Despite my solitary life, I have found infinite joy in books and writing, and am by far too much interested in the affairs of the world to quit the scene before Nature shall claim me.
Books seem to me to be pestilent things, and infect all that trade in them; that is, all but one sort of men, with something very perverse and brutal. Printers, binders, sellers, and others that make a trade and gain out of them have universally so odd a turn and corruption of mind, that they have a way of dealing peculiar to themselves, and not conformed to the good of society, and that general fairness that cements mankind. Whether it be, that these instruments of truth and knowledge will not bear being subjected to anything but those noble ends, without revenging themselves on those who meddle with to any other purpose, and prostitute them to mean and misbecoming designs; I will not inquire. The matter of fact, I think you will find true; and there will leave it to those who sully themselves with printer’s ink, till they wholly expunge all the candour that nature gives, and become the worst sort of black cattle.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.