« ZurückWeiter »
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
Westcott & THOMSON, Stereotypers and Electrotypers. Philada.
THERE exists a species of mental epicurism, the votaries of which roam through the rich fields of literature selecting intellectual titbits adapted to the peculiar tastes of each. To such men the works of standard authors, like the viands at a feast, are relished not because of their quantity or solidity, but owing to their adaptation, either in their preparation or in the material itself, to the appetite and taste of the individual.
These intellectual Bohemians skim rapidly over the pages of literature, and provided with a Bacavos or touchstone, rendered more or less perfect by use or innate power, they momentarily pause here and there, and draw inspiration from some grand idea that juts out from the superficial area they traverse. Their power consists in analysis rather than in synthesis; they compile, but do not originate; they are imitators, not creators.
Like the majority of American travelers on the Continent, who preserve the recollection of the principal objects of interest alone in the many cities and towns of note they have visited, so these erratic idea-seekers, currente calamo, jot down in their mental sketch-books only the grand, original thoughts which stand forth in bold relief from the pages of literature.
The world of thought is so large, and the span of human life is so brief, that it is impossible for one man to be pro. found on many subjects, or to be thoroughly conversant with the writings of many authors.
In the extracts from prominent authors of every age and nation which the compiler of the following work offers to the public, he has deviated from the usual plan adopted by others, of introducing a dictionary of quotations arranged in alphabetical order, and has selected from his “Index Rerum," prepared during his collegiate and early professional life, quotations upon eight topics of universal interest, which appeal most strongly to the emotional element in
He has chosen the themes of Youth, Beauty, Love, Marriage, Man, Woman, Age and Death, and believes the reader can trace through the quotations presented the strong, earnest pulsations of the hearts of the great men who poured forth their souls through such media.
It has been the object of the compiler to search for and collate original ideas, couched in brief, forcible language, in the books he has read, rather than for beauty of expression and metrical euphony, attractive as these may be.
That the pleasure derived from the perusal may equal that resulting from the preparation of the work, is the earnest wish of