in political œconomy I think Smith’s wealth of nations the best book extant.
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in the science of government Montesquieu’s spirit of laws is generally recommended. it contains indeed a great number of political truths; but also an equal number of heresies: so that the reader must be constantly on his guard.
Locke’s little book on government is perfect as far as it goes.
I am sorry La Motte has put me to the expence of 140lt for a French translation of an English poem, as I make it a rule never to read translations where I can read the original.
some of the most agreeable moments of my life have been spent in reading works of imagination
to all this I add that it is deemed to read the Latin & Greek authors in their original is a sublime luxury; and I deem luxury in science to be at least as justifiable as in architecture, painting, gardening or the other arts.
I had, at an early period of life, read a good deal on the subject, & common placed what I read.
I send for Cornelia a little poem, the grasshopper’s ball, to begin her collection.
Smith’s wealth of nations is the best book to be read, unless Say’s Political economy can be had which treats the same subjects on the same principles, but in a shorter compass & more lucid manner.
I shall give over reading newspapers. they are so false & so intemperate that they disturb tranquility without giving information.
I have given up newspapers in exchange for Tacitus & Thucydides, for Newton & Euclid; & I find myself much the happier.
I brought the inclosed book to this place, the last fall, intending to forward it to you; but having a neighbor here who loves to laugh, I lent it to him to read; he lent it to another, and so it went the rounds of the neighborhood and is returned to me at my Spring visit to this place. I now...
I promised you a sample from my Commonplace book ... when I was a student of the law, now half a century ago, after getting thro Coke Littleton, whose matter cannot be abridged, I was in the habit of abridging and commonplacing what I read meriting it, and of sometimes mixing my own reflections...
he hopes & doubts not mr Ingersoll will recieve the highest of all rewards to an honest and patriotic mind, the love and gratitude of his fellow citizens.
I cannot live without books.
I find more amusement in studies to which I was always more attached, and from which I was dragged by the events of the times in which I have happened to live.
I trouble you now with a piece of business. on the destruction of the library of Congress, I thought it a duty to offer them mine. I had been 50. years collecting it, with good opportunities, and it’s selection, more than it’s number of volumes had peculiarly adapted it to their uses. I must now...
A great obstacle to good education is the in ordinate passion prevalent for novels, and the time lost in that reading which should be instructively employed. when this poison infects the mind, it destroys it’s tone, and revolts it against wholsome reading. reason and fact, plain and unadorned,...
my repugnance to the writing table becomes daily & hourly more deadly & insurmountable. in place of this has come on a canine appetite for reading. and I indulge it: because I see in it a relief against the taedium senectutis; a lamp to lighten my path thro’ the dreary wilderness of time...
I read no newspaper now but Ritchie’s, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. I feel a much greater interest in knowing what passed two or three thousand years ago, than in what is now passing. I read nothing therefore but of the...
my business is to beguile the wearisomness of declining life, as I endeavor to do, by the delights of classical reading and of Mathematical truths, and by the consolations of a sound philosophy, equally indifferent to hope & fear.
your Latin & Greek should be kept up assiduously by reading at spare hours: and, discontinuing the desultory reading of the schools. I would advise you to undertake a regular course of history & poetry in both languages. in Greek, go first thro’ the Cyropaedia, and then read Herodotus,...
but I am far from presuming to direct the reading of my fellow citizens, who are good enough judges themselves of what is worthy their reading.
Books were at all times his chosen companions.