Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

frippery effusions of the second-rate speech-makers and storytellers of the day. We have already spoken of his “ Elements of Latin Prosody ;” and now, after the lapse of a few months, we are called upon to notice the three new publications, the titles of which are quoted above,—to say nothing of an edi. tion on a similar plan, of the Greek Antiquities of Potter, now preparing by Mr. Anthon for the press. A very cursory examination of the works above cited, will convince the reader at once that they are every thing but what some perhaps may take them for-cases of common book-making. The corrections are as necessary as they are numerous; the amendments are all positive and manifest; and the additions, such as are called for by the peculiarities of our modes of instruction, or the growing wants of our improving schools and colleges. The value of the alterations introduced by Mr. Anthon, is visible enough in his edition of the Greek Exercises; still more so in his enlargement of Valpy's Grammar; and most of all in his rifacciamento of the Classical Dictionary of Lempriere. Valuable as this last work undoubtedly was in its former state, its usefulness was impaired, and its character endangered, by many, and some of these, very serious defects. The book was crowded with useless names, which have been removed to make way for information more in demand; the frequent negligences and inaccuracies of Lempriere in matters of ancient geography have been carefully corrected ; and where the original passages were more than usually defective, they have been struck out entirely, and substituted articles have been taken from the very learned and accurate Classical Geography of Professor Mannert, as well as from Malte-Brun, and from other sources of equal respectability. Finally, a very serious ground of complaint against the work has been removed, by excluding all the offensive and indelicate details with which the Reverend Doctor Lempriere had rather liberally seasoned the dulness of his classical statistics.

Some idea may be formed of the extraordinary industry of Mr. Anthon, when the reader is informed that the number of additions, many of them constituting entire articles, is upwards of three thousand. This is exclusive of innumerable new references, and minor alterations on every page of the book. Every change made by Mr. Anthon is vastly for the better, particularly in the geographical and topographical additions, which must have cost him an infinite deal of toil and application. But Mr. Anthon is not to expect from one in ten thousand of those who benefit by his labours, a fair appreciation of their value or extent. It is only those who can speak eta perti, those who have themselves been engaged in undertakings equally toilsome and fatiguing, that can conceive “ quæ sit operis moles, quæ difficultas, quæ molestia." We ourselves, have a variety of small vexations in our way; but we confess we should not shrink from the reading and review of all the novels which have been written the last twelvemonth, with half the horror with which we should avoid the enormous task which Mr. Anthon has so honourably undertaken and so successfully performed.

In the new edition of Valpy's Greek Grammar, the same spirit of judicious alteration is every where observable. While Valpy's general method has been preserved, the latest and most approved philological observations have been incorporated with the body of the work. The notes of Dr. Valpy have been removed from the bottom of the page, where they are little likely to attract attention, and placed as observations, after the text to which they refer. The additions, which are very numerous, (far exceeding, in extent, what remains of the. original work,) are extremely valuable and interesting in themselves, and become more so from the order and clearness of their arrangement. They have been principally selected from the larger grammars of Matthiae, Buttmann, Weller, Golius, and the Port Royal Grammarian; more especially, from the two former. That part of Valpy's book, which contains the etymological speculations of Hemsterhusius on the original formation of the language, is altogether omitted ; and of this, we are not in the least disposed to complain. How far the dethronement of the Greek accents, both in this work and the Greek Exercises, will be acceptable to the few who are, on this side of the Atlantic, interested in the maintenance of their authority, we shall not undertake to inquire. Without going so far as to consider them with Gibbon and Mr. Anthon, as “ mute and unmeaning marks,” we do not think that their presence is much wanted in elementary books; and the saving of time, trouble, and expense, by their exclusion, will easily be understood by any one who takes the trouble to examine (if he can find it in the city) a complete fount of Greek, with all the accented vowels.

The “Greek Exercises of Dr. Neilson” has been remoulded and re-edited by Mr. Anthon, principally with a view to make the “ Key" as useless as the 66 Keys had made the book. Translations, under proper restrictions, may be serviceable to the student, but a “i key” is a pestilent mar-study for which nothing can be said. Except in the hands of the solitary student, who of course is under no great temptation to cheat hisa

self, it is the absolute ruin of all effective application. It was well, then, to put a new lock on the Greek exercises, but we fear exceedingly that Mr. Anthon, with all his skill, will not be able to dispose its wards so as to prevent a repetition of the offence. The laziness of the scholar, like love, laughs at locksmiths. We dare say a new key is already manufactured, and Mr. Anthon will very soon have his work to do over again.

Very important modifications have been made in this, as well as in the other works which bave undergone Mr. Anthon's editorial corrections. The materials of which the present “Greek Exercises” consist, are more than two thirds new. In place of the old, selections, others better adapted to their purposes have been obtained from the purest ciassic writers, and no small number have been furnished by the Greek Exercises of Bishop Hungerford and Professor Dunbar. The second part of the volume, beginning with the very useful Exercises in Metaphrasis, is altogether new. Mr. Anthon has substituted, with great judgment, prose for poetical · translations; and although he is pleased to denominate them 6 horrida quidem et barbara," we prefer them, for the mere reading, to any but the best of poetical versions. Proper attention has been paid to the subject of the Greek Dialects and Greek Prosody, and the doctrine of the Middle Voice is presented in its least exceptionable shape. In place of the chapter on Ellipses in the original work of • Valpy, there are two interesting Appendices, the first of which presents, perhaps, the most rational view possible of the subject, it embraces; and the second gives most of the cases in which an Ellipsis really occurs. With regard to this department of Greek philology, we cannot do better than quote the very sensible remarks of Mr. Anthon's, with whose opinions, in this matter, we heartily coincide :-" The doctrine of Ellipses, in itself very plausible and captivating, has been pushed so far by its advocates, as to exhibit a complete tissue of the most egregious trifling. That there are Ellipses in Greek as well as in every other language, no one will deny. The very effect of the gradual improving of a language is to produce them. But that they exist in every sentence, nay, in almost every clause or phrase of that sentence, is what can never be assented to. Such a doctrine as this, while it serves to exclude from the view of the student the simple and beautiful principles which regulate the operations of one of the noblest of languages, cannot fail to narrow his views of language in general, and keep him continually groping after some visionary ellipsis.” Many other alterations and improvements have been made, which we

have not time to notice; but which, we feel assured will not escape the notice of classical instructors, who will find in the variations which have been made, their own advantage and interest consulted, as well as that of their pupils. To these, and to the public generally, we earnestly commend the work we have thus cursorily noticed, with the fullest assurance that their experience will more than confirm our strongest recommendations.

Art. XXIII.-1. New Moral Tales : selected and translated

from the French of Madame de Genlis. By an American. New-York. Wilder & Campbell. 1825. 2. National Tales. New-York. W. B. Gilley, Bliss & White, Wilder & Campbell, and J. V. Seaman. 1825.

It is a great relief in this intolerable bot summer, when the weather is warmer than the blood, and hard thinking is either miracle or martyrdom, to have it in our power to turn from the severer exercises of the intellect to the pleasant relaxations of sight-seeing, and novel-reading. We cannot then but feel most grateful to the contrivers of amusements, and to the makers of entertaining books. As gentle stimulants of the imagination, and as pleasant lullers to sleep of the inductiondrawing faculty, we have found great refreshment in the Tales cited above. Those selected and translated from the French of Madame de Genlis, are four in number, two of which are of prosperous termination, and two of very melancholy issue. Louisa de Clermont, is a story of the inauspicious loves of a beautiful French princess, and a generous and honourable French duke. The whole affair is exceedingly French throughout, and gives, we venture to believe, a fair and faithful picture of the manners of the times. Mademoiselle de Clermont, the best of princesses, falls deeply in love with the interesting Duke de Melun, principally, it would seem, because he did not listen when present at her novel-readings. The Duke is seriously disposed to reciprocate her affections, when he discovers that in one instance at least the pleasures of the ball-room had made her forget a charitable engagement. M'lle de Clermont sees the effect of this on the Duke; seeks an interview with him, and after a confession of her fault, raises her eyes to heaven, and forswears dancing for a year. The time comes which is to prove her constancy; the king selects her as his partner at an approaching ball at Versailles. M'lle de C. meets the Duke, and to his ineffable astonishment, assures him that she will keep her resolution. She pretends to have

sprained her foot, and another partner is substituted. This instance of unexampled self-devotion is too much for the Duke to resist. He finds her one day alone, and the following scene ensues:

"Ah!” exclaimed the Duke, throwing himself on one knee before her, 6 can huinan reason withstand what I have felt for the last six weeks?”.

This was, at last, speaking out explicitly. But it also was the first time he had ever found himself alone with her he adored, and who was giving him so many extraordinary proofs of her affection. Mölle de Clermont was so agitated, so confused, that she was forced to lean against a table for support. The Duke, on his knees, was in tears. A bustle was heard in the ante-chamber.

For ever," exclaimed Mölle de Clermont, with excessive emotion.

'Till death,replied the Duke, rising, and drying his eyes. The door opened, and the attendants entered.-pp. 29, 30.

These emphatic and significant expressions become, as it were, the very watch-words of their love. They are made to recur, and to remultiply themselves in a thousand pretty ways. M’lle de C. writes notes about nothing to the Duke, merely that she may print “Itill deathwith her seal upon the wax; in reply to his generous renunciation of her hand, she writes a letter which no damsel of Laconia ever equalled," For ever! -Louisa Bourbon-Condé; and on her bracelets are traced, 66 For ever!and “'Till death!!" in letters of diamond. The lovers then go through a great variety of painful trials, distressing to enumerate. They are obliged to conceal their passion, because the disparity between a princess of the blood royal, and a Duke, whose ancestors had only intermarried however often with the royal family, is absolutely immeasurable. In France such an alliance ne se conçoit pas ; it is worse than not groveling in the dirt before the host, which is, else, the enormity par excellence. However, many things are done which cannot be imagined ; and, after various sore mischances, M’lle de C. becomes clandestinely the Duke's wife. The Duke is soon after severely wounded by a stag, is confined to his room, and pronounced by his surgeons to be dangerously ill. M'lle de C., or rather Mome de Melun, is distracted, and resolves, at all events, to see her husband. After several unavailing efforts, she at last reaches the door of his apartment;

Vainly she seized the handle of the lock; she was unable to turn it. She listened. Profound silence reigned throughout the corridor ; it was ominous. Alas! noise and bustle would have frightened her in the same manner. She remained, for a half hour, riveted to the door; the full light of day obliged her, at last, to retreat. She tottered back to her own apartment, threw herself into an arm chair, and waited for her woman to rise. At seven o'clock, she heard some one walk, and a door open ; she

« ZurückWeiter »