« ZurückWeiter »
Falli est turpe ; tamen fallere turpe magis.
CARMINA HOMERICA, ILIAS et ODYS
SEA, a Rhapsodorum Interpolationibus repurgata, et in Pristingm Formam, quatenus recuperanda esset, tam e Veterum Monumentorum fide et auctoritate, quam ex Antiqui Sermonis indole ac ratione, redacta; cum Notis ac Prolegomenis, in quibus de eorum Origine, Auctore et Ætate ; itemque de Prisca Lingua Progressu, Precoci Maturitate, diligenter inquiritur opera et studio R. P. KNIGHT. Lond. imp. 8vo. 1820. Treuttel et Wurtz. 11. 58.
No. III. The readers of the Classical Journal, on turning to No. xlvi. p. 345, will find a notice of Mr. Knight's Carmina Homerica announced, which was to exhibit the peculiar features and character of that work in the following particulars : “1. On the person and writings of Homer generally. 2. On his description of ancient manners. 3. On his Mythology. 4. On his Interpolations and different readings. 5. On the comparison of the Iliad and Odyssey. 6. On the Language of Homer, which, though the last point in this arrangement, is the first in argument, and, with respect to Mr. Kvight's edition of Homer, forms, we apprehend, its greatest strength.”
It was proposed to consider these several points, through three distinct numbers of the Journal, and the first three were carried through two of them, though not in immediate succession. Each of these articles ran to some length : and that which remained, comprehending the last three divisions, was, as might have been expected, very considerably longer; but it has not appeared.
It is necessary, however, to declare, that it was sent; not, indeed, with such regard to quick succession, as it should have been. The subject itself was not trifling, and the discussion of it led to certain inquiries, not to be readily despatched by one, who was at the time very seriously employed on a variety of topics, of at least a very different, if not an opposite, nature. The remarks, however, were at length finished, and left for insertion, some two or three quarters back.
A writing, that had been too long delayed, may have led readers to suppose that the writer had not redeemed his pledge; and is certainly more liable to be mislaid and to be forgotten, than one, which, by coming in quick succession, keeps the recollection fresh. Not to multiply words, after having declared that the papers were sent, it must suffice to say, that they will, if found, be inserted in the Classical Journal.
What is inserted now is but an after-thought, sent to be ininserted in the mislaid copy. The writer has not leisure to say more now, or to attempt to retrace his former thoughts, being entirely engaged in other pursuits, from which he must not divert bis attention. Two or three passages indeed, which have already been given, will, in a certain measure, exhibit some peculiar features in Mr. Knight's orthography; and the following additions sent to the papers missing, will exhibit others, though of lighter consideration.
From the extracts given above from the Carmina Homerica, it will be seen, that they are not made in a fac-simile hand, as from any ancient MSS. of Homer, but are adapted to modern typography, being intended only to express the Ionic pronunciation, according to Mr. Knight's view of it. The characters in the most ancient Greek MSS., it is well known, are in large letters, called, incorrectly, Uncial, through misreading in an old MS., Unciales for Initiales.' M. Montfaucon saw about 30 of these, and we have one in this country, the Cod. Bezæ, (at Cambridge) containing the four Gospels, of which Dr. Kipling gave a fac-simile. This is, perhaps, the most ancient; we have, also, a few others of a similar nature. It does not appear, that any of these MSS. contain Carmina Homerica ; and the quotations, made in the above essay from Mr. Knight's edition, are intended to express inerely the Homeric pronunciation, according to his Editor's hypothesis.
· Preface to Casley's Catalogue of MSS. in the King's Library, p. 8.
Palæographia Græca, Lib. 111. Cap. I.
The Cod. Bezæ, it may be observed, and the others just alluded to, are written inuch alike; not only in Initial letters, but without breathings, accents, iotas ascript or subscript, or any system of stops, whatever a point occasionally introduced may mean. It will be seen, that our Editor omits with the most ancient Gr. MSS. the acute and grave accents, but uses the circumflex ; that he introduces the iota subscript, which these MSS. do not use; that he adopts a regular system of stopping; and that his digamma more than answers all the purposes of the breathings.
With respect to accents, it is most true that the ancient Greeks read by accent: and, indeed, all nations must read by accent; the sounds of the human voice being like the keys of a musical instrument, where, as one tone rises, the other falls; and vice versa.
But the accentual marks are of modern invention: the time of their introduction was about the seventh century; and the dispute about them much resembles that which relates to the Hebrew points. Though a use they certainly have, the adoption of them is arbitrary. But we submit, whether as Mr. K. omits the acute and grave accents, he ought not, to preserve uniformity and consistency, to have omitted likewise the circumflex; that being, as he well knew, the mere union of the two accents thus (“), till it took a more circular shape (TM) and then a more serpentine one, as now more generally used. Mr. Porson uses the circumflex, and very consistently; for, though perhaps he over-rated the accentual marks, as he uses the acute and grave, he naturally enough uses also the circumflex, together with the breathings and iota subscript. Mr. Wakefield, who perhaps under-rated accents, yet consistently also rejected the circumflex.
We are apt to confound quantity with accent. But with respect to the Greek pronunciation, it is certain that it combined in a very curious way accent with quantity, which perhaps it might not be difficult to explain, though we have lost the practice. Nor is it likely to be recovered by our wretched Grammar rules, showing something of the practice, but nothing of the rationale, of accents.
These hints are very cursorily made, and certainly in a matter, that is so discretional, not with a view to censure the practice of our learned Editor, but merely to exhibit it: and, with respect to the use of the circumflex, it answers a purpose in his parti
Since writing the article sent and missing, the author has perused “ The Examination of the Primary Argument" of the
Iliad, by Granville Penn, Esq. 1821. The author has stated many objections to the opinions of Wolfe, Heyne, and Mr. K., relative to the late knowledge or prompt use of alphabetical writing among the Greeks. Yet there are some points relative to Homer, (in this question), on which Mr. K. seems rather to doubt, than to decide.
Mr. Porson too, while admitting the reading, learning, and extent of inquiry of Mr. K., as the author of the “ Analytical Essay on the Greek Alphabet,” yet finds difficulties in the way of believing every thing advanced by him on the digamma; and, among some other matters, the difficulty of erecting a system of language on the sole foundation of Homer's works.-See Mr. Porson's Tracts and Miscellaneous Criticisms, p. 134.
Mr. Penn bas stated his difficulties, certainly with some force, and not without some classical authorities ;-viz. the Trachiniæ of Sophocles, v. 161-2, and the Æneid of Virgil, Æn. iii. V. 286. 443. Æn. vi. v. 74, which he thinks the above learned editors had somewhat overlooked. But admitting that these passages relate to alphabetical writing, still it might be replied, that they speak agreeably to the practice of the times in which Sophocles and Virgil lived : in regard to those of Hercules and the Trojan war, the writers could only speak agreeably to the language of their own times, or more poetico ; and a poetica licentia is no foundation for solid argument. This can be founded only on the genius of Homer's writings, historical facts, and analogical reasoning.
A LIST of Theological Works necessary for the studies of a
Si me conjectura non fallit, totius Reformationis pars integerrima est in Anglia, ubi cum studio Veritatis viget studiuen Antiquitatis.
Isaaci Casaub. Epist. ad Salmas.
Candidates for Deacons' Orders should be thoroughly versed in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles in the “ Greek Testament;" and, for those of Priests, in the Epistles in addition. If they can construe them into correct Latin, so much the better.
Both classes ought, likewise, to bave a complete knowlege of the Old and New Testament narratives, the principal evidences of Christianity, and its fortunes from the death of its Divine Founder to its establishment under Constantine the Great; as likewise of the leading doctrines of the Church of England, its Reformation from Popery, and the chief tenets of the various English Dissenters; in many of which particulars Bishop Tomline's “ Elements of Christian Theology” will be found of very important service, Dr. Doddridge's “ Family Expositor" is, also, a work which ought to be frequently consulted.
To this should, farther, be added a perfect acquaintance with Grotius “ De Veritate Religionis Christiana,”?' and the power of translating with facility any of the Thirty-Nine Articles from English into Latin, and vice versa ; as well as of proving their authority by scriptural texts.
To occupy the Clergy after their Ordination, three Lists of books are subjoined, adapted (as it is, after much consideration, concluded) to their successive stages of theological proficiency. Many a well-disposed young Divine, it may be feared, for want of some such humble guide as is supplied by the First (not pressing too heavily upon either the intellect, or the purse) has gradually felt his purposes of virtuous industry give way, and afforded a melancholy illustration of the sentence of the Roman Historian, Invisa primo Desidia postremo amatur. If he render bimself master of the First, it can hardly be doubted, that he will seize every opportunity of going on to the Second at least. The latter part of the Third will be, in every sense, of more arduous acquisition.
N. B. In several cases, the cheap and judicious Reprints of the Clarendon Press may be recommended in preference to other editions; but any of the editions will suffice. It will readily be perceived, that economy has been much consulted in forming the selection. It would have been easy to multiply volumes upon almost every one of its subdivisions.
AN EXAMINING CHAPLAIN.
Mr. Valpy has recently published an accurate edition, with English Notes, in duod.