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and the number of those burnt, at the highest estimation, could not amount but to three or four hundred thousand ; , the daily portion of each bath must have been very small. What strange materials for heating these cauldrons—old
archments and rolls of papyrus !!
here must have proceeded a most
exquisite perfume for the four thousandbaths, and the whole city. These two ingredients might have well given an insufferable smoke, but could not serve to heat water, This last absurdity is one of the reasons, not the least strong, against the recital of Abulpharagius.
4. Conjectures on the ultimate fate of the library.
If it be then true, as it appears, that in 640, the time when Alexandria was taken by Amrou, the celebrated library no longer remained ; in what manner was it dispersed and destroyed after 415, when Orosius assures us he had seen it 2 We will first remark, that Orosius speaks only of some cases which he saw in the temples, and not of the library of the Ptolemies, which was deposited in the Serapion. Recollecting also the troubles and the constant wars, of which Egypt was the theatre, from the time of the first Roman emperors, we must be astonished, that there remained any traces of the library in posterior times. Under Commodus the temple of Serapis suffered much by a fire, but without being totally destroyed, when the library must of course have ło, much injured. We also know the devastations, which the malicious genius of Caracalla made in Alexandria. The Museum was demolished. Under Aurelian the whole of the Bruchion was destroyed. This emperor took the city and delivered it to the plunder of his soldiers.
Theodosius the Great, at last, stimulated by the exhortations of the bishop of Theophilus, reduced to ashes in the year 391 the Serapis. It is very certain, that all the buildings attached to the temple were at this time a prey to the flames. The destruction of the li
brary must then be imputed to the christians ; and we can hardly doubt, that the blind zeal of the early ages induced men, little enlightened, to destroy books and monuments which they thought might perpetuate or remind them of the worship of idols. If, after this, any portion of the library remained, it is probable that the second Theodosius, as fond of books as Ptolemy, might have appropriated them to his own use. If after this any thing had remained at Alexandria, what must have become of it during the wars which took place in its walls between Cyrillus and Orestes ; and during the commotions which agitated it under the emperour Marcian It is very probable, that there were then very considerable drafts upon it. The monks transferred many vol. umes to their monasteries ; the emperours of the east toConstantinople,and to other cities,where they established schools. There is then no doubt that, towards the commencement of the ninth century, a large quantity of ancient books was found dispersed throughout Egypt. Leo Africanus relates, that the caliph Mamou sent into Syria, Armenia, and Egypt many persons with a commission to collect and purchase ancient books, and that they returned loaded with inestimable treasures. Further let us recollect, that under Heraclius the Persians took
Mafiles...affearance of the streets, houses, and feofile...strada Toledo..., the villa...suburb of Kiaja.
NAPLEs ranks as the third city in Europe in point of size ; its population is said to amount to six hundred thousand, but more probably it contains less than two thirds that number. It stands at the extremity of its beautiful bay, and one side extends nearly to the base of mount Vesuvius. It is built at the feet and on the sides of several hills, the highest of which rises about midway between each extremity, and is crowned by the castie of St. Elmo. As the area on which the city is constructed is not very extensive, the houses rise to the height of seven and eight stories, and are many of them very large and magnificent.
The streets are remarkably clean, having a descent from the hills into the bay, into which the rain washes all the dirt. The pavement of them is the finest in the world. It is hewed from the lava in square pieces of equal size, and is laid in mortar ; there is no sideways, but the whole street is even as a floor. This mode of pa" ving is expensive at the moment, but is very durable, as there are very few carts or heavy vehicles in the city.
The strada Toledo may vie with any street in Europe. It is nearly a mile in length and terminates at one end in the Largo del Palazzo, where the royal palace is situated, and in the other in the
place of the Spirito Santo, in which there is a colossal equestrian statue. The street contains sev. eral superb palaces of the nobility. I reside with a friend who has a noble apartment in a palace on this street, from the balconies of which I take great pleasure in regarding the crowds with which it is thronged. The carriages are very numerous and driven with a velocity, which seemed to me dangerous and unfeeling to the crowd on foot; though I am told, and believe it to be true, that, as the people are aware of this, they take care to get out of the way, and, if they drove slower, the obstruction would be so great that they would never get a. long. The population of this city is amotley mixture, composed principally of beggars, monks, and soldiers. The dresses are of all forms and colours, and have many of them a whimsical look. This fine street is disgraced in some places by being made a market place, and the stalls obstruct the sides of the way.
Some of the houses are built of lava entirely, others have only the foundations of lava and the walls constructed with fragments of softer stone, and stuccoed ; they have, all of them, stone staircases. The floors of the rooms, even of the bedchambers, are laid with tiles or bricks. Each story is inhabited by a separate family, and the staircase is as common as the street, but not always so clean. The windows open down to the floor, and are furnished with balconies. The strada Kiaja is the shortest communication between the suburbs of that name and the city. This street was formerly obstructed by a high hill, which one of thcir sovereigns cut through ; but, in order to preserve the connection between the two parts of the city built on the hill, an arch was thrown across from one side to the other, over which the street passes forty feet above the pavement of the strada Kiaja, which terminates at the villa. This is a publick walk upon the borders of the bay. It is decorated with some fountains and statues; among others the celebrated Farnese Bull. The group of figures which surround it are principally modern, though admirably executed. Below the villa is the suburb of Kiaja, principally inhabited by fishermen. The fashionable ride for carriages in the evening is called the Corso, and extends from the villa down to Pausilino. It is more than a mile, and the road lays all along the edge of the bay. Towards the evening he had more tenderness than Ovid, more martial pomp than Pindar. I have good reason to think, that in his Elegy and his Bard he has been very much indebted to the Italian poets, particularly to Celio Magno and Petrarch. This subject I mean not now to investigate, for I have not leisure ; and perhaps I might not flash conviction on the idolaters of this poet. Some of my friends, whose taste in general I love, think differently from me ; but I candidly confess, I think the severities of Johnson on Gray more justifiable, than the encomiastick adulations of Wakefield. The PLANE TREE.
it is much crowded with carriages, that drive backwards and forwards for an hour or two, and enjoy the freshness of the evening. Some of the equipages are brilliant, and the ladies are fond of shewing themselves and criticising each other's dress and appearance. Nothing can be more delicious than this ride on the borders of the bay. In our country we should not think of taking an excursion for pleasure in an evening in the month of March ; but here nankin clothes may be worn all winter, and the want of fire is seldom felt.
The streets are not lighted ; a few solitary lamps only are seen hanging before the picture of the virgin. The footmen behind the carriages carry torches, and people in the street are generally preceded by a servant with a torch. During the early part of the evening the number of these torches illuminates the streets sufficiently, and have a brilliant appearance, though the soot and smoke of them are very inconvenient. They are obliged to extinguish them before they pass the palace, on account of the cannon which are kept loaded before it.
The filatanus of the Romans should be called “ the old batchelor,” for it never united its branches with the tendrils of the vine. Horace calls it “calebs,” and Martial “vidua,” for the grape vines were never married to the plane tree, as to the elm and others. Old batchelors also love to drink much wine ; they grow fat from the juice of the grape, and delight in constant potations. So the plane tree was nourished by wine, as we learn from Pliny, “ compertum id maximë prodesse radicibus ; docuimusque etiam arbores vina potare ;” “ it was found to be very nutritious to the roots of the plane tree ; and thus we have taught even trees to drink wine.” Macrobius and Valerius Maximus attest the same fact. An old batchelor is a mere plane tree.
Who shall be compared to Goldsmith ? His verse is softer to the ear, than the pearl of the sea to the nerve of vision. When I am tired with other reading, its influence is gentle, like the silent
approaches of rain in the drought of summer. It flows as the village brook, which gives a pleasant sound, and makes the fields green and fruitful. I read him with more pleasure than Pope, for I believe he has more exquisite sentiment; more of pure morals ; and more of that nature, which bursts out in Thomson, which finds a ready entrance to every heart, that is not corrupted by folly, or rendered callous by a city life. He has written little poetry, yet that little is like beads, strung in holy rosaries, or the continuous vibrations of the harp at midnight. All is musical and material in Goldsmith's verses. If you take away any thing, you injure the whole, for the little palace in fairy land was made of precious stones, and the dwarf jewel in the corner was as necessary,as the queen diamond, shining in the centre. Goldsmith's histories are not excellent. They were written for booksellers or bread, and therefore composed in a hurry, without reflection or labour of research. His “ Vicar of Wakefield” is well known, and his “Citizen of the World” I read with more delight, than the “Persian letters” of Montesquieu. I am afraid that his volume of Essays is little read ; but they contain a full harvest of sense in a style, simple and easy, without Swift's nudity of figure, and without Hawkesworth’s ornamental decoration. NATURE IN WINTER.
How inexhaustible is nature, how creative of pleasure | That man is not ethereal, who can look abroad on the world without emotion, and then retires into the little chamber of his soul, indifferent and careless of what is without. In the winter I cannot loiter in pine woods, or climb the nut-trees as in autumn, yet I love to look on the elm in a clear and cold morning, when the boughs and branches are hung with ice diamonds, which the sun makes most curious and beautiful. Even the little snowbird twitters a short note, which I like ; and the note is much louder, when he pecks the spider from under the eaves of the wood-house, where he was sleeping and dreaming of the flies he had caught in the past summer. I am not exclusively attached to books or to nature; for how melancholy should I have osten been, if I could not philosophize with Tully on the vanity of life, or soar to heaven, in rapt imagination, with Milton. But I should be a brute if I saw the slanting sun in winter, and did not admire the steadiness of his course, though his warmth was feeble, and his dominion transitory. Even in this northerly month of February, I remarked that the currant bushes were a little green in the buds, & I picked a small flower, purple and white, from a bed of strawberry vines, where the earth was warm and full of coming fruitfulness. All have their reveries. I shelter myself with Thomson and his robin, with Cowper and his minnows, and with Burns and the family bible. 3W IFT.
The great excellence of Swift is his manly thinking. His style has no ornament, but is close, correct, and terse. He did not care for figures to decorate superficial thoughts; he well knew that his deep sense in pure, easy terms would engage the head and heart of every thinking reader. He is a plain gentleman, who tells honestly what he believes, and his belief was solid and rational. From Bol
ingbroke he acquired no splendour of declamation in prose, for he probably despised it ; from Pope he did not learn to love imagery and sentiment in poetry, because perhaps he thought he might not equal his friend, or because his mind delighted in reflection, more than in fancy. He resembled Arbuthnot in wit and sense, yet Arbuthnot's works do not please like the writings of Swift. Johnson has praised Arbuthnot, but it is now difficult to discover the reasons of the elogy. The rhymes of Swift have been often praised, but never beyond their real merit. There is no laborious search for correspondent words ; no alteration of sense for the convenience of the term ; but all the rhymes are musical, and the sense of the whole poem is connected by the perfect regularity of the individual parts. If Pope and Goldsmith are studied for harmony of rhyme, Swift should be added, and so create a triumvirate. wARBURtoN AND DRAytos. WARBURtoN speaks of “one Michael Drayton.” A giant may mention a dwarf with contempt, and a lion may despise a contest with a kid ; but it did not become even the hierophant of England to allude obscurely to the author of “Polyolbion” and “ the Barons’ wars.” Drayton has all the quaintness of Spenser. He had an eye, that looked carefully and curiously on nature, and a mind, that did not despise learning. His fancy was creative and peculiar, of which his description of the bosom of a fair lady is an eminent example. Warburton himself had a towering imagination ; a haughtiness of character, looking high, and carrying proclamation of importance.
He marched in his episcopal robes,