Imágenes de páginas



the Greek Drama. Many persons of “ Thessalus acer erat sapiens præ civibus considerable learning make awkward unus,

attempts at composition, and for the Qui mediam insiluit spineta per horrida want of training, with as poor success

as those who enter into ihe palæstra sepem, Effoditque oculos sibi crudelissimus am- with unelastic limbs. They are as

stiff and unnatural, sometimes as Cum vero effossos orbes sine lumine vidit, ridiculous, as those who with no inbred Viribus enisum totis illum altera sepes sense of the propriety of things adjust Accipit, et raptos oculos cito reddit their outward manners to a set of egenţi.”

fixed and unyielding rules. No doubt

their prefaces and learned theses are But in trifles of the above sort, the unexceptionable in minutiæ, and betray great Porson outstrips all competitors, even an intense scholarship which and they serve as much as his more leaves little room for verbal criticism. serious labors in criticism, to illustrate Their mode of proceeding is to bring his profound learning. The following together from all quarters a great numis admirable in all its espressions, and ber of detached and idiomatic phrases, is found in the present collection, al- and having shaken them together, as though already familiar to many : the old hero did the lots in the bottom

of the helmet, to draw them forth into “Three children sliding on the ice,

an artificial patchwork of learned senAll on a summer's day,

tences. It is not that they sit down to It so fell out they all fell in,

write from the fullness of their minds, The rest they ran away.

and with a native ease; but they are “ Now had these children been at school,

like those who have the squares and Or sliding on dry ground,

pieces of the ivory puzzle before them, Ten thousand pounds to one penny,

and fit them together as they best can, They had not all been drowned. so as to bave the appearance of some

regular figure. They have certain “ You parents that have children dear, peculiar terms which must be lugged And eke you that have none,

in at all hazards. Here non dubito If you will have them safe abroad,

quin, or quæ cum ita sint, herald in Pray keep them safe at home.”

some sentence of more than Cicero

nian elegance; then you recognize the " Χρυσταλλοπηκτους τρίπτυχοι κόροι ρος,

omnis homines, the antiquity, and Ωρα θέρους ψαίροντες ευτάρσοις ποσί,

affected brevity of Sallust, with an Διναις επιπτον, διαδη πίπτειν φιλεϊ,

abundance of tum tums, and every sort "Απαντες' είτ' έφευγον οι λελειμμένοι.

of correct structure formed in the most

approved rules of CROMBIE'S GYMNA'Αλλ' έιπερ ήσαν εγκεκλεισμένοι μοχλοίς, SIUM, or ELEGANTIÆ LATINÆ. A ven"Η ποσίν ολισθάνοντας έν ξηρά πέδω, geance on the audacious critic, who Χρυσών άν ηθέλησα περιούσθαι σταθμών, takes upon him to demur at any part Ει μη μέρος τι των νέων έσώζετο.

or parcel of what has been culled from 'Αλλ' ώ τοκείς, όσοις μίν όντα τυγχάνει,

such undoubted sources! They fly to “Οσοις δε μη βλαστήματευτέκνου σποράς,

the rescue with the terrible aspect of Ην ευτυχούς είχησθε τας θυρίζοδούς

those who have justice on their side, Tος παισιν, ευ σφής εν δόμοις φυλάσσετε.

and exhibit a malicious pleasure, as if

the enemy had been caught in his own We might draw further from this snare. The worst of it is, that they treasury, and are strongly tempted to overshoot the mark--they are superintroduce the history of the prolific old elegant—they out-Cicero Cicero; in woman who lived in a shoe. But ohe, short, they do not know how to write jam satis! We are contented in ad- Latin; they are mere slavish imitators, ducing the above tragic lines, to have and want the taste, training, and sort borne our testimony to the superior of knowledge, to strike out boldly into genius of RICHARD Porson, who stands a style of their own, to invent where first as a Hellenist, not even excepting invention may be necessary, yet all Bentley, by whose side he sleeps in after a strict analogy, and in accordance Trinity. What a natural aspect have with the true genius of the tongue. these verses to any one accustomed to These remarks might be easily illus


trated by appropriate examples, if it A few compositions in this kind are would serve any purpose to disturb the agreeable for their novelty, and to serenity of those who are too happy in show how much tact and ingenuity contemplating their own works, which may accomplish with the limited capathey seem to imagine that some old bilities of the tongue. But the bondgenius has invested with a great partage of rhyme in Latin will be very of its own grace,

apt to force the writer into barbarisms -quæ Venus and vague expression. We shall, Quintå parte sui nectaris imbuit.” however, select a few pieces from this

We have yet to allude to a hardly part of the volume also: legitimate branch of composition, forming the third part of the “ Arundines," the imitations of the rhymes, com

« In the hour of my distress, monly called monkish. Rhyme, as Mil. When temptations sore oppress, ler calls it, is a modern bondage, but And when I my sins confessthe attempt to discard it, by himself Sweet Spirit, comfort me! and others, and to establish English poetry on the foundation of quantity

- When I lie within my bed, and measure, is something which the Sick in heart and sick in head,

And with doubts discomfitedstructure of the language scarce en

Sweet Spirit, comfort me! courages or indeed admits. We want the musical chime, to make up for other deficiencies in point of harmony; And the world is drowned in sleep,

6 When the house doth sigh and weep, and, in spite of the rhetoricians, think Yet mine eyes their vigils keepthat it is consistent even with the sub

Sweet Spirit, comfort me! lime in writing. A few have succeeded in blank verse; but especially the “When the passing bell doth toll, attempts sometimes made to manufac. And the furies in a shoal ture English hexameters are not good, Come to fright my parting souland had better be abandoned. They Sweet Spirit, comfort me ! are forced, barbarous, and contrary to nature, and can give the ear no delight. “When the tapers all burn blue, But however indispensable to modern When the comforters are few, language, rhyme can add nothing to And that number more than truethe satisfactory melody of Greek or Sweet Spirit, comfort me! Latin verse, whose fixed quantities and sonorous sounds confer a higher

“When the priest his last has prayed,

And I nod to what is said, advantage on the poet. It was scarce thought of by the ancients, although

'Cause my speech is now decayed

Sweet Spirit, comfort me! certain similar endings, the polo tedevra, of the Greek orators, are spoken of as

“ When (God knows) I'm tossed about a sort of authority. There are no Either with despair or doubt, rhymes in Latin until some time after Yet before the glass runs outthe language began to decline; when Sweet Spirit, comfort me! in several ages it had greatly fallen from its purity, they abounded. We “When the tempter me pursueth can call some lo mind which do not With the sins of all my youth, sound very monkish. Some of the And half damns me with their truthreligious rhymes, however, considered Sweet Spirit, comfort me! merely as compositions, and unconnected with the music of the cathedral, “When the flames and hellish cries are possessed of great merit, as we Fright my cars and fright my eyes, need scarcely instance that one in And all terrors me surprisewhich Pergolesi has achieved a durable

Sweet Spirit, comfort me! triumph,--as also in our own day Rossini,—and that marvellous blast of the

“ When the judgment is revealed, trumpet in the “Dies iræ:"

And that open, which was sealed,

When to thee I have appealed, “ Tuba mirum spargens sonum

Sweet Spirit, comfort me!"
Per sepulchra regionum,

Coget omnes ante thronum.”


If I do not remember thee,
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my

mouth; Yea, if I prefer not Jerusalem in my

mirth. Remember the children of Edom, O Lord, In the day of Jerusalem; how they said, Down with it, down with it, even to the

ground. O daughter of Babylon, wasted with

misery, Yea, happy shall he be that rewardeth

thee As thou hast served us. Blessed shall he be that taketh thy chil

dren And throweth them against the stones.”



"Hora in calamitatis,
Cum tenter et prober satis,
O! ut solvar a peccatis,

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
“Cum capite et corde æger
Miser intus lecto tegar,
Ne in tenebras releger,

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
“Quando domus flet et gemit,
Atque sopor mundum premit,
Nec vigiliis me demit,

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
- Quum campana sonat mortem,
Furiæque vim consortem
Jungunt, rapiant ut fortem,

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
“ Lampas fuscos dat dolores ;
Pauci adstant, qui dolores
Levent-veri pauciores!

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
“ Cum sacerdos summa dabit
Verba, quæ nutu probabit
Caput hoc, si vox negabit,

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
“ Cum huc illuc (Deus novit)
Ferar, sicut terror movit,
Nec stat sanguis, qui me fovit,

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
“ Cum peccatis me juventæ
Serpens premit violentæ,
Vero heu! consentiente,

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
“ Aures gemitus obtundunt !
Ignes oculos confundunt!
Nervi sine te succumbunt!

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !
“ En! judicium declaratur :
En! patet quod celabatur:
En! vox iras deprecatur-

Solare, dulcis Spiritus !"

« Propter amnes Babylonis

Sedebamus lacrymantes, Templi sancti et Sionis

Triste fatum complorantes ; “ Et ad salices propinquas,

Conspergentes ora fletu, Fractas figebamus lyras,

Plurimo cum ejulatu :

“Namque amabilem concentum

Exquirebant vexatores, Jubilemus ut ntum

Inter cladium dolores;

“ Et clamabant, 'Delectentur

Hostes versibus divinis !' Quomodo Dei cantentur

Carmina in peregrinis 3 6 Dextra moveri negato,

Si Sionis obliviscar; Lingua hæreat palato,

Templi si non reminiscar. “ Pende exultationem,

Deus, Arabum et minas Quas fuderunt, ut Sionem

Convertebant in ruinas. “Ut fremebant, ' Devastate

Solymorum ornamenta, Et cum solo adæquate

Urbis alta fundamenta.'

[blocks in formation]

“ Felix erit, Babylonis

Nata, curis jam vexata, In te die ultionis

Qui rependet nostra fata. “ Felix erit, qui infantes

Cum parentibus excidet, Et ad lapides extantes

Vitam fragilem elidet.”

On the whole we can mention no tation of knowing "little Latin and less department of the “ Aruodines” where Greek," and shall protest against relinthe labor of the editor has been ex- quishing any of the respect or merit pended in vain, and we regard the which is justly due. Some years ago whole work as honorable to English a stranger, delighting in the euphonischolarship, as it is a luxurious monu ous name of Fidler, published a superment of the press.

ficial and trashy book, purporting to be Perhaps the present may afford us a his “ Observations" in the United seasonable occasion to say of our own States of America, wherein he states country, what may be more in accord- that there are not only no scholars in ance with truth and justice, than flat- the land, but if all the books in the tering to the national ear. We never land should be collected together, there look over a publication of the kind are not the materials out of which a just mentioned without questioning scholar could be made. This man when, if ever, we shall be blessed with came hither to seek his own ends, those excellent systems which shall be which, it seems, had never been productive of like fruits; when the enough promoted at home, although, fearned professor shall not be the last as he modestly observes, “I was possource of appeal to the ignorant many, sessed of more than ordinary acquirebut the charmed circle being widened ments.” How profound his acquirewhich cannot admit within it the igno- ments really were, would be evident to rant or profane, the good scholar may the most casual reader from the very be found in every walk of life, while a wretched composition of his book. tone of feeling and exalted aim is given His darling project appeared to be, to all educated ranks, which shall be after gaining some preferment, to effect itself the best vindication of letters. the publication of what is alluded to That the standard of classical educa- on almost every page of his volume as tion is lamentably low in this country, “MY SANSCRIT WORK.” In the way of is a truth which will hardly be ques- this there were, according to his tioned, notwithstanding intelligence on account, several small obstacles: firstly, common topics is universal, under the the necessary type ; secondly, a pubfostering influence of our institutions lisher willing lo bestow on him the and laws. Science, in its application princely reward of his pains; and to the useful arts, is pursued with lastly, a learned body of men fit to unfailing energy, perhaps to a hasty appreciate his learning. Pity that he development of our resources, but for should have brought his oriental merthe rest, cui bono? Let us not be chandize to so bad a market after bearunderstood as chiming in with the ing it on his asinine back so long! In remarks of certain insolent querists, or Boston, which he states to be the hot. as depreciating American scholarship, bed of American letters, he represents when we know for a certainty, that himself as magisterially examining the there are individuals among us whose Professors in Sanscrit, and the result own love of letters would carry with it was, that not one could say boo to this a sufficient reward and inducement; goose of a pedant, so that he soon that their laborious works in classical found out that he had “little to fear," criticism and research are reprinted, and he despaired to find any able to and circulated with every mark cope with him. Perhaps if he had of approbation as school-books in continued the search, he had succeeded England ; that there is

a better. We could point him, without department of science, learning, or having to seek long, to men modest, literature, in which one or more are retiring, well appreciated in their own not found distinguished; and that in seats of learning, who could come even nearly all of our many colleges there to an alternate contention in Sanscrit, are men whose attainments are of the with this very impudent and conceited highest respectability, although, as pedagogue. The truth is, without things are now managed, it is impos- going back into our history, we can sible for them to perfect the education record at present some of the noblest of scholars, partially trained, and under examples of enthusiasm in the pursuit modes as different from one another as of classical learning to be found in any the States and Territories whence they country.

So far we shall deny the impu We remember to have read some



years ago a life of Washington, syne, are sometimes silent with the lyre, written in very good Latin, by a back- “ cithara tacentes,” that they may catch woodsman, under circumstances of the sweet murmurs of the harp of Æolus. peculiar want and discouragement. Here too, I, the priest of the Muses, The editor states, that while residing Musarum sacerdos, sing to the young of in the far West, being desirous of pur; nibus puerisque canto. Plutus, indeed,

either sex, strains before unheard, Virgisuing classical studies, he had the good fortune to fall in with the author, Mr. that blind old deity, is far away; and far Francis Glass, who was at that time away let him be, for well has the prince of the presiding genius of a district school. miserable, wrinkled, bald, and toothless

comic poets styled him a “ filthy, crooked, The account which he gives of his creature, ρυπωντα κυφόν, άθλιον, ρισον, introduction to him, is interesting, and pad wvra, vodov.” ” Such was my first interworthy to be transcribed :

view. It was a display perfectly natural,

and without the least apparent effort on “I found him in a remote part of the his part.

Glass knew nothing country, in a good neighborhood of thrifty of the world more than a child. He was farmers who had employed him to in- delicately formed in mind and body, and struct their children, who in general shrunk from all coarseness, as a sensitive were then acquiring the simplest rudi- plant from the rude touch. A cold or ments of an English education. The unfeeling word seemed to palsy every school-house now rises fresh

on my

current of his soul, and every power of memory. It stood on the banks of a his mind; but when addressed in gentle, small stream, in a thick grove of native confiding tones, he was easy, communioaks, resembling more a den for druidical cative, full of light and life. At such rites than a temple of learning. The hours, he poured out a stream of classical building was a low log-cabin, with a knowledge, as clear, sparkling, and coclap-board roof, but indifferently tight. pious as ever flowed from the fountains All the light of heaven found in this of inspiration in the early days of the cabin came through apertures made on Muses.

I had been with him each side in the logs, and these were about three months, when he communicovered with oiled paper to keep out the cated to me his long cherished intention cold air, while they admitted the dim rays. of writing the life of Washington in Latin, The seats or benches were of hewn tim- for the use of schools. He, after this bers, resting on upright posts placed in time, often adverted to the subject, with the ground to keep them from being an earnestness I shall never forget. By overturned by the mischievous urchins parcels I got something of his history. who sat on them. In the centre was a' He was educated in Philadelphia. While large stove, between which and the back acting as an instructor in the interior of part of the building stood a small desk, Pennsylvania, he contracted an unfortuwithout lock or key, made of rough plank, nate marriage, in a state, as he said, of over which a plane had never passed; partial insanity; no wonder he thought and behind this desk sat Professor Glass so, when he found himself surrounded by when I entered his school.

evils which his imprudence had brought “ The moment he learned that my upon him. He did all he could for his intention was to pursue the study of the wife and rapidly increasing family, but languages with him, his whole soul ap- his efforts procured for them but a scanty peared to beam from his countenance. subsistence. He commenced in a strain which in “ With all ambition prostrated, and another would have seemed pedantic, with a deadly sickness at the heart, he but which in fact was far from being so somewhere in the year 1817 or '18 left in him. The following imperfect sketch, Pennsylvania for the West, and settled in drawn entirely from memory, may servé Miami county. From that time to the to give some idea of his peculiar man- period I became acquainted with him, he ner :- Welcome to the shrine of the had pursued the business of school-keepMuses, my young

friend, salve! Xaipe! ing, subject to the whims of children and The temple of the Delphian God was origi- the caprices of their parents, enough nally a laurel hut, and the Muses deign alone to disturb the greatest philosopher. to dwell, accordingly, even in my rustic Every new change of school district gave abode. “Non humilem domum fastidiunt, Glass some new cause of suffering, which umbrosamve ripam.Here, too, the had an effect on his health and temper. winds hold converse, “Eurus, and Cau- During all the time he had been in the rus, and Argestes loud,” and the god Western Country he made little or no desses of the Castalian fountain, the progress in his contemplated work. In daughters of the golden-haired Mnemo- ihe drudgery of a daily school he could VOL. XII.-NO. LVI.


« AnteriorContinuar »