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On this passage Dr. Burney remarks:
"To whom Mr. Wakefield refers, and applies his quotation from the Hercules Furens,' it would be presumption in us to attempt to determine. Let the gall'd jade wince; our withers are unwrung. Mr. Wakefield cannot allude to the Monthly Reviewer's critique on the Glasgow Eschylus,' which should have been Mr. Porson's edition. Some critic has probably brought forward Schutz's remarks on Mr. Wakefield's Eumenides, and has been comparing the three editions and the Monthly Reviewer's strictures together. To some such animadversions this passage may perchance relate, though they have not reached us. Our article, if we be not grossly misinformed, has been commended by liberal scholars, on account of the temperate observations which it contained. The person to whom Mr. Wakefield alludes may possibly reply; but, at all events, it is our duty to mention the passage and the note."
It is then observed that ἐξέπταξας, from ἐκπτήσσω, is sufficiently defended by Hom. Il. §. 40 :
Ὁ δὲ ξύμβλητο γεραιὸς
and by various other instances of neuter verbs used in an active signification.
In commenting on ver. 323,
Τυμβὸν δὲ βουλοίμην ἂν ἀξιούμενον
he makes a curious blunder. He denies that aσa can be used absolutely, or without its genitive case, and therefore proposes to read τιμῶν for τὸν ἐμόν: or, he adds, if γόνιμος might be used for γενναῖος, noble, we might read youμov, which, as to its letters, has a greater resemblance to τὸν ἐμόν.
He first says that
άooba cannot be used without its case, and then, by suggesting youμov, proposes to use it without its
In ver. 490, Hecuba is represented as lying with her back, võta, on the ground. Would she lie so indecently? says Wakefield. No: read xpara, with her body on the ground. In ver. 500, she is represented as defiling her head, xápa, with dust. Would she defile her head only? asks Wakefield. No: read Xpóa, and make her defile her whole body. In ver. 164, the chorus is said to report parα, woes. No, says Wakefield, alter it to para: people report words, not woes. In ver. 508, Porson, with other editors, leaves σe, thee, to be understood. Oh no! exclaims Wakefield, such negligence is highly criminal. Ought the lines of so correct a poet as Euripides to be put thus carelessly into the hands of studious youth? Attach the pronoun to the beginning of the verse:
Σ' ̓Αγαμέμνονος πέμψαντος, ὦ γύναι, μέτα,
ABSURD ALTERATIONS OF TEXT.
a position and elision of which the merest schoolboy can see the inelegance. In the first edition of the "Diatribe," indeed, the line was presented thus:
̓Αγαμέμνονος πέμψαντος σ ̓, ὦ γύναι, μέτα,
with a spondee in the fourth place; but afterwards a correction was made with a pen, and at last the page was cancelled, with some others*. One page was suppressed because seleri had been put for selegi; and another to alter ad hoc scopulum to ad hunc scopulum. In the earlier pages of the "Diatribe", on ver. 32, he
*Monthly Review, vol. xxviii. pp. 204, 442.
blunders, in his hurry, into writing TpTatov upav and τρίτον ἡμεράν.
We may now have done with this effusion of Wakefield's. About fifty alterations of the "Hecuba" are proposed in it, by not one of which would the text be improved. Wakefield said that his surprise at not being noticed by Porson in his Hecuba was the greater, as he had been noticed by him in the Appendix to Toupii Emendationes in Suidam. The notice was merely that Wakefield, in his Silva Critica, had hit upon a similar emendation of a word in Suidas with himself.* We have searched the Silva Critica for the readings which Wakefield had proposed before Porson published his Hecuba. They are five, and are, the reader may be assured, of the same character, trifling and venturesome, as those in the "Diatribe."
* Append. ad Toup. Emend. in Suid. tom. iv. p. 473.
HERMANN, IN IGNORANCE OF PORSON'S STRENGTH, PUBLISHES A RIVAL
EDITION OF THE HECUBA.".
HIS REMARKS ON PORSON AND WAKEFIELD. HIS NOTIONS ABOUT THE ADMISSIBILITY OF ANAPESTS INTO TRAGIC TRIMETER IAMBICS.-ELMSLEY'S REMARK ON THE SUBJECT. PORSON'S "PAUSE." HERMANN ATTEMPTS ΤΟ ACCOUNT FOR THE NECESSITY OF IT. ELMSLEY AGREES WITH HERMANN. - HERMANN'S REASONS APPARENTLY FANCIFUL.-PORSON DISPLEASED AT HERMANN'S HOW THEY AFTERWARDS REGARDED
EACH OTHER. REMARKS ON HERMANN IN THE "QUARTERLY REVIEW." HERMANN'S CONTEMPTUOUS MENTION OF HEATH AND BENTLEY. LETTERS TO PORSON FROM HERMANN AND HEYNE.
BUT a more considerable antagonist than Wakefield was rising against Porson on the other side of the Channel ; a man, says Kidd, neque meo judicio stultus et suo valde sapiens. Gottfried Hermann, then a very young member of the University of Leipsic, had published, in 1789, a treatise on the metres of the Greek and Latin poets, and was preparing to put forth an edition of the "Nubes" of Aristophanes, which appeared in 1799. Meeting with Porson's edition of the "Hecuba," he could not but see that it had much merit, but observing that Porson, in his preface, had proposed his dicta regarding the metres without much proof, and seeing that many of them were contrary to his own notions of what was allowable, he resolved, in entire ignorance of Porson's full strength, to publish a rival edition and preface, in which he might pronounce his opinions, as a superior on an inferior, regarding Porson's emendations and me
He accordingly mingled with his praise, in his prolegomena and annotations, an abundant quantity of censure. It will be well to quote the commencement of his preface:
"Porson, although he warned his readers to expect from his edition nothing recondite, or of deep research, has yet done such service to Euripides as no one, who is not either unjust, or unskilled in Greek literature, will deny to be eminently worthy of a great critic. But there is one point, and one only indeed, in which he has disappointed the expectation which rumour had excited regarding his publication. He was said to have made many observations relating to the science of metres; a subject which it was the more desirable to illustrate, as the text of Euripides, in this respect especially, is somewhat more difficult of emendation than that of the other tragic writers; but though some remarks, indeed, on this department of classical learning, have been offered by Porson, yet he has chosen to state them arbitrarily and oracularly, rather than with the fulness of explanation which it is the duty of a critic to give. The consequence of this method seems likely to be, that the greater number of those who read the 'Hecuba' of Porson, considering his character and authority as sufficient supports for his assertions, will be more ready, at least in this department of learning, to yield an implicit assent to his notions than to examine with care what he has somewhat too obscurely delivered. Whatever Porson, therefore, appears to me to have erred in asserting, I have taken upon myself to notice, not, however, for the purpose of censuring him, but for the benefit of those who take an interest in these studies. Nothing absolutely perfect in any respect has ever been produced, we must remember, by any individual of the human race. It is but right, therefore, that we should criticise the performances of others with freedom, nor should we, if we receive censure, be uneasy under it. I do not plead my own cause, but that of literature and knowledge in general.
"I have thought proper, too, to take some notice of the