13 MARCH 1953, Page 10

Xht cipectator, filiartb 12th, 1853


LIBRARIES for the working classes are the rage. . . . Literature is becoming the world's storehouse of nations, old, obsolete, new; crude, prospective, impossible; the valuable intermingled, diluted, merged in the worthless—a storehouse without invoice or guide, where goods lie amongst raw material and lumber incalculable. A man may by diligence pick up some, and piece it together for himself; but as for completeness or totality—what is the sum of the grains of slind which the rolling billows toss from shore to sea and back again—what the specific amount of the clouds that veil the ocean and the dry land? If knowledge lies in that mass, perdu, who shall ascertain the fact ? No wonder that we let our " inferiors " see what they can make of the thing. But each evil is the parent of its own remedy. Ignorance was cured by learning; monopoly of learning was redressed by printing; and so this new kind of ignorance, induced by the excess of raw and unorganised knowledge, shall bring forth its own light out of the darkness. Perhaps we shall discover some new invention which will be to that positive ignorance which we call education what invention was to the previous negative knowledge which we called ignorance. ...