These studies are a spur to the young, a delight to the old: an ornament in prosperity, a consoling refuge in adversity; they are pleasure for us at home, and no burden abroad; they stay up with us at night, they accompany us when we travel, they are with us in our country visits.
We must die alone. To the very verge of the stream our friends may accompany us; they may bend over us, they may cling to us there; but that one long wave from the sea of eternity washes up to the lips, sweeps us from the shore, and we go forth alone! In that untried and utter solitude, then, what can there be for us but the pulsation of that assurance, "I am not alone, because the Father is with me!
Once, in my father's bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return.
These (literary) studies are the food of youth, and consolation of age; they adorn prosperity, and are the comfort and refuge of adversity; they are pleasant at home, and are no incumbrance abroad; they accompany us at night, in our travels, and in our rural retreats.