« EdellinenJatka »
OBSERVATIONS ON THE
« Examination of a Criticism on Falconer's Strabo."
Printed in No. XI.
As the Editor of the Classical Journal has inserted in his Eleventh Number, p. 45-74. an extract from a pamphlet on the Oxford Strabo, his candor will of course admit a reply to it.
The Examiner in the first place accuses the Critic of want of logic, and to support the accusation, alters his text by substituting « because" to "for but even allowing him the benefit of his own fabrication, if there be any violation of logic in expressing disappointment of what was expected from the University, because, though much had been borrowed, little had been done, it is only of that sort of logic, by which the Examiner proves the Univer. sity not answerable for what issues froin its press, because the selection of it is left to eleven Delegates. Unfortunately for many proprietors of private presses, judges and juries do not admit such logic; but decide by the old maxim of common sense qui facit per alium, facit
per se. In the next place the Critic is stated to have intimated, “ that the late Mr. Tyrwhitt took no degree at Oxford, and was not even a Member of the University :” in answer to which, he begs merely to refer the reader to his words, which are, « that Mr. Tyrwhitt resided in London, in business, and in society, and that his name stands in the title-page plain Thomas Tyrwhitt, without any decorative adjunct, or title of degree.” This is all that he said on the subject, and as this is all correctly and confessedly true, on what grounds does the Examiner assure his readers, “ that there is not any truth in the intimation with respect to' Mr. Tyrwhitt?” if, however, it be a crime not to know that he had obtained an University title, which he did not think worth affixing to his name, the Critic must plead guilty to it; but as he asserted nothing on this important point, he cannot justly be accused of any misrepresentation. With regard to Mr. Falconer, it appears that he has fallen into an immaterial error, in supposing that he had taken a degree : but really when writers do not think their degrees worth the initials in a title-page, it is impossible for distant strangers to impute them correctly; and when the person, who publishes a Greek Classic at the University press, announces himself of a particular College, such stranger may surely be excused for considering him as a graduate in some stage of advancement; nor is it any thing but ludicrous to represent so natural and almost unavoidable an error as either calumnious or disgraceful.
Observations on the * Examination of a Criticism," fc. 158 When he mentioned the Oxford Homer as containing all the errors of Clarke's, and the Strabo all those of the Amsterdam edition, he distinctly stated, at the same time, that he had not collated either ; and also, that he had examined only a few pages of the first, an intimation, which must have conveyed, to every candid mind, a sufficient qualification of the word 'all, to show that it was applied generally, with reference to the parts, which he had collated, taken as a scale for the rest ; and from these he did certainly produce examples sufficient to warrant such general inference.
The direct charge of untruth, which follows, he directly retorts, and asserts, that dúcaite, taken and accented as the second person plural of the optative in the active voice, and followed by Séx:r6s, is an arbitrary innovation, sanctioned by no authority ; for though, in the compressed writing of manuscripts, the conjunction may have been joined to the verb in Lúcuits, as in other instances, yet the infinitive obxec941, which follows in all those manuscripts, shows that an infinitive was meant. For this reason he ventures to assert, that no manuscript of any authority has dúcaite, either joined or separated either accented or unaccented-followed by δέχεσθε ; and that the two old readings are λυσαί τε-δέχεσθαι, and durat:léxerbe ; both sense, though the last is not metre. The garbled and corrupted mixture of them, producing solecism and nonsense, as in Clarke's and the Oxford editions, he maintains to be entirely unauthorised ; and, if it be not so, let its defender show the authority, instead of imperfectly quoting half the Venetian, and half the Leipsic reading, as a parallel ; and then fabricating a charge of falsehood against others out of his own deceptions. (see Il. A. 20.)
In slowly and reluctantly admitting the validity of the criticis objections to expressions, which even he does not venture to defend, he directs his attack to the principles on which they are founded, in two prolix digressions on " nescio quis,” and “ quod," in which the observer's limits preclude him from following him. He would otherwise undertake to show, (what may perhaps hereafter be shown) that it is not the particular meaning of the preceding verb which regulates the respective uses of the indicative and subjunctive following the latter ; but the mode and degree of influence given to that verb by the general meaning and structure of the sentence. He might also undertake to show, that, whereever an indicative appears to be subjoined to another verb, there is either no subjunction at all, but merely parenthesis; or that it is produced by means of a pronoun or subjunctive understood; and that the sentence is consequently elliptical. On the principle laid down by the Examiner, what would he make of such a passage as the following ? « Loci autem, qui ad quasque quæstiones accommodati sunt, deinceps videndum." Cic. de Inv. i: 23. Will he construe it, “ videndum loci qui,” &c. or admit “ qui sint" to be understood ? There can be no other alternative; and that such words were understood, we have positive proof in sentences of a similar structure, where they are retained, or omitted, as technical accuracy, or colloquial brevity, respectively required. “ Quærere, quid sit, quod sibi velle debeant demonstrari.” Cic. Ib. 52. Quæritur et quibuscum vivat.” Ib. ii. 9. Had the occasions been transposed, “quærere quid sibi velle debeant demonstrari," would have been in the first; and “ quæritur et qui sint, quibuscum vivat,” or “vivit,” in the second. Upon the same principle, in a technical statement, instead of a familiar letter, for, “ quæso scribas quid nobis faciendum, aut non faciendum putas," there would have been “scribas id quod,” or “ quid sit quod,” &c.; and for “ quid nobis faciendum est ignoro,” “ quid sit, quod nobis faciendum est, ignoro." Ep. ad Att. lib. ix. Ep. xii. et lib. xiv. Ep. xiii.
But as ellipsis or abbreviation is the principal cause of all the seeming anomalies of languages, a complete analysis of it would require a volume in addition to what Vossius has so ably written on the subject. At present, therefore, let us meet another charge of direct falsehood, in calling a gross violation of idiom systematical, after having produced three instances of it in the use, and one in the omission of the single conjunction “ut.” answer is, that it is such uniform repetition, which makes an error systematical ; so that when the accuser, in what he means to be English, uses the ungrammatical vulgarism, “ according as,” three times in thirty-five pages, he uses it systematically. We add, too, that when he uses the local barbarisms, “ classified,” and « classification," only once each, he uses them systematically ; for they are so connected with each other. We call them local barbarisms, because we know no other title descriptive of them. In milliners' and barbers' shops, indeed, they may possibly pass for gallicisms; but if the Revolution have tainted the French tongue with any such redundancies of anomalous jargon, it has not yet raised them into any more respectable circle of society.
Our author, however, is no less original in translation than in composition ; and that no northern libeller may again censure the omission of « ut," or misunderstand, or misrepresent the reconditum et exquisitum of English latinity, he renders the subjunctive “ videatur,” placed absolutely and subjoined to nothing, “ to the eye it may seem.” Most poetically potential indeed !
Where did the Critic ever express a doubt that the causal “cum,” might, in some cases, be used with an indicative; or that in the warmth of poetical, oratorical, or historical narration, past actions might be spoken of as present, and consequently the tenses be
changed? This is a familiar practice in all languages; and it is scarcely possible to look into any vigorous or animated production, without finding instances of it; so that all the pompous display of common-place quotation might have been spared. But can a causal, which influenced Strabo in writing, be now expressed by an indicative present subjoined to the causal “cum ?” If it can, let its defender boldly say so, and produce a single case in point, instead of insidiously courting the suffrage, and misleading the minds of the young and ignorant, by heaping together quotations so wholly inapplicable.
Equally unconscious is the Critic of ever having entertained or expressed a doubt, that, in animated passages of poetry and oratory, the course of expression might be suddenly changed from oblique to direct. Instances of this are so common, that the detail of them might have been left to school-boys. But do they afford any justification of joining nominatives to accusatives, under one verb, by such a connective as “ scilicet ?” It is admitted, after all this parade of defence, that they do not; and oversight is pleaded in excuse; an oversight of a nominative for an accusative repeated in no less than eight names ! That passages,
in which there is neither sense nor grammar, should not be interpreted as their author meant, is no wonder ; and will their defender presume to say, that there is either in such sentences as, “ Donati sententiam intelligo esse a porta Esquilina versus Labicanam ;" or expect a reader to presume, that, when the substantive, which ought to have followed, was left out, the adjective was meant to be referred to any other than that which immediately preceded ? It was wrong, indeed, to look for grammatical construction, where “ fidem damus Josepho,” and
Augustus fidem historiæ dedit,” are used to signify, believe Josephus,” and “ Augustus believed the story.”
Even such jargon as this is, however, said to be, on the whole, as good as most modern Latin ; and better than the Critic, in his attempts to improve it, has written. Let us examine, therefore, the errors and barbarisms with which he is charged, as the grounds of this assertion.
In the first place, he is accused of condemning the construction of " post reges subditos,” which is said to be much more elegant
I answer, that he has not condemned the con. struction of these words, as not being Latin, but the whole sentence, as neither being sense nor Latin. « Post reges
subactos” would have been so far both sense and Latin ; but would not have signified, what the writer evidently meant to signify, " that Tigranes had himself subdued those kings, and then assu ned the title of king of kings.” If he assumed it on the occasion, as the Critic meant to express, “ appellatus est” is right; but if habitually
than his own.
afterwards, “appellabatur :” but “appellatur," applied to what has so long ceased, is undoubtedly wrong.
He also asserts, that his use of the tenses in a competisset,” u habuisset,” and “occidisset,” is strictly proper; and the Examiner's alterations quite inadmissible. In an oblique narration or statement, in the person of one who had long ceased to exist, events co-existent with him are to be expressed in the imperfect, and those preceding him in the pluperfect tense subjunctive ; of which almost every oblique speech in Livy will afford examples. For instance - Rem se, ait, magnam inchoasse, ad quam perficiendam ipsius Gracchi opera opus esse. Omnium populorum prætoribus, qui ad Ponum in illo communi Italiæ motu descissent, persuasisse ut redirent in amicitiam Romanorum : quando res quoque Romana, quæ prope exitium pugna Cannensi venisset, in dies melior atque auctior fieret, Annibalis vis senesceret, ac prope ad nihil venisset.” xxv. 16. What the Examiner has cited from Cicero is quite inapplicable; as an event is there stated as past, with reference to the writer's own time, and not to the intermediate time of another writer or speaker, who had been quoted ; whereas the annotator is citing Strabo and Pausanias, in the same oblique form as the historian is citing Fulvius; and consequently ought to employ tenses equally correlative to the period of their writing, not of his own.
These, however, the Examiner gently calls « faults ;" but in the same sentence discovers two “ gross barbarisms ;" which, from the pomp of accusation with which they are introduced, and the parade of quotation with which they are followed, might be expected to prove as monstrous as any in the English that he writes, or the Latin that he defends.
The first is, “primum qui;" the superlative being, accord ing to his rule, to stand alone, or in the same case after the Telative pronoun ; as in " qui primus.” Ancient practice was not, however, quite so strict in this instance, though so much more so in most others. “ Ex quo potest probabiliter confici, eum recte primum esse suo judicio, qui omnium cæterorum judicio sit secundus." Cic. Acad. fragm. incert. « Est enim primum, quod cernitur in universi generis humani societate ; ejus autem vinculum,” &c. id. Off. i. 16. « In quibus hoc primum est, quo miror," &c. id. de fin. 1. « Polemoni ea prima visa sunt, quæ paulo ante dixi.” ib. ii. 11. It were easy to produce fifty other examples; but two sentences of a passage, in which the two modes of expression stand correlative to each other, will show their respective uses; “ Si illud vere connectitur -- primum que quod est in connexo--- - necessarium est,” &c.
« Si igitur quod primum in connexo est, necessarium est,” &c. id. de Fato. 7. Let us add also two others from Virgil, in which the distinction is observed with equal accuracy: