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fore, when a passage, at first view, seems to imply a fault, so gross as to be altogether incompatible with the character of a poet the most admired of any for delicacy of taste and accuracy of judgment; I imagine, the best thing which a critic can do is, ta distrust himself rather than suspect the poet, and examine well, „whether there may not be some word, or some expression, which, in its most ordinary acceptation, conveys that sense which gives occasion to his criticism, but yet is taken sometimes in another sense, which may clear the passage of all difficulty: and this, . I imagine, is very remarkably the case in these two lines of Virgil. Deceptum errore, deceived by a mistake, appears, to be sure, very readily, to be the sense here. But yet, error does not always signify a mistake ; in Virgil, it means sometimes a travelling by sea, or land; a voyage, or journey; as when Deiphobus asks Åneas how he came alive to the Shades.
Pelagine venis erroribus actus.
Immo age, et à primá, dic, Hospes, origine, nobis
Erroresque tuos. and so, in the passage I am upon, to me it seems beyond all doubt, that, by novo errore is meant errore Teucri. Dardanus had made the first voyage, the first adventure, the primus error, in search of a settlement; Teucer made a second, a later, or a novus error ; and this had deceived Anchises. And thus, the epithet novus is no way meant as an antithesis to veterum locorum; but, in distinction to the prior voyage of Dardanus. So far the sense appcars, to mé at least, clear, and just, and liable to no criticism. But this is not all; the remaining words of this verse make a further difficulty in the expression, by being in an uncommon construction Ana chises. agnovit se deceptum veterum locorum,' owned himself mistaken in these ancient countries- novo Errore Teucri'-by that second voyage of Teucer. Deceptum veterum locorum is, I say, an uncommon expression; which has contributed to the difficulty of the
passage, and to the mistake of Dr. Pearce : but yet, it is an * expression, to which another exactly parallel is to be found in a poet of the same rank with Virgil, for elegance and taste. I mean in Horace, in the ode upon his escape from the fall of the trée ; where he is giving a dignity to his own art, and insinuating his importance as a poet, by describing the veneration in which the Greek lyric poets were held among the shades. The charm, says he, of Alcæus' poetry beguiles even the guilty of their tortures.
10: Quin et Prometheus, et-Felopis parens
Dulci laborum decipitur sónu. Here, I say, the expression, Prometheus decipitur taborum, :
dulci sono Alcæi, is exactly parallel to the expression, Agnovit se deceptum locorum, novo errore Teucri. And thus, I think, the poet may fairly be vindicated from so positive, and, at the same time, so very severe a censure.'
There is besides another kind of objection, which has likewise been made to this very passage of Virgil; and which I shall also endeavour to remove. Ruæus, and others, have taxed Virgil with want of judgment in the conduct of this part of his poem: for, say they, Anchises and Æneas ought to have been sensible of this mistake long before, and that, most especially, from the farewell words of Creusa to Æneas, when her shade appeared to him, on the night of the destruction of Troy, and, not only told him of Hesperia by name, but marked out its particular situation, by the river Tiber; for, says she,
Ad terram Hesperiam venies, ubi Lydius, arra
Inter opima virúm, leni ftuit agmine Tibris. Burman, who likewise mentions this objection, fairly owns that he does not well know what to say to it; he thinks less of Anchises, as an oblivious old man, but seems to wonder that Æneas should forget it, 'nescio quid dicam?' says he, certe Æneas non debuerat oblitus esse,' then, he, modestly enough, offers two solutions, by way
of guess or conjecture. Shall we think, says he, that Æneas
Deceptum Laborum.) Several other such uncommon expressions occur both in Virgil and Horace, as well as in other Roman poets : a number of which kind, collected by Nonius Marcellus, are cited by Torrentius, in a very sensible note he gives on the words of Horace B. 3. Ode last. 5. 2.
Regnavit Populorum; of which note, what follows is an extract.
Regnavit Populorum) Sic prisci quoque interpretes legerunt, nec primus hunc locum ex Servio restituit Lambinus. Libri tamen Ms. omines, quos videre contigit, Regnator habent: tantum potuit Grammaticorum audacia. Solent autem nobiles poetæ hujusmodi locutionibus hîc illic aspersis excitare Lectorem ; idque vel subaudiendo aliquid, vel imitativne Græcorum.. Tale illud
Virgilii Æn. 11. 126.
2. 9. 17. Abstineto irarum,
3. 27. 69. Decipitur laborum,
2. 13. 37. Damnatus laboris,
2. 14. 19. Soluti operum,
Plauti. Desipiebam mentis,
. Epid. Pendet animi,
. Merc. a.
et similia multa a Nonio congesta.' SC
A still more copious collection of such expressions is to be found in Ruddiman's allatin Grammar. Vol. 9. p. 115. &c.
3. 17. ult.
1. 2. 35. 1. 18. 54.
believed the oracle of Apollo was much more to be depended on than the words of Creusa credens, certius Apollinis esse oraculum Creüs& dictis, or, that Æneas really had no great faith in the ghost of Creusa, and remained still at a loss where to go.-- An incertum Æneam non multum fidei habuisse Creüsæ umbrce ? num et post illam visam dicit,
Incerti quo fata ferant, ubi sistere detur ?" this solution is almost ludicrous. I shall pass it, and return to the objection; which is plainly one of those kind of arguments, which, if they prove any thing at all, prove a great deal too much. For according to it, Anchises and Æneas should not, properly, have sooner acknowledged their mistake, as Ruæus states it ; errorem agnoscere antea debuerat,' are his words: they should never have fallen into that mistake at all, they should have sailed for Hesperia from the beginning ; whereas, they, first of all, attempted a settlement in Thrace. Here then is the proper objection; how came Æneas, so soon after the appearance of Creusa, even before he left the Coast of Troy, while his ships were yet building only, and his men assembling, to be entirely at a loss where to settle? for, says he :
classemque sub ipso Antandro, et Phrygia molimur montibus Idæ ; Incerti quo fata ferant, ubi sistere detur;
Contrahimusque viros. Now I think it is natural, from this passage, to conclude that Virgil meant here to show, that, from the words of Creusa, Æneas had been able to make out nothing at all, which could be of any service to direct his voyage. Apollo gave him afterwards a résponse which was obscure ; but the prophecy of Creusa had been utterly unintelligible to him, yet the question remains: if this really be Virgil's intention here, is he uniform, throughout, in the whole conduct of this part of the poem ? has he put such words in the mouth of Creüsa, as must naturally to Æneas appear unintelligible ?
yes ; even contradictory; at least to me, the poet seems evidently, to have artfully managed her expressions with that very intention ; Let us examine them: she tells Æneas,
Longa tibi erilia, et vastum maris æquor arandum ;
Parta tibi. Now, we must remember, that Æneas had never yet heard of the word Hesperia, as the proper. name of a country; he is not informed of that, till long afterwards; when the Penates telt him,
Est locus, Hesperiam Graii cognominę,dicunt.: SURE From Creusa, then, he would naturally take it in its proper original VOL. VIII. CI. JI.
sense, as an adjective, the feminine of 'EEIIEPIO2; nay, he is even prevented, as it were, from any suspicion of her using it anew, as a proper name, or any otherwise than as an adjective, by her putting the substantive Terram before it. The expression, then, Terram Hesperiam, would convey to Æneas no other idea, than as if one should say, in English, a western land. Next, as to the other mark of Italy, ubi Lydius Tibris fuit ; as Æneas was wholly ignorant of Italy, and its inhabitants, he could not possibly know that by Lydius Tibris, she meant the Tiber, where the Lydian Prince Tyrrhenus had settled some generations before: he must naturally understand it, then, in the common proper sense, as river of Lydia ; or at most, a river which ran from Lydia, through this western land; and this is what could not but quite confound him, and render the whole utterly unintelligible, for Lydia is a country lying far to the south east of Troy. And so the one part of her information must naturally appear to him to contradict the other. If one ask, why did not Creusa speak more plainly? the answer is easy, she knew no more; or was forbidden by the gods to reveal farther. According to the mythology of the poets, this was often the case with those who foretold future events; thus the prophet Helenus tells Æneas, he will discover a few useful hints of what was to befal him ;. but must conceal the rest ;
Pauca tibi è multis
-prohibent nam cetera Fata Scire Helenum, furique vetat Saturnia Juno.
This is the light in which the poet's intention appears to me; and in this view, I think his conduct is perfectly consistent, and extremely judicious in the whole management of this part of the poem.
February 27th, 1761.
ON THE HEBREW BIBLE.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CLASSICAL JOUPNAL.
If the Communication of the present Article shall merit an entry in the Classical Journal, it is respectfully at your service. You are not wanting in able Correspondents in Oriental Literature, and,
Sir, in particular, am I desirous to submit the present Article for admission, where so able and sound a critic corresponds as Mr. Hails of Newcastle, whose defences of the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, and of our authorised English Translation, and whose valuable remarks on the genius and construction of the sacred Hebrew language, are irrefragable proofs of close reading, of an intimate knowledge of the subject, and superior attainment. Happy would it be for the cause of DIVINE TRUTH, had we a large increase of such learned advocates.
Having myself had a strong disposition to become closely acquainted with that language, reputed to have been spoken by the first generations of men; in which, as its votaries among the Hebrews say, the World was created ; and wherein the Almighty revealed his will to mankind, 'I pursued the Hebrew first in the Bible, and at length in its more intimate dialects, especially the Chaldee, Syriac, and Ethiopic, making myself familiar also with the Hebrew and Chaldee Commentaries: this I attained without the aid of a Jew ; being confident that whoever sets about so pious a study with exertion and humility will never fail of success through God. : My first difficulty was about the Hebrew points : not whether these additions to the letter of the sacred Text originated with the sacred Penmen in the first instance; but whether in any suceeeding period of the Ancient Jewish Church, Ezra or any other authorised person applied them to the text for the uniformity and perpetuity of the reading and pronunciation; in which case, an absolute rejection of them would seem at least presumptuous and dangerous. I consulted Dr. Gill's book on the subject, also Whitfield on the Hebrew Vowel Points, and other treatises of the kind; but all to little purpose ; for the question returned unresolved whilst the Jews of all times, and in all countries, read the law in the original and unpointed Text. The argument for the divine authority of the Hebrew Punctuation seemed to me at best dubious and uncertain; I therefore studied the Hebrew according to the prevailing Masoretical Punctuation, without attaching to it the consequence due to a divinely inspired system.
For a short and clear discussion of the subject respecting the origin and use of the Hebrew points, I think it more judicious to state the question by a clear definition. First ; The Hebrew Points are no original part of the letters, but additional ; and are variously applied above, under, or in the body of the letters.--Secondly': The Points may be classed under three denominations. (1) 'The Reading or vowel points, with which the consonants are pronounced: (2) The Diacritical points, which direct in the powers and reading of the letters; such is the point called Dagesh, which has many offices in reading Hebrew grammatically ;-and (3) The Accentual or Prosaical points, which mark the connexion and division