segunda-feira, 16 de abril de 2012

I confess I have no great notion of the use of books

"I, sir," continued the Curate, "am a recluse, a student, a creature of ink and bottles and patristic folios. A recent event has brought my folly vividly before my eyes, and I desire to instruct myself in life. By life", he added, "I do not mean Thackeray's novels; but the crimes and secret possibilities of our society, and the principles of wise conduct among exceptional events. I am a patient reader; can the thing be learnt in books?"
"You put me in a difficulty," said the stranger. "I confess I have no great notion of the use of books, except to amuse a railway journey; although, I believe, there are some very exact treatises on astronomy, the use of globes, agriculture, and the art of making paper flowers. Upon the less apparent provinces of life I fear you will find nothing truthful. Yet stay," he added, "have you read Gaboriau?"
Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Rajah's Diamond", in New Arabian Nights (1882)

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