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It is well known what devastations Caracalla's evil spirit led him to commit in hapless Alexandria. The museum was pulled down.

Under Aurelian, the whole of the Bruchion was demolished. This emperor afterwards took possession of the city, and gave it up to be pillaged by his soldiers.

Then came the long train of feuds occasioned by Arianism.

If we examine the probabilities of the case, Ibrary, however, could scarcely escape uninwe shall find them all militating against Abul-jured. farage's account, and the existence of the library in the days of Omar and Amrou. The books of the ancients were written either on parchment or on leaves of papyrus. Those of the Alexandrian library, in particular, must have been principally of the latter species, the papyrus being an Egyptian plant. Now these leaves of the papyrus were very liable to fall to pieces or to be destroyed by insects, especially in the hot, damp atmosphere of Alexandria; it was, therefore, ne- And lastly, Theodosius the Great, in complicessary frequently to renew such copies. Now ance with the exhortations of Theophilus, caused is it to be imagined that all the pains necessary the Serapeum to be reduced to ashes, A. D. 391. It for the preservation of such a library would have is certain that all the edifices adjoining the temple been conscientiously taken after the dynasty of became this time a prey to the flames. This loss the Ptolemies had ceased to reign, and in the must, therefore, be laid at the door of the Chrismidst of the war and revolts that followed, dur-tians, and, unfortunately, it is scarcely a matter ing which all taste for learning and science, as it is well known, was completely obliterated? The parchment manuscripts, which were probably not numerous, might resist somewhat long ger; but all the rest, after two or three centuries, had doubtless become food for the worms.

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of doubt that the blind zeal of the primitive ages induced the unenlightened intellects of those times to seek the destruction of books and monuments, or any thing that seemed likely to recall or perpetuate the worship of idols.

If any remains of the library escaped from the general conflagration, it is probable that the second Theodosius, quite as great a bibliopolist as the Ptolemies, would have taken possession of them himself.

Abulfarage does not affix any number to the books which, according to him, were burned; ed but he informs us that they served during six months to heat the baths of the town. We know that there were 4000 baths-only think of Now, if any such remains existed in Alexbooks serving as fuel to heat 4000 baths during andria, what became of them during the civil six months! If we take into consideration that wars that were carried on within its walls between the volumes, or rolls, of the ancients could Cyrillus and Orestes, and during the revolts that bb scarcely be compared in bulk to our folios, and took place under the emperor Marianus? In that the number of volumes, at the very highest all probability, they were broken up and discomputation, could scarcely amount to more tributed in various directions. The monks obHea than 300,000 or 400,000, it must be confessed tained some for their convents, and the emperors that the daily portion of each bath establishment of the East had some brought to Constantinople must have been slender indeed. And what ma-and other towns, where they established schools. terials to serve for heating boilers! Old parch-It is beyond a doubt that towards the beginning ment manuscripts and rolls of papyrus! Of a verity, there must have resulted from such fuel the most Sabæan odors, for the benefit of the 4000 baths and the whole city! We can believe that these ingredients might serve to make a most insupportable smoke; but notwithstanding the proverb that affirms, "where there is smoke. there is fire," we doubt their powers of heating water! This latter piece of absurdity, is, perhaps, not one of the least valid reasons against the authenticity of Abulfarage's account.


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of the fourth century a great quantity of ancient books were disseminated over Egypt. Leo Africanus relates that the Caliph Mahmoud despatched several persons to Syria, Armenia, and Egypt, with orders to collect and purchase ancient books, and that they returned loaded with inestimable treasures.

Lastly, be it remembered that, under Heraclius, the Persians took and pillaged Alexandria, which they abandoned shortly after. Then followed the Arabians, who, as we see, could not have met with the ancient library, unless, indeed, its preservation had been effected by one of those miracles, of which, unfortunately, no example has ever been met with in the annals of

If it be true, as we have every reason to think. that in 640, at the taking of Alexandria by Am-literature. rou, the celebrated library no longer existed, we may inquire in what manner it had been dis V. IS THE LOSS TO SCIENCE AN IMPORTANT persed and destroyed since 415, when Oroses affirms that he saw it?


Gibbon replies in the negative. He regrets, In the first place, we must observe that Oroses he says, infinitely more the Roman libraries only mentions some presses which he saw in the which must have perished at the invasion of the temples. It was not, therefore, the library of the northern barbarians. We have only fragments Ptolemies as it once existed in the Serapeum. of three great Roman historians. while we may Let us call to mind, moreover, that ever sinceustly be surprised at the number of pieces of the first Roman emperors, Egypt had been the theatre of incessant civil warfare, and we shall be surprised that any traces of the library could still exist in later times.

Under Commodus, the Serapeum caught fire but without being entirely destroyed; the li

Greek literature that have floated down to us on

he surface of the vast stream of devastation that overrun so many countries. We possess its classical works, and these chefs d'œuvre of geius. to which the opinions of antiquity have unanimously assigned the first rank. ́ Aristotle,

Galen, and Pliny, had read, compared, and made use of the writings of their predecessors, and they give us no good reason to imagine that any great and important truth, or any useful discovery, that might excite modern curiosity, has been lost. With regard to the literature of the barbarians, it is to be presumed that the exclusive pride of Greek literature would have forbid any Ethiopian, Indian. Chaldean, or Phoenician books to enter this library. And it is doubtful whether such exclusion was any real loss to philosophy.

Without entirely siding against Gibbon on this subject, we cannot doubt but that our literary riches would have been increased were the library of the Serapeum still in existence. Whatever cause may have destroyed it, whether worms or fire, carelessness or fanaticism, certain it is that it would have offered us a com

plete and correct Aristotle, who might then, perhaps, be entirely intelligible; a Menander, all the lost portions of Eschylus and Euripides, the poems of Empedocles and Stesichoros, a multitude of philosophical writings by Theophrastes and Epicurus, and a hundred others, and a quantity of historical works, which every thing leads us to believe are lost to us for ever. Surely this is sufficient to excite the regret of all friends to science or the Muses.

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Talk not of splintering masts or raging skies,—
The troubled ocean of a tropic clime;
Within the port a direr peril lies,

Where war the maddening waves of want and

Loud roars the storm on yon wild shore afar,
Man against man incensed in hungry strife;
Oh! worse than all the elements at war,
The fierce contentions of a lawless life!

Bright the effulgence of a southern sky,

We admit, however, that while deploring the loss of the great library of the Serapeum, we may remain indifferent as to what Amrou burned, if indeed he burned any thing, which we are induced to believe he did not. It is sufficiently proved that in his time the collection of the Ptolemies no longer existed; but we know that, during the two or three centuries preceding the invasion of the Mussulmans, there had appeared a frightful quantity of polemical writings. the offspring of Gnosticism, Arianism, Monophysitism, Minoteletism, &c., all of which sects infested the empire, and especially Alexandria." In all probability, the house of the patriarch and the churches were full of these writings; and, if these served to light fires to warm the baths, it must be confessed that for once, at least, they were turned to some useful account.


Written while waiting the solemnization of a High Mass,

performed for the Belgian Emigrants, previous to Embarkation

for America.


From the New Monthly Magazine.

GIVE them your parting prayers!—not much to grant

To brethren banish'd from their native shore,Desp'rate with penury,-subdued by want,

Cast forth like Ishmael from the patriarch's door.

Beauteous the blossoms with its verdure blent;

Strange birds on starry wings glance radiant by,
But on no kindred thing descends the ray,—
No hearts they love those fragrant wonders

New stars adorn the Antarctic firmament.

KYRIE ELEISON!—Lord of Mercy!—may
Thy hand be with them in the wilderness!”

The pristine curse still blights that hateful spot!
No legends consecrate its joyless home,-
Traditionary links that bind our lot

With ages past, and ages yet to come!—
Tree, rock, or stream--what memories endear?—
No tyrant perish'd there,--no hero bled !--
Mute is the olden time whose voice might cheer,
The daily struggle for their bitter bread!

Climb they the mountain!--From the vale beneath
No hum of men,--nor village chime ascends;
O'er Nature's breathless form,-how fair in death-
The solemn pall of Solitude extends.
Or, higher yet, when from the topmost bound
Illimitable their
eyes survey,
Still--still--that vast horizon circleth round
But coiling serpents and the beast of prey!

Ye disinherited of earth and sea!

High in your Heaven of Heavens, a better land May yet be yours,--where no contentions be,

No trampling foot of pride,--no grasping hand.
Raise, raise your hopes unto that brighter sphere,—
Expand your sails, and seek that happier home
"KYRIE ELEISON!--Lord of Mercy, hear

The sufferers' fervent prayer,-THY KINGDOM

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From Fraser's Magazine.

"My thoughts, in what order soever they flow, shall be communicated to you just as they pass through my mind-just as they used to be when we conversed together on this, or any other subject; when we sauntered alone, or as we have often done, with good Arbuthnot, and the jocose Dean of St. Patrick, among the multiplied scenes of your little garden."-Lord Bo lingbroke to Pope.

Bolingbroke.-You. see me once more betaking myself to the green enclosures of Twickenham, relinquishing the note of the

f Here I am once more,—

"Fond to forget the statesman in the friend.”

Bolingbroke. You speak the truth. Every shadowy branch of that lime-tree preaches a sermon. There is no state of positive repose in the world. The earth itself is in motion; little things and great things obey the same. law; and this smooth grass-plot in this village of Twickenham, on which we are now treading down the daisies, is revolving round the sun not less rapidly than the mighty forAs it is in the natuest-world of America.

ral, so it is in the political calendar. The evening and the morning compose the day of empire and the day of nature. They shine, and they grow dark. Look at monar

syren Pleasure, for the sweeter tune of that chies,-objects, one would think, that destiblackbird which scatters the dew from the ny might stand and stare at, but not shake. trembling bough upon this trim border of Consider the smallest bodies upon earth,— yours; and instead of following the shadow objects, one would suppose, too slight for And yet desof ambition along the path of political enter- destiny to observe or discern. prise, delighting my eye with the pursuit of tiny, if we speak to the Atheist, or God, if my own shadow over the grass, where the we speak to the Christian, is no more trouQueen of Faery might have pitched her tent. bled, as I remember to have read in one of the Elizabethan preachers, to make a monarchy ruinous, than to make a hair gray. In the elements around us we recognize the same principle of fluidity and change; air condensed becomes water,-air rarefied becomes fire. So it is in the elements of society. A merchant with all his speculations condensed into gold, becomes a lord,—or, with all his treasures blown into air, disappears in fire and smoke. And, after all, it may be a consolation to us to remember, if there were any thing permanent-any thing released from the obedience to this principle of motion, that we, after all, should gain nothing by it, because, though our possessions might endure, we could not live to enjoy them; and if our goods were not among movables, we ourselves are, and, even though they might continue with us, we could not stay with them.

Swift.-But the shadows of ambition and yourself are alike in this,-that, however earnestly you may follow them, you will never overtake either.

Pope. As statesman, or as friend, you are always welcome; and now, especially at this time, I am rejoiced to talk with you in my garden. You are acquainted with my simple, and, to speak in character, my Arcadian manners. I have some time ago resolved to dine at two o'clock, and I not only make but keep my resolution. If I comply afterwards with the importunate kindness of my friends, it is in attending, not in partaking their dinners. So, you see, by this sort of amicable compromise between my comfort and my interest, I may contrive to retain Pope. In this circular motion of all things, some of the advantages which Dr. Young and in this universal fluidity and change, was enumerating to me the other day; when which you have brought forward with a gravihe said that a dinner with a certain famous ty that even Atterbury himself would envy, lawyer has procured him invitations for a you might have excepted the philosophic mind whole week beside, and that a single airing from the operations of this new law of graviin a nobleman's chariot has supplied him tation. As you have led us to Paul's Cross, with a citizen's coach on every future occa- I may endeavor to illustrate my remark by


Arbuthnot. The allurement must, indeed, be very powerful which could draw one from such a scene upon such an evening. The nobleman's chariot and the citizen's coach would carry you into no spectacle of life so full of beauty and interest. To you, especially, it is alive with eloquence and wisdom; every leaf writes a moral upon the grass, as the wind scatters the reflection which the light had thrown.

an image which I read long ago in the black folio of some divine of the seventeenth century, like all his brethren of those days, rich in conceits, controversy, and Greek. As a watch, he says, though altogether it may be tossed up and down with the agitation of him who carries it, yet does not on that account suffer any perturbation in the frame, or any disor der in the working of the spring and wheels within, so the true heart of philosophic dignity, though it may be agitated by the toss

ings and joltings which it meets with in the public of letters simply because he was alpress and tumult of busy life, yet undergoes ways called the Just; but I am confident that no derangement in the beautiful adjustment we shall not esteem the charm and the vir and regular action of its machinery; not a tues of his mind and understanding the less wheel is impeded or stopped. I dwell with because they were shaded by the faults and a peculiar interest upon every tribute to the infirmities of humanity. Shakspeare lived charms of philosophy and reflection, since, in a corrupt atmosphere of thought, and his as I once wrote to Atterbury, contemplative poetical complexion exhibits some signs of life is not only my scene, but my habit. With the influence of that atmosphere upon the regard to ambition, as exemplified in worldly constitution of his mind. We ought to redistinction and celebrity, it has always seem- joice that the vigorous health of his faculties ed to me rather stooping than climbing. enabled him to throw off so much of that pernicious and enervating influence, and to retain so much of beauty, and purity, and grace.

Swift. It is certainly very pleasing to live in a garden, and hear blackbirds, and talk about philosophy. I have a garden of my own in Ireland.

Arbuthnot. Which you never walk in if you can find one with English flowers in it.

Swift.-A man who encloses himself in his own domain to the exclusion of the common pursuits and interests of society, resembles a person who always lives with his wife and children, and never sees company; or a boy who constantly walks out with his sisters, and is therefore always feminine. Then again, a man's thoughts are stunted in their growth by the confinement to imitate your rural language, the glasses are too small for the flowers, and if they shut out the wind and dust, they shut out also the rain and the sun. Did you ever know an editor of an author a fair judge of his merits or his defects? Like a husband who has sat opposite to his wife during twenty years, the physiognomy of the author has become so natural to him that, however plain may be his features, he thinks them attractive.

Bolingbroke.-How happy I should be in the belief that the commentating upon Shakspeare, or any other book, may at some future period warm you into the enthusiasm of tracing, from its commencement in our literature, the history of that noble art in which you so eminently excel.

Pope.-I have often entertained the idea of composing, not a grave and elaborate history of English poetry-which would demand more antiquarian research than I shall ever possess the opportunity of making-but of painting a series of portraits of my elder brethren,-of presenting to the student a gal lery of pictures of some of the most famous contributors to our poetical literature; or, in other words, to pass before his eyes a succession of sketches of the far-spreading landscape of imagination, as it darkened and brightened in the light and shade of a setting or a rising civilization. I wish that some one of taste and diligence would take up the Pope-I have myself experienced some of thread I have thrown out. According to that the feeling you mention in translating Homer plan, he would be obliged to pass over unreand commentating Shakspeare. I think that corded many names dear to the memory and every writer is bound to guard against the dear to the heart. Let me illustrate my seduction of indulging that unmitigated ad- thought. Follow the traveller to the hill-top miration for the author whom he illustrates, in the rich glow of a summer evening; he which is the common failing of editorship. does not gaze upon the little valleys of verNo infection spreads more rapidly than an dant stillness, or the cottage-gardens sweet epidemic of praise. No poet, or historian, with the hum of bees, or the glimmering or philosopher, who ever lived since poetry, paths overarched by interlacing boughs; but and history, and philosophy, were studied runs his eye over the distant scene, lingerand known, deserves a panegyric without a ing only upon the gray tower of the hamlet shade. There should be some discord in the church, or the shadowy ramparts of the mossharmony. It is the peculiar characteristic grown castle, or the gilded pinnacles of the of the brightest genius to have its lustre dark- remote metropolis. And if you watch that ened. "The moon and stars shine with un-traveller, you behold an emblem of the critic sullied radiance, the sun alone exhibits spots I have delineated. He passes over many on its disk." He would be no real friend to green paths of sequestered meditation, many the memory of Shakspeare who should pro- little gardens of fancy enriched with soft and claim his transcendent excellences to the ex-delicate thoughts, that he may survey the clusion of his transcendent defects. He had wide and magnificent landscape of imaginaboth in excess, and was a giant in error as he tion, and the mightier structures of intellecwas a giant in merit. I would not seek to tual art, built up by the magicians of a former banish an intellectual Aristides from the re-age, and still piercing the mist and cloud of


time, with their gates of glory and their pin-
nacles of gold.
Swift. You talk of warming him; he is
on fire already.

Pope. You travel over a rough and melancholy road from the death of Chaucer to the middle of the reign of Henry VIII.; it winds over a succession of barren downs and périlous swamps. The Muse could find no green and peaceful spot to pitch her tent amid the tempestuous elements of rude and warring societies. The minstrel sang with the sword flashing in his eyes. Such was the state of literature in England. The sceptre dropped from the iron fingers of the Third Edward into the feeble grasp of his grandson. The usurpation of Bolingbroke, the rebellion of Northumberland, and the terrible strife of the Roses succeeded. The storm cleared away with the rising star of Henry VIII., and literature once more appeared with the rainbow of peace about her head. A gulf of darkness divides the epoch of Henry from the reign of Elizabeth. You may cross it at a leap. Some beams of that rich orb of imagination which had gone down with Chaucer, cast a luminous shadow from behind the hills; but it was too weak and too remote to disperse the vapors that hung heavy and dark over the landscape. At length the air grew sweet and clear, and Spenser smiled upon the desolate gardens of fiction. The jocund day of poetry

"Stood tiptoe on the misty mountain-top," and Shakspeare kindled the slumbering elements of the drama into life and beauty.

Bolingbroke.-I suppose in such a treatise as you suggest you would dwell upon the philosophy of your subject; you would show the solemn and august character of poetry; you would assert its claims to be included in the essential elements of a true education.

the surrounding beds. This flower-thus rising, as it were, upon the stem of graceis not only precious for its wonderful mechanism of color, and perfume, but it is precious also for the charm which it works upon the intellectual eyesight. Like the fabled plant of antiquity, it purifies and brightens the vision of the understanding. An eminent sculptor confessed that the Medicean Venus enabled him to discover beauties in nature which he had never perceived before; and in the same manner poetry opens a new world of loveliness to the student. To eyes, sprinkled and enlightened by this flower, no scene is barren, and no tree is leafless; every fountain shines with the face of its guardian Naïad, and every wood is musical with the pipe of its sylvan spirit.

Bolingbroke. And with the philosophy of poetry would be intimately associated its criticism. The reader of a poem, like the visitor to a picture-gallery, requires to be taught how to examine works of art.

Pope. I think that criticism may be the instrument of manifesting genius; and it may effect this manifestation in two ways. (1.) By removing the obscurity or the false impression which the mist of time, or, (2.) the malignity of jealousy, may have imparted to it. It is not always that the loftiest imagination possesses the correspondent faculty of language; and then, like the sun in a vapory sky, while it kindles masses of cloud into gorgeous colors and splendor, its unity and beauty of lustre are not perceived. Criticism, by scattering these vapors, enables the intellectual light to shine out; it gives it an atmosphere, transparent, pure, adapted to the weaker eyesight of common understandings. Every antiquated word is a cloud that hides to the vulgar eye the glory of the image; as these clouds melt away, the heaven of the imagination becomes luminous; and this will probably explain why it is that those authors are usually the most popular and admired,not who have the noblest conceptions, but who reveal those conceptions in the most lucid medium of words. And thus we may apply to poetical or philosophical loveliness, Dr. Young's panegyric on feminine beauty :

Pope. I should. Poetry, said Aristotle, is something more philosophical and excellent than history. "A true poetic style," is the remark of a modern writer, "will be generally found to be impregnated with something, which, under its highest pressure, can cast out a stronger flame and a more ethereal emanation than the most vivid coloring of real life." The two assertions are converti"This, like the sun, irradiates all between ; The body charms, because the soul is seen." ble propositions in critical geometry-Poetry, being the concentrated richness and bloom Bolingbroke.-Perhaps the false impresof many seeds of thought, gradually growing sion, which the malice of envy or ignorance up into height and beauty, deserves to occu-may have imparted to the production of an Py the most prominent place in the garden author, is even more injurious to its reputaof literature. Nor should it be considered tion than the thickest gloom of centuries. merely as an object of curious loveliness, to Our illustrious Newton, whose adventurous be stooped over for a moment by an eye daz- footsteps seemed to strike fire into the remozled and fatigued with the contemplation of test solitude of science, has ascertained that

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