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which fide we will, we must, to be consistent with their own rules, feel them to be extremely monotonous.” He continues,
“ I am supported in this conjecture, notwithstanding all the fine things the ancients, and many.of the moderns, say of the variety and harmony of the Greek and Latin languages, by the definition which they give of the circumflex accent; which is, that it was a conibination of the acute and grave upon the lame syllable. This is so incomprehensible, to modern ears, that scarcely any one but the author of the present Observations has attempted to explain it by experiment. Il stands for nothing but long quantity in all our schools.
or But our wonder at thefe peculiarities of the Greek and Latin languages will ceale when we turn our thoughts to the dramatic performances of the people who spoke thele languages. Can any thing astonish us more, than that all their tragedies and comedies were set to music, and actually accompanied by musical instruments? How is our laughter, as well as our wonder, excited, when we are told that sometimes one actor gesticulated while another recileil a speech, and that the greater admiration was bestowed upon the former! Nay, to raise the ridicule to the highest pitch, we are informed that actors in their speeches, and the chorus in their longs, accompanied their performances by dancing; that the actors wore masks lined with brass, to give an echoing sound to the voice, and that these malks. were marked with one passion on one side, and with a contrary passion on the other; and that the actor turned that fide to the spectators which cor. responded to the passion of the speech he was reciting. Thele extraordidinary circumstances are not gathered from obscure pallages of the ancients, picked up here and there, but are brought to us by the general and united voice of all antiquity; and therefore, however surprising, or even ridiculous, they may leem, are undoubtedly true...
• Perhaps it will befaid, is it possible that those who have left us such prooss of their good sense and exquisite taste in their writings, statues, medals, and seals, could be so absurd in their dramatic reprefentations? The thing is wonderful, it may be answered; but not more so than that they should not have seen the use of stirrups in riding, of the polarity of the loadstone in failing, and of several other modern discoveries, which seem
to have stared them full in the face without their perceiving it. But is ·'there any, thing more common than to find not only individuals, but a whole
people, who, though remarkably excellent in some things, are surprigly deficient in others: '« We have the strongest proof in the world that the ancient Greeks · made use only of capital letters, that they were utterly ignorant of punca
tuation, and that there was not the least fpace between words or sentences, but that there was an equal continuation of letters, which the reader was obliged to decypher, without any assistance from points or distances. Without the clearest evidence, could we suppose, that, while compotition had reached the perfection it had done in Greece, orthography was in a state of barbarity worthy of the Cape of Good Hope?
'co Can any thing give us a more ludicrou's idea than the practice of the ancients in sometimes splitting a word at the end of the line, and commencing the next line with the latter part of the word ? This must have been nearly as ridiculous as the following English verses, in imitation of this absurd practice.
Pyrrhus, you tempt a danger high
victorious. Notwithstanding the hackneyed epithet of Gothic barbarity applied to verle in thyme, is it not wonderful that a species of versification, approved by Italy, France, and England, in their best periods of poetry, should never once have been tried by the Greeks and Romans ?--that they aliould never have ftraggled, either by chance, or for the sake of change, inlo so pleafing a jingle of sounds? They who could write poems, and so lengthen or shorten the lines, as to form axes, wings, and altars, might, without any imputation on their taste, have, now and then, condescended to rhyme. In. hort, that the ancients should never have ilid into rhyme, is a circumftance which would never have been believed, had it been poflible 10 doubt it: and I fear it must be classed with that long catalogue of unaccountables, with which their profody, their rhetoric, and their drama abound.”
This fingularity of splitting words (we dare not venture to call it by a harsher name) in ancient versification, has been happily con· signed to its proper place, the ludicrous, in the well-known song of Rogero in the Anti-Jacobin, which concludes thus :
- Sun, moon, and thou vain world adieu!
-niversity of Gottingen ;
--niversity of Gottingen!” Mr. W. concludes the subject of Greek and Latin monotong in these words : .“ Let us, however, explain the Greek and Latin accent as we will, lel it be by singing, drawling, or common speaking,-it will be impollible to tell how a monotony could be avoided, when almost every word of inore, than one syllable in these languages must necessarily have ended in the same tone, or, if you will, with the fame grave accent.”
Upon the whole, we think that this work of our well-informed, industrious, and veteran philologist, may be placed among the various similar books which he has forinerly given to the public, and which have been favorably received.
The head of the author is a good likeness, though done in the vile mechanical way of stippling; which, with other concomitant circumstances, is fast reducing the art of engraving to a paltry grade, where proft, and not reputation, is the primary object.
An accurate Account of the fall of the Republic of Venice and of the Cir.
cumstances attending that Event : in which the French System of un. dermining and revolutionizing States is exposed; and the true Character of Buonaparté faithfully pourtrayed. Transated from the original Italian. By J, Hinckley, Eig. F. S. A. 8vo. Pp. 300. 5s.
Hatchard. 1804. V E are informed, in an introductory note, that this work was
:V V printed and ready for publication, at the time when the victory of Marengo rendered Buonaparté master of Italy; and the power thus obtained by this ardent patriot, this champion of liberty and equality, was immediately exercised in the suppression of a book the great fault of which, in his eyes, was the faithful record which it contained of such damning facts as would alone suffice to stamp his character with indelible infamy. This mode of stifling truth has been successfully adopted by the French revolutionists on various occasions; and if it had not been for the disputes which have occurred between themselves, and the eager desire of each triumphant villain to blacken the character of his predecessors, many valuable and im. portant documents would have been lost to history, and future ages have been deprived of many of the advantages resulting from the mof awful practical lessons, which any age or country has afforded, from the creation of the world, to the elevation of a vagabond adventurer to the throne of the Bourbons.
." The following History," says the Translator, most truly, “ contains an accurate and faithful detail of the various means to which he resorted for accomplilbing his purpose; and certainly no document that has yet appeared, affords a better ruie for appreciating the man, whom Providence for a time permits to be the courge and torment of Europe.
- The four firit chapers contain an abridged view of the history of Venice from the fourth century to the French revolution. The fifth chapter commences a narrative of the interference of revolutionized France in the affairs of that republic; and in the tenth chapter Buonaparté himself at length appears upon the stage.”
Our readers will perceive by this brief account of its contents, that the book may be considered as filling up a vacuum in the hiftory of the last fourteen eventful years, and, consequently, as forming an important addition to that stock of authentic documenis, which, happily for poíterily, has been saved t:om the ruins of empires, and the equalizing hand of Gallic patriotism. It may farther be regarded as eminently useful in displaying the danger of weak, irrefoluie, and indecisive counsels, in times of extraordinary peril; and in fubftituting the baseness of submission, for energy of conception, and vigour of acjon; a base reliance on the forbearance of an enemy, for a manly refolution to repel his aggressions, to-refift his attacks, and to chastise bis insolence. When the Venetians thus forgot the wildom and energy of their forefathers, thus disgraced their name and character;
it could afford no matter for surprize that they speedily lost the fruits which they had produced. It could not be expected that the same consequences would result from weakness and pufillanimity as had accrued from resolution and courage. And if a knowledge of the perfidy and oppression of the French to every country which they had subdued by their arts, or their arms, were not sufficient to make the Venetians lose all confidence in their professions, and all hopes from their mercy, nothirg less than the ruin which they experienced could bring con. viction to their minds.
Early resolved to make every concession rather than have recourse to arus, the Venetian fenate refifted the application of different powers, in an early part of the revolution, to forin alliances' against France; in respect of whom the observed the firictest neutrality, and towards whom, on every occafion, she evinced the moit friendly disposition.
“ Such was the conduct of Venice during the government of the national assembly and of the legislative body. The torch, of popular dilcord was then waving with horrid glare over the banks of the Seine, and driving the inhabitants to the most extraordinary excelles. Even the sacred dwelling of the Venetian ambaliador was allailed by a band of ferocious rebels, and his very person was on the point of falling à prey to popular ,phreniy; but he continued with a firm voice to pacify the mob, and remained unhurt. The fenate, considering their own dignity expoled to insult in the person of their representative, thought proper to permit him to provide for his fafety by leaving his residence. He was the last however of the foreign ministers, who qaitted the French capital to take refuge in England. Yet, though furnished with all the requisite paliports, many were the insults he experienced from the people at his departure. He was taken, together with his family, to the Commune, obliged to submit to the humiliation of long and infolent interrogatories, and encountered innumerable vexations, from which, with some danger, and great credit, he escaped triumphant. The senate Mut their eyes on this open violation of the law of nations, and remained silent.
« Perlisting in their resolution, not to take any part whatever in the great question 'then the subject of a general appeal to arms, they firmly refilted not only the repeated solicitations of the court of Turin to enter into an offensive alliance, but the instances of the king of Naples, who proposed to concert a plan for the internal security of Italy, the vigorous reinontirances of the pope, who projected a league for the protection of the different governments, and the energetic memorial of Leopold II; á memorial, in which he demonstrated the necessity of a coalition between all the states of Italy, to prevent, by a union of their military strength, the progress of the French, then about to invade that rich and Nourithing part of Europe, m. order to emancipate it from its lawful poselsors, and subvert the respective constitutions of its governments. In the midst of the political and warlike · agitations of the greatest powers of the earth armed against a nation, that threatened, infulted, and contemned them all, the Venetians still remained immoveably inactive. They thought it their interest to continue neutral and insulated amid the conflagration. This principle perhaps it was, that -caused the ruin of the republic, who, by approving the measure, decreed her own destruction, In general, whep a Itate is tranquil at home, and re
specied abroad, it is thought to be secure from every change. From this era ror it frequently results, thai men neglect all the means, which might lave it, and that, endeavouring to protract its existence, as it were, by surprile, inliead of adding to its strength and lowing its greatness, they only weaken it, in the hope of concealing it in fome measure from the notice and rapacity of the powerful.”
The concluding observation is strikingly just; and it is to be hoped that all the powers of Europe will feel its justice and act accordingly. There were not wanting, however, amidit the general imbecility and infatuation which marked the conduct of the Venetians, at this momentous crisis, some few truly enlightened and genuine patriots who (perceived the extent of the danger which threatened their country, and, with equal strength and eloquence, enforced the necessity of adopting the most vigorous measures for averting it. But, alas! their voices were overpowered by the clamours of interest, selfishness, and cowardice, who shrunk from the burdens of defending their country, though, by the very means which they proposed for avoiding these burdeņs, they lost what they were most anxious to preserve, their own property !
“ Pesaro *, perceiving his country in great danger, thought it necessary to convene a folemn Consulta de' savj, or Council of the wife, and to propose an investigation of the measures to be taken in the present circumstances of an approaching invasion of Italy by foreign troops. When allembled, he, in a speech of uncommon eloquence, exhorted them, by the example of their ancestors, to provide their forts and cities of Terra ferma with the necellary means of defence. With no less energy, but with more luccels, Jerom Zuliani, alarmed at the magnitude of such an undertaking, maintained the oppofte opinion, and gained to his fide almost all the members. So wise and beneficial was the latter opinion esteemed, that, when the notification of an inarmed neutrality was propoled to the fenate, that body agreed to it almost unanimouflyt; and it was received by the people with general applaule. This decision, though perhaps far from wise, was however extolled as almost divine. The nation convinced of the tutelar folicitude of the go.. vernment, adored the oracle thus pronounced, and with lethargic indifference, gave themselves up to a fatal iecurity. The senate, who, leduced by the charnis of instantaneous repole, took ihis line of conduct, because it ex. empted them both from all expence and from domestic disturbance, adopted at the more eagerly, because they thought it better to wait for happier times, than to face the danger, and quit a state of mere obervation. Imagining themselves invulnerable, they beheld from their tranquil regions, with inmoveable apathy, the bloody conflict, in which France, and almost every European power, were involved. It frequently happens to governments,
* Francis Pesaro, at this time Savio del Consiglio in settimana or President for the week, had most vigoroully opposed every coalition with the foreign powers against France.
+ On the 28th of February, 1792, the senate communicated this resolution by circulars to their maritime officers at the sea-port towns, and to their ministers at foreign courts.