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Stimulatives ; The Narcotics. I need not point out to the learned keepers of these libraries how to proceed in an arrangement, to which their own judgments are so fully competent; nothing more will be required of them, but to ascertain the particular species of disease, which the mind of the patient is affected with, and send him forthwith to the proper class of authors for his cure.
For instance; if the complaint arises from cold humours and a want of free perspiration by a stoppage and constipation of the pores of the mind, by which the feelings are rendered inert, and deprived of that proper emanation and expansion, which the health of the soul requires ; let such a one be shut into the warm bath of the Sudorifics, which I need not explain to be the Satyrists, and they will soon open his pores and disperse all obstructions. If the mental disease be of the inflammatory and feverish sort, attended with fits and paroxysms of anger, envy, revenge, and other atrabilious symptoms, which cannot be mistaken, it will be proper to turn the patient into the cell of the moralists, who will naturally be found under the title of The Coolers and Sedatives : On the contrary, where the complaint is of the lethargic nature, in which irritation is necessary, the controversialists will furnish him a remedy: In short, we need only say, that when the several authors are properly arranged, every case may find its cure. The comic writers will act as carminatives to dispel the vapours; books of travels as cathartics to procure a motion ; memoirs and novels will operate as provocatives, politics as corr
orrosives, and panegyrics as emetics. Two compartments should be kept apart and specially distinguished, viz. the sacred writings under the title Restoratives, and the works of the infidels under the denominations of deadly poisons : The
former will be sovereign in all galloping consumptions of dissipation, and the latter will be resorted to by none but suicides and desperadoes.
I should now dismiss the subject, but that I had forgotten to speak of the essayists, who from their miscellaneous properties certainly come under the class of compounds, and cannot therefore be so precisely specified; as they are applicable to chronic diseases rather than acute ones, they may very well stand in the list of correctors, which taken in a regular course and under proper regimen are found very efficacious in all cases, where the constitution is impaired by excess and bad habits of living : They seem most to resemble those medicinal springs, which are impregnated with a variety of properties, and when critically analyzed are found to contain salt, nitre, steel, sulphur, chalk and other calcareous particles : When the more respectable names of Bath, Spa, Pyrmont, Seltzer, and others, are disposed of, I am not without hope these humbler essays, which
candid readers are now in the course of taking, may be found to have the wholesome properties of Tunbridge waters.
It is supposed that this library of the venerable Osymanduas descended to the Ptolemies, augmented probably by the intermediate monarchs, and ultimately brought to perfection by the learned and munificent Philadelphus, son of Ptolemy Lagus, so well known for his Greek translation of the Hebrew Septuagint.
Little attention was paid to literature by the Romans in the early and more martial ages : I read of no collections antecedent to those made by Æmilius Paulus and Lucullus, the latter of whom, being a man of great magnificence, allowed the learned men of his time to have free access to his library, but neither in his life-time, nor at his death, made
it public property. Cornelius Sylla before his dictatorship plundered Athens of a great collection of books, which had been accumulating from the time of the tyranny, and these he brought to Rome, but did not build or endow any library for public use. This was at last undertaken by Julius Cæsar upon an imperial scale not long before his death, and the learned M. Varro was employed to collect and arrange the books for the foundation of an ample library ; its coinpletion, which was interrupted by the death of Julius and the civil wars subsequent thereto, was left for Augustus, who assigned a fund out of the Dalmatian booty for this purpose, which he
put into the hands of the celebrated Asinius Pollio, who therewith founded a temple to liberty on Mount Aventine, and with the help of Sylla's and Varro's collections in addition to his own purchases, opened the first public library in Rome in an apartment annexed to the temple above mentioned. Two others were afterwards instituted by the same emperor, which he called the Octavian and Palatine Libraries; the first, so named in honour of his sister, was placed in the temple of Juno; the latter, as its title specifies, was in the imperial palace : These libraries were royally endowed with establishments of Greek and Latin librarians, of which C. Julius Hyginus the grammarian was one,
The emperor Tiberius added another library to the palace, and attached his new building to that front which looked towards the Via sacra, in which quarter he himself resided. Vespasian endowed a public library in the temple of Peace. Trajan founded the famous Ulpian library in his new forum, from whence it was at last removed to the Collis Viminalis to furnish the baths of Dioclefian. The Capitoline library is supposed to have been founded by Domitian, and was consumed, together
with the noble edifice to which it was attached, by a stroke of lightning in the time of Commodus. The emperor Hadrian enriched his favourite villa with a superb collection of books, and lodged them in a temple dedicated to Hercules. These were in succeeding times so multiplied by the munificence and emulation of the several emperors, that in the reign of Constantine, Rome contained no less than twenty-nine public libraries, of which the principal were the Palatine and the Ulpian.
Though books were then collected at an immense expence, several private citizens of fortune made considerable libraries. Tyrannio the grammarian even in the time of Sylla was possessed of three thousand volumes : Epaphroditus, a grammarian also, had in later times collected thirty thousand of the most select and valuable books; but Sammonicus Serenus bequeathed to the emperor Gordian a library containing no less than sixty-two thousand volumes. It was not always a love of literature that tempted people to these expences, for Seneca complains of the vanity of the age in furnishing their banquetting rooms with books, not for use, but for shew, and in a inere spirit of profusion. Their baths, both hot and cold, were always supplied with books to fill up an idle hour amongst the other recreations of the place; in like manner their country houses and even public offices were provided for the use and amusement of their guests or clients.
The Roman libraries in point of disposition much resembled the present fashion observed in our public ones, for the books were not placed against the walls, but brought into the area of the room in separate cells and compartments, where they were lodged in presses : The intervals between these compartments were richly ornamented with inlaid
plates of glass and ivory, and marble basso-relievos. In these compartments, which were furnished with desks and couches for the accommodation of read. ers, it was usual to place the statues of learned men, one in each ; and this we may observe is one of the few elegancies, which Rome was not indebted to Greece for, the first idea having been started by the accomplished Pollio, who in his library on Mount Aventine set up the statue of his illustrious contemporary Varro, even whilst he was living : It was usual also to ornament the press, where any considerable author's works were contained, with his figure in brass or plaister of a small size.
There is one more circumstance attending these public libraries, which ought not to be omitted, as it marks the liberal spirit of their institution : It was usual to appropriate an adjoining building for the use and accommodation of students, where every thing was furnished at the emperor's cost : they were lodged, dieted and attended by servants specially appointed, and supplied with every thing, under the eye of the chief librarian, that could be wanting, whilst they were engaged in their studies, and had occasion to consult the books : This establishment was kept up in a very princely stile at Alexandria in particular, where a college was endowed and a special fund appointed for its support, with a president, and proper officers under him, for the entertainment of learned strangers, who resorted thither from various parts to consult those invaluable collections, which that famous library contained in all branches of science.