« PreviousContinue »
Copyright, 1922, by
Published in December, 1922
Copyright Under the Articles of the Copyright Convention of the Pan-American
Republics and the United States, August 11, 1910
DR. FRANK H. VIZETELLY
IN PRAISE OF THE BRIDGE THAT CARRIED ME OVER;
A BRIDGE OF PATIENT SYMPATHY AND SCHOLARLY HELPFULNESS;
THE KEYSTONE, LOYALTY TO THE WORLD OF LETTERS;
THE ARCH BROAD AND GRACIOUS.
K. L. R.
To Amalthæa, the nurse of his infancy, Zeus gave a magic horn of plenty, which by his grace was over-brimming no matter what was taken from it. This NEW EDITION of a standard work, like the famous cornucopia, contains a freshened and replenished store. In the garnering of this rich harvest of fruits culled from the vast fields of literature, tribute has been taken from every tree in our literary Eden, so that the reader may share in common with his fellow creatures, not only the kindly fruits of the earth, but also the golden apples plucked from the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil. Since divine discontent is wholesome, we may expect to find some apples of discord as well as of love, the apples of Sodom and of Cain, and a modicum of dead sea fruit. Something there will be of distasteful growth, but the weed's plain heart holds a secret though 'tis shallow rooted. Many a wayside flower in a crannied nook has carried a message to an humble heart, and because its bloom has attracted public attention, it warrants a place among the choicer blossoms in this horn of plenty filled for all sorts and conditions of men.
The effort of the compiler has been to make the collection the most complete that has ever been gathered within the covers of a book. There has been provided
“Fruit of all kinds, in coat
Rough, or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell.” of which Milton sang in Paradise Lost.
In seeking enrichment of his own ideas, a speaker or writer is more concerned with the flavor and odor of the flower or fruit than with its progenitor, therefore the compiler, in gathering and preserving the “wisdom of the wise and experience of the ages, labels each specimen according to its quality (Topical arrangement) rather than source (Author arrangement).
The latter need is amply met by a biographical index wherein authors are paged. Thus like is with like, and an index to topics, with cross references, links up combinations of relating attraction.
The phrases which are “the parole of literary men the world over," form the basic value of the work. The compiler's blue pencil has hesitated over the prolific output of the “moderns," for public taste is fickle and what is popular to-day is padding to-morrow.
In these stirring times the press has teemed with utterances of prominent people, but records are inaccurate and unreliable, as has been tested through personal letters.
Locke states: “He that has but ever so little examined the citations of writers cannot doubt how little credit the quotations deserve where the originals are wanting; and consequently, how much less quotations of quotations can be relied on.”
Many omissions may be accounted for by the fact that men of action often prefer the gold of silence to the speech of silver, but on the whole, the Biographical Index is a Who's Who of authors of all times.
It has not been easy to follow Dr. Routh's advice, “always to verify your references," for editions, texts and authorities differ. At times only a hint of an authority has been available, but rather than lose an item of value it has been deemed best to retain a meager suggestion in hope of future discovery.
It may be claimed for this work, without fear of contradiction, that no other of its kind contains so full an array of material under topics; none with such a representation of modern writers and speakers; no other includes such a record of modern war phrases, songs and poems; nowhere else are kindred thoughts and expressions so closely connected by cross references that they may be compared, and in no other collection of quotations have the nerves and arteries of the contents been laid open so plainly through so comprehensive and complete a concordance.
Topics have been chosen for their general character, so that similar ideas might not be too widely separated, which is a fault of too detailed subdivision.
The compiler takes comfort in the words of Cotton Mather: “Reader, Carthagena was of the mind that unto those three things which the ancients held to be impossible, there should be added this fourth; to find a book without Erratas. It seems the hands of Briareus and the eyes of Argus will not prevent them.”
Whatever degree this work has attained in the achievement of the impossible, it owes to MR. LEANDER J. DEBEKKER, the Briareus and Argus of the printed page and its literary contents. Appreciation and gratitude are but feebly expressed in this tribute to his services.
Acknowledgment is due to MESSRS. HARPER & Bros. for permission to use the lines written by Peter Newel found on pages 280 and 538.
KATE LOUISE ROBERTS.