Tuesday, September 07, 2004


The Pleasures of Books

Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, chapter 5:
Lord Macaulay has a passage in which he contrasts the pleasures which a man may derive from books with the inconveniences to which he may be put by his acquaintances. "Plato," he says, "is never sullen. Cervantes is never petulant. Demosthenes never comes unseasonably. Dante never stays too long. No difference of political opinion can alienate Cicero. No heresy can excite the horror of Bossuet."
The passage from Macaulay is in his essay on Francis Bacon, in Critical and Historical Essays.

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