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Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.

Essay 1. Of Studies.

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.


Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.


I hold every man a debtor to his profession; from the which as men of course do seek to receive countenance and profit, so cught they of duty to endeavour themselves by way of amends to be a help and ornament thereunto.


The Elements of the Com. Law of Eng. Preface. Knowledge is power.-Nam et ipsa scientia potestas Meditationes, Sacræ. De Hæresibus.

Come home to men's business and bosoms.

Dedication to the Essays. Ed. 1625.

No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth. Of Truth.

When you wander, as you often delight to do, you wander indeed, and give never such satisfaction as the curious time requires. This is not caused by any natural defect, but first for want of election, when you, having a large and fruitful mind, should not so much labour what to speak, as to find what to leave unspoken. Rich soils are often to be weeded.


Letter of Expostulation to Coke.

The sun though it passes through dirty places, yet

remains as pure as before.

Advancement of Learning. Book ii. Ch. ii. These times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those which we account ancient ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from ourselves.* Advancement of Learning.




OR a man's house is his castle, et domus sua cuique tutissimum refugium.†

Third Institute. Page 162.

The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence, as for his repose. Semayne's Case, 5 Rep. 91.

They (corporations) cannot commit trespass nor be outlawed, nor excommunicate, for they have no souls. Case of Sutton's Hospital, 10 Rep. p. 32.

* As in the little, so in the great world, reason will tell you that old age or antiquity is to be accounted by the farther distance from the beginning and the nearer approach to the end; and as grey-beards are for wisdom and judgment to be preferred before young green heads, because they have more experience in affairs, so likewise, for the same cause, the present times are to be preferred before the infancy or youth of the world, we having the history and practice of former ages to inform us, which they wanted. Yourself, then, in disgracing [disparaging] the present times, disgrace [disparage] Antiquity, properly so called; the times wherein we now live being in propriety of speech the most ancient since the world's creation.-GEORGE HAKEWILL. An Apologie or Declaration of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World. London, 1627.

+ Quoted from the Pandects, Lib. ii. tit. iv. De in Jus vocando.

IZAAK WALTON. 1593-1683.

ANGLING is somewhat like poetry, men are to be

born so.

The Complete Angler. Parti. Ch. 1.

We may say of angling as Dr. Boteler said of strawberries: Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did :' and so, if I might be judge, God never did make a more calm, quiet, innocent recreation than angling.

Ibid. Parti. Ch. 5.

Thus use your frog: put your hook, I mean the arming wire, through his mouth, and out at his gills, and then with a fine needle and silk sew the upper part of his leg with only one stitch to the arming wire of your hook, or tie the frog's leg above the upper joint to the armed wire; and in so doing use him as though you loved him.


JOHN MILTON. 1608-1674.

TRUTH is as impossible to be soiled by any out

ward touch as the sunbeam.

The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.

A poet soaring in the high reason of his fancies, with his garland and singing robes about him.

The Reason of Church Government.

Book ii.

By labour and intent study (which I take to be my portion in this life) joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written to aftertimes, as they should not willingly let it die. The Reason of Church Government. Book ii. Beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.


He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things, ought himself to be a true poem. Apology for Smectymnuus.

I shall detain you no longer in the demonstration of what we should not do, but strait conduct ye to a hillside, where I will point ye out the right path of a virtuous and noble education; laborious indeed at the first ascent, but else so smooth, so green, so full of goodly prospect, and melodious sounds on every side, that the harp of Orpheus was not more charming.

Tract of Education.

In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth. Ibid.

Enflamed with the study of learning and the admiration of virtue; stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men and worthy patriots, dear to God, and famous to all ages.


As good almost kill a man, as kill a good book; who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's

image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself. Areopagitica.

A good book is the precious life-blood of a masterspirit embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.


Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam.


By this time, like one who had set out on his way by night, and travelled through a region of smooth and idle dreams, our history now arrives on the confines, where daylight and truth meet us with a clear dawn, representing to our view, though at far distance, true colours and shapes.

History of England. Book i. ad fin. For such kind of borrowing as this, if it be not bettered by the borrower, among good authors is accounted Plagiarè. Iconoclastes xxiv. ad fin.


JOHN SELDEN. 1584-1654.

LD friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet. Table Talk. Friends.

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