Music and dancing (the more the pity) have become so closely associated with ideas of riot and debauchery among the less cultivated classes, that a taste for them, for their own sakes, can hardly be said to exist, and before they can be recommended as innocent or safe amusements, a very great change of ideas must take place.
There is a gentle, but perfectly irresistible coercion in a habit of reading well directed, over the whole tenor of a man’s character and conduct, which is not the least effectual because it works insensibly and because it is really the last thing he dreams of.
The besetting evil of our age is the temptation to squander and dilute thought on a thousand different lines of inquiry.
Many brilliant speculations are but shining soap bubbles, which turn to nothing as you gaze at them.
Of all the amusements that can possibly be imagined for a hard-working man, after a day’s toil, or in its intervals, there is nothing like reading an entertaining newspaper. It relieves his home of its dullness or sameness, and transports him to a gayer and livelier and more diversified and interesting scene.—It accompanies him in his next day’s work, and if the paper be anything above the very idlest and lightest, it gives him something to think of besides the mechanical drudgery of his everyday occupation—something he can enjoy while absent, and look forward with pleasure to return to.
All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths that come from on high and are contained in the sacred writings.
If I were to pray for a taste which should stand me under every variety of circumstances, and be a source of happiness and cheerfulness to me through life, and a shield against its ills, however things might go amiss and the world frown upon me, it would be a taste for reading. Give a man this taste, and the means of gratifying it and you can hardly fail of making him happy. You make him a denizen of all nations, a contemporary of all ages.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Arthur Eddington English Astronomer
- Isaac Newton English Physicist
- Alfred North Whitehead English Mathematician, Philosopher
- Humphry Davy British Chemist
- Stephen Hawking English Theoretical Physicist
- Thomas Henry Huxley English Biologist
- Blaise Pascal French Philosopher, Scientist
- E. F. Schumacher German Mathematician
- Charles Proteus Steinmetz German-born American Mathematician
- Michael Faraday British Physicist, Chemist