enough to tell us where wecan find anything about porcelain. We have read Miss Edgeworth's 'PrussianVase' and we have read 'Palissy the Potter,' and we should like to knowmore about SAvres, and Dresden, and Palissy." Ingham will be delighted,and in a fortnight, if you will go to work, you will know more about whatyou ask for than any one person knows in America.
And I do not mean that all your reading is to be digging or hard work. Ican show that I do not, by supposing that we carry out the plan of thelist above,--on any one of its details, and write down the books whichthat detail suggests to us. Perhaps VENICE has seemed to you the mostinteresting head of these which we have named. If we follow that up onlyin the references given above, we shall find our book list for Venice,just as it comes, in no order but that of accident, is:--
St. Real, Relation des Espagnols contre Venise.Otway's Venice Preserved.Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.Howells's Venetian Life.Blondus. De Origine Venetorum.Muratori's Annals.Ruskin's Stones of Venice.D'Israeli's Contarini Fleming.Contarina, Della Republica di Venetia.Flagg, Venice from 1797 to 1849.Crassus, De Republica Veneta.Jarmot, De Republica Veneta.Voltaire's General History.Sismondi's History of Italy.Lord Byron's Letters.Sketches of Venetian History, Fam. Library, 26, 27.Venetian History, Hazlitt.Dandolo, G. La Caduta della Republica di Venezia (The Fall of theRepublic of Venice).Ridolfi, C., Lives of the Venetian Painters.Monagas, J. T., Late Events in Venice.Delavigne, Marino Faliero, a Historical Drama.Lord Byron, The same.Smedley's Sketches from Venetian History.Daru, Hist. de la Republique de Venise.
So much for the way in which to choose your books. As to the choice, youwill make it, not I. If you are a goose, cackling a great deal, silly atheart and wholly indifferent about to-morrow, you will choose just whatyou call the interesting titles. If you are a girl of sense, or a boy ofsense, you will choose, when you have made your list, at least two books,determined to master them. You will choose one on the side of information,and one for the purpose of amusement, on the side of fancy. If you choosein "Venice" the "Merchant of Venice," you will not add to it "VenicePreserved," but you will add to it, say the Venetian chapters of"Sismondi's Italy." You will read every day; and you will divide yourreading time into the two departments,--you will read for fact and youwill read for fancy. Roots must have leaves, you know, and leaves musthave roots. Bodies must have spirits, and, for this world at least,spirits must have bodies. Fact must be lighted by fancy, and fancy must bebalanced by fact. Making this the principle of your selection, you may,nay, you must, select for yourselves your books. And in my next chapter Iwill do my best to teach you
HOW TO READ THEM.