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ment of his Greek Testament appeared in the ordinary journals, with the concluding words, 'including the results of the most recent foreign commentators;' and he asserts that it was our duty to have ascertained the existence of this (poetically termed) prospectus, and these palliating words, before we brought against him so sweeping a charge. Now, that we saw Mr. Alford's advertisement, we have no doubt; but we are equally certain that it made no further impression upon our minds than this, that a Leicestershire clergyman, who had written a volume or two of agreeable poetry, was intending to edit the Greek Testament. We feel all tenderness to an author in so bad a plight as to be compelled to go to the columns of old newspapers for his justifications; but we must summarily declare that an advertisement which few English readers would more than hastily glance at, and which, probably, no continental scholars would see at all, can never be conceived to justify appropriations taken verbatim et literatim, when not a syllable to that effect has appeared in the title-page or preface of the work itself. Are important statements affecting the nature and character of the work to be traced on such sibylline leaves as literary journals or booksellers' circulars, and suppressed in the only place where any sane person would look for them? Nay, more, had even Mr. Alford's advertisement been pasted on the outside of his books, is any one to tell us that 'the results of the labours of the most recent foreign commentators,' mean their own words literally and exactly translated, without inverted commas, or a hint of any kind to lead us to suppose that we were reading their ipsissima verba? It is idle to say that the appropriations were only things to be found in Lardner, Whitby, Home, &c.; for, in the first place, there are numerous passages which Mr. Alford has taken from Meyer not there at all; and next, were they all there—every fact, every argument, and every quotation—is Meyer to be defrauded of the credit of having 'concisely' and 'neatly' arranged them? If Mr. Alford (Reply, p. 7) acknowledges this as the peculiar merit which attracted him to Meyer, is he not indisputably bound to be careful that his silence does not imply that the credit of this perspicuity and neatness was due to himself? No man has a right to use or translate another man's words without plainly saying so, and this canon no special pleading can be found to invalidate. There is, however, one single person in the world who thinks differently, and this is the author of a letter which Mr. Alford has been unwise enough to publish. This person has expressed his astonishment at our audacity in preferring the charge of plagiarism against Mr. Alford (who, he says, has acknowledged his obligations
'too fully and too often'); and concludes with expressing his opinion 'that no lover of truth for truth's sake would have made this attack.' If translations, sentence after sentence, without a word to imply that they are so, be acknowledging one's obligations 'too fully and too often,' we will then cheerfully submit to be the objects even of this writer's astonishment We are sorry that Mr. Alford, who has conducted this controversy for the most part with courtesy and moderation, should have permitted himself to reprint that curious communication.
These are the two observations on the past controversy, which, from their prospective nature, we have felt it necessary to introduce. We have, however, said so much about unacknowledged quotations, and, we regret to add, we shall have to say so much more, that it would really seem by no means an unfitting occasion to offer a few remarks upon the subject generally, and to agree with our readers in establishing a few common-sense canons upon the limits within which the research of others, in works of the encyclopaedic character of commentaries on the New Testament, are to be considered publici juris, and used without acknowledgment. It need scarcely be remarked that no author of a finely organized conscientiousness will need any canons whatever to guide him in his avowal of obligations, nor will any reader of delicate perceptions of the difference between meum and tuum need any stimulus of ours to quicken his moral sense; but we are induced to draw attention to the subject generally, not only for the sake of young students who may not hitherto have turned their thoughts to the true principles of citation, but also for the sake of showing that it is in no spirit of inconsiderate disregard for individual reputation, but rather on- the most mature deliberation and most fixed convictions, that we arraign an author before the bar of public opinion. No inexperienced person can conceive the extent to which literary plagiarism is carried on in the present day. It has almost reached the dignity of a profession. We scarcely take up any periodical without finding some exposure; scarcely a number of a literary journal passes through our hands, without our finding a well sustained charge of Mr. Harpax having patched up a life of somebody or other from the county history and labores improbi of Mr. Origeu Grub; or of the Hon. Mr. Kapid having ballasted the overbuoyancy of his last volume of travels, with a little ponderable matter from the political and statistical lucubrations of the honest but tiresome Herr Von Duinm. Nay, even the consulens curia has lately been declared not entirely free from the virulence of the prevailing epidemic.
NO. LXXXI. N.S. K
As long as this buccaneering is confined to the lower walks of literature, it comparatively matters but little. The pickpocket and his victim must fight it out in the pages of a literary journal, and we must give the one our pity and the other our contempt, and then leave both to their fate. But when, alas! we become conscious that in the highest regions and serenest tracts of human learning the baneful influences of this odious vice are making themselves felt and recognised; when the margins of the Book of Life are scribbled over with records of the pitiful disingenuousness of its various scholiasts; when many a commentary on portions of the Scripture is known to have maintained for several editions a species of vampire existence on the living blood of the great exegetical writers of past times,—then indeed it becomes seriously necessary to investigate the whole subject, to lay down some plain suggestions for the avowal of obligations, and to draw some clear lines of demarcation between the honest and avowed compiler and the secret and unscrupulous plagiary.
Let us briefly consider, in the most general and synoptical way, the different sources from which exegetical comments on the New Testament may be principally derived; for it is needless to say that the degree of acknowledgment must vary considerably with the nature of the work from which the information has been taken. From some authorities, even unacknowledged appropriations may to a certain extent be considered admissible, while from others they would only amount to so many acts of direct plagiarism. We say this, because we do not wish to affect a purism on a subject where the very abundance of materials has made it untenable; yet even if we were disposed to take the highest ground, and urge a definite acknowledgment of every obligation, we might claim the authority of one who, in the full glow of his labour and research, never permitted himself to use even the reference of another man without immediate acknowledgment. As a prefatory comment on any canons which we may venture to lay down, let us cite the opinion of the illustrious historian of Bome.
'I strongly disapprove of the quite customary practice of quoting at second-hand, after verifying the quotations, without naming where we have found them, and never allow myself to do to, tedious as the double reference may be.'—Niebuhr's Life, vol. ii. p. 231.
It might indeed be plausibly urged, on the one hand, that this rule of citation could never be fully carried out in a commentary on the New Testament, because quotations have been used over and over again by so many commentators, that it would in many cases be an impossibility to find out who was the original contributor. But then, on the other hand, it might be said with great justice, that if the habit of making the cross reference, though only to the commentator from whom the quotation was proximately taken, were to be steadily pursued, it would be certain to develop a scrupulousness and a candour in a compiler which would greatly enhance the value of his labours, as well as impart a species of dignity to his humble toil. We do not, however, press for such a close adherence to Niebuhr's rule in a commentary; nay, in theory we do not at all differ from Mr. Alford, who justly considers every elucidation of the sacred volume as juris publici for the Christian world, and that every scholar has an inalienable right to use another's labours after proper acknowledgment; but it is in the practice, in the application of the principle, that we so widely and irreconcileably differ.
Let us roughly class our principal sources of information on the New Testament. AVe have first—
I. Primary, under which head we may name,
(a) The great exegetical labours of the early patristic
writers, whether in the form of scholia,1 questions, enarration, commentary, metaphrase,2 homily, or treatise.
(b) Medieval expositions, mainly original; as found in
glosses, postills, commentaries, or tractates. We use the term mainly original; for after the patristic ages had passed away, original commentaries in the lull meaning of the word had almost necessarily ceased to exist.
(c) Modern expositions, mainly original; whether in anno
tations, paraphrases, commentaries, or lectures.
II. Secondary. This class includes all that may briefly be styled eclectic expositors, i. e. all those writers who either directly or indirectly, immediately or with modifications, have selected their interpretations from those of their predecessors. This class we may similarly subdivide into:
(or) A few earlier commentators who, like Theophylact and CEcumenius, based their interpretations on those of the great patristic writers.
(b) Medieval eclectic expositors.
1 What S. Jerome (Comment. S. Matth.) terms the ' commaticum interprctationis genus,' and classes as the first of the three kinds of Origen's Expositions of the Scriptures (Prsef. Ezcch.), a method unfortunately too much abandoned.
3 As far as we remember, a solitary instance of this mode of interpretation in early times, and not a very desirable one except for critical purposes, is found- in the metrical metaphrase of S. John's Gospel by Nonnus.
(c) Modern eclectic expositors, nearly all of whom have more or less copiously supported their selected interpretations by reference to illustrative works on doctrine, history, or criticism.
III. Encylopwdic.—Under this head it is convenient to class,
(a) All those works, whether the catena? of an earlier date
or the synoptical commentaries of a later date, which contain summaries of the principal expositions. These again may be subdivided into two distinct genera, according as criticism and discrimination is made subordinate to compilation, or compilation to criticism. Pool's Synopsis may be cited as a popular instance of the former kind, Meyer's and De Wette's commentaries, of the latter.
(b) All historical, chronological, &c., works of a collective
character, dictionaries, cyclopaedias, introductions; such, for instance, as Winer's Realhandwiirterbuch, Schoettgen's Horae Hebraica:, &c.
(c) All collections of a critical, grammatical, and indirectly
expository nature, e. g. dictionaries, grammars, indices, on the one hand, or continuous repertories of parallel passages on the other, like "VVetstein's Greek Testament, or Grinfield's Hellenistic Greek Testament.
IV. Subsidiary and Miscellaneous, such as
(a) Definite expositions of isolated passages propounded in
monographs, essays, sermons, or treatises.'
(b) Elucidations cursorily advanced in histories, biographies,
travels, introductions, chronological, archaeological, or geographical treatises. All the illustrations derived from modern travels, often of the greatest value, seem naturally to fall under this head, (c) Grammatical explanations scattered in the various editions of classical and patristic authors; and illustrative citations from individual authors, such as the annotations of Raphelius or the observations of Eisner, Kypke, Munthe, and Loesner.
Now, with respect to the first of these classes, no doubt can be entertained of the necessity of stating distinctly at the end of the clause the name of the author to whom the obligation is
1 The principal emporiums for these are the theological periodicals, especially the German reviews. These have so multiplied of late years, that no inconsiderable portion of a commentator's time is taken up in referring to them. The majority of them are, however, worth but little, being crotchets rather than sound comments. If a novel interpretation appear even in such a standard review as the Studien u Kriliken, there is nearly certain to be a confutation of it in the next number.