Page images
PDF
EPUB

work relative to India ; and being answered in the affirmative, sprung forward and embraced him with great emotion, apologizing for this liberty, by assuring him, that he was under more obligation to him than to any man living ; for that his work had been of greater service than all the other documents he could procure, towards redeeming his father's honour, and recovering his property ; owing to the clear and intelligent detail it contained of the transactions on the coast of Coromandel, in which M. Lally bore so principal a hare, and to the just representation it gave of the conduct of the French in that quarter.' p. lii.

Of the smaller pieces, there are some imitations of Horace executed with a good deal of point and vivacity, and some elegies and epistles in a very pleasing style of composition. The reft are mere vers de focieté. We add the two following paroa dies, which have the merit, we think, of being very ludicrous. Occasioned by the Author hearing of a Clergyman, who, in a vio

lent fit of Anger, threw his Wig into the Fire, and turned his
Son out of Doors... ti ...
. “ Now by this sacred periwig I swear, .
Which never more shall locks or ringlets bear,
Which never more shall form the smart toupee,
Forced from its parent head, as tho' fron me);..
Once 'twas live hair ; now form’d by th' artist's hand,
It aids the labours of the sacred band;
Adds to the Vicar's brow a decent grace,
And pours a glory round his rev'rend face.
By this I swear, when thou shalt ak again
My doors to enter, thou shalt alk in vain.”

i He spoke; and furious with indignant ire,
Hurl'd the vast hairy texture on the fire;
Then sternly silent sate-the active frame
Remorseless wastes the soft and tender frame : :" .
Writhed to and fro consumes the tortured hair, i

And, loft in fmoke, attenuates to air.' p. 332. 333. .
On meeting at Mr Garrick's an Author very labbily drest in an old

Velvet Waistcoat, on which he had sewed Embroidery of a later
date.

· Three waistcoats in three distant ages born,
The bard with faded luftre did adorn.
The first in velvet's figured pride furpaft ;
The next in 'broidery ; in both the last.
His purse and fancy could no further go;

To make a third he joined the former two.' p. 350. Upon the whole, this is a book which the rich will do well to buy, and the poor 'may be very well contented to want. It

is

is very handsomely printed, and is embellished with about a dozen portraits of the author's celebrated friends, and two views of his places of residence.

Art. V. Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera ; ad le&iones probatiores dilia

genter emendata, et interpundione nova fæpius illustrata. Cura Joannis Hunter, LL.D. in Academia Andreapolitana Litt. Hum. Prof. Andreapoli. 12mo. 1800.

A CRITICAL edition of a classical author from a Scotish press, is

so very rare an occurrence, that we should be inclined to take some notice of this book, even if its intrinsic merits did not en, title it to our attention. The task of an editor, however, we are sorry to say, does not appear to afford any great encouragement to the perseverance of those who have already proved their qualifications for the discharge of it. It is now several years since Dr Hunter presented the public with a very correct and valuable edition of Horace, in which a variety of emendations on the text and punctuation were supported and illustrated by the addition of notulæ quædam et variantes leétiones. Virgil, however, now comes out without any notes or various readings whatsoever. The text is reprinted almost exactly from the second edition of Professor Heyné; and the only critical observations which the volume contains, are presented 'all together in a short preface, which every reader, we believe, has wished longer.

It is not only the great merit of most of these remarks that makes us anxious for something of a more detailed annotation from the fame hand, but an intimation which Dr Hunter himielf gives in the outset, that he has adhered to the reading of Heyne in several places, where he could not help having considerable doubts of its propriety, through his unwillingness to set up conje&tural emendations against manuscript authority. This is undoubtedly a very laudable diffidence, in so far as the text is concerned; but from what we have seen of Dr Hunter's observations, we are persuaded that those conjectures which are now altogether suppressed, would have afforded matter for many very excellent and instructive notes, and we cannot help regretting, that he should have been prevented, by any circumstances, from submitting them to the consideration of the public.

The preface, which may be considered as a specimen of Dr Hunter's talents for annotation, contains a considerable number of very interesting discussions, We llall mention a few instances,

peading

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

In the twelfth Æneid, Æneas is described, after his wound, in the following lines, which stood thus in all the editions previous to that of Heinsius.

• Stabat acerba fremens, ingentem nixus in haftam,
Æneas, magno juvenum et mærentis Iuli

Concursu lacrimisque immobilis. Now this, which is the reading of almost all the manufcripts, is undoubtedly the right reading according to Dr Hunter. The meaning is, that he remained unmoved juvenum concurfu et lacri. mis Iuli. Heinsius, however, who does not appear to have understood this form of construction, took it upon him to expunge the que after lacrimis, and to perplex the whole passage by a wrong punctuation. Both Burman and Heyné have followed this erroneous correction ; and the passage stands thus in all the recent editions.

• Stabat acerba fremens, ingentem nixus in haftam,

Æneas, magno juvenum et mærentis Iuli

Concursu, lacrimis immobilis.' In order to confirm his own and the ancient reading of this passage, Dr Hunter here takes occasion to observe, that it is not at all uncommon for the best writers to enumerate together, a number of things that have each some separate and peculiar relative, or appropriate adjunct, and then to subjoin all the relatives and adjuncts in a separate list, leaving the reader to pick out and assort all the connected words, from their obrious sense and connexion. In Virgil, he observes, there are many examples of this, as

Munera portantes, aurique eborisque talenta

Et fellam.'
That is, talenta auri, et sellam eboris. In the same way-

Idæumque Jovem, Phrygiamque ex ordine matrem • Invocat, et duplices cæloque ereboque parentes.' The same peculiarity of construction occurs in this passage of Livy – Irreligiosum ratus, facerdotes publicos facraque populi Romani pedibus ire ferrique;' that is, pedibus sacerdotes ire, et facra ferri. In Homer, also, this arrangement is very common.

'Erbad ári' oewyn Ti xai EvXw.n) Tedev avdgwr,

Ολλυντων τε, και ολλυμενων. The meaning is evidently, evyen ola UITW, wat op wyn or dupeerw. In English poetry, the same construction is quite familiar. In the notorious translation of Sappho-

• Bleft as the immortal gods is he,

The youth who fondly fits by thee,

And bears and fees thee, all the while, · Softly speak and sweetly smile.'

Pope Pope also says

• Annual, for me, the grape and rose renew

The juice nedlareous and the balmy dew.'. In these instances, no ambiguity or confusion appears to arise from the disjoined position of the corresponding words; and we perfectly agree with Dr Hunter in thinking, that the passage which Heinsius and Heyné thought it necessary to alter, is in. finitely more intelligible and graceful, according to the old read·ing, and upon this view of the construction. At the same time, we may observe, that this dislocation of the associated words becomes faulty and ungraceful, whenever the number of separate objects, thus enumerated together, is so great as to produce any degree of confufion. We do not remember that any of the ancient classics have ever employed it where more than two things were taken together. Shakespeare, however, in the following verse, has used fomething of a larger license.

· The courtiers, scholars, soldiers, eye, tongue, sword.” And Milton, upon another occasion, has gone ftill farther

So eagerly the fiend
O'er bog, or steep, thro’ strait, rough, dense, or rare,
With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way,

And swims, or finks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.' In such paflages, the crowd and hurry of the primary objects is so great, that when we meet the relative secondary one, it is almolt impoffible to determine to which it should be referred. When so many couples, in fhort, are mingled together in diforder, it is quite imposible, at one glance of the eye, to assign to each word its proper partner

In the Fourth Aneid, Dr Hunter has made a very ingenious observation on a passage that has perplexed all the commentators from Bentley to Heyne. It is that where, after comparing Mer. cury to a bird skimming along the water, the poet says,

· Hand aliter terras inter coelumque volabat ;

Littus arenofum Libye ventosque fecabat

Materno veniens ab avo Cyllenia proles.' Bentley, holding the phrase " secare littus' to be absurd, is for fubftituting legebat in the first line. Dr Hunter, however, retains the common reading, upon the authority of all the MSS.; and, merely taking away the point at the end of the first line, reads, · Volábat littus arenosum Libye,' In justification of this conftruction, he obferves, that it is by no means unusual for an intransitive verb to assume, in some degree, the power and activity of a transitive; in which case, it admits the same syntax, and acquires the

fame

fame power of government. Thus, Virgil himself has used and construed the verb trepidare.

Multa manu medica, Phæbique potentibus herbis,

Nequidquam trepidlat.' Ardere, in like manner, takes an active form in' formosus pastor Corydon ardebat Alexin :' and Horace has ' exsudare causas.' Although we do not recollect any instance in which volare is conItrued in this manner by any of the poetical clailies of antiquity, it is remarkable that Servius has employed it in this way in his commentary upon the word velivolus, which, he says, fignifies either id quod velis volatur seu transitur, or quod velis fertur. Virgil himself, we may finally remark, has used the phrase, “cava trabe currimus æquor.' Now, if it be allowable to say, 'currere æquor,' we certainly do not see why it should be thought inconsistent to fay ( volare littus.' In the Fifth Book, the common editions read,

• Tum senior Nautes, unum Tritonia Pallas

Quem docuit, multaque infignem reddidit arte,
Hæc responsa dabat, vel quæ portenderet ira
Magna deûm, vel quæ fatorum pofceret ordo;

Isque his Ænean solat us vocibus infit.' Dr Hunter reads hic in the third line, understanding those verses as a kind of parenthetical description of the prophet; and, we think, rightly. There is no form of construction more common, than this resuming of the nominative case after the sentence appears to be proceeding to something else. Nay, there are many instances in which an object is firit introduced, in some of the oblique cases, in the courie of construction ; and then the nominative is resumed, without regard to that construction, for the purpose of stating or expounding some circumstance attending it. Thus, in the Tenth Book of the Æneid, we have

---rapiens immania pondera baltei,

Impressumque nefarm all in the accusative ; but the farther description of the nefas is given, without any interval, in the nominative :

una sub nocte jugali Caefa manus juvenum foede, thalamique cruenti.' Aristotle, in the following passage of his Rhetoric, has used the same construction : Avayan ayoba evalt Tade, in the accusative; and, immediately after, gvöllucoridt, dizalotum, cv@24a, &c. We shall be the more readily excused by our clasical readers for enlarging upon this minute particularity of syntax, when we state, that it

learned

« PreviousContinue »