Steele on reading for pleasure, 1713

“…this unsettled way of reading … which naturally seduces us into as undetermined a manner of thinking. … That assemblage of words which is called a style becomes utterly annihilated. … the common defence of these people is , that they have no design in reading but for pleasure, which I think should rather arise from reflection and remembrance of what one had read, than from the transient satisfaction of what one does, and we should be pleased proportionately as we are profited.”

Richard Steele, in the Guardian, 1713, quoted in Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel, Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding, The Hogarth Press, London, 1987 (1957). p. 48.

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