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tors argue, that Joshua bathed in the water of life, and that some drops of it falling on a broiled fish restored it to life. Ferdoosee, in his Shabnameh, Saadee, and Khosroo, very frequently allude to it: among other such allusions, Hhafezz writes,
حافظ ار آب حیات ابدی میطلبي منبعش خاك در خلوة درویشان است
And Jamee, in one of his fanciful productions, introduces Moses, as immerging himself in its stream,
جا هيه کند از تن ورل غوط تر آب
و برآمد شباب
The Bauddhists have the holy water of Anaudat, or No-wa-dat, as Dr. F. Buchanan wishes it to be pronounced, and in addition to the Cauldron of Ceridwen, the Druids have somewhat analogous fables respecting the sacred Dee. I have elsewhere adduced the apples of Iduna, wife of Braga in Runiclore, the fountain of longevity of the Αιθιόπες Μακροβίοι, the Chang-seng-yo of the Chinese, the Amrita and Piyupa of the Indian School, and the Nectar and Ambrosia of the Classic Gods, all conferring immortality; but it is worthy of remark, that as Ambrosia is derived from a privative and Bpóros, so the Sanskrit Amrita deduces its origin from a privative, and the root Mki, to die. We may discover this universal pūdos in Ovid's relation of the history of Glaucusu
“ Res similis fictæ (sed quid mibi fingere prodest ?)
D. G. WAIT.
Ovr habitual disregard of quantity, or, if this expression should sound too harshly, our want of system in the pronunciation of Greek and Latin, has encumbered with fresh difficulties a subject intricate in itself, and perplexed rather than explained by some of its commentators.
By recurring to the first principles of metre, and gradually descending through its stages and varieties, we might hope to obviate all cause of coufusion, and although we should not remove the difficulties, at least to ascertain their form and pressure. But such an analysis is incompatible with the limits allowed, and even if sufficient space could be afforded, the undertaking would be of little use, as the necessary information has already been communicated in Mr. Mitford's excellent “ Inquiry into the Principles of Harmony in Language.”
Unwilling to mutilate, and unable to compress, the observations of that learned and judicious Author, I must content myself with a general reference to his work, and hazard such loose remarks of my own, as may perhaps suffice to show that there is nothing in ancient metre which was not the natural effect of ordinary causes.
Quantity is measured by articulation, and may be referred to a twofold origin.
When a vowel is followed by two consonants, or when a diphthong is used, the syllable thus formed is long by nature; For a longer time is naturally required for its utterance, than for that of syllables differently constituted; and its quantity, being inseparable from the proper articulation of its component letters, is obviously founded on a natural and not an artificial basis.
Where the syllable on the other hand derives its quantity from the continuance of one, and not from the union of many sounds, we must refer to custom, rather than nature,' as the vowels have each a long and short sound, and the quantity might accordingly be varied at the option of the speaker, if it were not fixed by rules, partly arbitrary, and partly founded on analogy.
'Corinthius, however, says (Vide Foster page 31) å yde díori paspà ináttwy έστι της φύσει μακράς έπει και το α φύσει μακράν μειζόν έστι της αι διφθόγγον.
On a correct observance of these distinctions the character of ancient versification was established, and its harmony formed by the skilful arrangement of long and short syllables.' But although this primary division into long and short embraced all the metrical properties of syllables, it comprehended rather than developed them, and their proportions and attivities were yet to be specified; for among the long some were longer, and among the short some were shorter than others, and even when the metre was correct to all essential purposes, a practised ear miglt detect a casual excess or deficiency of quantity.'
From the different powers of the consonants and the natural uncertainty of pronunciation, another distinction quickly arose and many syllables were accounted common, and the reader or reciter in determining their actual quantity was guided solely by the metre : of the reinaining distinctions some may form the subject of future articles; but for the preseut I shall beg leave to wave their consideration.
If what I have stated is not erroneous, it will follow that we are not to expect any extraordinary minuteness and nicety of discriinination, in the elements of ancient metre, or to suppose that every aberration from the established forms must be accounted for by some grand and active principle.
Pronunciation itself would be influenced by casual circumstances, by the prevalence or disuse of various dialects, and by gradual though trivial corruptions; and the Poet, conseious of his abilities, and proud of his importance, might occasionally innovate upon the sounder prac. tice of his predecessors. It is true that language does not change so rapidly in a barbarous as in a civilized country. (Note. This is confirmed by a singular fact in Bruce's travels, Vol. 6th. p. 435. Vide Editor's Note.) But it should also be recollected that in the time of Homer, writing was little known or practised, and that Grecian fable was seldom more closely allied to truth, than when it stiled the muses the daughters of memory. A very competent judge has observed, “A complete alphabet of any language is uokuown. Before the art could reach perfection, custom has every where fixed the practice. We learn from Plato3 that the characters which represent the long sounds
1 Dion. Hal. Timparé.
3 råg exownede, åride Tò mancion, Cratylus. Vide Foster's Essay on Accent and Quantity. Chap. 2nd. I refer to the first Edition.
of e and o were of late origin, and although the earlier Latin Authors marked the length by doubling the vowel, this distinction was subsequently neglected."
We may be permitted therefore to assert generally that as far as the vowels were concerned, an alteration in their quantity did not involve an alteration in orthography, and that in this respect at least no restraint was imposed upon the innovator.
The case was certainly different in the consonants, for when a vowel was long by position its length would be ascertained by the eye as well as by the ear. But even in this case the Greeks were not very scrupulous, for in Αίγυπτίους Ηλεκτρυώνες τέμνει” and in other positions the vowel was occasionally shortened. However
Quintilian tells us, “ Usque ad Accium et ultra porrectas syllabas geminis, ut dixi, vocalibus scripserunt,” Lib. 1. Cap. 7. The Greeks seem not ever," says Foster, “ to have used two short vowels in like manner for a long one: but one character served both purposes.” Gray says, “ In the Sigean and in other very ancient marbles, e is always put for the diphthong Ei as 'Exè for Eiui, the sound being much the same, and the name of forår in the alphabet being anciently sl; the famous Ei on the temple of Delphi was written with this one character E. See Plutarch. The name of a pexpòv in the alphabet was anciently ou. See the Epitaph of Thrasymachus ap. Athenæum, L. 10. and Eustathius ad Inscript. L. 5. Iliados, and the diphthong on in all inscriptions, till after the death of Alexander, was written with a single o. The change is attributed to the accuracy of the Alexandrine Grammarians." 2nd Vol. 4to. p. 111.
It is curious that in Hebrew, where we are told poetry is unconnected with metre, no less than fifteen characters are used to mark the pronunciation of the vowels. But as Bishop Horseley jastly observes, “ If the Hebrew language had all that nicety in its pronunciation, which the Masoretic points exhibit, it seems almost impossible that men should ever have thought of writing it, as it certainly was anciently written, without vowels in the far greater part.” Prosodies of the Greek and Latin Languages, page 5.
Mr. Mitford, who defends the antiquity of the vowel-letters, says, seems to be now decided, among the learned, that the vowel-points of the Arabs and Persians were unknown, till after the age of Mahomet, and that the Hebrew points were imitated from them.” History of Greece, 16t Vol. 2nd Chap. 3 Sect. Note.
2 Foster, p. 36.
3 « Vocales breves sæpissime in mediis vocabulis correptæ sunt ante las vel tres consonantes, cum quibus non conjungitur 2, v. 9. ante yd. Sp. &c.” Burgess. Annotatio in Dawesii Mis. Crit. p. 348. NO. XXIX. CI. JI.
little weight the reader may attach to these considerations; I shall not hesitate to confess that they were strong enough to make me question the power of the Cæsura, and that after much enquiry I have at least succeeded in convincing myself, that this power is fictitious, and that the use of long for short syllables, was not founded on the pature and constitution of the verse, hut on the privilege or license of the poet.
Such is my own opinion, whicle will probably have few approvers. But if they, who differ from me, will take the trouble of examining what I have collected on this subject, they will, I think, find that my conclusion, though not the most critical, is far from being the most improbable.
The Cæsura is generally defined to be that metrical division which takes place when a syllable of the word remains after the completion of the foot, or in other terms, " est ea versûs sectio, quæ post pedem absolutum desinit in syllabam et claudit vocem.”
According to the PortRoyal Grammarians' it can lengthen a syllable, naturally short, after the first, second, third, or fourth foot, even if it is followed by a vowel. Vossius - limits its power to the conclusion of the three first feet, and Clarke " in his note upon ßélos éXETTEUKÈS says:
“ Non modd in fine Versus aut Sententiæ, sed etiam in fine Vocis, propter pausam, quâ vox finitur, syllaba alioqui brevis produci potest.-Fit hoc præcipue in Cæsurâ, quia major eð incidit pronuntiationis ictus," &c. The anonymous Author of a curious treatise upon Rhythm adopts a different theory, but we find from the verses, which he quotes, that he draws a nearly similar conclusion.
The reason of this power, according to the Port Royal Grammarians, " is extremely natural, because, as the ancients pronounced their verse according to the cadence of the feet, and the syllable,