« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
enduring. On the repeal of the Orders in Council, with a view to the propitiation of America, we have already spoken as we think, on former occasions. That by that concession war was likely to be averted, we never believed, nor could it be believed by any inan who had attentively watched the course of Mr. Madison's politics ; and the only consolation that we derive from it is the consideration that it put the war-party in America, in one sense, more plainly in the wrong. We say in one sense, because it must not escape us that, in political transactions, justice is not always the only consideration, in reference to which men judge of the expediency of going to war. The probability of success is another consideration in forming that judgment; and it may, perhaps, be reasonably doubted whether, in the present imperfect state of American as well as European nature, such a concession as that of the repeal of the Orders in Council, was likely to detach as many partizans from Mr. Madison's warlike measures, by the sense of their diminished justifiableness, as it was likely to attract to them by increasing the hopes of their probable success, in extorting fresh concessions from Great Britain. That little consolation is farther diminished by reflecting, that there are two classes of men whom we should have particularly wished not to injure, but who are especially injured, each in their degree, by this fruitless repeal ;-first, such of our merchants and manufacturers as prepared or launched forth their
cargoes in the contidence which they were allowed to entertain that America would meet this repeal with a corresponding spi‘rit (though they have to blame themselves for the active part which they took in bringing it about); and, secondly, those friends to peace in America, who predicted that Great Britain would not be bullied, and whose predictions are now brought into disrepute. But as a single error sometimes gives birth to a right system, let us hope that the spirit of concession which dictated the repeal of the Orders in Council is now satisfied; and if, as upon the whole we are inclined to believe, we are now actually at war with America, we will not permit ourselves to doubt, that measures will be taken to give to that war the character of decision, wbich, if we are to judge from the experience of other times, affords the best, if not the only chance of bringing it to a successful, and still more, to a speedy termination.
ART. XIV. ΕΥΡΙΠΙΔΟΥ ΙΠΠΟΛΥΤΟΣ ΣΤΕΦΑΝΗΦΟΡΟΣ,
Euripidis Hippolytus Coronifer. Ad fidem Manuscriptorum ac veterum editionum emendavit et annotationibus instruxit Jacobus Henricus Monk, 1. M. SS. Trinitatis Collegii Socius, et Gracarum Literarum apud Cantabrigienses Professor Regius. Cantabrigiæ. Typis ac Sumptibus Academicis excudit J.
Smith. MDCCCXI. pp. 176. THE ingenious author of a volume of Classical Recreations, (as
he pleasantly terms them,) after having enumerated several schemes which he is projecting for the good of the literary commonwealth, complains, in a tone of asperity, that` the present generation of critical scholars seems to be so much occupied with the Greek tragedians, that his undertaking will not, he fears, meet with the encouragement which it deserves. On the modesty of this expostulation we shall offer no remark, nor are we inclined to dispute its truth. Certain it is, that, in the course of the last six years, no less than eleven editions of various portions of the dramatic writers of Greece have been put forth in England, exclusive of mere reprints: and, unless we mistake, the whole of the last century did not produce more than twelve or thirteen : what is worse, the evil seems by no means to be at an end; on the contrary, the Recreator has too much cause to look forward to the fulfilment of his apprehensions. Professors Monk and Gaisford have taken Euripides in hand, Mr. Elmsley has given us specimens of his labours on Aris. tophanes and Sophocles, which make us earnestly wish for more, while Dr. Butler and Mr. Blomfield are at work upon Æschylus. In a word, the tide of public opinion seeins to be set with the Greek tragedians; and to what extent we may be deluged with editions of them, we are quite unable to foresee. The only expedient which we can think of to check the stream is, for the complainant to publish more Recreations, as a means of diverting the thoughts of scholars from the channel in which, at present, they flow.
However lamentable the fact in question may be, it is, we think, no difficult matter to account for it. Nor are we, by any means, disposed to wonder that many should be formd, who are willing to devote their days and nights to the poets of ancient Greece, the characteristic features of whose compositions are, an elevation and originality of thought, and a nobleness of sentiment, the vehicle of which is the most copious and accurate language of which any monuments are extant. For our own parts, we are inclined to think, that this paramount advantage results from the due admixture of classical studies, and particularly of the Greek poets, in the education of youth ;-that their minds are directed betimes to a fund of lofty and dignified sentiment, rich imagery, and fine language, 0 4
from an acquaintance with which they gain a manly and liberal mode of thinking, together with an elegance and correctness of expression. We have, therefore, no hesitation in assigning to those scholars who, as the results of their skill avd labour, put into our hands editions of the Greek poets which we may read with ease and comfort, a more liberal share of praise, than will probably be conceded to them by the author of · Classical Recieations.'
One reason of the predilection manifested by criues of the present day for the remains of the Greek drama, may, perhaps, be found in the eminent success wbich attended the editorial labours of Mr. Monk's illustrious predecessor, who presented the world with an almost immaculate text of the first tour plays of Euripides. To attempt a description of the line of criticism, which the late professor chalked out for himself, would be superfluous, since his publications are in the hands and memories of every one who pretends to the name of scholar : but perhaps it may not be amiss to say a few words on what some persons call “the Porsonian school of criticisin,' as it is asserted that Professor Monk, amongst others, has been bred up within its precincts.
We should be extremely happy if any one of those gentlemen who are most in the habits of using the phrase, would state to us distinctly in what points the Porsonian school ditfers from any other school of true criticism. The peculiar characteristics of the style of annotation adopted by its founder are, Ist, a reluctance to • make innovations in the received test without strong reasons and sufficient authority; 2dly, the frequent and effectual use of analogical reasoning ; 3dly, a brief and perspicuous method of stating the arguments for and against any reading. In the first of these points the practice of Porson differed widely from that of Scaliger, Bentley, Reiske, Brunck, and eren Hemsterhuis and Ruhnken. In the second point he pushed to its full extent a mode of criticism, first effectually exercised upon the dramatic writers by Richard Dawes. In the third his practice is original, and forms a singular contrast to that of Valckenaer. If, therefore, his style of criticism differs from that of other scholars, it differs with an excellence, as the grammarians say; and, unless forbearance from innovation, accuracy of reference, brevity, and perspicuity of language be accounted faults, we are justified in saying that ihe. Porsonian school' is but anoiher term for the best school of Greek criticism.
Our readers, however, will observe, that we here speak exclusively of what is usually termed criticism; viz. that department of an editor's duty which is concerned about the purity of his author's text. Illustration and interpretation are distinct, we do not say less important, provinces, into which the illustrious critic in ques
tion scarcely ever set his font. It is much to be lamented that, eminently gifted as he was by nature, and prepared by study for such a task, he should so seldom have undertaken directly to explain the text of Euripides. We say directly, because his cri-tical illustrations, which are always pertinent, are often so judiciously chosen, as to throw a light upon the seuse. Of this species of collateral illustration, there are more justauces in Mr. Porson's notes than a superticial reader is aware of. We do not hesitate, - however, to avow, that we were never perfectly satisfied with the reason which he assiyos, in his preface to the Hecuba, for abstaining from these useful, and, in our opinion, essential parts of the task which an editor has to perform. • Interpretandi et illustrandi labore, utilissimo sane, supersedendum duxi, partim ne libellus in librum excresceret.' Præfat. in Euripidis Hecubam, p. xiii.
Professor Monk, who may so far be said to belong to the Porsonian school, as he has the writings of that great scholar at his fingers' ends, and has adopted bis caution, his exactness of reference, and his orthography, has avoided the defect of which we have just complained, by enriching the notes in his edition of the Hippolytus with a great variety of philological and illustrative remark. We may, perhaps, be inclined to wish that he had separated this from the critical matter, judging merely from the convenience which we have ourselves experienced in using books, wherein this practice has been adopted ; but this is a question which concerns the form, not the matter of the work. We have only to consider how far the Professor has succeeded in accomplishing the two ends which he had in view, of restoring the text of Euripides, and of explaining it when restored.
But, before we enter upon this consideration, we think it proper to notice an objection which has been made in an obscure publication, that the Professor has, in more instances than one, quoted the same passages as Valckenaer without mentioning liis name. Whe, ther the fact be su or not, the Professor, in our opinion, is not at all concerned to deny it. There is a wide difierence between emendation and illustration. The chances are very greatly against two persons' hitting upon the same emendation, unless, indeed, it be a tolerably obvious one; whereas they are just as much in favour of their thinking of the same illustration. Emendations are private property; the sources of quotation are common: and although Valckenaer has scrupulously noticed the dirterent uses which have been made of every line he cites, we cannot help thinking that this practice incumbers the notes and distracts the eye of the reader. 'If Mr. Monk hieeris any other justification, he may urge the example of his predecessor, who, in bis notes on the Phaussæ, and, indeed, on the other plays, frequently quotes passages which
had before been used by Valckenaer and others, without mentioning
their names; for instance, on v. 1. of the Phænissæ, the passages of Athenæus, Stobæus, and Accius, are all in Valckenaer's note. V. 18, 19. Max. Tyrius is cited by Valckenaer. 20. Origen the same. V. 45. The passages of Eustathius and the Etymothe same. V. 216. The lines of Horace the same.
V.470. Statius the same.
531. The Syleus of Euripides the same. 534. Cicero the same; and so on throughout the notes. Again, Mr. Porson says, in his preface to the Hecuba, ' Loca tantum quæ
Latini imitati sunt, prout memoria suggessit, adscripsi? Now although this was undoubtedly the case, yet the passages, which Accius and Ennius imitated from Euripides, had all been collated by Fulvius Ursinus in his · Virgilius collatione Scriptorum Græcorum illustratus.' Again, on the Orestes 387, the remarkable passage of Eustathius had been pointed out by Stephen Bergler in his notes on Alciphron III. 55. p. 413. V. 1272. árld Táríow GXÓTel. Porson, after Brunck, Tádi . This correction had been made long before by William Canter, Nov. Lect. II. 7. V. 1338. The same critic had before compared the passages of the Rhesus, Hecuba, and Alcestis. On the Medea v. 333, Mr. Porson, after quoting a passage from Athenæus, says, “ Hinc saltem Euripidis senarium lucramur. Κακός σε δαίμων, και κακή τύχη λάβοι' which had been before observed by P. Leopardus Emend. III. 12.
Mr. Mouk’s object in publishing this edition of the Hippolytus was, as he informs us, to put into the hands of students a purer text than had before appeared; and to explain whatever is difficult or abstruse, by comparing Euripides with the other poets of Greece, as well as with himself. In our opinion he has fulfilled both these departments of his undertaking in a manner, which entitles him to the thanks of every lover of the Greek drama. He has carefully weighed the various lections of the MSS. collated by Musgrave, Brunck, and others, and has followed the example of his illustrious predecessor, in diligently collating the editions of Aldus, and the very rare one of Janus Lascaris. For a reference to those ancient authors, who, by way of quotation or allusion, have cast any light upon this play, Mr. Monk acknowledges himself greatly obliged to Valckenaer, whose stupendous diligence has not omitted more than two or three references of this description. With regard to the choric metres of this tragedy, the Professor adopts the safe and judicious plan which was followed by Porson. Some observations of this great critic are dispersed through the notes, consisting principally of references, which may serve as materials of criticism, but which are, in a few instances, worked up into the form of regular annotations. A striking example of his research and accuracy oceurs in the note on y. 209. Besides these remarks, ninety