Monday, February 07, 2011


Whipped Cream

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to His Son (February 5, O.S. 1750):
Many people lose a great deal of time by reading: for they read frivolous and idle books, such as the absurd romances of the two last centuries; where characters, that never existed, are insipidly displayed, and sentiments that were never felt, pompously described: the Oriental ravings and extravagances of the "Arabian Nights," and Mogul tales; or, the new flimsy brochures that now swarm in France, of fairy tales, Réflections sur le coeur et l'esprit, metaphysique de l'amour, analyse des beaux sentimens, and such sort of idle frivolous stuff, that nourishes and improves the mind just as much as whipped cream would the body. Stick to the best established books in every language; the celebrated poets, historians, orators, or philosophers. By these means (to use a city metaphor) you will make fifty PER CENT. of that time, of which others do not make above three or four, or probably nothing at all.
A. Canella, The Reader

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