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CHOICE THOUGHTS OF THE BEST AUTHORS,
In Prose and Poetry.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY WILLIAM B. SPRAGUE, D.D.
" Quotation, sir, is a good thing; there is a community of mind in it: classical
" Abstracts, abridgments, summaries, &c., have the same use with burning.
NEW YORK :
WIANA UNIVERSITY LIBRES
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871,
By DODD & MEAD,
In nothing is man more dependent upon his fellow-man, than in the formation of his intellectual character. Not only does he need to be taught originally how to think, but his mind necessarily becomes, to a great extent, the receptacle of other men's thoughts; and they exist there, not merely as furniture, but as aliment. Most of our knowledge is hereditary; and even our ability to acquire knowledge, is derived, in a great degree, from our contact with other minds.
There are various ways in which men's thoughts are made to survive them ; but that which is perhaps more certain and permanent than any other, is through the medium of books. And it is a wise provision of Providence, that it is only thoughts that are really worth preserving, that even the press has the power to embalm :—the rest, however they may sport their little hour, are quickly numbered with the things that have been. The man who makes a book that has in it a principle of true intellectual vitality,--a book that contains glorious thoughts that can not die, and that may become the elements of mighty power in the minds of other men, is indeed one of the most favored of his race; for he has, in the best sense, at once an earthly ubiquity and an earthly immortality.
Every man, in making a book, virtually declares his con. viction that he is doing something to minister, in some way.