Books and Culture

Books and Culture

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Books and Culture by Hamilton Wright Mabie

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1896

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Books and Culture

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Book Excerpt

e rivulets of knowledge by the way was strikingly developed by a man of surpassing eloquence and tireless activity. He was never a methodical student in the sense of following rigidly a single line of study, but he habitually fed himself with any kind of knowledge which was at hand. If books were at his elbow, he read them; if pictures, engravings, gems were within reach, he studied them; if nature was within walking distance, he watched nature; if men were about him, he learned the secrets of their temperaments, tastes, and skills; if he were on shipboard, he knew the dialect of the vessel in the briefest possible time; if he travelled by stage, he sat with the driver and learned all about the route, the country, the people, and the art of his companion; if he had a spare hour in a village in which there was a manufactory, he went through it with keen eyes and learned the mechanical processes used in it. "Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar?" says Emerson. "It is this: every man I meet is my mast

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