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Anne igitur mirum, tanti quum pandere laudes Fert animus, nimiæ si pondus materiäi Turbat et incertum cohibet; redolentibus Hyblæ Qualis ubi arbustis, vel odori qualis Hymetti Mellis apem huc illuc volitantem copia lassat? Queis etenim studiis, quâ non inclaruit arte Phillyrides ? Nemorum sapiens tranquilla recessu Tempora fallebat; rudia inter sæcla Minervæ Usque vacans ; ausus quali per inane meatu Sidera volvuntur scrutari, atque orbibus orbes Mente sequi implicitos: citharæ modd pollice chordas Divino pulsante, melos per amoena vireta Fundere suaviloquum, cujus dulcedine captæ, His latebris Helicona novem potuere sorores Posthabuisse suum. Ipse etiam cælestia Apollo Dona illi, et varias facilis superaddidit artes. Scire potestates herbarum, et pocula doctâ Nempè dedit miscere manu ; stillantia tabo Vulnera lenire, et, requiem cruciata dolori Queis menıbra inveniant, succos inspergere molles. Neve pharetratà sileam concessa Diana Spicula Chironi; quo non solertior alter Conreptum validis arcum incurvare lacertis, Hortarive canes, aut prædam agitare fugacem.
Ergò etiam studiis juveniles fingere alumnos
Sic etiam Antilochus nequaquam ignobilis illum Præceptorem habuit, patrem qui Nestora plena
Imbuerat sophiâ ; quo præceptore disertus
Ipse etiam docilem Chironi præbuit aurem Impiger Æacides.-Ea gloria prima Pelasgis, Hectoris exitium, Trojæ populator, Homero Cui celebratus honor contemnit fata, magistrum Chirona estimuit:-Chironis jussa facessens, Quæ manus eversas populorum diruit arces, Solicitare chelyn non dedignata solebat. Nomen Achilleum, et modd visa expalluit arına Ilion, at sacræ monitis tamen ille senectæ Paruit haud segnis ; generoso hinc pectus honesto Imbutum, hinc famæ, vitam qui respuit, ardor.
Eia age, si quis honor Pelidem impellere ad arma, Atque opera illius sua ritè vocavit Ulysses ; Quæ non promeruit, quo dignus nomine, tantum Pelidem, heroum tantum qui protulit agmen? Ora silent, animus decus ingens contemplando Perculsus, cælo cumulatis laudibus æquat.
Attamen hunc tandem, qui clarum extollere lumen
Ille quidem, immisso jam corda dolore subactus,
Hisce favens precibus summi moderator Olympi
H. H. JOY,
Ex de Christi, Oxon.
Remarks on the Preface to “ Musæ CANTABRIGIENSES, seu
carmina quædam numismate aureo Cantabrigiæ ornata, et Procancellarii permissu edita. Lond. In Æd. Valp. prid. Id. Jan. 1810. veneunt apud Lunn," &c. &c.
His Preface, which is written throughout in a style of singular elegance, is, notwithstanding, reprehensible both on the score of imperfection, and of incorrectness. What particularly comes within the reach of our attention at present, is the theory (if we may so term it) of the sapphic stanza, as far as concerns Greek composition in that metre.
* Nos," says the author of the Preface in question, « non ingratum facturos esse credimus, si regulas quasdam et observationes proferamus, quæ Sapphicorum, ut aiunt, et Alcaicorum carminum scriptoribus fructui sint,” &c. Of the remarks on thé Alcaic stanza, we say nothing; but we have reason to fear, that “ regulæ” and “ observationes” of this kind, so incomplete, so inconsistently arranged, will not convey much of the « « fructus” to the scriptores carminum sapphicorum.”
Agreeably with a proposition like this, we had a right to expect a copious, and at the same time a distinct, account, both of the metrical construction, and of the rhythm, in this species of verse. Not one word is said of the latter, so indispensably necessary in all poetical composition. As to the metrical construction, we have two trite rules laid down:
1. “ Divisionem vocis in fine tertii tantùm 'versûs fieri licet; non autem in fine primi, secundi, et quarti.”
2. « Vocalis eliditur à Sappho et Catullo in fine tertii versûs, ab Horatio in fine primi, secundi, et tertii.”
We object not to the truth of these rules; the former of which is so palpable, if a man will take the trouble to cast his eye over the fragments of Sappho. The latter is also true; but what have we to do with Horace here? when from the context we naturally supposed, that the peculiarities of Sappho's metre exclusively were to be discussed ? Did our author think the latter part of this second rule sufficient by itself to instruct a man how to write Latin Sapphics instead of Alcaics, if he was so disposed ? which a candidate for Sir William Browne's medals might do, without any violation of the law laid down, in which no metre is specified ;--- quicunque carmen Latinum ad exemplum Horatii felicissimè excuderit ;” (Pref. p. i.) But if this be extraneous, « à fortiori," as the logicians say, is the introduction of Catullus extraneous.
After this, striking both Horace and Catullus out of the question, (which we wish he had done a little sooner,) he expresses himself of Greek Sapphics only :-“ Nobis autem regula in Græcis ita se habere videtur. Monosyllaba in & desinentia elidi licet in fine cujusvis versûs, præter Adonicum:
hypermonosyllaba verò non nisi in fine tertii ; duo enim priores versus integri sunt et absoluti, tertius verò atque Adonicus in unum decurrunt."
From the opening of this sentence we are naturally led to suppose, that our author is differing from some proposition before laid down, either by himself, or by some one else : hence we conclude, that he means this regula, which, like a codicil, is appended to the second general rule, to be an objection to the assertion to which it is attached. « Vocalis eliditur à Sappho--in fine tertii versûs ;” where every one will understand by “tertii,” tertii tantùm.- He then goes on, “ Nobis autem regula—ita (sc. aliter) se habere videtur. [Nempe] monosyllaba in e desinentia elidi licet in fine cujusvis versûs, præter Adonicum."
Now, are these two general rules the author's own, or did he extract them « in puro” from the Monthly Review, to which he alludes before ? regulas--quorum præcipuas . debemus censori literario rei metricæ peritissimo, Monthly Review, xxv. p. 4. et seq." If they are his own, why did he not omit such parts as were not immediately connected with the subject in hand, but totally in goodióvuoa? If they are taken from the Monthly Review, (which unfortunately we have not by us at this moment) the same reason may be objected.
The rules, taken by themselves, are perfectly correct, and tell us very distinctly, that every line in the Greek Sapphic stanza, except the third, must necessarily close with a complete word, without either break or elision; that in the third line this is indifferent, (to what extent he says nothing) and that there are instances in Horace of a vowel elided at the end of the first, second, and third lines.
As to the author's objection to that part of the second rule, which expressly says, that no elision can take place, under any circumstances, at the end of any line but the third ; (if we
l understand the words rightly) we can say little for its accuracy. Young Editors (and such from internal evidence we conceive the author of the Preface to be) are too fond of laying down general principles, and will, from an unfortunate propensity to this habit, make almost any sacrifice to obtain their end in this respect : we suspect that our young Editor is given to this