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The first Public Libraries, of which we are informed, were in Egypt,—and the titles which they bore, inspired the reader with an eager desire to enter them, and to penetrate the secrets which they contained. They were called, “ The remedy for the diseases of the Soul,” Yuxñs iarpīov, and with great justice, because the Soul was there cured of Ignorance, the most dangerous, and the parent of all other maladies."
HEINSIUS, the Keeper of The Library at Leyden, immured himself in it all the year long,—and that which might have been a loathing in some persons, caused in him the most exquisite enjoyment. “I “ no sooner,” said he, “ come to the
Library, but I bolt the door to me, “excluding lust, ambition, avarice, and “ all such vices, whose nurse is idleness,
Rollin's Ancient Hist. vol. i. p. 180.
“ the mother of ignorance and melan
choly herself,-and in the very lap of
Eternity, amongst so many divine souls, “ I take my seat, with so lofty a spirit “ and sweet content, that I pity all our
great ones and rich men, that know not “ this happiness.”
Numerous Legacies have been left for the purchase of Books, for establishing Libraries in several Grammar Schools, and a laudable desire has been manifested in some of them to extend such a useful appendage. A small sum is deducted from the last payment of every Exhibitioner on STEPHENS's foundation, to be employed in buying books towards forming a Library for the Free School of Exeter. And a good collection of books belonging to the Grammar School of Appleby, is increasing regularly by donations from different boys upon their leaving School.
Nothing, then, can be more humane or judicious than such benefactions to Country Schools, to Vestries, or Parsonagehouses upon poor Benefices.
A blameable want of care appears, however, to have prevailed in some of these Establishments. Some valuable old books which were contained in the Library of the Grammar School at Frome, are surmised to have been sold, together with the property of a former Master. The Library of SANDES's Hospital and School at Kirkby Kendal, consists chiefly of ancient editions of the Fathers,—but as there is not now frequent reference made to these works, the books are neglected and in a state of decay. The collection was extensive and valuable in that class of Literature.
In the ancient manner of Appropriation of Benefices to Religious Houses it was necessary, that the consent of the King, of the Bishop of the Diocese, of the Patron, and of the Rector of the Benefice to be appropriated, should be obtained, and, usually, the confirmation of the Pope. When these sanctions were procured, the Bishop proceeded to endow the Vicarage, that is, to settle between the Body to whom the Benefice was to be appropriated, and the Vicar then to be appointed, what part of the Revenues of it should belong to the former, and what part should be allotted to the latter. Ordinarily, the smaller Tythes and Oblations were allotted to the Vicar,—and where these did not amount to a third part of the whole, some part of the greater Tythe of Corn and Hay was allowed to make up the deficiency,— which is the true reason of many Vicarages being so endowed. After the Appropriation was made, the Bodies so endowed, were called,
- The Impropriators,”—and, as often as the Church so appropriated to them became vacant, they were obliged to present a new Vicar to the Bishop, to be instituted to the Cure.
On the Dissolution of the Religious Houses, the Benefices which had been so appropriated to them, were granted, amongst their other estates, in many
instances, to Laymen, who were thenceforth called “ The Lay-Impropriators,” and who succeeded to them under the same conditions, restrictions, and limitations with which their former possessors had holden them.1
At the Dissolution of Monasteries, the Appropriations of the several Parsonages, which belonged to those respective Religious Houses,-amounting to more than one-third of all the Parishes in England,
Manning and Bray’s Hist. of Surrey, Introduction,