« ПредишнаНапред »
A BOOK OF
THOUGHTS AND ARGUMENTS,
MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, D.C.L., F.R.S.,
OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD.
The Philosophy of Proverbs,
AND ADDITIONAL NOTES.
Apples of gold in pictures of silver.-SOLOMON.
NEW YORK AND AUBURN:
NEW YORK: 25 PARK ROW-AUBURN: 107 GENESEE-ST.
Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
E. H. BUTLER & CO., in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
AD VE BTISE HELT.
“The literature of a nation," it has been well observed, * « contains within itself that which has made the nation what it is. Those great ideas, which in the course of centuries have been gradually developed by its master minds, are the moving springs that have set the nation onward in the career of civilization. Great ideas precede and cause illustrious achievements. The ideal Achilles made the real heroes of Marathon and the Granicus. In the Anglo-Saxon race, from the days of Alfred until now, men of superior genius, the original thinkers in each successive generation, have given birth to ennobling thoughts, which continue to endure, and are perpetuated not only in the language but in the race itself. We are what preceding generations have made us. Englishmen and Americans of the present day are living exponents of the thoughts and truths elaborated by the illustrious dead."
If the remark, so forcibly expressed in this extract, be true of literature generally, how eminently is it true of that part of any literature which is embraced in its PROVERBS! These brief sayings, passing from mouth to mouth, like the current coin, without
* Prof. Hart. Preface to Class Book of Poetry.
challenge or investigation, are in perhaps half the occurrences of life an admitted measure of value both in conduct and opinion. We act upon their suggestions very much as we do upon the suggestions of instinct, without inquiry; and we believe their intimations of truth, not with that sluggish assent which is yielded to a logical deduction, but with that prompt and hearty faith that follows the announcement of what is self-evident. Indeed it is of the very essence of a proverb, that it should be, or at least appear to be, axiomatic or self-evident. Hence the immense influence which proverbs exert upon the opinions and practice of mankind.
Of the general character of Mr. Tupper's Proverbial Philosophy, it is not necessary here to speak. The immense sale which it has had, both in this country and in England, fully shows that the author has in these proverbial phrases embodied a vast amount of what has been admitted as truth. The public mind has responded to these wise sayings with a hearty emphasis, and with a frequency of quotation, that is fast changing them from the sayings of an individual into true national proverbs.
In publishing, therefore, a new edition of the work, it has been deemed a fitting introduction to Mr. Tupper's proverbs, to give some remarks in regard to proverbs generally, their nature, uses, and history. In additon to this, the American editor has inserted at the end of the volume, numerous original notes illustrative of the text. These explanatory notes and the introductory essay render this edition altogether the most complete and desirable that has yet appeared.