Page images
PDF
EPUB

Nihac mali taberna, curarum mare,
Pastra luctus, officina cladium,
Fois dolorum, mors (ut absolvam) mera,
Qui morte nunc relinquo non ingratiis,
Pare promptus imperatori Deo,
Cuilitat gens omnis hæc mortalium.”

Dominici Baudii Epistol. Cent. I. Epist. viii. We meet ith another instance of the same metaphor, in a curious ndern Greek song, which the very ingenious M. de Guys higiven us, in his Sentimental Journey through Greece, (vol. : p. 95.) as a proof, and certainly no bad one, that the poetic ve of ancient Greece is not altogether extinguished. I trescribe no more than is necessary

for

my purpose; the restnay be seen in the volume and page refer. red to.

Μί δυσικάαιπολεμώ βάσανα ως το λεμό

Είμαι, κανεντινέυω, και να χάθω κοντευω
Στο ΠΕΛΑΓΟ ΤΩΝ ΣΥΜΦΟΡΩΝ

ME

επικίνδυνον καιρόν,
Μ' ανέμως άθριος, σφόδρες και εναλως.
Με κύματα ποών και μών, 7εφανι ανατειασμώε,

“ I struggle win all the misfortunes of nature, plunged into an abyss of misery. Wandering, floating on this OCEAN OF Distres, my frail bark must soon be overwhelmed. Contray impetuous winds raise the angry waves, which besiege me, and urge them on to my destruction. Í pant for breath in the midst of a thick fog." Wigan, Nov. 20.

Q: 1772, Sept. Nov

LII. Critical Pemarks on the Tragedies of Seneca.

Mr. URBAN, IN reading Seneca's Tragedies, I lately met with the following passage, Nec Damæ trepidant Lupos :

Herc. Oet, v. 1057.

which I beg leave to present to your correspondent J. Z. as the most decisive answer to the question proposed bmi concerning this line in Juvenal :

Et motæ ad lunam trepidabis arundinis umbram. It proves the propriety of the common reading beyone doubt: it is a case in point, and more conclusive than a tho sand arguments from analogy.*

I mention the Hercules Oetaus as a tragedy of Seneca' though I am not ignorant of the controversy that has bee moved by the critics about the authenticity of some of th pieces, which have been handed down to us under the nam of that author. This tragedy, in particular, has been proscribed and reprobated in the severest manner by the elder Heinsius : “Hæc ad Herculem in Oeta," says he, “quam qui Senecæ ascribunt, judicii sui integritatem non tuentur.” And again, “Sermo arguit longe post reliquas scriptam. Multa idiwtixa, indigna Seneca utroque, et nihil minus quam Latina, occurrunt." Dan. Heinsii Animadvers. in Senecæ Tragæd.—Heinsianæ earum Editioni adjunct. pp. 550 and 577. Lipsius, however, has admitted it into the

לל

num

* An excellent critic has this observation concerning the analogy of language: “A Latin writer would say, In eo prælio multum * sanguinis factum est, [in that battle a great deal of blood was spilt]; but if, from thence, any one should now infer that he might write, In eo convivio multum vini factum est, [en that entertainment a great deal of wine was spilt], he would proceed upon a very wrong supposition; unless he could give an instance of the expression.” Markland's Remarks on the Epistles of Cicero to Brutus, &c. p. 85.

I have frequently heard Mr. Pope's Inscription on Shakespeare's Monument in Westminster-Abbey censured, as though the last line were neither good Latin, nor in the true Epitaph stile and taste:

Gulielmo Shakespeare,
Anno post mortem CXXIV.

Amor publicus posuit.

I therefore submit it to the critical reader, whether the following passage from Ovid will, or will not, serve to remove the first part of the objection, and, by analogy, to establish the phrase at least of the Inscription:

Tempora sacrata mea sunt velata corona,
Publicus invito quam favor imposuit.

Ep. ex Ponto, lib. iv. Ep. xiv. v. 55.

* This expression seems borrowed from the Greek arzec dãi, an instance of which we have in Euripides: Πυλαδης, ο συνδρων αιμα και ματρος φονον.

Ores, v. 406.

of those which he ascribes to one of the Senecas, lerasque ex istis Annæi Senecæ esse fateorsed Seneca noris :" and his admission of it is approved by Pontanus. [See J. Lipsii Animadvers. in Tragædias Senecæ, and Jo. ac. 'Pontani de Tragwediarum Auctoribus Prolegomenon, anexed to the edition of Seneca's Tragedies, published y Scriverius, cum notis variorum, Leyden, 1620.j Rutgerius, too, seems to acknowledge it for Seneca's, by quoting it, indifferently, with the Hippolytus, and the Troades, which are universally allowed to bę of the hand of that author. (See Jani Rutgersii Var. Lect. lib. VI. cap. 17.) Wigan, Oct. 23.

Q.

1772, Oct.

LIII. Critical Remarks on some passages in V. Paterculus and

Petronius.

MR. URBAN I HAVE always suspected a false reading in a passage of V. Paterculus, near the end of the first book, where that elegant author displays so much judgment in tracing out the reasons why the most eminent writers of Greece and Rome flourished, respectively, in or about the same æra, and 80 much taste in ascertaining and distinguishing their several merits. The passage I mean is this: “ Nam, nisi aspera ac rudia repetas, et inventi laudanda nomine, in Accio circaque eum Roniana tragödia est; dulcesque Latini leporis facetia, per Cæcilium, Terentiumque, et Afranium, suppari ætate nituerunt." Vel. Paterc. i. 17.--Now, leporis facetiæ seems to be a tautology, unworthy the precision of this accuratę writer; since each of these terms, I apprehend, separately denotes those * delicate traits of wit, those exquisite strokes of pleasantry and humour; in a word, all those graces of elegance and politeness of the most refined facetiousness and urbanity, so essential to the comic muse, which the historian meant to intimate had been, at length, transplanted into the Latin language, and, at one and the same period, nearly, shone out with distinguished lustre in those three Latin poets. Cicero, it is evident, frequently uses the words tepos and facetie* as synonymous expressions: “Vefúntamen, ut dicis, Antoni, multum in causis persæpe lepore et facetiis, profici vidi.” De Orat. ii. 54. Again, Quis est igitur, qui non fateatur, hoc lepore, atque his facetiis, non minus refutatum esse Brutum,” &c. Ibid. 55. And, more particularly, “ Etenim, cum duo genera sint facetiarum, alterum æquabiliter in omni sermone fusum, alterum peracu, tum et breve.” Ibid. 54. And, “Non enim fere quisquam reperietur, præter hunc [Crassum] in utroque genere leporis excellens, et illo, quod in perpetuitate sermonis, et hoc quod in celeritate atque dicto est.” Ibid. We see here two distinct species of wit, or pleasantry, defined, which are denoted, indiscriminately, by the terms facetia and lepos : so that these terms had clearly the samet signification. Instead of leporis, therefore, in the passage under con sideration, I think we ought to read sermonis; and am confirmed in this opinion, by observing, that this is the reading of that learned and judicious critic Rutgersius, in his quotation of the passage on a different occasion : « Quáre Velleius Paterculus libro primo Cæcilio ac Terentio, non Plautum, non Nævium, non Licinium, aut quæ etiam cogitare putidum sit, Attilium comitem dat; sed Afranium ; dulcesque Latini Sermonis Facetiæ, inquit, per Cæcilium, Terentiumque, et Afranium, suppari ætate floruerunt.Rutgers. Var. Lect. lib. iv. cap. 19.

*“ Jam ut ad lepores, sales, gratias, et venustates veniamus; certum est, fere omnes eas tolli a ridiculo, quemadmodum ab excessu tollitur virtus. Quare Terentio ac Menandro tribuunt lepores antiqui; sales vero Horatius Plauto concedit, verum inurbanos.Dan Heinsii Dissertat. Heinsianæ Terent. Comediat. Editioni præfix. p. 22.

Facetum quoque non tantum circa ridicula opipor consistere. -Decoris hanc magis, et excultæ cujusdam elegantiæ appellationem puto."

Quintil. Trst. Or. lib. vi. cap. 3.

* THR. Quid est? GNA. Facete, lepide, laute, nihil supra.

Ter. Eunuch. Act. iii. Sc. 1. 37.

est enim leporum Disertus pater, ac facetiarum.

Catull. ad Asinium, v. 8.

tuo lepore Incensus, Licini, facetiisque.

Id. ad Licinium, v. 7.

* We meet, indeed, with lepos facetiarum in two passages of Cicero :

“ Libandus etiam ex omni genere urbanitatis facetiarum quidam lepos, quo, tanquam sale, perspergatur omnis oratio." De Orator. 1. 34. And, again, in his de scription of the oratorical talents of Crassus : “ Erat summa gravitas, erat cum gravitate junctns facetiarum, et urbanitatis oratorius, non scurrilis, lepos.In Brut. 143, in both these places I take facetiæ to be the genus, and lepos the species; understanding Cicero to intend, in the first passage, a certain grace, an air of politeness and pleasantry, which ought to animate the whole composition; and, in the latter, a certain delicasy of wit, an elegance of raillery and ridi. cule, becoming the dignity of the orator, totally different from the coarse jests, the low, illiberal humour of the droll and the buffoon. For that lepos signifies sometimes a gracefulness, a gentility, a politeness of manner, is evident likewise from Cicero ; “ Festivitate igitur et facetiis, inquam, C. Julius, L F. et superioribus, et æqua. libus suis omnibus præstitit, oratorque fuit minime ille quidem veheinens, 'sed nemo unquam urbanitate, nemo lepore, nemo suavitats conditior.In Brut. 177, “ Vox, gestus, et omnis actio sine lepure." Ibid. 238.

“ Hujus actio non satis commendabat orationem; in hac enim satis erat copiæ, in illa autem leporis parum." Ib. 240. “Omnisque vitæ lepos, et summa hilaritas, laboruinque requies.” Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. xxxi. cap. 7. These instances determine the meaning of lepos facetiarum; they prove, too, the propriety of this construction of those words, even though we had not found them in this form of construction in Cicero. But, I think, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to give an instance of the inverse construction of them,- leporis facetia ,-.except that suspected reading in Paterculus.,

The authority of Aulus Gellius, who, in a critique on Plaạtus, remarks, from Varro, that poet's facetia sermonis, renders this reading still more probable: “ Quasdam etiam alias [comedias) probavit (Varro) adductus stylo atque Facetia Sernionis Plauto congruentis." A. Gell. Noct. Att. iii. 3.

There is an erroneous reading, too, I think, in the following fine passage of Petronius's Poem on the Civil War, , which, according to my judgment, spoils half the beauty of it.

" At contra, sedes Erebi, qua rupta dehiscit,
Emergit late Ditis chorus, horrida Erinnys,
Et Bellona minax, facibusque armata Megæra :
Letumque, insidiæque, et Iurida mortis imago.

V.253-6. The last line is evidently a parody of two passages

in Virgil :

circumque atræ formidinis ora,
Iræque, insidiæque, dei comitatus, aguntur.

Æneid. xii. 335.
-- crudelis ubique
Luctus, ubique pavor, et plurima mortis imago.

Ibid. ii. 369. But the introduction of “the ghastly image of death” Flurida mortis imagol, in the end of the line, after “Death himself” [letumque] had been introduced in the beginning of it, is so idle, unmeaning a repetition, so tame, and so

« PreviousContinue »