BLTC Press Titles

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The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe

The Secret Doctrine, Volume I Cosmogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Journey into South Wales

by George Lipscomb


On the EffeBs of the different Dispositions of Travellers—On Wit and Learning tnij'applied.—On Ill-Humour. —On Criticifm, tvith a Word to the Reviewers.

The peculiar disposition with which a traveller sets out, is sure to have a considerable influence over the train of thinking produced during the whole of his journey. It becomes, therefore, a matter of great consequence, that he should avoid that fastidiousness which is apt to jaundice every object presented to the sight, and which renders the most beautiful and interesting scenery tiresome and disgusting.

A calm serenity of mind, which can alone prepare it for the reception of pleasing ideas, and give it that high polish which makes it capable of resisting the touch of those asperities to which it is every day exposed, seems more particularly requisite, when we enter on a wide field of contemplation, which abounds with a greater variety of B • characters, characters, and a greater proportion of accidents than usual.

. It is the want of this calmness which frequently occasions the most pleasant excursions to termir» nate in disappointment: for we are too apt to buoy up the mind with false hopes, and sanguine expectations of pleasure, that incapacitate us for making a proper use of those reflections which the fair face of nature plentifully supplies.

We must not, therefore, allow the anticipation of what we are to meet with on a journey to elevate the imagination beyond its proper bounds. The dishes which nature provides for us are always simple, though elegant and gratifying: but the entertainment cooked by Fancy is graced and garnished with artisicial ornaments, and arranged in the most attractive manner. If we indulge in these ideal banquets, they are liable to pall the most healthy appetite, and to vitiate the most resined taste:—we turn from the plain cookery of nature with apathy, or even disgust; and, to drop all metaphor, our descriptions become warped by prejudice, and our arguments tinjred with ill humour : the works of Nature appear distorted, and the labours of Art only raise their front to be the sport of wanton criticism, or the theme of satirical abuse.

12 Topo

Topographical history, when fairly and liberally written, is fraught with innumerable advantages.

The stores of natural history open to us spontaneously, and bring into a general review all the absurdities, as well as ingenuities, of the disferent systematic arrangements which have been made in that important science.

The moralist, the philosopher, the merchant, every rank and description of men, becomes, in turn, the theme of narrative. The mass of instruction is general, and the pathway is strewed with flowers, so that the heart is improved, the judgment corrected, and the imagination delighted at once.

The superiority of acquirement which we observe in others, teaches us to correct our own errors, and stimulates us to a virtuous emulation. The contemplation of greater perfection and higher cultivation in other countries, prompts us to improve our native foil: and a superior degree of rudeness and sterility among them, makes us grateful to the benesicent hand of Providence, for its more liberal distribution of good to ourselves; and teaches us contentment and thankfulness.

With regard to the effects produced in descriptive writing, from the possession of superior B 2 learning learning and wit, I think it may be said, that she proper application of wit can alone afford entertainment ;—the rational display of learning can alone effect improvement; for authors, who have enjoyed all the advantages of profound learning, superadded to the brilliancy of the most poignant wit, have, not unfrequently, bordered on pertness, and sometimes soar into the gloomy regions of scholastic dulness.

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