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Agesilaus, king of Sparta, being asked what things he thought most proper for boys to learn, replied: "Those things which they should practice when they become men." His reply was in perfect harmony with the good judgment of mankind, and cannot fail to be appreciated by all who have good common sense. If Agesilaus lived at the present time, the question would most probably have included both boys and girls, and undoubtedly his reply would be so... more...

PREFACE.   It will be generally allowed that a handy guide to the formation of libraries is required, but it may be that the difficulty of doing justice to so large a subject has prevented those who felt the want from attempting to fill it. I hope therefore that it will not be considered that I have shown temerity by stepping into the vacant place. I cannot hope to have done full justice to so important a theme in the small space at my... more...

What is a Good Edition? A good edition should be a complete edition, ungarbled and unabridged. If the author is a classic, the format of the copy chosen should in some way represent the style of the author. Gibbon, for instance, should be in large octavo or quarto, with print of a size to correspond. This is not always possible, for English editions of books often aim at mere cheapness, and of many great authors there exist no good editions.... more...

What Philately Teaches   By way of preface, I wish to say, that I have prepared this paper with the hope of interesting those who are not stamp collectors and my endeavor will be to indicate some of the interesting and instructive things that may be learned by those who follow this fascinating pursuit. Much that I have to say will be ancient history to philatelists, but I trust they will remember that this is not especially intended for... more...

The Author of the Book. Richard de Bury (1281-1345), so called from being born near Bury St. Edmunds, was the son of Sir Richard Aungerville. He studied at Oxford; and was subsequently chosen to be tutor to Prince Edward of Windsor, afterwards Edward III. His loyalty to the cause of Queen Isabella and the Prince involved him in danger. On the accession of his pupil he was made successively Cofferer, Treasurer of the Wardrobe, Archdeacon of... more...


The determination to found a story or a series of sketches on the delights, adventures, and misadventures connected with bibliomania did not come impulsively to my brother. For many years, in short during the greater part of nearly a quarter of a century of journalistic work, he had celebrated in prose and verse, and always in his happiest and most delightful vein, the pleasures of book-hunting. Himself an indefatigable collector of books, the... more...

CHAPTER I ADVENTURES AMONG BOOKS 'Thou shalt make castels thanne in Spayne.' Chaucer.     t is a sad truth that bargains are met with more frequently in our youth than in our age. The sophist may argue that age begets philosophy, and that philosophy contemns all worldly things; yet certain it is that the book-hunter, one of the most philosophical of beings, remains on the look-out for bargains to the very end of his career.... more...

ABERDEEN. Parentage—Patons—Grandholm—Jersey—"Peninsular War"—School and schoolmasters—Flogging—College—Competition for bursaries—Home life—Aunt and grand-aunt—Holiday rambles—Letter. John Hill Burton, the subject of this notice, was born on the 22d of August 1809, in the Gallowgate of Aberdeen. He was wont to style himself, as in his childhood he had heard himself... more...

I. As a Pastime.   ccording to the authorities, the central idea of a pastime is "that it is so positively agreeable that it lets time slip by unnoticed; as, to turn work into pastime." And recreation is described as "that sort of play or agreeable occupation which refreshes the tired person, making him as good as new." Stamp collectors may fairly claim that their hobby serves the double purpose of a pastime and a recreation. As a... more...

In the old age of his intellect (which at this point seemed to taste a little of decrepitude), Strauss declared that the doctrine of immortality has recently lost the assistance of a passable argument, inasmuch as it has been discovered that the stars are inhabited; for where, he asks, could room now be found for such a multitude of souls? Again, in view of the current estimates of prospective population for this earth, some people have begun to... more...