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ORIGINAL REMARKS ON BOOKS,
BY THE REV. EDWARD MANGIN,
AUTHOR OF “PLEASURES ARISING FROM A LOVE OF BOOKS."
“A TESSELATED PAVEMENT WITHOUT CEMENT ; HERE A BIT OF BLACK
Burke's Character of Lord Chatham.
I HAVE, for want of a more suitable title, called my volume the PARLOUR WINDOW; meaning, I believe, a book to be taken up by any one who, for a quarter of an hour now and then, has nothing better to read or to do, during such fractions of time as are at our disposal while waiting for breakfast or dinner, or until the rain shall be over, or until husbands shall have finished writing letters, or wives and daughters have put on their shawls, &c.
But parlour windows no longer have permanent seats; and if they had, no modern would sit on them. There are, however, in all drawingrooms, large round tables of mahogany, or tulipwood, on which books are usually flung; while a desultory air is given to the display, to signify that the books are not books of study, and that they may be thrown down, just after they have been taken up, without any affront to the fame of their authors, or any loss to the reader.
On some such table, be it the lot of my humble miscellany to repose, in the aristocratic society of Albums, Annuals, Books of Beauty, and so forth !
The nature of my publication may be announced in a few simple words. The articles which compose it, have been arranged as they came to hand, without regard to connexion, or dates; and consist of notes made on various occasions, for a succession of years.
Where almost every thing is trifling, it is scarcely necessary to observe, that the notices which occur of short passages in the works of some authors of little notoriety, refer chiefly to minute deviations from the established laws of grammatical construction, &c., and are, with great diffidence, offered by way of general lessons, to the inexperienced in the art of English composition.