The art-gallery, to be sure, is a history. The collectionof paintings by the old masters which is on exhibition inLondon just now will help you to realize what Englandwas in the years covered by that exhibition. If you knowhow to read those pictures, you will see what thatgeneration's ideal of beauty was ; you will see the pointwhich civilization had reached. I spend an hour some-times with the Greek sculptures in the British Museum.When I come away, Greece has soaked me, saturated me,taken possession of me ; I half unconsciously think Greek ;I understand how ardently the Greek worshipped physicalstrength, litheness, and beauty. But none of these thingsare what a book is. It is into their books that the greatrepresentative souls of the race have put their dreams,their passions, their endeavours, their aspirations. TheREADIG.thinking, the prayers, the devotions of the world, arguedin books, sung in books, enshrined in books the great,rich, royal, indestructible treasure-houses of the world !2. Books stimulate you to think. Thinking, mind you,is a very different matter from the mere acquiring of facts.The most learned people are often the ineptest thinkers.It does not follow for a moment that because you are ascholar, because you can run off a countless number of facts, that you can think. The dullest people the world hasever known have often been the most brilliant scholars,and no one can be so absolutely dull as the scholar who isdull. But if you know the way to use it, there is nothingthat can stir you to think like a living book. Indeed, thatis the test by which I try a book ; if it does not stir you tothink, I decline to call it a book. The value of a book,the power of a book, is not what it gives you, but what itenables you to get for yourself ; that it awakes you, stirsyou up ; that when you have read it you are alive to yoursoul's deepest depths. Every faculty you possess is roused,your soul quivers, and whatever there is in you discoversitself.The match does not create the fire, but lights it. Youhave gathered the materials of a fire ; there is wood thereand coals the material out of which a fire is made butit may lie there for a century and never become a fire.