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The body of the work, however, is worse than one would anticipate even from such omens. Our readers have a right to expect that we shall make out this charge. They will bear with us, therefore, for a few moments, while we execute this very unpleasant but necessary part of our office, and inflict a wellmerited chastisement upon a hardy and presumptuous offender. We verily believe, as we have said over and over again in the course of our labours, that we shall never do any thing as a literary people, worthy to be had in remembrance by posterity, until we shall have prepared the way by a course of classical education, very different from the wretched system under which the time of the child and the money of the parent have been hitherto, alike, so prodigally and so uselessly squandered. But zealous as we are in this great cause of learning, of truth and of excellence-deeply as we regret and deprecate the vain wisdom and false philosophy of those who have lent whatever of authority or influence their own studies have given them, to the disparagement and depression of this most vital branch of discipline-there is one thing which, if possible, we abominate still more. It is the enemy in our camp. It is the absurd pretensions of sciolists and smatterers, whose ignorance has made scholarship among us the by-word of vulgar scoffers. One such example of a practice, scandalously at variance with profession, does more harm in such a country as this, than the speculative opinions of a hundred men like Dr. Rush and his school-of considerable cleverness and information in other departments of knowledge, but more than suspected of speaking quite conjecturally, however dogmatically, upon this subject. Classical studies are good for nothing unless they be elaborate and critical. Better a thousand times that they were altogether exploded—that a boy should never so much as look into a Greek or Latin grammar-than waste upon the acquisition of such an imperfect knowledge of them, as for any practical purpose, just amounts to no knowledge at all, eight or ten of the most precious years of his life. What might he not acquire in the same period, if his attention were confined to his own language! How much more profitably would he be occupied in awakening his imagination and his sensibilities, in forming his taste, and storing his memory with the beauties of Shakspeare, and Milton, and Spenser; of Barrow, Jeremy Taylor, Hume, Addison, Atterbury, than in learning to repeat by rote a few uncouth grainmar rules in a dead language, and making English nonsense of the matchless eloquence and poetry of antiquity! The system of education, we repeat it, which obtained universally in this country a few years ago, and is far from being entirely reformed
even now, was the most profligate and insane waste of time and money, that was ever tolerated by an intelligent people, and we regard him as the very worst enemy of classical studies who preaches a different doctrine, or does any thing that has a tendency still further to debase the standard of excellence where it is already so much lower than it ought to be. But to our task. The following is the first paragraph of this translation :—
"For without the strong feeling of patriotism, neither had G. Duelius, Aulus Atilius or L. Metellus freed us from the terror of Carthage; or the two Scipios extinguished with their blood the rising flame of the second Punic war. Quintus Maximus would not have weakened, nor M. Marcellus have crushed the one which was springing up with still greater strength or P. Africanus turning it from the gates of this city, have borne it amid the walls of our enemies. Yet it was not thought unbecoming in M. Cato, an unknown and a new man, by whom all of us who emulate his course are led as a bright example of industry and virtue, to enjoy the repose of Tusculum, that healthy and convenient situation. That insane man, however, as some have considered him, preferred when urged by no necessity, to contend amid those waves and tempests to extreme old age; rather than pass his days in the most agreeable manner, amid so much ease and tranquillity. Men without number I omit, each of whom were benefactors to the State, and who are not far removed from the remembrance of this generation. I forbear to commemorate them, lest any one should reproach me with neglecting to speak of himself or his immediate friends. This one truth I would mark, that nature has so strongly-implanted in man the necessity of virtue, and so powerful an inclination to defend the common welfare, that this principle overcomes all the blandishments of voluptuousness and ease."
Now, to say nothing of the poverty and inelegance of the style-an objection which it is a sheer waste of words to make here the ignorance of all sorts discovered in these few lines is really lamentable. Fabius Maximus and Marcellus are represented as crushing a war "which was springing up" after that in which Coæus and Publius Scipio had perished. If Mr. Featherstonhaugh had ever looked into Livy he would have known that the Scipios were cut off in Spain in the course of the same year that Marcellus took Syracuse-namely, the sixth or seventh of the second Punic war. However, it might be exacting too much of such a writer to require him to think of any thing dehors the record, as lawyers express it, and we are willing to excuse any deficiency of this kind, provided always that he comprehend the text of his author. But unhappily he was, in this instance, misled by that very text, in which the word excitatus happens to be used in rather an uncommon sense. The
words of Cicero are-" Non duo Scipiones oriens incendium belli Punici secundi, sanguine suo restinxissent nec id (i. e. idem) excitatum majoribus copiis aut Q. Maximus enervavisset aut M. Marcellus contudisset, &c. This "Fellow of the Geological Society of London," does not know that excitatus sometimes means "increased," "aggravated," "inflamed," "raised to a higher pitch or degree," &c. So he takes the meaning of the word which seems to approach nearest to the vernacular and translates it "springing up" in utter contempt of historical truth, and the obvious exigency of the context. So the other line printed in italics is a gross contre-sens. The author, speaking of the influence of that virtue which prompts to heroic achievement and self-sacrifice, exemplifies it in the conduct of the elder Cato, who might, had he been so disposed, have remained at Tusculum, (his birth-place) taking his pleasure in ease and quiet, but who chose rather to be tossed about in the storms of political life, even to an extreme old age, than to enjoy that blissful but inglorious repose.
M. Catoni &c. certè licuit Tusculi se in otio delectare, &c.
But it will make our remarks more intelligible to print a page or two of the translation, with the original en regard, beginning at the second chapter.
"Nec uero habere uirtutem satis est, quasi artem aliquam, nisi utare. Etsi ars quidem, cum ea non utare, scientia tamen ipsa teneri potest; uirtus ią usu sui tota posita est; usus autem eius est maximus ciuitatis gubernatio, et earum ipsarum rerum, quas isti in angulis personant, reapse, non oratione, perfectio. Nihil enim dicitur a philosophis, quod quidem recte honesteque dicatur, quod non ab his partum confirmatumque sit, a quibus ciuitatibus iura descripta sunt. Unde enim pietas? aut a quibus religio? unde ius aut gentium, aut hoc ipsum ciuile quod dicitur? unde iustitia, fides, aequitas? unde pudor, continentia, fuga turpitudinis, adpetentia laudis et honestatis unde in laboribus et periculis fortitudo? nempe ab his, qui haec disciplinis informata, alia moribus confirmarunt, sanxerunt autem alia legibus. Quin etiam Xenocraten ferunt, nobilem in primis philosophum, cum quaereretur ex eo quid adsequerentur eius discipuli, respondisse, ut id sua sponte facerent
"Yet to possess virtue, like some art, without exercising it, is insufficient. Art indeed, when not effective, is still comprehended in science. The efficacy of all virtue consists in its use. Its greatest end is the government of states, and the perfection not in words but in deeds, of those very things which are taught in the halls. For nothing is propounded by philosophers, concerning what is esteemed to be just and proper, that is not confirmed and assured by those who have legislated for States. For from whence springs piety, or from whom religion? Whence the law, either of nations, or that which is called civil ?Whence justice, faith, equity? Whence modesty, continence, the dread of turpitude, the love of praise and esteem? Whence fortitude in trouble and dan
gers? From those who having laid a foundation for these things in early edu cation, have strengthened some of them by the influence of manners, and sanctioned others by the influence of laws.
.*It must be owned that Cicero himself seems to have confounded the dates of these events; but he does not say what his translator puts into his mouth.
quod cogerentur facere legibus. Ergo ille ciuis qui id cogit omnes imperio legumque poena, quod uix paucis persua dere oratione philosophi possunt, etiam his, qui illa disputant, ipsis est praeferendus doctoribus. Quae etenim istorum oralio tam exquisita, quae sit anteponenda bene constitutae ciuitati, publico iuri, et moribus ? Equidem quemadmodum urbes magnas atque inperiosas, ut appellat Ennius, uiculis et castellis praeferendas puto, sic eos qui his urbibus consilio atque auctoritate praesunt, his qui omnis negotii publici expertes' sint, longe duco sapientia ipsa esse anteponendos. Et quoniam maxime rapimur ad opes augendas generis humani, studemusque nostris consiliis et laboribus tutiorem et opulentiorem uitam hominum reddere, et ad hanc uoluptatem ipsius naturae stimulis incitamur; teneamus eum cursum, qui semper fuit optimi cuiusque; neque ea signa audiamus, quae receptui canunt, ut eos etiam reuocent, qui iam processerint."
Of Xenocrates, one of the noblest of philosophers, it is said, that when he was asked what his disciples learnt of him, he replied to do that of their own choice, which the laws enjoined them to do.' therefore the citizen who obliges every one by the authority and fear of the law to do that, which philosophers by reasoning, with difficulty persuade a few to do, is to be preferred to those learned men who only dispute about these things. For which of their orations, however exquisite, can be compared in value to a well constituted State, to public right and to morals. Truly as great and powerful cities, as Ennius says, are as I think, to be preferred to villages and castles: so those who stand pre-eminent in those cities, in authority and counsel, are to be esteemed far before those in wisdom, who are altogether ignorant of the conduct of public affairs. And since we are chiefly urged by a desire to increase the possessions of the human race, and seek by our counsels and labours, to surround the life of man, with gratification and security, and are incited by the instincts of nature to these enjoyments; let us hold the course which was always that of the best men nor attend to those signals which speculative philosophers make from their retirement, to allure back those who are already far advanced." pp. 34, 35.
It is scarcely necessary to remark that the passages printed in Italics are palpable blunders. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any thing worse in the way of translation. What is the meaning of "the greatest end of virtue is the government of States, and the perfection not in words but in deeds, of those very L things which are taught in the halls." The sense of the original is extremely clear. Cicero affirms that virtue does not consist in contemplation-that it is not a mere speculative accomplishment or art, which may very well exist in the mindin theory, though it never be called forth into practice-that its being is inseparable from its use, and the most exalted use of it is the administration or government of a State, and the practical application of those very things about which philosophers are wont to prattle so much, and to so little purpose in their closets. He then goes on to maintain, not as the translator makes him say, "that nothing is propounded by philosophers concerning what is esteemed to be just and proper," but that "nothing is advanced by philosophers, at least nothing is rightly and properly advanced by them "or" nothing that can be considered as just and
fit is advanced by them, (for that is the effect of the subjunctive dicatur used with nihil quod in this connexion) but what may be found more impressively exemplified in the institutions of civil society. His idea is, that laws are the recorded morality of nations, and law-givers the most effective teachers of virtuethat they give to the abstractions of philosophy, so to express it, a tangible and living form-clothe maxims embracing the most important truths and the most refined ethics, with the awful authority of a public sanction, and bring their precepts to bear upon the conduct of life and the interests and business of mankind, with the plastic and controlling influence of a daily, permanent, and authoritative social discipline. We have no time to bestow even a passing remark upon Cicero's philosophyour present occupation is the humble one of the philologist, and we have our hands full with this soi-disant translator. We have to inform Mr. Featherstonhaugh that "perfectio" in this passage does not mean "perfection" or the state of being perfect, but the act of perfecting, or accomplishing, or doing perfectly-as in that sentence of the Treatise de Finibus, lib. iii. c. 9. "Ea quæ, &c. susceptione primâ, non perfectione sunt judicandæ." And many other instances of the same kind might easily be collected. So, nobody talks about the "orations of philosophers"-for oratio includes sermo as well as concio-nor do we see very clearly why these orations should be opposed “to public right and to morals," though they may be a less efficacious discipline than "public law and national manners and customs," which is all that Cicero undertakes to say of them. Mores when used in connexion with jus, is not to be rendered 'morals.' It means the jus moribus constitutum, public opinion, general usage, the great body of customary or unwritten law, by which positive institutions are supplied or superseded in all nations. So expers does not necessarily import ignorance, but merely having or taking no part in, &c." quasi ex-pars, aμorpos. Those of our readers who are sufficiently conversant with Latin to relish the exquisite elegance and felicity of the Ciceronian diction, need not be informed how completely successful "the Fellow of the Geological Society of London" has been in destroying the beauties of the last sentence of the paragraph quoted-especially the animated and expressive allusion to the signal of retreat in the last member of it.
"His rationibus tam certis tamque inlustribus opponuntur ab his, qui contra disputant, primum labores qui sint re
"Against these reasons so certain and so clear, it is urged by those who are opposed to us: first, the labour to be under
* We need not remind scholars that honestus means a great deal more than "honSee Cic. de Fin. ii. 14.