BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle


The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas


Curiosities of literature

by Isaac Disraeli

Excerpt:

As

PREFACE "\

TO THIS

NEW EDITION.

Short period of time has again brought me before the Public. The encouragement I have received, has been a ^ powerful motive to excite me to new exer

tions of industry. In the present edition I found more to correct than to expunge. i Nothing has been omitted, excepting the

* prose version of Haller; and the entire arti

$i cle os' Entertaining Preachers,' which, pre

= serving its title, has been re-composed, and

is now perhaps the most curious in the work. A great accession of new matter has however been obtained; and though above a third portion of the work consists of additional information, by precautions in the mode of printing, the size of th,e volume, a 2 and

1682

and the price have been but inconsiderably increased. It is not improper to observe, that no new article has been admitted. Whatever has been added, is for the purpose of continuing the former speculations.

I cannot conclude this preface, without making some observations respecting my design in these volumes. When this compilement was first printed, I thought I had fully stated the reasons for its appearance ; but perhaps a reader does not so often understand an author, as an author does himself.

I had observed in conversation, that many to whom Nature had not been penurious in her gifts, but whose occupations, or whose idleness, only permitted them to read the novelties of the day, had their literary knowledge restricted in very narrow limits. To germinate their ideas into a floral existence, by familiarizing them with the characters, and circumstances of the Republic

of of Letters, I considered not as a brilliant operation, but an honourable task. I perceived the wants of a numerous class of ingenious men, and I did not consider it as difficult to supply very excellent wells, but very dry ones, with a little clear water. That my project was not unhappy, it's sue* cess perhaps will testify.

This, like far superior works, has been found open to the attacks of some. But I have been censured by those whom I was not solicitous to please ; the very learned, and the very ignorant. The last are pleased to consider it, as the mechanical composition of the hand >, and the others (who are by no means averse to works of this description) are disappointed in finding that I am no great artist in black literature. I was desirous of filling the mind with the furniture, and not with the lumber of letters. This species of books is not made for those who know every thing, and those who know nothing. The first are in no want of it; the latter are incapable of understand* ing it. I have felt myself in the disagreeable situation which Burton, the author of ' The Anatomy of Melancholy' appears likewise to have known. He says of his work,' This is a thinge of meere industrie* a Collection without wit or invention; a very toy. So men are valued! their labours vilified by fellowes of no worth themselves, as things of nought; who could not have done as much ? How mall I hope to expresse myselfe to each man's humour and conceipt ? Some vnderstande too little, and some too much.' I made this book for the Gens du Monde, and its place, if it shall merit any place, must be on the shelf of what Voltaire calls, La bibliotheque du Monde. It is adapted, perhaps, for those ingenious minds, who, long attached to classical studies, are not conversant with the characters and revolutions of modern literature. I also aspire to please heads which are well dressed, and to be sometimes held by those fair hands which

are ire washed in Olympian dews. But where I rejoice to have found my work received with utility and delight, is by those who with a lively taste for literary history, by a remote residence from the mecropolis, find it impossible to indulge in the luxuries of a public library.


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