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knowledged, and the study of it justified. Its advantages indeed are manifold; nor are they confined to the taste which is inspired, the unbounded range of thought which is superadded to the other studies of youthful intellect, or the facility of composition which such a talent produces. The influence of this gift extends farther; it not only gives a colour to our imaginations, but a propriety of expression in our daily communications with each other. Custom has now made quantity, not less than orthoepy, a necessary predicate of a gentleman; and though courtesy forbids us to ridicule the blunders in long and short vowels, while he converses with us, yet politeness shrinks from his barbarisms. The antagonist of quantity is as rare a character in literary society, as a Squire Western, or a Tony Lumpkin.
We shall take this opportunity of controverting a few errors concerning the conduct of English public schools, as applicable to the composition of Latin verse, which have lately obtained circulation to their disparagement; but which we can almost avow ourselves authorised to contradict, in as much as concerns the establishments of Eton, Winchester, Harrow, and Rugby. By this specification, we by no means intend to exclude other institutions of the same nature; we have no doubt but we might fár more generally exemplify our position : but we speak only of what we know; and, in the few words we have to offer, where the rule, as a general one, does not apply to all, the exception will be understood to be of the slightest and most insignificant nature.
It has been assumed as a fact, and conceded to us with great liberality, that our youths study • all the Latin poets,' that they aim at a close imitation of their stile, and form their taste on their model. This is not true; and if it were, the effect of such crude reading, would doubtless be evident in the writings of the boy. Horace, Virgil, Ovid, Terence, and occasionally Juvenal, are generally the stock books, to the discomfiture of all other Roman bards, from Plautus to Sidonius Apollinaris. Another plan, however, is evidently acted upon at Edinburgh; for in the T'entamina, we can trace sundry imitations of authors whom we have not mentioned; for instance, that inimitable writer Propria quæ maribus is decidedly copied in these two lines,
Alcides, Theseus, Telamon, cum Castore Pollux,
Atque alii multi vellera flava petunt. p. 7. Again,
Obstupuit Circe illo usque manente viro, is plainly a beautiful imitation of the delicious pentameter of Catullus,
Utrumne os an culum olfacerem Æmilio. VOL. VIII. NO, XVI,
While such lines as
* Buccina rauca canit: certatimque in prælia cuncti,' consisting of six feet and a half, are evident imitations of the tersius Politici. Conimodianus, perhaps, was the model; the three first verses of whose • Instructiones' are thus set forth,
Præfatio nostra viam erranti demonstrat;
Æternum fieri, quod discredunt inscia corda. (Min. Fel. Ed. Dar.) Again ; it has been stated that in our schools there is such an overwhelming necessity for the composition of verses, such a neglect of other business in consequence of it, that, in fact, little else is studied: that the boy of talent alone succeeds; and that the idle or stupid are, in the school phrase, “given their exercises.' From this an inference has been drawn, that Latin versification really tends to carelessness in the pupil, and a base connivance in the instructor: and a remedy is proposed, to make verses a voluntary exercise, and to leave, in short, this important branch of education to the choice of the instructed.
Now, in the first place, one copy of verses, and one of lyrics, which (from sundry causes that eventually occasion omission of these exercises) may fairly be averaged at less than three copies a fortnight, are alone demanded in our schools. The necessary number of lines is fixed very low, that, among those of no poetical talent, all complaint of overwhelming necessity' may be obviated., All, indeed, are compelled to write the number enjoined them; but boys of imagination and emulation will essay a double, treble, or even quadruple proportion of lines.--The quick and the studious are foremost in the race, and have their rewards assigned to them: begimers, and those of moderate capacity, are stimulated by the precedence of their betters; and the dullest genius is at least employed in making Latin, and learning, even invitâ Minerrâ, something of prosody. Probably these most difficult exercises, as they are called, cost no one siudent six hours in the week. We trust we have shewn, by the names just produced, and which might be increased an hundredifold, that this pursuit does not drive from the mind (as has been insinuated) all other study or competition.
In what regards giving erercises, we fear, while human nature and its sins of idleness and torpor exist in our schools, the learned will occasionally be put under contribution for the dúll. It is the duty, no doubt, of the instructor to prevent this; it is one of his most bounden literary duties; but accusation may err, and detection be difficult. It were harsh then and unkind, to attribute to 'base connivance,' what may most purely arise from patience, and a want of
conviction: and when a deceit of this nature is practised on the master, we are convinced that his apparent apathy is, nine times out of ten, the result of conscientious scruple. Besides, these cases are not the occurrence of every moment; and where a due degree of vigilance is exerted, they are probably not ascribable to one pupil out of twenty: where they happen, the defaulter does not generally confine his plagiarisms to verses, but extends them to his themes, and even to his translations.
We now arrive at the remedy; and of all Utopian schemes, it appears to us the most objectionable. It is one which in modern cant may be possibly stiled liberal,' inasmuch as it gives children a power of veto over their instructors. It opens a door for the grossest infringements of discipline; indeed it discards all idea of that schoolvirtue. Where an exercise is not compulsory, it will shortly become obsolete. Mr. Pillans's trial, hitherto, is not sufficient to controvert this assertion. Moreover, if the niaster consults his dignity and comfort, he places in the hands of his scholar a most dangerous weapon. Many of our readers doubtless remember the plans and shifts to which ihey formerly had recourse for the purpose of spiting their master.'' By the system that is recommended to us, revenge is made most easy; and the master must ultimately either insist on that which was voluntary, or submit to tokens of discontent, which he has the inclination, but not the power, to control. Besides, in regard to the progress which these inshackled studies are thus supposed to make, we have an evident proof in the Tentamina, how much it has been over-rated; we highly approve of the most liberal treatment to the young, but are unwilling to undermine the barriers of salutary discipline.
It is time to advert to the merits of the Tentamina. We shall cite a whole poem, as a criterion by which the rest, as wholes, may be fairly appreciated.
• Venturis seclis tu, Libertatis imago,
Me juvet heroas concelebrare tuos ;
Et pulchros fuvios, cæruleosque lacus.
Servitii toties qui repulere jugum.
Duram vertendo terram habuere cibum.
--Qui nunc imperium tendit ubique suum;
Dira--non justâ sub ditione tenet.
Præfecto comiti qui sua jura dedit.
Qui veluti dominus respiciendus erat.
Haud venerans; arcu clarus et arte fuit.
In nati capite; is mox dua tela parat.
Recte et collineans fortiter ille ferit.
“ Cur," ait,“ in zonis altera tela tenes ?"
“ Occiso nato, cor penetrare tuum.”
Effugit at subito, pervenit ad que suos.
Devincunt; ipsum Tell jaculoque necat. p. 38. And this, having been corrected by the master, is exhibited as a specimen of the poetical talents of a boy of 13! In the following líne we suppose the sound is intended to answer to the sense.
Condit hiatu Tellus, momentoque fugaci. p.71.
Nullo abituque invento, cuncta repagula rumpit. p. 82. We had at first determined to collect all the errors against syntax and prosody contained in this little volume; but we found the task Herculean. A sample therefore must suffice—but we would first call the reader's attention to a few descriptive and gnomic lines. The following will be found a beautiful description of a storm, of the insufficiency of verses to save shepherds, and of a returning calm.
Fert validos (the storm) secum tauros, tenerasque capellas,
Pastorem servant carmina neve bona.
Fugerunt liquido nubila cuncta polo.
Post subit a tergo, nunc cæruleumque relinquit
Flavus; jamque omnes præmia justa ferunt. of the power of music, p. 5.
Hoc cecinit mendax vates quod depulit heros
Victu a fædo homines, cædibus atque feris. Of good men, p. 11.
Divinam ad vitam mihi pervenisse videntur,
Non sibi qui vivunt, ast homini atque Deo.
Si vincit, magno æternoque triumphat honore,
Of repentance, p. 21.
Et grato reputant animo sua commoda cuncta
Anni præteriti, tristitiaque mala.
Solertes statuunt et magis esse boni.
Turpeque delectat corrigerc omne scelus. After this aristologia it may not be amiss to remark certain grammatical errors, which we are surprised to detect walking abroad among the humanioribus literis imbuti.'
P. 15. Telorum dirúm. This is licensed only in masculines. So p. 24, consilium for consiliorum.
Dies is twice made of the feminine gender in the plural number in pp. 18, 24, QUÆ jam præteriere dies and mæstas dies.
P. 26. Barrinus, an unauthorised word, used only by Sidonius Apollinaris; jento, p. 28, still worse. P. 80, colliculus is of the same stamp. P. 23, Libertas is called gratissima Divům for Divarum. P. 38, collineans should properly be collimans.
- tacti virgå vix pocula plena bibissent, bibissent is the wrong tense, and makes nonsense of the passage. P. 51, magicum nemus, for a faery grove, is wholly inadmissible. P. 62, Saturnie, the voc. c. of Saturnius. P. 59, Halcyonis dies does not mean what it stands for. P. 59, occa, no such word, and
unsupported even by the authority of Columella brought in its favour. P. 65, sonarunt for sonuerunt. In the same page assurgit cum Phæbus ab undis, for surgit, is incorrect, P. 66, surdi homines fiunt is ridiculous. P. 67, oblimata is only used by Suetonius; as is abrodo (p. 68) by Pliny.
Inter tigna Ducis regnans Vulcania pestis, is a strange expression for the admiral's ship being on fire.
Æva, three or four times repeated, notwithstanding the single example from Ovid, is a word pessimæ nota. P. 101, Renegavit is an Tag Reyójevov of the Tentamina. P. 108, Tabidu terra, for
a corrupt nation,' is ludicrous and unwarrantable. All these errors should assuredly have received the lima labor of the instructor and editor.
Again, ac is made to stand before a vowel in verse, as we shall presently see; and such ablative cases are admitted as mendace, felice, alroce, inerte.
In prosodia the errors are still more abundant. To mention nothing at present of the downright false quantities, the short vowel before s and a consonant is constantly occurring.
P. 3, Sicca stetit; 7, semine sparso; 8, Colchida spectant; 10, flumina stricta; and twenty-six other instances, we collected, merely from rụnuing the eye over the pages. Mr. Pillans did not learn this