Imatges de pàgina

Sophocles,) we may judge in the contemplation of what objects they loved to employ the faculty of sight, by noticing the use of such words as otáśw, dáliw, äv oc, with their compounds and derivatives. The connection of these with subjects in themselves the most dark and calamitous, produces a frequent, and perhaps not altogether unintentional euphonism. Horror and woe trickle drop by drop shudderingly along the heart, as the cool filterings of the cavern. One and the same word which expresses to us the oozing of the dark effervescing of frenzy in the soul, might perhaps more properly be used to describe the distillation of the honey of Hymettus. Disease spreads itself, and blooms forth upon the flesh as the overgrowing of herbage. The existence of the Nightingale is shrouded in sorrows sprouting around her thick as foliage. The boariness of age, is a white-blossoming, the very compliment which old January pays himself in Chaucer's tale. The misfortunes of a noble family are made to burst forth into bloom. The haughty speech is the efflorescence of the lips. Groans are the flowers plucked from the tree of anguish; and the chaunters of the funeral dirge shower these upon the bier, so that not merely the custom, but the very language of thie Greeks, veiled as it were the deformity of death, and scattered the corpse with flowers.

• From these considerations, how easy is it to account for some other of the Greek euphonisms. It was less owing to the politeness than to the temperament of this people, that they were fond of evading expressions that reminded them of mortality. The very thought of the cessation of existence threw a shadow on the countenance of the animated Athenian, to whom nothing but the light of fame could compensate for the loss of the day beam, and the uncertainty of Elysium. From such a people, it was no small sacrifice which Pericles demanded, when he bade them leave their pleasure grounds and gardens to the ravages of the Spartan, and exchange the olive groves of Attica, even for the statues of Phidias; and Alcibiades shewed a thorough knowledge of their nature, when he celebrated his recall from exile, by protecting their festive procession through the open country to the temple at Eleusis.”

The Introduction, from which the preceding is extracted, is a summary of the more important observations which the author has taken in his poetical excursion, most of them bearing more or less in peculiarities of simile, construction, and dramatic position, which, whether accidentally or not, our own poets possess in common with the two most eminent Greek dramatists. His remarks on Shakspeare's scholarship, though not conclusive, appear reasonable and well founded. Those on some of our other poets, especially Cowley and Shelley, are so well supported by extracts occurring throughout the work, that should new editions of the works of the two last named poets be ever projected, the most valuable materials for such a purpose are here already supplied. Vague expressions which are Aung about in the common parlance of critics, with regard to the scholastic attainments of our English poets, are here thoroughly sounded ; and the evidently extensive reading of the author gives him a right to speak with an air of decision on this and similar points, and ought to give his readers confidence in following him.

One error of no great importance we find in this part of the work. The translator of Seneca, to whom Mr. B. refers, was Jasper Heywood, a very different person from Thomas Heywood, with whom we here find him confused. Of the former, the translations of four of the tragedies of Seneca are, we believe, the only works; whilst Thomas, his namesake, who came into notice some few years after him, was one of our most voluminous writers for the English stage.

The second, and main portion of the work, consists of quotations, principally from our own best poets from Chaucer to the present time, with the portions of the Greek texts affixed which they are intended to illustrate. There are also passages from the Scriptures and Apocrypha, and a great many most apposite ones from Greek and Latin poets, which have escaped the observation of our classical commentators. We can promise the scholar, that, from one source or another, he will find most of those daring expressions of Æschylus, which he has hitherto considered unique, repeated, either accidentally, or designedly, by other poets.

This portion of the work, however, is not without its defects; and some of these have arisen either from a too great desire to make it complete, as far as its nature admits of completeness, or, from a sense of the existence of profound ignorance of some of the mere commonplaces of poetry, in many of those to whom the work is addressed. What else could make him illustrate the õppi& poßos, “ straighthaired fear,” by three or four quotations, and we know not how many references, or the ordinary and matter-of-course appeal which Æschylus puts into the mouth of the Greeks previous to the onset at Salamis. We mention these as specimens of what we consider to be weak and worthless quotations. These, we are glad to say, do not preponderate; out of many hundreds of passages of which the collection consists, there may be, perhaps, fifty or sixty which might well be spared, as neither novel, instructive, nor interesting. In some few there is, we think, an error of sense. Thus, for instance, in the “ Prometheus Vinctus," in the illustration of the advice to the Ocean Nymphs,

Μετά που χωρείτ' εκ των δε θοώς.
Μη φρένας υμών ηλιθιώση

Βροντής μύκηματέραμνον,Mr. B. must have been himself rather what the Greeks used to call ềußpóvTntos, to have adduced the passage from Hudibras, in which allusion is made, rather to the infatuation preceding, than the stupefaction caused by, the thunder-stroke of Divine vengeance. We have found three or four instances of similar errors, which our limits forbid our quoting.

Considering that the work must have been one of considerable labour, and that publications connected with the classics are generally well looked after in their passage through the press, we are surprised at sundry typographical inaccuracies which Mr. Boyes has allowed to pass uncorrected : for these he has, of course, himself only to blame; and in the Sophocles which he has promised us, we hope he will exercise a more attentive supervision.


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e chninds us strongly of leSMRI un Igd, Dryden, and The "Agnv tóvrlov, the " hell of waters,” wants illustrating; we suggest a passage from Antiphilus of Byzantium :

"Ην όντως μεροπων χρύσεον γένος, εύταπό χέρσου

Tηλόθεν, ώς Αϊδης, πόντος απεβλέπετο. We might add further quotations ; but here will we hold, fearing that we may have already exhausted the reader's patience. We bid our Paralellogrammatist farewell, with our assurance that he has rendered an important service to the literature which he loves, and with the expression of our belief that his book will afford pleasure to those whose sympathy and approbation are worth labouring for. The veteran scholar will find it an agreeable companion as he renews his recollection of his once favourite studies; whilst the younger student, when weary of the adversaria of Critics, may turn to it as an appropriate relaxation, improving not merely as it may happen to elucidate the sense of a passage, but as it is assuredly calculated to liberalise his taste, and supply him with a store of language from the highest authorities.



We are a nation of egotists. The world holds not our equal, if our own story is to be credited. We can tolerate no censure from others; we who censure every body. We rejoice in panegyric, even from those we affect to despise. We hate all cheap things except flattery; and laying the unction of that to our souls, forget our favourite rule in the purchase of a commodity. Laudation, at which we chuckle like turkey cocks, never goes so deep into our hearts as when bestowed upon our self-consequence, and derived from the possession of hard money. The praise of our virtues or acquirements, we trust, not from the consciousness of our small stock - never half gratifies us like that bestowed upon our money's worth our acquirements through the purse. It is delicious to be titillated with a feather! Nothing is so agreeable to the sensibilities as to be tickled into an asphyxia of selfsatisfaction by the sound of our own transcendental perfections; but it may be a pleasure sometimes bought at the expense of conscious integrity—honest John Bull is not squeamish about trifles. If he do thank God he is not as other men, French, German, American, or “this publican”-it is but an amiable weakness growing out of his selflove, which he imagines to be love of country, for no one is more attached to his native soil; while no one scatters over all lands so thickly the bones of his offspring. This, he argues, is no proof of his want of patriotic attachment; yet what else can it be, save the degrading motive so much more influential in his own eyes-money?

John is no great friend to abstract truth; every one conforms to custom, and truth being naked, it is but decent she should remain in the bottom of her well, to prevent a shock to public modesty—the police magistrates would send her to the treadmill. This is kind of honest John-but truth being forgotten, Principle in her guardian's absence has become a lady of easy virtue, and honest John gets loose in his morals. He can make war upon a peaceable people abroad, to keep alive a contraband trade in a drug; while he sends to prison at home, the bewhiskered noodle who ventures within sight of his own shore, having half a dozen segars in his pocket to solace his lack of mental resources;- but John is the most liberal of human beings, and ever acts up to the priceless maxim " Do as you would be done unto!” Seasoned with pious ejaculations, John hopes that hyson may still come in plentifully, especially on account of his ancient maiden daughters; so he follows up this his desire for promoting free trade by a forced import of bullets and bayonets into the tea manufactory of the world he soothes the foreigner into profitable intercourse, by exchanging shells for twankay, Congreve rockets for souchong, or by tendering a kind of “ how-qua mixture” of each at once, to give the traffic an appearance of more disinterestedness; and finally, honest John will no doubt propose to salve all wounds by forwarding a bale of bishops, learned in Aristophanes or Eschylus, to combat the god Fo, and put Confucius to confusion; in the end — for an end must come to all things--teaching the Celestial Empire the merits of a Bull-fight. John is the more eager in this holy work, as the king of the Great Wall is not, like France or Russia, sufficiently civilized to supply reciprocal entertainment.

Principle now does more for honest John than it ever did before, but John never did less for principle ; never was liberty worse estimated, yet liberty was never more enjoyed--so honest John makes no noise about it, but sells his franchise to the highest bidder. Turn to John's moral condition-never were the externals of virtue better lacquered, even the harlot reddens now at an uncovered bosom-never was religion upon so many lips, while the heart is far from it-never were outrageous examples of turpitude less frequent; but then knavery has become more diffused, every one having an addition to his former little stock of that which the scapegoats once carried off upon their own shoulders. Thus, “ constant at church and 'Change," honest John thinks, while at the former place, how neighbour Wilkins' bill came back on the Saturday, or how he shall arrange on settling day; at the other, how prices can be kept up,-both meeting at the same point-that's piety! “ We got it sharply from the rector, Mr. Rivulet,” said the squire to the curate, as they were walking from church together. "We got it because I carried my corn last Sunday."“ Yes,” replied the curate, who had an eye to partridge shooting at the squire's the next morning, “ the rector is a little evangelical-given to methodism, you know-it can't be helped.”—“ That may be true, Mr. Rivulet,” rejoins the squire, “ but I shall secure my corn from the rain again."-"You are right,” says the curate, “ because it is a matter of necessity; it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath-day, to take out an ox fallen into a pit, according to the Scriptures—and if an animal, why not save the corn, upon which, as well as oxen, man is sustained.”-“I am glad you agree with me," rejoined the squire, “ as a sensible man would do; the rector has set the farmers against him

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