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ON A VERSE OF ÆSCHYLUS.
When I first read the tragedy of Agamemnon, I was much surprised at meeting with a passage, which, though manifestly corrupted, appears to have escaped the notice not only of preceding editors and commentators, but even of the great
critic himself. It is well known that in what is called Professor Porson's Edition of Æschylus, the faulty readings are generally marked with an obelus. The following line, however, is left un-noticed and un-altered, although the correction of it would not have been a task of difficulty to scholars of far more moderate pretensions.
At verse 518 we read, 'Anis fupee Exáu vàpov jad:s avápoios. The sense of this passage is perfectly good : but who does not see, after the light which Porson has afforded us, that an Iambic Trimeter, with an Anapest in the fifth place, never could have come from Æschylus ? To restore it to its pristine purity, we have only to transpose άλις and ήλθες. . The verse indeed would run more smoothly, if we were to read "Αλις παρά Σκάμανδρον ής ανάρσιος, but, as Porson has declared that transposition is the most safe and certain mode of emendation, I must adhere to my first correction.
I cannot close my letter without observing, that in this Tragedy there are three examples of Mr. Sharpe's rule respecting the Greek article. See vv. 439. 688. 1588.
We also meet with an excellent one in the Choëphoræ, ver. 253, and with another in the Supplices, ver. 60.
H. S. BOYD. October, 1, 1813.
HELIODORUS BORN A CHRISTIAN, AND
NOT A PAGAN.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CLASSICAL JOURNAL. It is generally admitted that Heliodorus composed his beautiful romance in the flower of his youth, that he was made a bishop in his old age, and promoted to the see of Trica in Thessaly; but whether he was born a Christian, or from Heathenism converted to Christianity, is a question doubtful and controverted. For my own part, I have little hesitation in pronouncing him to have been a Christian from his childhood ; the reasons which have induced me to form an opinion so decided, it is now my intention to lay
In the earlier ages of the Gospel, so violent and so extensive was the prejudice, which the Gentiles entertained against the followers of Christ, that they despised their understandings, as much as they abhorred their doctrines. While they viewed with sovereign contempt the productions of the Christian writers, they considered their own historians, poets, and philosophers, as containing every thing which can be known, or deserves to be known, by man. Influenced by this two-fold feeling, they confined themselves exclusively to Pagan authors ; and while the Christians were well acquainted with their religion, annals, and philosophy, they knew but little of the scriptures, or of those who had expounded them. If Heliodorus had been born a Heathen, he would most probably have drunk of the same prejudices, and steered his bark in the same current, with the contemporary Heathens. It is evident, from every part of his work, that he had enriched himself with the choicest spoils of Grecian antiquity: had he been a Pagan in his principles, as well as in his studies, he would not have quitted, for an instant, the fields of Attica; he would have rifled no other meadow, and collected sweets from no other hive. I am convinced, however, from the perusal of his romance, that he was well acquainted with the writings of St. Paul, and of some of the most distinguished fathers; and I trust that the proofs which I am going to adduce, will be admitted as decisive. St. Paul in 2 Cor. ch. xi. has the following words, κινδύνους ποταμών, κινδύνοις ληστών, κινδύνοις έν θαλάσση. In the second book of Heliodorus, Theagenes bewailing his accumulated misfortunes, thus speaks of the Fury whom he supposes to have caused them, κινδύνοις θαλάττων, κινδύνους πειρατηρίων υποβάλουσα, λησταις παράδουσα. Surely this remarkable repetition of the word xívềuvos was not casual. In the Epistle to the Philippians, ch. ii. St. Paul writes, oux áparyp do vyhtato Tò elvão ou Oem. And in the 7th book of Heliodorus we meet with the following passage, και ουχ άρπαγμα, ουδε έρμαιον ηγείται To apãruck. There are several expressions scattered up and down this author, of which some are imitated, and others exactly co
" Wetstein quotes the passage of Heliodorus in his Edition of the New Testament, and he also quotes in the proper place the second passage of Heliodorus, cited by Mr. Boyd, as well as two others, vii. 11. TMO SUV Tuxpan άρπαγμα και ώσπερ άγρας αρχήν ποιησαμίνη, viii. 7. "Αρπαγμα το ρηθέν εποιήσατο η 'Αρσάκη. As to the passage of Heliodorus, which Mr. Boyd quotes from the eighth book, we refer him to a note of Mr. Elmsley on the Heraclida of Euripides
, where he will find some other passages involving the same metaphorical allusion to marriage and death in the same sentence. The betrothed virgin, who dies before her marriage, is often represented by the tragedians as a bride for Pluto, as married to death, as having the grave for her bridal chamber, with other analogous ideas. Ev,
pied, from Gregory Nazianzen. As the nature of your work compels me to be brief, I shall select one instance of the latter kind. In one of his orations against the Arians, St. Gregory describes an immodest youth, αισχρά λυγιζόμενος και καμπτόμενον. Ηeliodorus has the same words; and it is remarkable that in the Editio Princeps of both these writers, the text is corrupted in the same manner. The first edition of both for λυγιζόμενον reads λογιζόμενον. I shall now proceed to St. Basil, between whom and our author there is a very singular coincidence. In his Funeral Oration on the Martyr Julitta, St. Basil gives us a relation of the manner in which she was burnt. He thus describes the flame which ascended from the pile, ώσπερ τις θάλαμος φώτεινος περίσχουσα το σώμα. In the eighth book of Heliodorus, Chariclea is placed upon a lighted pile, and her biographer most elegantly pourtrays her étaipuveja éven εκ του περιαυγάσματος το κάλλος, και οίον έν πυρινώ θαλάμω νυμφευομένην. .
Having pointed out some of those passages in which Heliodorus has been an imitator, I shall notice one wherein I conceive him to have been imitated, by no less a man than Shakespeare. In the third book a most enchanting description is given us of the person, the beauty, and the dress of Chariclea, whose hair áranos xhüveg έστεφον διαδέοντες, και σοβείν ταίς αύραις έξω του πρέποντος ουκ έφιέντες. Hamlet speaking of his father says,
That he might not beteem the nds of Heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Shakespeare's fine expression, A sea of troubles, is as old as St. Gregory and Heliodorus; for in that eminent father of the church we find κλύδων ταραχών; and in the father of romance, κλύδων OgOrtiguátw. It is older than either of them, for Æschylus in his Perse has κακών πέλαγος. . October 3, 1813.
H. S. BOYD.
! This expression is much more common in the ancient writers than Mr. Boyd seems to think. Thus we have in the Prometheus of Æschylus, v. 1051.
οίος σε χειμών και κακών τρικυμία
έπεισ’ άψυκτος, ,
κακών δ' ώ τάλας, πέλαγος είσορα
μηδ' έκπεράσαι κύμα τήσδε συμφοράς, , where Professor Monk cites the first passage, as well as many others from Æschylus and Euripides. ED.
CRITICAL REMARKS ON RACINE.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CLASSICAL JOURNAL. I BELIEVE there is no passage in any of the French Tragedies, which has been more generally celebrated both by French and English critics, than the following noble line in the Athalie of Racine.
Je crains Dieu, cher Abner, et n'ai point d'autre crainte. As we know that this admirable poet was not unacquainted with the Grecian literature, I think we should have reason to suspect him of having borrowed the idea, were we to meet with such a passage as the following in any Greek author : εν τούτο φοβερόν ήν μόνον και φευκτον, το προσκρούσαι θεώ, έτερον δε ουδέν.
The above are actually the words of Chrysostom, delineating the character of St. Paul. They may be found in the eighth volume of Saville's edition, page 37.
There is also so striking à resemblance between the following passages of St. Gregory and Voltaire, that it well merits our attention. The French poet is speaking of a man who lived in Henry's court without being infected with its vices or its follies.
Fair Arethusa, thus thy happy stream
And uncorrupted by the briny wave. Not having the French original by me, I quote these lines from an English version of the Henriade. Nazianzen in his poem De Vita sua, thus describes the pure and innocent life which he led at Athens, though surrounded by the gay, the giddy, and the profligate.
Ούτω διεξήειμεν ήσυχον βίον,
Γλυκεία πικρών, ώσπερ ούν πιστεύεται. In his Funeral Oration on St. Basil, he employs the same figure, as an illustration of the same circumstance. Having quoted in another place the expressions he makes use of, I shall not repeat them here. See Select Passages from St. Chrysostom &c. page 292. October 16, 1813.
H. S. BOYD.
NOTICE OF THESAURUS CRITICUS NOVUS, sive SYNTAGMA SCRIP
TIONUM PHILOLOGICARUM RARIORUM Ævi RECENTIORIS, cum Indicibus locupletissimis, Tom. I. Lipsiz, 1802. 8vo. pp. 222.
The Editor of this Thesaurus is the diligent and learned Schaefer. We shall cite the preface, which is short: we do not find from it that he has enriched the work with additional observations:
“Opus exordimur multis multorum priscæ literaturæ amantium votis diu expetitum. In quo instituendo quid nobis consilii fuerit, quibusque momentis totum hoc quidquid est negotii ponderandum sit
, melius ex hoc ipso, quod nunc damus, specimine, quam ex ver. bosa præfatione, intelligetur. Ingens recentioribus temporibus, maxime in terris exteris, scriptionum philologico-criticarum numerus prodiit. Insignis plurimarum præstantia, sed magna exemplorum raritas. Harum optimas quasque, acerbo delectu habito, commode digestas indicibusque copiosissimis instructas deinceps repetemus. In primo hoc Thesauri Critici Novi volumine libelli hi continentur:
1. Diatribe de Aristoxeno, Philosopho Peripatetico, auctore Guil. Leonardo Mahne, Amstelodami, 1793. 8. pp. 219. Auctor ex Wyttenbachii disciplina profectus, omnem de Aristoxeno, clarissimo viro, quæstionem magna cum doctrina lucidoque ordine explicuit, ut hic libellus dignissimus sit, qui præstantioribus hujus generis scriptionibus annumeretur ; neque pauca insunt quantivis pretii, depromta illa ex ipsius Wyttenbachii copiis :
2. Suspicionum Specimen, auctore Erico Huberto Van Eldik, Zutphaniæ, 1764. 4. pp. 52. Egregium tirocinium Eldikii, critici in paucis acuti : nobilitatem est felicissimum viri ingenium maxime iis, quæ Valckenarius in Theocrito, et Brunckius in Sophocle publici Juris fecerunt. Sequetur mox alterum volumen, quod etiam Indices locupletissimos, Auctorum, Verborum, et Rerum, tenebit. Scripsi Lipsiæ Nundinis vernalibus 1802.
G. H. S.” We shall cite from the critical remarks of Mahne only two pas., sages :
P. 62. “ Athenæus xi. p. 555. ols sò év décolor dwoney, quos ad scribendum provocavit Aristoteles, male versum a Dalechampio, potius vertendum, quibus, ut hoc scriberent, causam (occasionem) prabuit Aristoteles : : ενδόσιμον τινι διδόναι est dictio translate a musices arte, de magistro, qui signum dat, hinc deinceps ad alia transfertur, et incitandi vim habet, vid. Bud. Comment, L. G. Gatak. ad M. Antonin. p. 336. Periz, ad Æl. V. H. XIV. 41."
In p. 96. Mahne cites Valckenaer in Lex. Etym. Lennepio Scheidiano, v. pów: “ Verba, inquit, iginu et fús apud Homerum permutantur