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It is to this first of bibliographers that the present elegant little volunje owes much of its information, in conjunction with Dr. A. Clarke, Mr. Horne, &c. &c. It is almost impossible to speak otherwise than favorably of it, so often does its author deprecate harshness in the criticisms on a work so liable from its nature to be far from faultless. The book seems to divide itself into two portions, the first containing lists of Polyglotts, Bibles and Testaments in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; and collections of Greek and Latin classics, twenty-eight in number: the second containing the “editiones optimæ," on most of which some remarks are offered in the form of Extracts from Fabricius, Dibdin, and Clarke. As the present volume, however, is but the precursor of some larger, (see p. 162.) we wish the Editor, following the example of Cave, who in his Cartophylax Ecclesiasticus gave the article “ Eusebius” as a specimen of his forthcoming greater work the Historia Literaria, had also given us a foretaste of his “magnum opus."
We proceed to offer some observations, though necessarily few, on the former portion, the lists being a mere collection of size, dates, &c. After enumerating the Quarto Variorum classics it is observed, and, we think, with but little foundation, that “the difficulty of attaining the series complete will be readily conceived to require the labor of years.” Any of the large London booksellers would, with a few exceptions perhaps among the miscellaneous articles, supply the whole; it must nevertheless be admitted that if it did not require time, it would require a “crumena” in any other state than that of " deficiens."
The “ Editiones optima" occupy from p. 125 to 160, and are accompanied with short observations, which contain sometimes more of the “dulce” than the “utile;" we mean general observations about excellent, valuable, admirable edition, erudite production, &c., and not enough said respecting the notes which each edition contains, and whether in whole or in part, whether they are critical or philological, and whether the matter is conveniently arranged; not having the text in one volume, scholia in a second, and the notes or Latin version in a third, as is the state of some editions, for instance, Heyne’s Pindar, both in the original and reprint.
At page 129 we are told that Kuster's Aristophanes, fol.
Our readers will find the difference between philological and critical editions clearly pointed out in vol. 2. pp. 775—6. of Sm. J. G. Schelleri pracepta stili bene Latini in primis Ciceroniani, &c. 2 vol. 8vo. Lipsiæ 1797.
Amst. 1710. is the edit. opt., and in the next line or two that Brunck's is the very best , utrum harum must I have? says the Reader. Perhaps one is the senior opt. and the other junior opt. : but, joking apart, Kuster's would, as far as we can judge, suit cominon readers best, and Brunck's would suit critics. They are each best in their own way. Again we are told that Brunck's edition “contains the Latin version, notes and emendations of Brunck :” whose should it contain but his ? we might have expected this observation if Brunck had not been the Editor; as it is, the remark seems useless; besides, what is meant by containing “ emendations ?"
At page 137 the Editor mentions the Glasgow Euripides with merited applause, and justly pronounces it “ed. opt.” We rejoice the more in noticing this, as the observations are not inclosed with the marks of quotation, and the Editor has noticed with much discrimination the peculiar excellencies which ren. der it worthy of the above appellation.
Page 139, Heyne's Homer is said to contain at present only the Iliad; will it ever contain any thing else ? the Editor doubtless knows that Heyne has been long dead : he will find in the Classical Journal, No. 37-9, an interesting and copious life of bim, the most circumstantial, in fact, that we have. We wish the Editor had, together with the correction at the bottom of page 150, imparted to us some account of the newly added volumes.
But we must cease from regretting omissions, or correcting rather trivial mistakes, and having thanked the author for what he has done, we must look forward to his proposed volume meeting with liberal support, and then hope to regale ourselves with copious, satisfactory, and entertaining information.
ON THE LIBERTY OF PROPHESYING.
In his life of J. Taylor, D. D. Chaplain to Charles I. and Lord Bishop of Down and Connor, and Dromore, the Rev. H. T. Bonney says, p. 65——“Taylor closes this treatise, of the Liberty of Prophesying, with the following passage, which is inserted in the folio edition of the Σύμβολον Ηθικο-Πολεμικών, but is unfairly
left out of most of the later impressions of the Liberty of Prophesying itself.
“I end with a story, which I find in the Jews' books :- When Abraham sat at his tent door, according to his custom, waiting to entertain strangers, he espied an old man, stooping and leaning on his staff, weary with age and travel, coming towards him, who was an hundred years of age : he received him kindly, washed his feet, provided supper, and caused him to sit down; but observing that the old man ate and prayed not, nor begged for a blessing on his meat, he asked him why he did not worship the God of heaven. The old man told him, that he worshipped the fire only, and acknowledged no other god; at which answer Abraham grew so zealously angry, that he thrust the old man out of his tent, and exposed him to all the evils of the night, and an unguarded condition. When the old man was gone, God called to Abraham, and asked him where the stranger was: he replied, I thrust him away, because he did not worship thee : God answered him, I have suffered him these hundred years, although he dishonored me; and couldst not thou endure him one night, when he gave thee no trouble? Upon this, saith the story, Abraham fetched him back again, and gave him hospitable entertainment and wise instruction.”—The worthy and pious Bishop adds, “Go thou and do likewise, and thy charity will be rewarded by the God of Abraham."
Such were the practical sentiments of this liberal divine; but, in a prefatory epistle to the folio volume, in which this story first appeared, A. D. 1650, he
“ Some men were impatient, and would have all the world spare them, yet would spare nobody;" others complained, “ that such liberality might have evil effects, and that all heresies would enter at the gate of toleration," without considering, that there is a wide difference between toleration and approbation of tenets ; and that so long as its doctrines did not radically militate against our own faith, was not contrary to a good life and the laws of obedience, nor destructive to human society and the public interest, we ought, when in power, to deal with a differing sect, as vice versa we would hope to be dealt with. Indeed after taking an active avd conspicuous part, and enduring deprivations that might have taught humility to the proudest, he survived an age of much calamity in church and state; and was one of the few that had the good fortune of having his loyalty fully rewarded. Born in 1613, and Milton in 1608, they were contemporaries at Cambridge, though of different colleges, the last being entered a pensioner of Christ's in 1624, and the Bishop at Caius' in
1626; and, after storing their minds with learning, and their understandings with religion, they launched forth into life at the most eventful period England ever witnessed ; but, taking opposite sides, the one during the boundless triumph of republicanism rose to be Latin secretary to the usurped power, and the other, stripped of all his livings, drew a scanty and precarious subsistence by keeping a school in an obscure corner of Wales, till the restoration of a legitimate government more than reversed their respective conditions. In their literary labors they upheld a mutual rivalry and estimation; and in richness of intellect, brilliancy of fancy, and fluency of expression in their prose writings, the Bishop has the superiority: both indeed, in prose, had much of the diffuseness of their age; but in poetry, who in modern times can stand a competition with the author of Paradise Lost, of which it was truly said, that it is not the greatest of heroic poems, only because it is not the first?
In No. 53. Edinburgh Review, p. 243, in the article of Dugald Stewart's Introduction to the Encyclopædia Britannica, is the following note: “This story,” the Bishop says,
, "is somewhere to be found in the Rabbinical books; but till the original is discovered, we may ascribe the beauty of the imitation of our scriptural language, if not the invention of the incidents, to the Bishop bimself. Dr. Benjamin Franklin gave the same story, with some slight variations, to Lord Kaimes, who published it in his Sketches of the History of Man."
To discover the original of such an apologue were perhaps impossible, this having most probably been invented previous to the discovery of the art of writing, that could bave left us any record of it: thus does a fable descend from one generation to another; and, after making some allowance for season, age, climate, manners, and religion, it gives instruction and entertainment to successive and remote nations. I can trace the chief incident of this story to the Coran and Hadīs; and Mohammed had no doubt taken it from the Jewish Talmud, for the historical parts of those curious compilations are chiefly borrowed from that, our scriptures, and the twenty-one Nosks or canons of Zartosht; and some of the learned correspondents of thë Classical Journal may carry it back to the Jews' books, where our good Bishop says he found it.
The relation of this same story by that celebrated writer Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia is as follows. The Doctor's style, it may be observed, is more
a parody than imitation of our scriptural phraseology; and, what is scarcely credible, baving divided his parable into verses, he is said to
have imposed it as a chapter of the Bible upon some of his clerical American neighbours !
“ And it came to pass after these things, that Abraham sat at the door of his tent about the going down of the sun; and behold a man bowed with age, was coming from the way of the wilderness, leaning on a staff. And Abraham arose and met him, and said unto him, Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night; and thou shalt arise in the morning, and go thy way. And the mau said, Nay, for I will abide under this tree. But Abraham pressed him greatly; so he turned, and they went into the leni; and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat. And when Abraham saw, that the nian blessed not God, he said unto him, Wherefore dost thou not worship the most High God, Creator of heaven and earth? And the man answered and said, I do not worship thy God, nor do I call upon his name; for I have made to myself a god, which abideth always in mine house, and provideth me with all things. And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man; and he arose and fell upon him, and drove bim with blows into the wilderness. And God called to Abrabam, saying, Abraham ! Abrahanı ! where is the stranger? And Abraham answered and said, Lord, he would not worship thee, nor would he call upon thy name; therefore have I driven him out from before
my face into the wilderness. And God said, Have I borne with him these hundred ninety and eight years, and nourished him, and clothed him, notwithstanding he rebelled against me; and couldst not thou, who art a sinner thyself, bear with him one night? And Abraham said, Let not the anger of the Lord wax hot against his servant; lo, I have sinned, forgive me I pray thee. And Abraham arose and went forth into the wilderness, and sought diligently for the man, and found him, and returned with him
to the tent; and when he had entreated bim kindly, he sent him away on the morrow with gifts. And God spake again unto Abraham, saying, For tbis thy sin shall thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in a strange land: but for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they shall come forth with power, and with gladness of heart, and with much substance.”It is curious how, like Antæus, as soon as the Doctor loses his footing, he egregiously falls off!
The next narration of this story I shall quote is that Hikayat or apologue of Sadi's Bostān ii. 4. which he put forth A. H. 655, or A. D. 1257, the first work that bad the author's voluntary publication : yet all our Oriental scholars have been led astray by D'Herbelot in his Bibl, Orientale, p. 717, in giving a