I have some curious books in both languages; such as Erasmi Colloquia, Ovid de Tristibus, Gradus ad Parnassum; and in English I have several of the best books, though some of them are a little torn; but I have a great part of Stowe's Chronicle; the sixth volume of Pope's Homer; the third volume of the Spectator; the second volume of Echard's Roman History; the Craftsman; Robinson Crusoe; Thomas a Kempis
; and two volumes of Tom Brown's Works."
On reaching Petersburg Pierre did not let anyone know of his arrival, he went nowhere and spent whole days in reading Thomas a Kempis
, whose book had been sent him by someone unknown.
"I have a quarto Shakespeare, I think," he said, "that I marked at Sotheby's, also a manuscript Thomas a Kempis
, and a first edition of Herrick.
"Beauties of the Spectator," "Rasselas," "Economy of Human Life," "Gregory's Letters,"--she knew the sort of matter that was inside all these; the "Christian Year,"--that seemed to be a hymnbook, and she laid it down again; but Thomas a Kempis? --the name had come across her in her reading, and she felt the satisfaction, which every one knows, of getting some ideas to attach to a name that strays solitary in the memory.
She read so eagerly and constantly in her three books, the Bible, Thomas a Kempis, and the "Christian Year" (no longer rejected as a "hymn-book"), that they filled her mind with a continual stream of rhythmic memories; and she was too ardently learning to see all nature and life in the light of her new faith, to need any other material for her mind to work on, as she sat with her well-plied needle, making shirts and other complicated stitchings, falsely called "plain,"--by no means plain to Maggie, since wristband and sleeve and the like had a capability of being sewed in wrong side outward in moments of mental wandering.
Thomas a Kempis
wrote this spiritual classic, which highlighted various points that countless others have found extremely useful as materials for their prayer.