Page images


which I thus endeavoured to do into English;

'The Germans in Greek

Are sadly to seek ;
Not five in five score,
But ninety-five more:


All; save only HERMAN,
And HERMAN's a German.'

"It is a known principle in iambic verse, that the iambic may be resolved into a tribrach, in any place but the last. As Mr. Herman has not given any striking instances of this resolution in his incomparable treatise, I shall try to supply

the defect:

̔Ο μετρικὸς, ὁ σοφὸς, ἄτοπα γέγραφε περὶ μέτρων.
̔Ο μετρικὸς ἄμετρος, ὁ σοφὸς ἄσοφος ἐγένετο.



"But to return. You say (p. 164) that I have not tried to correct the middle example,

̓́Ατλας ὁ χαλκέοισι νώτοις οὐρανόν,

What? I who had said in my preface, ed. 1, p. xv. "Tutissima proinde corrigendi ratio est, vocularum, si opus est, transpositio."-I could not change the situation of vorois and xaλkéοiσi? Surely we wanted no Herman nor Tate to rise from the dead, and tell us this. I rank Herman among the dead, upon the strength of Aristophanes's authority:

Νυνὶ δὲ δημαγωγεῖ

Ἐν τοῖς ἄνω νεκροῖσι·

Κἄστιν τὰ πρῶτα τῆς ἐκεῖ μοχθηρίας. (Ran. 422.)

"But this fruitful article of transposition we will put off, if you, Sir, have no objection, to the postscript, and we will go on with the parœmiac anapast. The anapæstic verses in which four short syllables meet are so few, that I thought it would be an impertinent digression to mention them; but I was partly induced to quote the Medea 1085, by having seen Mr. Tate's new-fangled Canon before its publication. At that time he seems not to have been aware of a prior exception in the same play, 114. But be that as it may, his

emendations are both wrong, for this plain reason, that they utterly demolish the emphasis. One of John Milton's answerers had reproached him with the heinous crime of being low of stature. Milton in reply says, that to be sure he is not very tall, but he is nearer the middle size, than the small. Where, however, adds he, would be the harm, if I were diminutive? Which idea he expresses in these words, But what if I were little? Now it is impossible that Milton could arrange these words in this order. He wrote, he could not help writing, 'But what, if little I were?' On this head see more in the postscript.

"I could easily amend (that is to say, new write) all the parœmiacs that begin with a dactyl, because they are so very scarce; but let it be considered that the proportion of parcemiacs to other anapasts is scarcely one in ten, and therefore, a priori, those which begin with a dactyl must be rare indeed. If we had only Sophocles's tragedies left us, I am doubtful whether we should have above one clear exception (Ed. C. 177),

Ω γέρον, ἄκοντά τις ἄξει,

for the verse that follows a little after,

Βήματος ἔξω πόδα κλίνῃς,

may be easily eluded by aid of the Scholiast, Kwvýons. But the whole quantity of anapæsts in Sophocles is so small, that it would be idle to frame a Canon upon such precarious foundations. When I said that transposition was a very safe remedy, I did not mean that people might transpose as they liked. Dawes lays down a rule, which, if he had been content with calling it general instead of universal, is perfectly right, that a syllable is long, in which the middle consonants B, 7, 8, and liquids, except p, meet. But several passages, as well as the following, contradict this rule. Ed. T. 717, παιδὸς δὲ βλαστὰς — Elect. 440, πασῶν ἔβλαστε. These passages may be reduced to Dawes's Canon by transposition; but they will lose all their energy by the reduction. See Brunck's note on Philoct. 222.


"V. 389. If I may believe Messrs. Dalzel and Tate, I have here forgotten my own rule, in not finding fault with σopaí. -Certainly, if no stronger objections against Dawes's Canon can be produced, it will suffer no material hurt. In Soph. Electr. 399, Triclinius altered тiμwроúμɛvoi into the feminine. In Eurip. Hippol. 350, Brunck has rightly edited κɛxpημévoι from his membranæ. πεφύκαμεν σοφαί is not ‘I Medea am expert,' but, We women are expert.'-Euripides, the woman-hater, could not miss the opportunity of libelling the sex. Ion. 629. Οσας σφαγὰς δὴ, φαρμάκων τε θανασίμων Γυναῖκες εὗρον ἀνδράσιν διαφθοράς. There is a stronger objection against Dawes's rule in Hippol. 1120, than can be brought, I believe, from any other quarter.



"But my friends have a very funny way of reasoning upon these subjects. Mr. Porson says, that the Attic tragic poets seldom suffer such verses as, ̓́Ατλας ὁ χαλκέοισι νώτοις οὐρανὸν—Ergo, he does not know of such verses as Αριόμαρδος Σάρδεσιν, μετώπων σωφρόνων, αἱματωποὺς ἐκβαλών, &c. 'Mr. Porson says that the tragic poets would not write such a verse as ̓Ατὰρ τί ταῦτ ̓ ὀδύρομαι τὰ δ ̓ ἐν ποσὶν—Ergo, he did not remember, Εἰσῆλθε τοῖν τρισαθλίοιν ἔρις κακή. † Η κάρτ ̓ ἄρ ̓ ἂν παρεσκόπεις χρησμῶν ἐμῶν, &c.

"Another learned gentleman sends me some anonymous criticisms upon the 'Hecuba,' and on v. 639-640 says, 'Perhaps the learned Professor did not know that this passage is quoted by Eustathius (Il. T. p. 301, 16).' Perhaps the learned Professor knew that not only that passage was quoted by Eustathius, but also another from the same play, 446, which has escaped the notice of the Monthly Reviewer, p. 332. This question may however be decided by any person, who will take the trouble of consulting the appendix to Toup, ed. Oxon. vol. IV. p. 504, compared with Brunck's Soph. Fragment. Helen.


"And now, Sir, I release you from a long and tedious letter. Notwithstanding the appearance of dissent my letter wears,

* British Critic, vol. x. Dec. 1797, p. 615.
† Ibid. p. 616.


be assured that there are very few men, for whom I entertain a greater respect and affection, than Mr. Dalzel; and I trust he will believe me, when I affirm that I am his obliged humble servant,


"P.S. Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, ó μaxapíтηs, found a MS. in the British Museum, containing an unedited hymn (as he believed) of Proclus, which he therefore communicated with the public in his Silva Critica, P. IV. p. 252, and printed the four first verses thus:

Ύμνος κοινος

Κλυτε, θεοι, ἱερης σοφίης οιηκας εχοντες"

Οἱ ψυχαις μερόπων αναγωγιον ἁψαμενοι φως,
Ελκτῃς αθανατων, σκοτιον κευθμωνα λιπουσαις,
Ύμων αρρητῃσι καθηραμεναις τελετῃσι.

Annotatiunculæ quædam (a G. W. sc.):

vers. 2. avoрwπwv-MS. Possis aropwr, sed illud his Scriptoribus usitatius.

vers. 3. Krys-trahentibus-bibentibus-immortalia. 'EXKurns —ψυχας-λιπουσας---καθηραμενας. — MS.

"First and foremost, Mr. W. it seems, did not know that this hymn was already extant in all the printed copies of Proclus (vide Brunck. Analect. II. p. 443).

"Secondly, he might, even without the help of the editions, have corrected the hiatus, by reading σopíns iepñs, if he had

an ear.

"Thirdly, he confesses to have made four conjectural emendations upon the third and fourth verses.

"Now, Sir, you may perhaps have some difficulty in believing that I have consulted this self-same individual MS., and β α

that in the first verse it is thus written, ispis oopins, by which marks, very common in MSS., the scribe corrected his own


"But if you believe this, I hardly expect you to believe that, instead of ἑλκυτης, the MS. has ἕλκετ ̓ ἐς ἀθανάτων as plain as

« PreviousContinue »