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lested. They answered, that their the Indians; and had begun to captain had commanded his men build canoes on the north side of to carry all the gold and silver to the isthmus, as the means by the place where the ship was, and which they might escape from had promised them a share ; but their present situation ; but having the seamen demanded an immedi- lost all their tools, their work was ate division ; upon which the cap- advancing very slowly, when 150 tain, being offended at their dis- Spaniards, sent by order of the trust, would not suffer them to viceroy of Peru, came upon them, carry it, but said he would get and put an end to their occupation. Indians to undertake the business. Fifteen, who were sick, were at The delay occasioned by these dis. that time taken prisoners; and, agreements gave time for the Spa- in the end, they all fell into the niards to overtake them. Oxnam hands of the Spaniards, and were received the first notice of their carried to Panama. Oxnam was approach by the men who fled questioned whether he had the from the pinnace. He then came queen's commission, or a license to an agreement with his people, from any other prince or state: and got the Indians to join with to which he replied that he had no him; but in the attack, having commission, but that he acted uplost several of his best men, he on his own authority, and at his purposed to return to his ship. own risk. Upon this answer, Oxe
« The Spanish captain, with his nam and his men were all conprisoners and the treasure, return demned to death, and the whole, ed to Panama, the governor of except five boys, were executed. which place immediately dispatched Thus unfortunately did the first messengers to Nombre de Dios, exploit of the English in the South with intelligence where the En- Sea terminate. Or Oxnam, their glish ship lay concealed ; in conse- leader, it has been remarked, that quence of which, before Oxnam if the same spirit of enterprise and arrived at the place, his ship, ord- resolution had been exerted by him nance, and stores, were taken. in a legal cause, he would have
« In this destitute condition the been entitled to lasting praise." English men lived some time among
CLASSICAL AND POLITE CRITICISM.
Decline and REVIVAL of LITERATURE.
[From Mg. Astle's ORIGIN and Progress of WRITING.]
ANY events have contri- his palace at Alexandria, where
buted to deprive us of a it was burnt by Cæsar's troops. great part of the literary treasures “ Another great loss was ocof antiquity. A very fatal blow casioned by the destruction of the was given to literature, by the de. Pythagorean schools in Italy ; struction of the Phænician tem- when the Platonic or new philoples, and of the Egyptian colleges, sophy prevailed over the former. when those kingdoms, and the Pythagoras went into Egypt, becountries adjacent, were conquered fore the Persian conquests, where by the Persians, about 350 years he resided 22 years : he was inibefore Christ. Ochus, the Per- tiated into the sacerdetal order, sian general, ravaged these coun- and, from his spirit of inquiry, he tries without mercy, and 40,000 has been justly said to have ac. Sidonians burnt themselves, with quired a great deal of Egyptian their families and riches, in their learning, which he afterwards inown houses. The conqueror then troduced into Italy. Polyhius drove Nectanebus out of Egypt, (lib. ii. p. 175) and Jamblichus and committed the like ravages in in vita Pythag.) mention many that country; afterwards he march- circumstances, relative to these ed into Judea, where he took Je- facts, quoted from others now richo, and sent a great number of lost; as doth Porphyry, in his Jews into captivity. The Pere life of Pythagoras. sians had a great dislike to the re “ Learning, philosophy, and ligion of the Phænicians and the arts, suffered much by the loss of Egyptians; this was one reason liberty in Greece; whence they for destroying their books, of were transplanted into Italy, under which Eusebius (De Preparat. the patronage of some of the great Evang.) says they had a great men of Rome ; who, by their number.
countenance and protection, not “ Notwithstanding these losses, only introduced them into their Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of own country, but even contributed Egypt, who reigned about 200 to the revival of them in Greece. years before the Christian æra, The love of learning and of arts collected the greatest library of all amongst the Romans was too soon antiquity, which he deposited in neglected, through the tyranny of
the emperors, and the general « The loss of Ptolemy's library corruption of manners; for in at Alexandria had been in some the reign of Dioclesian, towards measure repaired, by the remains the end of the third century, the of that of Eumenes, king of Perarts had greatly declined, and in gamus, which Mark Anthony prethe course of the fourth, philoso- sented to Cleopatra, and by other phy degenerated into superstition. collections, so that a vast library
“ Learning and the arts also re- remained at Alexandria, till it was ceived a most fatal blow by the taken by storm, and plundered by destruction of the heathen tem- the Saracens in the seventh cen ples, in the reign of Constantine. tury, A. D. 642. Though the The devastations then committed Saracens were at that time a barare depicted in the strongest and barous people, yet Amrus (or most lively colours by Mr. Gibbon, Amru Ebn al As), the commany in the 28th chapter of his History der of the troops who took this city, of the Decline and Fall of the was a man of good capacity, and Roman Empire, vol. iii. p. 77, & greatly delighted in hearing philoseq.
sophical points discussed by learned i Many valuable libraries pe. men. John the grammarian, callrished by the barbarians of the ed Philoponus, from his love of North, who invaded Italy in the labour, lived in Alexandria at this fourth and fifth centuries. By time; he soon became acquainted those rude hands perished the li- with Amrus, and, having acquired brary of Perseus king of Macedon, some degree of his esteem, rewhich Paulus Æmilius brought to quested that the philosophical books Rome with its captive owner; as preserved in the royal library might did also the noble library establish- be restored. Amrus wrote to ed for the use of the public, by Omar, the caliph, to know if his Asinius Pollio, which was col. request might be complied with ; lected from the spoils of all the who returned for answer, that if enemies he had subdued, and was the books he mentioned agreed in greatly enriched by him at a vast all points with the book of God, expense. The libraries of Cicero the Alcoran, this last would be and Lucullus met with the same perfect without them, and consefate, and those of Julius Cæsar, quently they would be superfluof Augustus, Vespasian, and Tra- ous; but if they contained any jan also perished, together with the thing repugnant to the doctrines magnificent library of the younger and tenets of that book, they ought Gordian, founded by his preceptor to be looked on as pernicious, and Simonicus, which is said by some of course should be destroyed. to have contained sixty thousand, As soon as the caliph's letter was and by others eighty thousand vo- received, Amrus, in obedience to lumes. The repository for this the command of his sovereign, vast collection is reported to have dispersed the books all over the been paved with marble, and or- city, to heat the baths, of which namented with gold; the walls there were four thousand; but the were covered with glass and ivory, number of books was so immense, the armories and desks were made that they were not entirely conof ebony and cedar.
sumed in less than six months. 1803.
Thus perished, by fanatical mad “The ravages committed by ness, the inestimable Alexandrian the Turks who plundered Constanlibrary, which is said to have con- tinople, in the year 1453, are retained at that time upwards of five lated by Philelphus, who was 3 hundred thousand volumes ; and man of learning, and was tutor to from this period barbarity and igno. Æneas Sylvius (afterwards pope, rance prevailed for several centu- under the name of Piusthe Second), ries. In Italy, and all over the and was an eye-witness to what west of Europe, learning was in a passed at that time. This author manner extinguished, except some says, that the persons of quality, small remains which were pre. especially the women, still preserved in Constantinople.
served the Greek language uncos. “ In this city, the emperor Con- rupted. He observes, that though stantine had deposited a conside, the city had been taken before, it rable library, which was soon after never suffered so much as at that enriched by his successor Julian, time; and adds, that, till that pe who placed the following inscrip- siod, the remembrance of ancient tion at the entrance :
wisdom remained at Constantino
ple, and that no one among the • Alii quidem equos amant, alii alii feras; mihi vero à puerulo,
Latins was deemed sufficiently Mirum acquirendi et possidendi libros in- learned, who had not studied for sedit desiderium.'
some time at that place, he er.
pressed his fear that all the works “ Theodosius the younger was of the ancients would be destroyed. very assiduous in augmenting this “ Still, however, there are the library, by whom, in the latter remains of three libraries at Conend of the fourth century, it was stantinople ; the first is called that enlarged to one hundred thousand of Constantine the Great; the volumes ; above one half of which second is for all ranks of people were burnt in the fifth century by without distinction; the third is in the emperor Leo the First, so fa- the palace, and is called the Ottomous for his hatred to images. man library, but a fire happened
“ The inhabitants of Constanti- in 1665, which consumed a great nople had not lost their taste for li- part of the palace, and aimost the terature in the beginning of the whole library, when, as is supthirteenth century, when that city posed, Livy, and a great many was sacked by the crusaders, in the valaable works of the ancients, year 1205 : the depredations then perished. Father Possevius has committed are related in Mr. Har- given an account of the libraries sis's posthumous works, vol. ii. at Constantinople, and in other p. 301, from Nicetas the Choniate, parts of the Turkish dominions, in who was present at the sacking of his excellent work intituled, Apthis place. His account of the paratus Sacer. statues, bustos, bronzes, manu “ Many other losses of the writ. scripts, paintings, and other ex- ings of the ancients have been atquisite remains of antiquity, which tributed to the zeal of the Chris. then perished, cannot be read by tians, who, at different periods, any lover of arts and learning made great havock amongst the without emotion.
heathen authors. Not a single
riweboere sau neler legendary tales stroyed. History of Phenicia
copy of the famous work of Cel- of history, and therefore it may sus is now to be found, and what be proper to lay before our readwe know of that work is from Ori- ers some particulars concerning gen, his opponent. The venera- the works of ancient historians, ble fathers, who employed them- many of which are so mutilated selves in erasing the best works of that the fragments which remains the most eminent Greek or Latin serve only to increase our regret authors, in order to transcribe the for what have been lost or de lives of saints or . upon the obliterated vellum, possibly mistook these lamentable de- Śanconiatho, who was contempopredations for works of piety. rary with Solomon, would have The ancient fragment of the 91st been entirely lost to us, had it not book of Livy, discovered by Mr. been for the valuable fragments Bruns, in the Vatican, in 1772, preserved by Eusebius, which are was much defaced by the pious mentioned in the following sheets: labours of some well-intentioned Manetho's History of Egypt, and divme. . The monks made war on the History of Chaldea, by Berobooks as the Goths had done be- şus, have nearly met with the same fore them., Great numbers of ma. fate. nuscripts have also been destroyed “ The general History of Polyin this kingdom by its invaders, bius originally contained forty the pagan Danes, and the Nor- books ; but the first five only, with mans, by the civil commotions some extracts, or fragments, are raised by the barons, by the bloody transmitted to us. contests between the houses of “ The historical library of DioYork and Lancaster, and espe- dorus Siculus consisted likewise of cially by the general plunder and forty books, but only fifteen are devastation of monasteries and re- now extant; that is, five between ligious houses in the reign of the fifth and the eleventh, and the Henry the Eighth, by the ravages ļast ten, with some fragments col. committed in the civil war in the lected out of Photius and others. time of Charles the First, and by “ Dionysius Halicarnassensis the fire that happened in the Cot wrote twenty books of Roman ans tonian library, October 23, 1731. .tiquities, extending from the siege
In all this period of time, of Troy, to the first Punic war, many others may be supposed to A. U. Č. 488, but only eleven of have perished by that Helluo libro. them are now remaining, which rum, tempus edar rerum.
reach no further than the year of “ Thus it appears, that more of Rome 312. the works of the ancients have pe “ Appian is said to have written rished than have reached us. To the Roman History in twenty-four enumerate such as are known to books, but the greatest part of the have been destroyed, or lost, in works of that author are lost. the various branches of science “ Dion Cassius wrote eighty and polite literature, would form books of history, but only twentya catalogue of considerable bulk; five are remaining, with some but the most irreparable and de- fragments, and an epitome of the plorable losses which mankind last twenty by, Xiphilinus. have sustained, are in the branch • Many of the works of the