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his right hand,'--that he would bring up the remainder of his crew if they were to be found alive, and God spared his life!
It appears, indeed, from letters which Riley has received in America from Mr. Willshire, that Porter and Burns have been ransomed by him; that two others had been released from further suffering in this world; and that Sidi Ishem had heard some vague rumours of the rest in the southern part of the Desert.
It is to be hoped, indeed, that, since the Arabs of the Desert know that all Christians wrecked on the coast will be purchased immediately at Wed-noon, for the purpose of obtaiving a certain protit by their ransom at Mogadore, the lives of the captives will not only be preserved, but that the certainty of the reward will operate on the avarice of the robbers, and secure to the shipwrecked mariners a treatment less rigorous than that experienced by Mr. Riley and his unfortunate companions. Art. I. 1. M. Tullii Ciceronis Ser Orationum Fragmenta
inedita, cum Commentariis antiquis etiam ineditis. Invenit,
recensuit, notis illustravit Angelus Maius, Bibliothecæ Ambro"sianæ à Linguis Orientalibus. Mediolani. 1814. 2 tom. 8vo. 2. Q. Aurelii Symmachi octo Orationum ineditarum partes.
Invenit, notisque declaravit A. Maius. Mediol. 1815. Svo. 3. M.Cornelii Frontonis Opera inedita, cum Epistulis item ineditis
Antonini Pii, M. Aurelii, L. Veri, et Appiani. Invenit A.
Maius. Mediol. 1815. 2 tom. Svo. A. M. Acci Plauti Fragmenta inedita : item ad P. Terentium
Commentationes et Pictura inedita. Inventore A. Maio. Mediol.
1815. 8vo. 3. Themistii Philosophi Oratio de Prafectura suscepta. Inventore
et interprete A. Maio. Mediol. 1816. 8vo. 6. Dionysii Halicarnassei Romanarum Antiquitatum pars hacte
nus desiderata~Nunc denique ope Codicum Ambrosianorum ab Angelo Maio, quantum licuit, restituta. Opus Francisco I. Augusto sacrum. Mediol. 1816.
1816. 4to. FOR the last half century a notion has prevailed amongst learned
ladies and half-learned gentlemen, that many valuable remains of antiquity were still concealed in different libraries on the continent, especially in Italy; and that, in all likelihood, the researches of diligent and persevering antiquaries would eventually bring to light some precious relics of Greek and Roman literature. This expectation was more pleasing than reasonable. The unceasing industry with which the great Italian scholars of the 15th and 16th centuries, Petrarca, Boccaccio, Poggio, Aretino, Manuzio, hunted out the manuscripts of classical authors, left but little grounds to hope for any subsequent discovery of importance. It appears from the letters of those times, that no trouble nor expense was spared in the prosecution of such researches, which, however, were not a little impeded by the bigotry and avarice of the mouks, whose interest it was to keep the treasures to themselves, not only because it was a maxim of their policy to obstruct the diffusion of knowledge, but because the transcribing of MSS. was to them a source of considerable emolument. Erasmus fathetically expostulates with some canons, who could neither use their manuscript books them selves, nor would permit the use of them to others. It is cerb tain, however, that such exertions were made by those scholars who lived about the time when printing was invented, and by the earliest professors of the typographical art, to procure copies of the classical writers, that there was no good reason to expect that much was left to be done in this department of literature.
But by what unfortunate concurrence of events did it happen, that a great part of the ancient authors have come down to us in so imperfect and mutilated a state; and that so many are known only by name, although copies of their entire works must have been liberally dispersed over various parts of Italy, the eastern coasts of Europe, and the shores of Asia Minor? How is it that, of the great tragedians of Greece, only a very few out of many plays survive, and that those of Latium are known only by some scattered fragments ? that scarcely any thing remains of the great lyric poets that Menander and Philemon, and the host of later dramatists, are lost? and that those who do survive, exist in * mangled and pitiable state,
laceri crudeliter ora,
Auribus, et truncas inhonesto vulnere nares? These are questions which must frequently have suggested themselves to the mind of every one conversant with such studies, but which, perhaps, no one has been able to answer to his own satisfaction. Several circumstances, indeed, may be assigned, wbich will go some way towards solving the difficulty; but it is not easy altogether to account for the singular fate which has attended many of the greatest luminaries of antiquity. With respect to the Latin classics, indeed, the matter is more readily ex plained. The introduction of scholastic theology, and the decline of classical taste, gradually brought the study of the ancient authors into disrepute. Literature was confined almost exclusively to ecclesiastics, who found it more profitable to distinguish themselves in enucleating the subtleties of dialectic divinity, than to waste their time in expounding Cicero or Livy. ' Joannes Sarisberiensis gives us a brief but forcible description of the state of things in those times : Sufficiebat ad victorian verbosus clamor, et qui undecunque aliquid inferebant, ad propositi perveniebant metam. Poetae et historiographi habebantur infames ; et si quis
incumbebat laboribus antiquorum, notabatur, et non modo asella tardior, sed obtusior plumbo omnibus erat invisus.'. We cannot wonder then if many manuscript copies of the classical authors were by degrees applied to binding the works of the scholastic divines, or even to the making of rackets; and that the few which were spared, lay rotting in some neglected corner of the libraries deseribed by Poggio : Erant in Bibliotheca libri illi, non ut eoruni dignitas
. postulabat, sed in teterrimo quodam et obscuro carcere, fundo scilicet unius turris, quo ne vita quidem damnati detruderentur.' In this dungeon of a turret Poggio discovered Quintilian, the Argonautics of Valerius Flaccus, and the Commens tary of Asconius Pædianus
Cicero's orations. If we may believe some accounts, the barbarous ignorance of their monastic possessors had not finished the work of destruction amongst the more ancient MSS. at a period considerably more recent than that of Poggio and Aretino. It is related by Chapelain, a poet who enjoyed a high reputation till he published, that the tụtor of a Marquis de Rouville assured him, that some years before, having sent. to Saumur for some rackets, he was struck by the appearance of the parchment; and upon examining it most narrowly, he fancied that he saw the titles of the Sth, 10th and 11th Decads of Livy. Upon applying to the racket-maker, le was told that the apothecary of the Abbey of Fontevraud, having found in the corner of a chamber in that abbey a pile of parchment volumes, and having read in several of them that they were parts of the history of Tite Live, begged them of the abbess, assuring her that the book was of no use, because it had been printed.' Having obtained them, the apothecary disposed of them to bimself--that he had made of them 'une multitude très grande de battoirs, of which he had still remaining more than twelve dozen ! So says M. Chapelain, who probably believed the story; but it is pretty clear that the tutor mystified him.
The titles of three decads upon a pair or two of rackets are rather too much. The story, however, may seem to derive some degree of credibility from the well known fact, that Sir Robert Cotton redeemed the original of Magna Charta from the hands of a tailor who was on the point of cutting it for measures.
Pietro della Valle, in his travels, relates that he had been in treaty with the Grand Seignior's librarian for an entire Livy; the price to be paid was 10,000 crowns. But upon searching the library, the MS. had disappeared. The probability is that it had never been there.
But it is not only to the accidental depredations of ignorance that we have to ascribe the loss of so many ancient writings. It is well known that some of the popes waged a fierce and destructive war against the manuscripts of the classical authors, as if to avenge the cause of Christianity for the persecutions of the heathen
emperors. Pope Gregory I. is said to have burned all the copies of Livy upon which he could lay his hands, on account of the superstitious legends with which the Roman historian abounded; a curious reason to be assigned by the author of the life of St. Benedict and of the Dialogues with Peter the deacon, of which the worthy and candid Dupin confesses, that in it there are miracles so frequent, so extraordinary, and oftentimes for matters of such little consequence, that it is very difficult to believe them all. Gregory's motive may possibly have been a well-founded apprehension, that a comparisou of the palpably fabulous legends of the Roman History with the anecdotes related in his own works, would not serve to enhance his character for veracity. It seems certain that this pope committed great ravages amongst the aucient poets. Cardan tells us that he caused the plays of Afranius, Nævius and Ennius to be burnt. But it is difficult to conceive that he could have effected the destruction of all the copies, unless we suppose, which may perhaps have been the case, that the desolation occa-. sioned by the irruptions of the northern hordes had been so great, that most of them were lost before the age of Gregory. Some degree of uncertainty is cast over the whole account by the fact, that Machiavelli and Cardan relate a similar story of Pope Gregory VII. who is said by them to have burned a great number of the most valuable ancient writings: and considering the violent and tyrannical temper of that pontiff, and the great influence which he possessed over the chief states of Europe, we think that he was more likely to effect an extensive destruction of literary monuments than his predecessor. He is reported to have burned the works of Varro, lest Augustin, who had copied from that author a great part of, his treatise de Civitate Dei, should be detected as a plagiary. This is sufficienly ridiculous, since nothing is more open than the manner in which Augustin quotes Varro; and the quotations themselves are chiefly made for the express purpose of refuting them. But the story is deservedly rejected by Naudé, as fabulous. The fact, no doubt, is, that the writings of Varro had long been obsolete, and perished through neglect rather than misusage. Scaliger, however, who was not remarkable for credulity, says, that in the time of this pope an infinite number of good books were burned at Rome, so that he entertained no hopes of finding any addition to the authors then known. Gregory I. is also said to have burned the Palatine library at Rome, to which story there is only this objection, that in the time of that pope there was no Palatine library to burn.
The truth after all, is, that of the Latin writers not many have perished whose loss we need greatly regret. The Roman poets who wrote before the Augustan age would scarcely be intelligible, if they existed. The few remaining shreds of the satyric mantle
which invested Ennius and Lucilius are not such as to make us bewail the ravages of time or of the popes. Dr. Drake in his . Literary Hours' has drawn up some tables which exhibit, in three columns, the names of the principal authors of antiquity, the titles of their surviving compositions, and also of those which have perished: and from these it appears that with the exception of the hundred and five books of Livy, and the Orations and Epistles of Cicero, we have not so much to lament the loss of as is commonly supposed. To be sure we have only six out of the many comedies of Terence, but they are probably the best.
But in Grecian literature the work of destruction has been much more extensive than Dr. Drake seems to imagine; the scanty catalogue which he has given, after Quintilian, of Greek authors, affords but a very imperfect idea of the loss which we have sustained.
The prevalence of the Greek language in the western parts of Europe, to an age comparatively recent, and the vast number of monasteries scattered over the Byzantine empire and the whole of Asia Minor, might, one would think, have ensured to posterity the works of many poets and philosophers, of whom nothing now remains but a few insignificant fragments.
The fact, however, is, that these very circumstances will serve in some measure to account for the loss in question. The Greek language, it is true, was prevalent in the eastern empire till the middle ages; but it was in a very corrupt form, debased by the alloy of Latin, French and Asiatic words and inflexions. A natural consequence was, that classical Greek was but little studied. This will generally be the case when a language is much altered from its original form. Men are satisfied with using it as they find it, and pay less attention to the ancient dialect of their own country than to the study of foreign languages. It must be confessed that this was not the case in Italy, where the Latin language was never lost sight of, notwithstanding the gradual change of the vernacular tongue. But this may be easily accounted for by the continued use of Latin in the theological schools and writings, and by the custom, which had long obtained, of making that language the vehicle of all learned discussion, and what is more, of the canon and civil law. The number of monastic institutions was also unfavourable to the preservation of ancient authors. The libraries of these establishments had probably by degrees engrossed almost all the copies extant; the classical authors, in the later ages of the Greek enpire, were studied only in schools, and the schools were in convents; the teachers being universally monks, who took the trouble of transcribing only such portions of the poets and prose writers of antiquity, as were used in the course of their lectures, whilst the others were suffered to decay from age, or were cut up