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that the true devotees to literature and literary pursuits should become the willing, if not eager victims of the passion, in a still stronger degree? If men are characterized by their company, why then may they not be by their choice of books? Doubtless many a dormant genius has received its first impulse and direction from some particular author; and in some cases, to this cause may be primarily ascribed the beneficial and important purposes to which that genius has been applied. Our allusion to that old favorite, Robinson Crusoe, reminds us of many illustrious men of letters with whom it became a first and favorite book. Among these might be named Marmontel, Rousseau, Blair, Beattie, Johnson, Chalmers, Scott, Clare, and Charles Lamb; the last of whom, in his confession of the fact, says, "That its deep interest and familiar style, render it alike delightful to all ranks and classes." Johnson also admitted more, adding, he believed "Nobody ever laid down the book without wishing it longer;" and Marmontel's testimony is no less decidedly approving; for he states that Robinson Crusoe was the first book he ever read with exquisite pleasure; and he believed every boy in Europe would say the same thing. Would it be believed, however, that the MS. of this identical production was refused when offered for publication, by nearly the entire body of the publishers of London? although the one that bought it soon cleared one thousand guineas by its sales.

"The Pilgrim's Progress," of Bunyan, is another universal favoriteperhaps the most perfect and picturesque specimen of allegorical writing in any language; the peculiarity of which, is its striking versimilitude, imparting to the pure creations of the author's rich, exuberant imagination, the strong impress of reality. Modern criticism, indeed, has ventured to assign to this work a rank even equal with that of Homer, the sublime epic of Milton, and the mighty genius of the world's great poet! Coleridge, referring to Bunyan's "Pilgrim," observes, that "though composed in the lowest style of English, it is without slang or false grammar. This wonderful work is one of the few which may be read over repeatedly at different times, and each time with a new and different pleasure. I read it once as a theologian, and let me assure you there is great theological acumen in the work; once with devotional feeling, and once as a poet. I would not have believed beforehand, that Calvanism could be painted in such exquisitely delightful colors. I know of no book, (the Bible being excepted, as above all comparison) which, according to my judgment and experience, I could so safely recommend, as teaching and enforcing the whole system of saving truth, as the Pilgrim's Progress. I am convinced that it is incomparably the best summary of evangelical Christianity ever produced by a writer not miraculously inspired." Little dreamed the poor, despised, oppressed preaching tinker, what an almost superhuman influence his humble pen was destined to exert in all after time, upon the best interests of mankind. And it might prove an ingenious problem for the curious to solve, to enumerate the almost incalculable amount of copies of this extraordinary production, which have already been presented to the public in the several languages of the civilized world.

Sidney's Arcadia, so ripe with apophthegmatic lore, and the pure fount of song of that "true and gentle poet," Spenser, were the well-known chosen associates of many master minds of old-such as Milton, Shakspeare, Waller, Cowley, etc. Dr. Johnson loved old Isaac Walton's life of Dr. Donne, and Lady Wortley Montague's Letters. He says, according to Boswell, that the reader who does not relish the first fruits of the first named work is no philosopher, and he who does not enjoy the second, is no Christian.

Benjamin Franklin says that Plutarch's Lives, Defoe's Essay on Projects, and a work entitled Essays to do Good, were his three favorite books, and

those from which he derived the most advantage. Speaking of the last, he states:-"When I was a boy, I met with this book, which was written, I think, by the father of Dr. Mather, of Boston. It gave me such a turn of thinking, as to have an influence on my conduct through life; for I have always set a greater value on the character of a doer of good, than any other kind of reputation, and if I have been a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book." Franklin, again, has been the favorite of many young persons, who have had to thank his sagacious pages and his maxims of industry and economy for their future success in life. It is beautiful thus to see wisdom become traditionary, says the writer above alluded to. "When at school," writes Dr. Alexander Murray, the celebrated orientalist, "I read Paradise Lost, which from that time has influenced and inflamed my imagination. I cannot describe the ardor or various feelings with which I perused, studied, and admired that first-rate work."

Speaking of this sublime production of Milton,-a work, by the way, every body admires, but scarce any body reads,-what a vast mine of poetic wealth does it enclose? which, unlike that of its great compeer, seems in the present day, more than ever, to lie undisturbed, unfathomed, and the deep treasures of which appear altogether too massive and gorgeous for the purposes of our modern mercenary and unpoetic age.

Össian was the favorite of two distinguished characters, who certainly appear very dissimilar in all other respects, except in that of their literary tastes-Napoleon and Dr. Parr. The latter says, "I read Ossian when a boy, and was enamored with it. When at college, I again read Ossian with increased delight. I now, although convinced of the imposture, find pleasure in reading Macpherson." Hudibras was a great favorite with Dr. Blair, author of the celebrated "Sermons." He used to read it through once every year.


We forgot to mention Chaucer's text book-it was Aristotle's Philosophy: Shelley's choice was Sophocles, and Keat's also a copy of which was found clasped to his breast, under his vest, when he was drowned. Homer, Virgil, and Horace, have charmed and inspired a host of illustrious men, whose names are too many here to cite. suet, the French divine, was once found with Homer on his table, while preparing one of his famous orations, when he exclaimed to his visitor, "I have always Homer beside me when I compose my sermons; for I love to light my lamp at the sun." Hume and Fox both sought their relaxation from severer toils, in luxuriating over the glowing pages of Virgil and Euripides. Burns' first and fondly cherished tome was the Life of William Wallace, and his next the Life of Hannibal. Hannibal," says he, 66 gave my young ideas such a turn, that I used to strut in raptures up and down after the recruiting drum and bagpipe, and wish myself tall enough to be a soldier; while the story of Wallace poured a Scottish prejudice into my veins, which will boil along there till the flood-gates of life shut in eternal rest." Shakspeare has been the universal favorite of the sons of genius; but the enthusiasm of one humble admirer, Joseph Blacket, the shoemaker poet, is too interesting to be passed over. In his twelfth year, Blacket witnessed Kemble's performance of Richard III. Before this he had neither read nor beheld a play; but thenceforth Shakspeare was his favorite author. "I robbed the pillow of its due," says he, "and in the summer season, would read till the sun had far retired, then wait with anxious expectation for his earliest gleam, to discover to my enraptured fancy the sublime beauties of that great master." In consequence of this close study of Shakspeare, a dramatic tone, observes his biographer, "pervaded the whole mass of his papers. I have traced it on bills, receipts, backs of letters, shoe-patterns, slips of paperhangings, grocery wrappers, magazine covers, battalion orders for the volun

teer corps of St. Pancras, wherein he served, and on various other scraps, on which his ink could scarcely be made to retain the impression of his thoughts; yet most of them crowded on both sides, and much interlined."

Hazlitt's pet book was Rousseau's "Confessions." He confesses the intense delight he derived from its perusal at an early age. Swift's Tale of a Tub was the singular choice of Cobbett He gives the following account of his first meeting with it:

"When only eleven years old, with three pence in my pocket-my whole fortune, I perceived, at Richmond, in a book-seller's window, this little book, marked * price three pence.' Its odd title excited my curiosity; I bought it in place of my supper. So impatient was I to examine it, that I got over into a field at the upper corner of Kew Gardens, and sat down to read on the shady side of a hay-stack.The book was so different from any thing I had read before-it was something so new to my mind, that, though I could not at all understand some parts of it, still it delighted me beyond measure, and produced, what I have always considered, a sort of birth of intellect. I read on till it was dark, without any thought of supper or bed. When I could see no longer, I put it into my pocket and fell asleep beside of the stack, till the birds awaked me in the morning; and then I started off, still reading my little book. I could relish nothing beside; I carried it about with me wherever I went, till when about twenty years old, I lost it in a box that fell overboard in the bay of Fundy."

Thompson's Seasons was Bloomfield's favorite selection: it was also Clare's; and even the celebrated bibliographer, Dr. Dibdin, admits that he enjoyed many quiet readings while seated in the deepening glooms of Bagley Wood, or near the magnificent expanse of water at Blenheim. He designates the "Castle of Indolence" as one of the most enchanting poems in the language, although it has not yet acquired that reputation it deserves. Lord Byron's greatest favorites were Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, D'Israeli's Illustrations of the Literary Character, and Scott's novels. The first work, he says, contains more solid information than any twenty other works ever compiled in the English language; the second, he says, he read perhaps oftener than any, and that it had often been to him a consolation and a pleasure; of the last named, Scott's novels, he tells us―" I never travel without them; they are a perfect library in themselves—a perfect literary treasure; I could read them once a year with new pleasure." Johnson confessed that Old Burton was the first book that ever compelled him to rise from his bed earlier than he otherwise would have wished. How many, like Lord Oxford, have enjoyed the delicious humor of "Don Quixotte?" and some may even have, also, coveted the acquisition of the pure Castilian to ensure its keener relish.

Among the pleasures of the pen, may therefore be classed the love of study, and a passion for reading. Says Burton on this head: "Looking about this world of books, I could even live and die among such meditations, and take more delight and true comfort of mind in them, than in all wealth or sport. There is a sweetness, which, as Circe's cup, bewitcheth a student: he cannot leave off, as well may witness those many laborious hours, days and nights, spent in their voluminous treatises. So sweet is the delight of study. The last day is prioris discipulus. From the time that Cicero poured forth his feelings in his oration for the poet Archias, innumerable are the testimonies of men of letters, of the pleasurable delirium of their researches. Richard de Bury, of Durham, was so enamoured of his literary collections, that he gave utterance, it will be remembered, to his love of books, under the title of his "Philobiblion."

(To be Continued.)




A LIGHT travelling carriage stopped at the hotel of the Three Lions in the Kohlmarkt at Prague. The whole army of servants hurried out of the house; one of them opened the carriage door, and offered his hand to a pretty young woman; she alighted, and a young gentleman followed her, humming a cheerful tune.

"Saint Nepumuk!" exclaimed the landlord, who had just stepped out of the door-" do I see aright? Herr Von Mozart!"

"You see I keep my promise," replied Mozart, bowing politely to him. "Here I am again! and you may keep me the whole season! That I may not be too wild, I have brought my wife along with me." The landlord bowed low to the lady, and taking breath for a solemn speech, began :

"Most respected Madame Von Mozart"

Mozart interrupted him with-"let all that alone now, and show us our rooms; let us have some refreshment, and send word to Guardasoni that I have arrived." He offered his arm to his wife, the landlord obediently followed; and the gang of butlers and servants came loaded with trunks and boxes, which they had taken out of the carriage.

A handsome young man, who was passing through the market when he heard from a waiter the name of the newly arrived, hastened up stairs into Mozart's room, and threw himself into his arms with exclama. tions of joy.

"Is the deuce in this wild bird?" cried Mozart; "you almost frightened me!" and turning to his wife, he introduced the young man to her. "Well, how do you like him? It is he-Luigi Bassi, I mean."



I sing this evening the part of the Count, in your Opera of Figaro, Master Mozart," said Bassi.

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Well," replied Mozart, "what do the people of Prague say to the opera?"

"Come this evening to the theatre and you will hear; it is the twelfth representation in sixteen days, and we give it to-night, because Duke Antoin of Saxony asked for it."

"Ho! ho! and what does Strobach say?"

"Strobach and the whole orchestra say every night after the representation, that they would like to play it over again, although it was a hard piece of work."

Mozart rubbed his hands cheerfully, and said to his wife, "did I not tell you the good citizens of Prague would soon drive away all my fretting-Well, for that piece of kindness, I will write them such an opera as is not to be seen every day. I have an excellent Libretto, Bassi,-a bold, mad thing, full of spirit and fire! Du Pont composed it

for me. He said he would not have done it for any body else, because none else had courage for it; to me it was welcome. I have had the

music for it a long while in my head, only I knew not how to bring it forth, for no poetry would suit it! You may find some of the tones in Figaro and Idomeneco, but they were not the right stuff. It was as if spring had to come, and longed to come, but would not; on the bushes and trees were myriads of birds-but they were closed; then comes the storm, the thunder rolls, the blossoms burst out, the warm, May rain pours down, and suddenly the flowers bloom in surprising magnificence! By my soul, just so I felt when the little Abbate brought me that libretto ! You shall take the principal part, and the deuce take you!"

Bassi wanted to hear more about the opera, but Mozart was pleased to be mysterious, and smilingly bade his friend be patient.


When Mozart appeared the same evening at the theatre, in the box of the Count of Thurn, he was received by the assembled audience with enthusiastic applause; and during the representation of his Figaro, he was greeted in the same manner after every performance. For Mozart this result was the more gratifying, that his Figaro did not please at Vienna. Through the unworthy manoeuvres of Saliers, the parts had not been divided well, and were played badly, so that Mozart declared he never again would write an opera for the Viennese.

Loud vivats followed the composer's carriage, as he drove home. He found there his friends, Duschuk, the chapel-master Strobach, and the Impressario of the Opera Guardasoni, who had arranged a splendid supper. Afterwards came Bassi Bondino with his wife, and the handsome spirited Saporetti. There was much interesting discourse about music; and many pleasant jokes seasoned the entertainments, and enhanced the pleasure of the guests. At the end of the supper, when the champaign corks were flying about the room, Mozart was not so reserved on the subject alluded to in the morning. He was even induced to show Bassi the sketch of the opera, of which three airs were already finished.

"Very well, Maestro Amadeo," said Bassi, "but these songs are rather insignificant for me!"

"How?" said Mozart, and looked very smilingly at him.

"I mean," replied Bassi, "there are no difficulties-all is by far too easy."

"You think so?"

compose a difficult song

for me.

"Yes; and I hope you, Maestro, will If you have none ready, you will soon." "No, my dear Bassi," replied Mozart, with a singular smile; "I will not do that." Bassi's face was getting visibly long, but Mozart continued kindly: "Look you, friend! that the airs are not long, is the truth; but they are just as long as they ought to be. But respecting the too great facility of which you complain, you will have enough to do if you sing them as they ought to be sung."

"How?" said Bassi.

"For instance-sing this air, Fin chan dal Vino !"

He went to the piano, and Bassi followed him a little vexed; hardly looking at the music, he began hastily, and without much expression. "Hush, hush," exclaimed Mozart, laughing, and stopping him after the first bars; "not so confurio over stone and rock you think, perhaps, you will not have done soon enough with my music? And have you no regard for the piano and forte! Who is it sings there? a drunken servant, or a dissipated cavalier, who is thinking of his sweetheart!

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