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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
On Books
By Thomas Fuller (1608–1661)
 
From ‘The Holy and Profane State’

IT is a vanity to persuade the world one hath much learning by getting a great library. As soon shall I believe every one is valiant that hath a well-furnished armory. I guess good housekeeping by the smoking, not the number of the tunnels, as knowing that many of them—built merely for uniformity—are without chimneys, and more without fires.  1
  Some books are only cursorily to be tasted of: namely, first, voluminous books, the task of a man’s life to read them over; secondly, auxiliary books, only to be repaired to on occasions; thirdly, such as are mere pieces of formality, so that if you look on them you look through them, and he that peeps through the casement of the index sees as much as if he were in the house. But the laziness of those cannot be excused who perfunctorily pass over authors of consequence, and only trade in their tables and contents. These, like city cheaters, having gotten the names of all country gentlemen, make silly people believe they have long lived in those places where they never were, and flourish with skill in those authors they never seriously studied.  2
 
 
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