« السابقةمتابعة »
ing; Lord Touchwood three times has recourse, to this expedient.
Of the characters in this comedy Lady Touchwood, though of an unfavourable caft, feems to have been the chief care of the poet, and is well preferved throughout; her elevation of tone, nearly approaching to the tragic, affords a strong relief to the lighter sketches of the epifodical perfons, Sir Paul and Lady Pliant, Lord and Lady Froth, who are highly entertaining, but much more loose than the stage in its prefent ftate of reformation would endure: Nothing more can be faid of Careless and Brifk, than that they are the young men of the theatre, at the time when they were in reprefentation. Of Maskwell enough has been said in these remarks, nor need any thing be added to what has been already observed upon Mellafont and Cynthia, As for the moral of the play, which the author fays he defigned in the first place and then applied the fable to it, it should seem to have been his principal object in the formation of the comedy, and yet it is not made to reach several characters of very libertine principles, who are left to reform themselves at leifure; and the plot, though fubordinate to the moral, feems to have drawn him off from executing his good intentions
tions fo compleatly as thofe profeffions may be understood to engage for.
Ulcera animi fananda magis quam corporis.
Canft thou not minifter to a mind difeas'd?
T feems as if most of the antient writers of history thought no events worth recording to pofterity but accounts of battles and fieges and the overthrow of empires; as if men were to be celebrated only in proportion to the devastation they had made of the human species. As my respect, on the contrary, is directed chiefly to those peaceable characters, who have been the benefactors of mankind, it is with pleasure I difcovered an anecdote of an antient king of Egypt of this description, named Ofymanduas: This good prince, amongst other praife-worthy actions, has the credit of making the first public library in that learned nation, before books were collected at Athens by Pififtratus: Ofymanduas made no fcruple
fcruple to convert one of the chief temples to this generous ufe, and gave it in charge to the priests belonging to it to digeft and arrange his collection; when this was done, he laid it open to the public, and by a very appofite and ingenious device, which he caused to be inscribed upon the front of the edifice, invited all his fubjects to enter in and partake of his benefaction: He confidered it as the duty of a good king to provide against the mental as well as bodily ailments of his people; it appeared to him that books were the beft medicines for the mind of man, and confequently that a collection of books, fuch as his library contained, might well be intitled a magazine or warehouse of medicines for the mind; with this idea he directed the following words to be engraved over the door of his library in confpicuous characters-Ψυχῆς ἰατρειον. There is a beautiful fimplicity in the thought, which feems to give an infight into the benevolent defign of the donor; and, as I hold it a more noble office to preserve the mind in health, than to keep the body after death from corruption, I cannot hesitate to give Ofymanduas more credit for this benefaction of a library, than if he had been founder of the pyramids.
As the diftempers of the mind may be figuratively claffed under the feveral characters of thofe maladies,
maladies, which are incidental to the body, fo the feveral defcriptions of books may very well be forted into the various genera of medicines, which practice has applied to thofe refpective diftempers. A library, thus pharmaceutically difpofed, would have the appearance of a difpenfatory, and might be properly enough fo called; and when I recollect how many of our eminent collectors of books have been of the medical faculty, I cannot but think it probable that those great benefactors to literature, Ratcliffe, Mead, Sloane, Hunter and others have had this very idea of Ofymanduas in their minds, when they founded their libraries. If therefore it fhould be thought agreeable to the will of the donors, and a proper mark of respect to their memories, fo to arrange their collections, now in the repofitories of Oxford and the British Mufcum, it will be neceffary to find out a different fet of titles, and inftead of forting them as they now are into the compartments of The Hiftorians; The Poets; The Divines, it will be right to fet up new infcriptions in their places, and intitle them, The Alteratives; The Stimulatives; The Narcotics. I need not point out to the learned keepers of thefe libraries how to proceed in an arrangement, to which their own judgments are fo fully competent; nothing
more will be required of them, but to afcertain the particular fpecies of disease, which the mind of the patient is affected with, and fend him forthwith to the proper class of authors for his cure.
For inftance; if the complaint arifes from cold humours and a want of free perfpiration by a ftoppage and conftipation of the pores of the mina, oy which the feelings are rendered inert, and deprived of that proper emanation and expanfion, which the health of the foul requires; let fuch an one be fhut into the warm bath of the Sudorifics, which I need not explain to be the Satyrifts, and they will foon open his pores and difperfe all obftructions. If the mental difeafe be of the inflammatory and feverish fort, attended with fits and paroxyfms 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 Moralifts, 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 neceflary, the Controverfialists will furnish him a remedy: In fhort, we need only fay, that when the feveral authors are properly arranged, every cafe may find its cure. The comic writers will act as Carminatives to difpel