« PreviousContinue »
the long history either treats of public affairs, or of the neverending squabbles about presentations and tithes, rights of pasture, rights of taxing, and so on. We entirely agree with Mr. Luard in his preface, when he says, “As to the historical
value of the “ Annals of Dunstable,” I scarcely think we can • estimate it too highly. It is probably the most accurate record extant of the ordinary secular proceedings of a monastery in the thirteenth century; and though quarrels with the neighbouring landholders or the townspeople are things of minor
importance, they serve to bring before us in a very vivid man'ner the every-day life of the time.'? The value of these • Annals' also seems to us very great in another point of view. They serve to bring out into strong relief a characteristic of the monastic system, which has not been sufficiently noted, viz. its essentially aggressive and litigious character—the selfish way in which it dealt with its neighbours, whether lay or ecclesiastical, and the obstacles to all good government, either in Church or State, which were formed by its prevalence.
i Preface, p. xxxii.
sry editio Halked of lincurable obetourt. The
mal Mai'lingelt, inutiled to record in this dienas
on. A few posthumous laboledgment of the stof
ART. VII.—Novum Testamentum Vaticanum post Angeli Maii aliorumque imperfectos labores ex ipso codice edidit Enorh.
Frid. CONSTANT. TISCHENDORF. Lipsiæ, 1867. 4to. pp. 334. Himself, too, most imperfectly. Thus much, we conceive, in common fairness to others, Dr. Tischendorf might well have stated on the title-page of his elegant and costly volume. And there ought to bave been the less hesitation in making such an avowal at the very onset, inasmuch as no one can doubt that he went to Rome early last year with the fixed resolution of publishing a satisfactory edition of Codex Vaticanus (Codex B of our critical books), and was balked of his worthy purpose by obstacles wholly beyond his control, the incurable obstinacy and childish jealousy of those who bear rule in the Papal Court. The account he gives us in his Prolegomena, of his bold attempt and the means by which it was in a great degree defeated, would be almost amusing, if it could be read without a certain feeling of honest indignation. A few courteous words from Vercellone, the editor of Cardinal Mai's posthumous labours, a civil message from the Holy Father himself, in acknowledgment of the gift of a copy of Codex Sinaiticus, sufficed to revive the hopes of
Tischendorf, that the greatest work yet undone in this department of Biblical criticism might, after all, have been reserved for his happy fortunes. True, he had visited Rome with the same end in view twenty-three years before, and was allowed to see the precious manuscript but for two library days of three hours each, though armed with letters of recommendation from his own prince, the Roman Catholic King of Saxony, from M. Affre, Archbishop of Paris, who afterwards fell so nobly at the barricades, and (valeant quantum) from the French Premier, the Protestant Guizot. On that occasion he obtained, besides a general notion of the genius and external appearance of the document, no more than twenty-five readings, available for his Greek Testament of 1849 (3rd edition), to which he added thirty-four others on the authority of Cardinal Mai; for his seventh edition of 1859, he procured from Albert Dressel the true reading in 230 places, where previous collators had differed from each other. This was, up to the spring of last year, the. sum of Tischendorf’s studies in the Codex Vaticanus.
Olic Kint recommars oftewed toune
Others, however, had not been idle since he first saw the manuscript in 1843. The very next year, Edward de Muralt, to whom we are indebted for an exact knowledge of eleven valuable copies of the Greek Testament in the cursive or later character, was permitted to examine it for three whole days, or nine hours, and on the strength of this privilege soon after published a special edition, of no great value we fear, ad fidem codicis principis Vaticani (2d edit. 1860). Shortly afterwards the same pilgrimage was undertaken by an Englishman, now most honourably known as a Biblical scholar, Dr. S. P. Tregelles. "One principal object I had in going abroad (in 1845],' he writes,
was to endeavour to collate for inyself the Vatican MS. (B.) "This important document was collated for Bentley by an Italian [Abbate) named Mico (about 1720), and this collation was published in 1799 ; it was subsequently collated (with the exception of the Gospels of CSS.] Luke and John) by Birch [about 1780]. "A third collation (made previously to either of these, in 1669)
remains in MS at Paris.? As this is the most important of all * New Testament MSS. I had compared the two published colla'tions carefully with each other; I found that they differed in
nearly two thousand places ; many of these discrepancies were 'readings noticed by one and not by the other. I went to Rome,
and during the five months that I was there, I sought diligently 'to obtain permission to collate the MS. accurately, or at least to
examine it in the places in which Birch and Bentley [i.e. Mico] • differ with regard to its readings. All ended in disappointment. • I often saw the MS., but I was hindered from transcribing any
of its readings.' 2 The means by which he was hindered were as unbecoming as the hindrance itself was unworthy of Christian gentleinen. Two clerics were told off to watch him while the great Codex lay before him. They would not let me open it without searching my pockets, and depriving me of pen, ink,
and paper. Failing to engage Tregelles in conversation, they would interrupt him by loud talking with each other, and If I ‘looked at a passage too long, the two prelati would snatch the • book out of my hand.'
Of course, for all this coarse insult of a heretic and a stranger there was a motive, however poor a one. As early as 1828, Cardinal Angelo Mai, of whose learning his Church is so justly proud, had been engaged on an edition of the whole Codex Va
und ple and not. I was thereurately, of lie. M
dinggo, ms, is readihich Bird, accur Isong
1 Imperial Library MSS., Gr. Supp. 53. This collation made by Bartolocci, once Librarian of the Vatican, under an assumed name, was rediscovered by Scholz, at Paris, in 1819, and used by him, in his perfunctory way, for his Greek Testament of 1830-36. It was copied by Tischendorf in 1840, by Tregelles in 1849, but has never been published in full.
? An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament, 1854, p. 156.
bietoo well Kapal officia for their
- ticanus, the Old Testament as well as the New, which had been repeatedly announced before Tischendorf or Tregelles had seen Rome, but which by that time seemed likely never to appear. And we believe that it never would have been published in Mai's lifetime; for since it had been begun, and to a great extent carried through the press, before he was sufficiently aware of the difficulties of the task he had undertaken, and which it was now too late to face, he was naturally reluctant to risk a high and well-earned reputation by putting forth an ill-designed and ill-executed work, which he had not either patience or special skill to accomplish well, but was scholar enough to be conscious that he had done very badly.
When the Cardinal's long-looked-for volumes were sent forth about the end of 1857, more than three years after his death, no one was any longer at a loss to account either for their delay, or for the anxiety on the part of the Papal officials that the manuscript itself should not be too well known beforehand by foreign and not very partial critics. It is so far satisfactory to know that Mai's representation of Codex Vaticanus is less unfaithful than might be supposed on a first hasty review; that he has made sufficient use of his peculiar advantages to furnish us with a more trustworthy account of its contents than any of his predecessors. Such a result, however inadequate to our wishes, could scarcely have been anticipated from the process which had been adopted in the preparation of his work. The type was set up, not from a careful transcript of the original manuscript, previously made and then scrutinized with all possible care, but from the commonly received or Elzevir text of a printed Greek Testament, the variations from it, which comprise the whole value of Codex B, being inserted as corrections, and the press-work revised by means of an assistant, who read the proof-sheets to the Cardinal, while he inspected the manuscript. Well might Tischendorf have felt dismayed, when, on being shown by Mai (a liberal and most estimable prelate) the sheets of the New Testament already printed as early as 1843, he found the remarkable addition of kai eo uev after Knowuev in 1 John iii. 1, which even Birch and Griesbach had long since cited from Codex B, omitted in the text, but inserted in the margin, in the Cardinal's own hand (Tisch. Proleg. p. vii.). But indeed no one would look for accuracy from a method which could not possibly lead to it.
The principal edition of Mai's work was in five expensive quarto tomes, for which the deep interest they had excited procured a rapid sale. In 1859 was issued a cheap octavo volume, containing the New Testament alone, which must have been long since ready, having been printed under Mai's own eye, but which had been studiously kept back, for reasons well appreciated by the trade, till the heavier speculation had been got off hand. Both editions were prefaced by short epistles by Charles Vercellone, a Barnabite monk, a person to whom the honour of setting forth a full and satisfactory edition of Codex B seems yet reserved by the fates. The smaller edition being, as Vercellone tells us, the result of a renewed collation of the manuscript by the Cardinal himself, ought to be, and is in some degree, the less faulty of the two. It was soon seen to differ from the larger work in many places, though its credit was not a little impaired by the discovery that the changes made in it were by no means always for the better. In the sunmer of 1860, for example, Mr. Burgon of Oriel, having been granted access to the Codex for an hour and half, consulted it for sixteen passages out of several hundreds in which Mai's two editions contradict each other. The quarto volume was found to be right in seven of them, the octavo in nine.
If we cannot absolutely agree with Tregelles' assertion that 'this is the most important of all New Testament manuscripts,' we must grant, that in point both of age and of critical value, none can be placed before it, and not more than two or three can enter into.competition with it. Hence it is not at all surprising that Tischendorf, so richly furnished by his own energy, and by the industry of others, with materials for the revision of the sacred text, when settled down to the preparation of his new and eighth edition of the New Testament, should have brooked but ill the uncertainty that rested on many of the readings of Codex B, and our ignorance of certain peculiar features so necessary to be taken into account in estimating the weight that ought to be assigned to it. He must have been encouraged too by the success which had eventually crowned his renewed efforts to gain possession of the Codex Sinaiticus, the great rival and contemporary of that in the Vatican. And so in February 1866 he sets his face once more towards Rome, certainly on no vain or bootless errand, but at any rate to learn that he had to deal there with persons of a very different calibre from the simple monks of S. Catherine on Mount Sinai. He is received, as we might expect, most graciously by Pius IX.; and in answer to the Pope's common-place question, ‘how long he purposed to stay at Rome?'he sought permission to re-edit the New Testament portion alone of the Codex Vaticanus at his own cost, on the model of the splendid edition of the Codex Sinaiticus, a copy of which his Holiness had condescended to accept at Tischendorf's hands. The Supreme Pontiff, it seems, is so little at home in these matters, that he urged Mai's performances as sufficiently worthy of credit to render such a work
dy of whichas. The Suprehe urged Noh a work