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Pall Mall Gazette. It is creditable to this hasty age that it should within ten months have demanded a third edition of so solid a work as the “Book-lover's Enchiridion.” Mr. Alexander Ireland is an old book-lover himself, and has, we are sure, written of books as fondly and sympathetically as any of the two hundred and forty authors from whom he gives us quotations. The result of his labours is a wholesome and unexceptionable little volume, calculated to stimulate the energy of the young student and to solace the leisure of age.
The Spectator.—The extracts have been most judiciously selected, and are evidently the result of years of careful reading and close observation. The highest commendation we can give the book is to say that the compiler's object, as described by himself in the preface to this (the third) edition, has been fully achieved. “My object,” he says, “has been to bring together, from the reading of a lifetime, a body of thought, old and new, which cannot fail to be welcome to those who find their purest and highest enjoyment in studious contemplation; who love to retire from 'the fretful stir unprofitable, and the fever of the world,' and dwell for a time in the heaven revealed to meditation ;' and who feel their inner life sustained and refreshed, by a knowledge of the consolations which the most gifted minds have ever found in books."
Saturday Review.-Mr. Ireland's “Enchiridion" has already shown that it possesses popular qualities. It is now in its third edition; in many ways it deserves to see many more editions.
The volume contains many passages about bibliophilism which will be new even to omnivorous readers.
Mr. Ireland's old English writers are among the very best, most sensible, and least read of his authorities.
Athenæum.—A very charming volume, arranged in a way that shows a true love of literature. The extracts supply some delightful reading. The volume does infinite credit not only to the printer, but to the compiler.
Academy. –The selection is very catholic. Many happy hours of studious leisure must have gone to the in-gathering of the contents of this volume; and to a good and pleasant result.
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Illustrated London News. - The whole number of individual authors enlisted in the editor's service is now increased from 125 to about 210; while in the quality and aptness of the extracts he has chosen, there is certainly no abatement. It is wonderful that so many original reflections could have been made with so little repetition of the same ideas, upon a topic of common experience such as that of the uses and delights of literature.
Manchester Guardian.-A dainty gift-book, which will give great pleasure to every lover of literature. No better gift could be devised for a studious youth or girl.
Scotsman. It is beautifully got up, and printed with great clearness and beauty. It contains a selection of thought, the like of which we do not remember to have met with before.
The Literary World.-That this small volume should have reached a third edition within a year may sufficiently vouch for its sterling worth and popularity.
Mr. Ireland has supplied book-lovers with a charming companion, and one that, once obtained, they will not readily part with.
The Bookseller.-To all who love books for themselves and not as furniture, this little book will be a valuable acquisition. The bibliophile will find in it the touch of nature which proclaims its authors here. All that the wisest and greatest writers have said about books will be found here.
The Publishers' Circular, -It is in truth a book of elevated thought, and of noble suggestion, and its wide range of reading makes it a pleasant companion.
Harper's Magazine (New ork). -A most valuable and attractive volume-a more companionable book for a country ramble or the winter fireside of a reading man could hardly be thought of. The compiler gives evidence of deep reading and accurate scholarship, and his annotations are not the least in. teresting part of this very charming book.
Manchester City News.-As Mr. Ireland has chosen to arrange his selection chronologically, the volume is one rather for odd moments than continuous perusal; and it addresses itself mainly to those who have already found their solace in the com
panionship of books, and need no convincement. In a classified form it might be made immensely serviceable to studious beginners. As it stands it can hardly fail to realise the author's hope, that it
may meet some of the special needs and moods of those who are thoughtful, reverent, and earnest, and who seek to gain from books something more than passing amusement."
The Manchester Trade Fournal.- This book is the work of a literary man of the old genuine type, rare now, and revives one's early reminiscences of Leigh Hunt and others who were saturated with the spirit of book-hunting for love. We read maturity of taste on every page; the very excisions are eloquent, creating epigram frequently, but never at the cost of the original meaning to be conveyed.
The title includes an apt definition of the purposes of literature for the help and betterment of readers, and the book constitutes in itself a powerful missionary.
The Isle of Man Examiner.—What men who have written books have said about books, and how books have been to them a solace and an enjoyment—the inspiration of their best and truest thinking, is the purpose of this sweet little book. It is confined to no one age or people: whoever has said aught in praise of books, commencing with Solomon, and coming down to our own nation and time, finds a loving appreciative record in the Book Lover. How eloquently those who have realised Channing's dictum that “nothing can supply the place of books," and who commend their study and companionship to all who would avoid life's evils and conserve its chief good, is the burthen and charm of every page.
Instead of books being a mere appendage, something to fill a shelf, or add to the furniture of a house—which they too often are,-the Book Lover would have them to be daily and hourly companions, so that the wisdom of the past may become the experience of the present; and life as a result be more joyous and beautiful.
The Freeman.—The compiler of this admirable volume is not à book-lover merely, but a book-knower, for only in the course of long years of the widest and most discriminating reading would it have been possible to collect together the varied in. tellectual materials which in their mass, their versatility, their interest, and their suggestiveness fully justify the use of Marlowe's line, “infinite riches in a little room.”
There is no
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single testimony to the preciousness of a true book from the pen of any great writer or actor upon the world's stage which does not find a place somewhere in the pages of this volume. More than 200 writers of all ages and nations are laid under contribu. tion, and he must be a very wide and omnivorous reader who does not come across many happy thoughts which are new friends to him.
Each author has something to say which we cannot spare, because it has been said in the same way by no one else, because it has some individual touch which makes it an unique influence. We are glad to see that the compiler has drawn so largely from the writings of Leigh Hunt, whose exquisite prose, much of which, though of the rarest and most delicate quality, is practically unknown to the present generation of readers.
The Christian Leader - This is the daintiest book of a season unusually fruitful in typographical gems. It contains the distilled essence of a reader of fifty years' acquaintance with the best authors of past and present times. Everything that printer and binder could possibly do to make the volume “a thing of beauty” has been done, so that externally it is a perfect work of art; and the selections, worthy of such a setting, will indeed be a "joy for ever” to all who become possessors of the book. No section of the vast field of the world's literature has been overlooked; apostles and philosophers, evangelists and novelists, the leaders of science and the sons of song, are laid under tribute; we have them all, from St. Paul and Plato, Horace and Cicero, to Carlyle, Emerson, and Ruskin. The collection deserves praise not only for its sound judgment and exquisite taste, but also for its catholicity. The maker of this little book does not bow down to
He takes the really good thing, no matter where he finds it.
Glasgow Herald. – To a wide and thorough knowledge of books Mr. Ireland unites a catholic and yet a discriminating taste, a sympathy with all honest thought, and an unaffected appreciation of the pleasure literature can give to every rational being. On certain men and periods in our literary history Mr. Ireland is one of the best living authorities, and as befits his well-known leanings, Charles Lamb, Hazlitt, and Leigh Hunt receive due honour in this little volume. John Bright's wise words about books are quoted from his speech at the opening of the Birmingham
New Free Library; and from Carlyle, Emerson, George Eliot, Bacon, Shakspere, and a host of other worthies we have noble utterances.
But we must refer our readers to the book itself for all the great names and beautiful thoughts it helps to commemorate. There are many ways by which men travel through this life in search of happiness, but assuredly there are none more innocent, more wholesome, and more certain of leading us to a good end than a love of reading and the cultivation of the power to appreciate what the wise and the earnest have written for our guidance.
Ertracts from Letters.
Her Royal and Imperial Highness the Crown Princess of
Germany (late Princess Royal of England). DEAR Mrs.
, Many thanks for your kind letter and Mr. Ireland's charming book, which I admire very much indeed. The perusal of it has given me great pleasure.
The Rev. James Martineau, LL.D. Your "Enchiridion" is a truly fascinating book-a precious repertory of the fine things which the wise have to say about wisdom.
The Honourable James Russell Lowell. Hearty thanks for the thought of making this book.
It is a true Contemplative Man's Recreation, a secluded nook where he will always be sure of a bite. You have done for the fisher after choice passages what dear old Izaac Walton did for the more vulgar angler, and your name will swim with his.
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. I must tell you how I first carried your “Enchiridion" into my parlor. It was too lovely for the library, and it lies in its virginal dress among the volumes of favorite writers that adorn my wife's centre-table. But I take it up often as "a box where