Friday, December 17, 2010


A Ready and Effectual Resource

Thomas Carlyle, letter to Robert Mitchell (February 16, 1818):
Excepting one or two individuals, I have little society that I value very highly, but books are a ready and effectual resource. May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus or the Phoenicians or whoever it was that invented books! I may not detain you with the praises of an art that carries the voice of man to the extremities of the earth, and to the latest generation, but it is lawful for the solitary wight to express the love he feels for those companions so stedfast and unpresuming—that go or come without reluctance, and that when his fellow animals are proud or stupid or peevish, are ever ready to cheer the languor of his soul, and gild the barrenness of life with the treasures of bygone times.
Robert Collinson, Absorbed in Robinson Crusoe

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