a very few years we find that the circle of books alters as swiftly and strangely as that of the men who write or the boys who read them.
When the late Dr. Walter Channing
was revisiting in old age his birthplace, Newport, R. I.
, he requested me to take him to the Redwood Library
, of which he had been librarian some sixty years before.
He presently asked the librarian, with an eagerness at first inexplicable, for a certain book, whose name I had never before heard.
With some difficulty the custodian hunted it up, entombed beneath other dingy folios in a dusty cupboard.
Nobody, he said, had ever before asked for it during his administration.
‘Strange!’said Dr. Channing
, turning over the leaves.
‘This was in my time the show-book of the collection; people came here purposely to see it.’
He closed it with a sigh, and it was replaced in its crypt.
is dead, the librarian who unearthed the book is since dead, and I have forgotten its very title.
In all coming time, probably, its repose will be as undisturbed as that of Hans Andersen
's forgotten Christmas-tree in the garret.
Did, then, the authorship of that book give