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to his taste.  You may have a "pallid bust of Pallas" above your

classical collection, or fill the niches in a shrine of old French

light literature, pastoral and comedy, with delicate shepherdesses

in Chelsea china.  On such matters a modest writer, like Mr. Jingle

when Mr. Pickwick ordered dinner, "will not presume to dictate."

Next to damp, dust and dirt are the chief enemies of books.  At

short intervals, books and shelves ought to be dusted by the amateur

himself.  Even Dr. Johnson, who was careless of his person, and of

volumes lent to him, was careful about the cleanliness of his own

books.  Boswell found him one day with big gloves on his hands

beating the dust out of his library, as was his custom.  There is

nothing so hideous as a dirty thumb-mark on a white page.  These

marks are commonly made, not because the reader has unwashed hands,

but because the dust which settles on the top edge of books falls

in, and is smudged when they are opened.  Gilt-top edges should be

smoothed with a handkerchief, and a small brush should be kept for

brushing the tops of books with rough edges, before they are opened.

But it were well that all books had the top edge gilt.  There is no

better preservative against dust.  Dust not only dirties books, it

seems to supply what Mr. Spencer would call a fitting environment

for book-worms.  The works of book-worms speak for themselves, and

are manifest to all.  How many a rare and valuable volume is spoiled

by neat round holes drilled through cover and leaves!  But as to the

nature of your worm, authorities differ greatly.  The ancients knew

this plague, of which Lucian speaks.  Mr. Blades mentions a white

book-worm, slain by the librarian of the Bodleian.  In Byzantium the

black sort prevailed.  Evenus, the grammarian, wrote an epigram

against the black book-worm ("Anthol.  Pal.," ix. 251):-

Pest of the Muses, devourer of pages, in crannies that lurkest,

Fruits of the Muses to taint, labour of learning to spoil;

Wherefore, oh black-fleshed worm! wert thou born for the evil thou


Wherefore thine own foul form shap'st thou with envious toil?

The learned Mentzelius says he hath heard the book-worm crow like a

cock unto his mate, and "I knew not," says he, "whether some local

fowl was clamouring or whether there was but a beating in mine ears.

Even at that moment, all uncertain as I was, I perceived, in the

paper whereon I was writing, a little insect that ceased not to

carol like very chanticleer, until, taking a magnifying glass, I

assiduously observed him.  He is about the bigness of a mite, and

carries a grey crest, and the head low, bowed over the bosom; as to

his crowing noise, it comes of his clashing his wings against each

other with an incessant din."  Thus far Mentzelius, and more to the

same purpose, as may be read in the "Memoirs of famous Foreign

Academies" (Dijon, 1755-59, 13 vol. in quarto).  But, in our times,

the learned Mr. Blades having a desire to exhibit book-worms in the

body to the Caxtonians at the Caxton celebration, could find few men

that had so much as seen a book-worm, much less heard him utter his

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