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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
riginates nothing, it does nothing. It talks hard words about the labor of others, and is reckoned more meritorious for it than genius and labor for doing what learning can only descant upon. It trades on the capital of unlettered minds. It struts in stolen plumage, and it is mere plumage. A learned man resembles an owl in more respects than the matter of wisdom. Like that solemn bird, he is about all feathers. Our Second Advent friends contemplate a grand conflagration about the first of April next. I should be willing there should be one, if it could be confined to the productions of the press, with which the earth is absolutely smothered. Humanity wants precious few books to read, but the great living, breathing, immortal volume of Providence. Life,—real life,—how to live, how to treat one another, and how to trust God in matters beyond our ken and occasion,—these are the lessons to learn, and you find little of them in libraries. That accursed drum and fife! How they<