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Literary Composition
by [?]

As a specimen of Du Fresnoy’s calculations, take that of Sacred History.

For reading Pere Calmet's learned dissertations in the}
order he points out } 12 days
For Pere Calmet's History, in 2 vols. 4to (now in 4) 12
For Prideaux's History 10
For Josephus 12
For Basnage's History of the Jews 20
In all 66 days

He allows, however, ninety days for obtaining a sufficient
knowledge of Sacred History.
In reading this sketch, we are scarcely surprised at the erudition of a Gibbon; but having admired that erudition, we perceive the necessity of such a plan, if we would not learn what we have afterwards to unlearn.

A plan like the present, even in a mind which should feel itself incapable of the exertion, will not be regarded without that reverence we feel for genius animating such industry. This scheme of study, though it may never be rigidly pursued, will be found excellent. Ten years’ labour of happy diligence may render a student capable of consigning to posterity a history as universal in its topics, as that of the historian who led to this investigation.

[Footnote 1:
Edgar Poe’s account of the regular mode by which he designed and executed his best and most renowned poem, “The Raven,” is an instance of the use of methodical rule successfully applied to what appears to be one of the most fanciful of mental works. ]