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and a most diligent collector of books. He bequeathed his valuable MSS. to a company of scholars at Oxford. The following extract is from the only known work of this learned prelate, entitled 'Philobiblon, a Treatise on the Love of Books. This was written in Latin in 1344; was printed in 1473; and was translated into English in 1832, by a gentleman of great acquirements, who published a limited impression.]

The desirable treasure of wisdom and knowledge, which all men covet from the impulse of nature, infinitely surpasses all the riches of the world; in comparison with which, precious stones are vile, silver is clay, and purified gold grains of sand; in the splendour of which, the sun and moon grow dim to the sight; in the admirable sweetness of which, honey and manna are bitter to the taste. The value of wisdom decreaseth not with time; it hath an ever flourishing virtue that cleanseth its possession from every venom. O celestial gift of divine liberality, descending from the Father of light to raise up the rational soul even to heaven! Thou art the celestial alimony of intellect, of which whosoever eateth shall yet hunger, and whoso drinketh shall yet thirst; a harmony rejoicing the soul of the sorrowful, and never in any way discomposing the hearer. Thou art the moderator and the rule of morals, operating according to which none will err. By thee kings reign, and lawgivers decree justly. Through thee, the rusticity of nature being cast off, wits and tongues being polished, and the thorns of vice utterly eradicated, the summit of honour is reached, and they become fathers of their country and companions of princes, who, without thee, might have forged their lances into spades and ploughshares, or perhaps have fed swine with the prodigal son. Where, then, most potent, most longed-for treasure, art thou concealed? and where shall the thirsty soul find thee? Undoubtedly, indeed, thou hast placed thy desirable tabernacle in books, where the Most High, the Light of light, the Book of Life, hath established thee. There then all who ask receive, all who seek find thee, to those who knock thou openest quickly. In books Cherubim expand their wings, that the soul of the student may ascend and look around from pole to pole, from the rising to the setting sun, from the north and from the south. In them the Most High incomprehensible God himself is contained and worshipped. In them the nature of celestial, terrestial and infernal beings is laid open. In them the laws by which every polity is governed are decreed, the offices of the celestial hierarchy are distinguished, and tyrannies of such demons are described as the ideas of Plato never surpassed, and the chair of Crato never sustained.

In books we find the dead as it were living; in books we foresee things to come; in books warlike affairs are methodised; the rights of peace proceed from books. All things are corrupted and decay with time. Saturn never ceases to devour those whom he generates, insomuch that the glory of the world would be lost in oblivion if God had not provided mortals with a remedy in books. Alexander the ruler of the world, Julius the invader of the world and of the city, the first who in unity of person assumed the empire in arms and arts, the faithful Fabricius, the rigid Cato, would at this day have been without a memorial if the aid of books had failed them. Towers are razed to the earth, cities overthrown, triumphal arches mouldered to dust; nor can the king or pope be found, upon whom the privilege of a lasting name can be conferred more easily than by books. A book made, renders succession to the author; for as long as the book exists, the author remaining àðávaros, immortal, cannot perish; as Ptolemy witnesseth in the prologue of his Almazett, he (he says) is not dead, who gave life to science.

What learned scribe, therefore, who draws out things new and old from an infinite treasury of books, will limit their price by any other thing whatsoever of another kind? Truth, overcoming all things, which ranks above kings, wine, and women, to honour which above friends obtains the benefit of sanctity, which is the way that

deviates not, and the life without end, to which the holy Boetius attributes a threefold existence, in the mind, in the voice, and in writing, appears to abide most usefully and fructify most productively of advantage in books. For the truth of the voice perishes with the sound. Truth, latent in the mind, is hidden wisdom and invisible treasure; but the truth which illuminates books, desires to manifest itself to every disciplinable sense, to the sight when read, to the hearing when heard it moreover, in a manner commends itself to the touch, when submitting to be transcribed, collated, corrected, and preserved. Truth confined to the mind, though it may be the possession of a noble soul, while it wants a companion and is not judged of, either by the sight or the hearing, appears to be inconsistent with pleasure. But the truth of the voice is open to the hearing only, and latent to the sight (which shows us many differences of things fixed upon by a most subtle motion, beginning and ending as it were simultaneously). But the truth written in a book, being not fluctuating, but permanent, shows itself openly to the sight passing through the spiritual ways of the eyes, as the porches and halls of common sense and imagination; it enters the chamber of intellect, reposes itself upon the couch of memory, and there congenerates the eternal truth of the mind.

Lastly, let us consider how great a commodity of doctrine exists in books, how easily, how secretly, how safely they expose the nakedness of human ignorance without putting it to shame. These are the masters that instruct us without rods and ferulas, without hard words and anger, without clothes or money. If you approach them, they are not asleep; if investigating you interrogate them, they conceal nothing; if you mistake them, they never grumble; if you are ignorant, they cannot laugh at you.

91.-UPON THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TONGUE.

BUTLER.

[JOSEPH BUTLER, Bishop of Durham, was born in 1892, and died in 1752. He was the son of a shopkeeper at Wantage, in Berkshire, who was a dissenter of the Presbyterian denomination. Joseph Butler was brought up in a dissenting academy at Tewkesbury. In 1714 he conformed to the established church, having been led to this determination by the result of his own anxious inquiries. He accordingly entered Oriel College, Oxford, and sub. sequently was admitted into holy orders. The most remarkable of his writings is 'The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the constitution and course of Nature'-8 work of somewhat abstruse reasoning, requiring a diligent study, but admirably calculated to fix the religion of an inquiring mind upon the most solid foundation. His 'Sermons,' fifteen in number, were preached at the Rolls Chapel, in London, and were first published in 1726. The following is an extract from his sermon on the text from James, i. 26.-" If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."]

The due and proper use of any natural faculty or power, is to be judged of by the end and design for which it was given us. The chief purpose for which the faculty of speech was given to man, is plainly that we might communicate our thoughts to each other, in order to carry on the affairs of the world; for business, and for our improvement in knowledge and learning. But the good Author of our nature designed us not only necessaries, but likewise enjoyment and satisfaction, in that being he hath graciously given, and in that condition of life he hath placed us in. There are secondary uses of our faculties which administer to delight, as the primary administer to necessity and as they are equally adapted to both, there is no doubt but he intended them for our gratification, as well as for the support and continuance of our being. The secondary use of speech is to please and be entertaining to each other in conversation. This is in every respect allowable and right; it unites men closer in alliances and friendships; gives us a fellow feeling of the

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prosperity and unhappiness of each other; and is in several respects serviceable to virtue, and to promote good behaviour in the world. And provided there be not too much time spent in it, if it were considered only in the way of gratification and delight, men must have strange notions of God and of religion, to think that he can be offended with it, or that it is any way inconsistent with the strictest virtue, But the truth is, such sort of conversation, though it has no particular good tendency, yet it has a general good one; it is social and friendly, and tends to promote humanity, good nature, and civility. Therefore as the end and use, so likewise the abuse of speech, relates to the one or other of these; either to business, or to conversation. As to the former; deceit in the management of business and affairs does not properly belong to the subject now before us; though one may just mention that multitude, that endless number of words, with which business is perplexed, when a much fewer would, as it should seem, better serve the purpose; but this must be left to those who understand the matter. The government of the tongue, considered as a subject of itself, relates chiefly to conversation, to that kind of discourse which usually fills up the time spent in friendly meetings and visits of civility and the danger is, lest persons entertain themselves and others at the expense of their wisdom and their virtue, and to the injury or offence of their neighbour. If they will take heed and keep clear of these, they may be as free, and easy, and unreserved, as they can desire. The cautions to be given for avoiding them, and to render conversation innocent and agreeable, fall under the following particulars: silence; talking of indifferent things; and, which makes up too great a part of conversation, giving of characters, speaking well or evil of others.

The wise man observes, that "there is a time to speak, and a time to keep silence." One meets with people in the world who seem never to have made the last of these observations. And yet these great talkers do not at all speak from their having any thing to say, as every sentence shows, but only from their inclination to be talking. Their conversation is merely an exercise of the tongue; no other human faculty has any share in it. It is strange these persons can help reflecting, that, unless they have in truth a superior capacity, and are in an extraordinary manner furnished for conversation, if they are entertaining, it is at their own expense. Is it possible that it should never come into people's thoughts to suspect, whether or no it be to their advantage to shew so very much of themselves? "O that ye would altogether hold your peace, and it should be your wisdom." (Job xiii. 5.) Remember likewise there are persons who love fewer words, an inoffensive sort of people, and who deserve some regard, though of too still and composed tempers for you. Of this number was the son of Sirach: for he plainly speaks from experience, when he says, "As hills of sand are to the steps of the aged, so is one of many words to a quiet man." But one would think it should be obvious to every one, that when they are in company with their superiors of any kind, in years, knowledge, and experience, when proper and useful subjects are discoursed of which they cannot bear a part in, that these are times for silence, when they should learn to hear and be attentive; at least in their turn. It is indeed a very unhappy way these people are in; they in a manner cut themselves out from all advantage of conversation, except that of being entertained with their own talk; their business in coming into company not being at all to be informed-to hear, to learn-but to display themselves, or rather to exert their faculty and talk without any design at all. And if we consider conversation as an entertainment-as somewhat to unbend the mindas a diversion from the cares, the business, and the sorrows of life, it is of the very nature of it, that the discourse be mutual. This, I say, is implied in the very notion of what we distinguish by conversation, or being in company. Attention to the continued discourse of one alone grows more painful often than the cares and

business we came to be diverted from. He, therefore, who imposes this upon us, is guilty of a double offence; by arbitrarily enjoining silence upon all the rest, and likewise by obliging them to this painful attention. I am sensible these things are apt to be passed over, as too little to come into a serious discourse; but in reality men are obliged, even in point of morality and virtue, to observe all the decencies of behaviour. The greatest evils in life have had their rise from somewhat which was thought of too little importance to be attended to. And as to the matter we are now upon, it is absolutely necessary to be considered: for if people will not maintain a due government over themselves, in regarding proper times and seasons for silence, but will be talking; they certainly, whether they design it or not at first, will go on to scandal, and evil speaking, and divulging secrets. If it were needful to say any thing farther to persuade men to learn this lesson of silence, one might put them in mind how insignificant they render themselves by this excessive talkativeness; insomuch that if they do chance to say any thing which deserves to be attended to and regarded, it is lost in the variety and abundance which they utter of another sort. The occasions of silence then are obvious, and one would think should be easily distinguished by every body; namely, when a man has nothing to say, or nothing but what is better unsaid: better, either in regard to the particular persons he is present with, or from its being an interruption to conversation itself, or to conversation of a more agreeable kind; or better, lastly, with regard to himself. I will end this particular with two reflections of the wise man; one of which in the strongest manner exposes the ridiculous part of this licentiousness of the tongue and the other, the great danger and viciousness of it. "When he that is a fool walketh by the wayside, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool." (Eccles. x. 3.) The other is, "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin." (Prov. x. 19.)

As to the government of the tongue in respect to talking upon indifferent subjects, after what has been said concerning the due government of it in respect to the occasions and times for silence, there is little more necessary than only to caution men to be fully satisfied that the subjects are indeed of an indifferent nature; and not to spend too much time in conversation of this kind. But persons must be sure to take heed that the subject of their discourse be at least of an indifferent nature; that it be no way offensive to virtue, religion, or good manners; that it be not of a licentious dissolute sort, this leaving always ill impressions upon the mind; that it be no way injurious or vexatious to others; and that too much time be not spent this way, to the neglect of those duties and offices of life which belong to their station and condition in the world. But though there is not any necessity that men should aim at being important and weighty in every sentence they speak, yet since useful subjects, at least of some kinds, are as entertaining as others, a wise man, even when he desires to unbend his mind from business, would choose that the conversation might turn upon somewhat instructive.

The last thing is, the government of the tongue as relating to discourse of the affairs of others, and giving of characters. These are, in a manner, the same; and one can scarce call it an indifferent subject, because discourse upon it almost perpetually runs into somewhat criminal. And first of all, it were very much to be wished that this did not take up so great a part of conversation; because it is indeed a subject of a dangerous nature. Let any one consider the various interests, competitions, and little misunderstandings which arise amongst men, and he will soon see that he is not unprejudiced and impartial; that he is not, as I may speak, neutral enough, to trust himself with talking of the character and concerns of his neighbour, in a free, careless, and unreserved manner. There is perpetually, and often it is not attended to, a rivalship amongst people of one kind or another, in respect of

wit, beauty, learning, or fortune, and that one thing will insensibly influence them to speak to the disadvantage of others, even where there is no formed malice or ill design. Since, therefore, it is so hard to enter into this subject without offending, the first thing to be observed is, that people should learn to decline it, to get over that strong inclination most have to be talking of the concerns and behaviour of their neighbour. But since it is impossible that this subject should be wholly excluded conversation, and since it is necessary that the characters of men should be known; the next thing is, that it is a matter of importance what is said, and, therefore, that we should be religiously scrupulous and exact to say nothing, either good or bad, but what is true. I put it thus, because it is in reality of as great importance to the good of society that the characters of bad men should be known, as that the characters of good men should. People who are given to scandal and detraction, may indeed make an ill use of this observation; but truths which are of service towards regulating our conduct, are not to be disowned, or even concealed, because a bad use may be made of them. But this would be effectually prevented, if these two things were attended to: First, That though it is equally of bad consequence to society that men should have either good or ill characters which they do not deserve, yet when you say somewhat good of a man which he does not deserve, there is no wrong done him in particular; whereas when you say evil of a man which he does not deserve, here is a direct formal injury, a real piece of injustice, done him. This, therefore, makes a wide difference; and gives us, in point of virtue, much greater latitude in speaking well, than ill, of others. Secondly, A good man is friendly to his fellow creatures, and a lover of mankind; and so will upon every occasion, and often without any, say all the good he can to every body; but so far as he is good, will never be disposed to speak evil of any, unless there be some other reason for it besides barely that it is true. If he be charged with having given an ill character, he will scarce think it a sufficient justification of himself to say it was a true one, unless he can also give some farther account how he came to do so: a just indignation against particular instances of villany, where they are great and scandalous ; or to prevent an innocent man from being deceived and betrayed, when he has great trust and confidence in one who does not deserve it. Justice must be done to every part of a subject when we are considering it. If there be a man who bears a fair character in the world, whom yet we know to be without faith or honesty, to be really an ill man; it must be allowed in general, that we shall do a piece of service to society by letting such an one's true character be known. This is no more than what we have an instance of in our Saviour himself, though he was mild and gentle beyond example. (Mark xii. 38, 40.) However, no words can express too strongly the caution which should be used in such a case as this.

Upon the whole matter, if people would observe the obvious occasions of silence, if they would subdue the inclination to tale-bearing, and that eager desire to engage attention, which is an original disease in some minds, they would be in little danger of offending with their tongue, and would in a moral and religious sense have due government over it. I will conclude with some precepts and reflections of the son of Sirach upon this subject; "Be swift to hear, and if thou hast understanding, answer thy neighbour; if not, lay thy hand upon thy mouth. Honour and shame is in talk. A man of an ill tongue is dangerous in his city, and he that is rash in his talk shall be hated. A wise man will hold his tongue till he see opportunity; but a babbler and a fool will regard no time. A backbiting tongue hath disquieted many; strong cities hath it pulled down, and overthrown the houses of great men. The tongue of a man is his fall; but if thou love to hear, thou shalt receive understanding."

[END OF THE FIRST QUARTER.]

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