« PreviousContinue »
450.” Perhaps the most unique guess in this line was “Richard Wagner invented the Wagner cars;” Abbotsford is "the title of a book by Sir Walter Scott;” “Vassar College is a dream, high-up and unattainable;” “Tammany Hall is a political meeting place in London;” “the Parthenon, an art gallery in Athens."
Pedagogy seemed one of the most perplexing of words. It was defined by one as “the science of religion,” by another as "learned pomposity;" but the most remarkable of all was “pedagogy is the study of feet.”
SONG OF SOME LIBRARY SCHOOL SCHOLARS.
Three little maids from school are we,
1st Maid—I range my books from number one.
All—Three maids from the Library School.
Each in charge of a library,
To every other school.
Our catalogues, we quite agree,
To find the proper rule.
Boy's remark on returning a certain juvenile book to the library: “I don't want any more of them books. The girls is all too holy.”
“Half the books in this library are not worth reading,” said a sour-visaged, hypercritical, novel-satiated woman.—“Read the other half, then," advised a bystander.
THE WOES OF A LIBRARIAN.
Let us give a brief rehearsal
He must undergo probation, Before he gets a situation; Must begin at the creation, When the world was in formation, And come down to its cremation, In the final consummation Of the old world's final spasm: He must study protoplasm, And bridge over every chasm In the origin of species, Ere the monkey wore the breeches, Or the Simian tribe began To ascend from ape to man. He must master the cosmology, And know all about pyschology, And the wonders of biology, And be deep in ornithology, And develop ideology, With the aid of craniology. He must learn to teach zoölogy, And be skilled in etymology, And the science of philology, And calculate chronology, While he digs into geology, And treats of entomology, And hunts up old mythology, And dips into theology, And grows wise in sociology, And expert in anthropology. He must also know geography, And the best works on photography, And the science of stenography, And be well up on cosmography, And the secrets of cryptography. Must interpret blind chirography,
Know by heart all mens' biography,
The amount of immigration, And be wise in arbitration, And the art of navigation, And colonial annexation, And problems Australasian. He must take his daily ration Of catalogue vexation, And endless botheration With ceaseless complication Of decimal notation, Or Cutter combination. To complete his education, He must know the valuation Of all the publications Of many generations, With their endless variations, And true interpretations. When he's spent a life in learning, If his lamp continues burning, When he's mastered all philosophy, And the science of theosophy, Grown as learned as Mezzofanti, As poetical as Dante, As wise as Magliabecchi As profound as Mr. LeckyHas absorbed more kinds of knowledge Than are found in any college; He may take his full degree Of Ph. or LL. D. And prepare to pass the portal That leads to life immortal.
There is perhaps no field of inquiry concerning literature in which so large an amount of actual mis-information or of ignorance exists as that of the rarity of many books. The makers of second-hand catalogues are responsible for much of this, in describing the books which they wish to sell as "rare," "very scarce," etc., but more of it proceeds from absolute ignorance of the book-markets of the world. I have had multitudes of volumes offered for sale whose commercial value was hardly as many cents as was demanded in dollars by their ill-informed owners, who fancied the commonest book valuable because they "had never seen another copy." No one's ideas of the money value of any book are worth anything, unless he has had long experimental knowledge of the market for books both in America and in Europe.
What constitutes rarity in books is a question that involves many particulars. Thus, a given book may be rare in the United States which is abundant in London; or rare in London, when common enough in Germany. So books may be rare in one age which were easily found in another: and again, books on certain subjects may be so absorbed by public demand when events excite interest in that subject, as to take up most of the copies in market, and enhance the price of the remainder. Thus, Napoleon's conquering career in Egypt created a great demand for all books on Egypt and Africa. The scheme for founding a great French colony in Louisiana raised the price of all books and pamphlets on that region, which soon after fell