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BOOKS AND BORROWERS.

We clip the following suggestive passage from a recent article on book-borrowing as of particular interest to college men. "Only those who love books understand the pang of losing them. A man who handles his book with firm yet tender touch, who delights to take down his pet volumes and smooth out the pages for sheer pleasure of the handling, is the genuine book lover, and by force of his love he will surely be the man who will lend and as surely lose. For it is the nature of this special attachment that the book-lover must share his enjoyment with others. Dearly as he loves the choice volumes ranged in neat order on his book-shelves, they are but half-used while they are not shared. The bookish man may be selfish, but it is the exception only ; the rule is that the true lover of books is "ready to lend." And so it comes to pass that, at the close of a long, eager conversation on Robert Browning's poems, or Froude's "History," or some quaint old treasure long "out of print," the generous impulse prompts an offer of the volume discussed, It may be the listener suggests that he would like to know more on the subject. "You ought to read such and such passages," says the happy owner, and the borrower carries the book home, and forthwith it mingles with his own and is merged and lost. Such a thing even as the loan of a borrowed book is not unusual, though it ought to be regarded as a social crime. Who that prides himself on his books has not painful vacancies among them? Here it is the second volume of an otherwise complete edition of Tennyson-missing ! And there a "horrible blank" tells of some unvirtuous borrower were has decapitated a valuable set by carrying off volume number one. These gaps in the bookcase are a standing grievance, and happy is he who can preserve his books intact.

Of course a methodical person would keep a list of books lent with the borrower's name in line. But, alas ! what generous soul is methodical-the ready tendency to lend a book is proof that a man is ready for all risks. Nor will a well-kept list make our borrowers honest. If a man steal your book, you may recover it if you can prove the theft : but what is to be done with him who always-yes, always-is intending to return your precious volume? Your inquiries are met with ready promises of restoration ; he will bring it back, or he cannot just lay his hand upon it, or some one has borrowed it without leave and it will be sure to come back, and then you shall have it all right. All which things are tests of patience and good humor."

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