Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

parative value of these very different talents, it is certain that they must be, in some considerable degree, united (uncommon as their union confeffedly is) in every speaker or writer of real eminence, and particularly in the ministerial function. As on the one hand, the moft important truths are likely to make little impreffion on the minds of common hearers, if addressed to them in a cols and unanimated mannet, void of all embellishment, and unimpaffioned by the livelier figures of eloquence ; fo, on the other hand, there can be but little pleasure, and less profit, in attending upon a course of Aorid harangues, where, perhaps, the speaker scarcely knows his own drift, and is loft in a track less desart of fancy, or on discourses made up either of the most trite, fuperficial, puerile observations, or of an incoherent mixture of truth and falsehood, thrown out at random, without diftinction and order, however ornamented with fine words and pompous figures and with whatever powers of address and elocution they may be delivered. The first object is TRUTH. It should not be mixed with the dogmas of the schools, or the dreams of fancy. Let that be secured in its native and fimple purity; and let the ornaments of language, and the graces of address, follow it-but let them follow it modefily. Let them never approach, if they attract too much attention. They must be kept in the back-ground ; and throwing the principal object forward, must be themselves so much in the shade as to be almost unseen.

IN

Art. XIII. Hiftoria del famoso Cavallero Don Quixote de la Mancba.

Por Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Con Anotaciones, Indices, y
varias Lecciones: por el Reverendo D. Juan Bowle, A. M. S. S. A. L.
En Seis Tomos. 410. 31. 3 s. boards. White, &c. 1781.
N this edition of the most exquisite and moft inimitable of

romances, Mr. Bowle has taken such pains in endeavouring to explain the words of his author, that we should have little occasion for a dictionary if he had given the explanations in English, instead of the Spanish language. He has also, with great labour and diverfity of reading, endeavoured to illuftrate every pallage, which time has rendered obscure-particularly allulions to places, men, and books; the memory of which may not survive the work wherein they are recorded. And though we must not expect that the Annotator will be able to give a very perfect account of many of these, especially as some of them are, perhaps, already funk into the gulph of oblivion ; yet we may be glad to receive any hint that will enable us to form fome judgment of the point under enquiry, or even guess at the meaning of the Author,

Thus

Thus when Cervantes tells us, that his hero's horse was as full of defects as that of GONELLA; if the comment informs us, that GONELLA was a celebrated buffoon, or fool, belonging to the Marquis of Ferrara, it is easy to conceive that the same false taste which thould prompt that nobleman' to entertain a poor wretch for his absurdity, or imperfections. would set him on a horfe, ridiculous or extraordinary for his blemiles.

In a note on our knight's watching his arms, we are informed of a curious story, related by RIBADENEYRA, of Ignatius Loyola, who passed the whole night partly on his knees, and partly walking, before the image of our Lady, when he form, ed the resolution of creating himself a Knight-Errant of the Virgin Mary. Notes of this kind tend greatly to illustrate the beauties of Cervantes : we only lament that the Editor has been able to collect so few of them.

Don Quixote is compared to Don MANUEL DE LEON ; which pastage helps us to a very extraordinary story, related by Alonzo Lope de Haro. Some noble ladies, in the palace of Ferdinand and Isabella, were looking from a balcony into a court, where several lions were kept, just brought from Africa, and which were very fierce. One of the ladies happening to drop her glove into the court, expressed great concern for the loss of it, on which Don MANUEL, her lover, immediately opened the door of the inclosure, brought out the glove from amidst the lions ;—and from that time he was styledĎon MA Nuel de LEON.

Many readers would be perplexed to find out the particular words that are meant by the four SS, which the true lover is required to have, if Mr. Bowle, from his extensive reading, had not cited some verses from BARAHONA, an author of whom few of our countrymen have ever heard and from whom alone those who are curious to make out the words which these initial letters denote, can, at this distance of time, receive fan tisfaction:

De quatro efjes dizen que esta armado

Sabio, solo, solicito, y fecreto :
- Sabio, en servir, y nunca descuydado,

Solo, en amar, y a otra alma no sujeto,
Solicito, en buscar sus desenganos:

Secreto, en sus sabores, y en sus danos. This citation, though it may give little pleafure to the in. proved age in which we live, is so far necessary to the complete understanding of our Author, that it serves to give a freno instance of the falle taste of the writers of his time which was the principal design of his work.

Our curioficy is more reasonably excited in a desire to know the four forf orders to which an ecclefiaftic in Spain is admitted ;

2nd

and these are Ofiario, Lector, Exorcista, and Acolyto, which are called the minor orders. The first of these is so called from the door, which is kept by the young divine, who has the power of excluding such as he thall judge unworthy of receiving the facrament. The other three are sufficiently obvious.

From a Portuguese author we are informed, that Chapin de la Reyna is a tribute paid to the Queen of Portugal by the city of Alenquer, to provide her with chapins. Depois que Portugal teve Reyes, hånt d" elles deu as Rainhas a villa de Alenquera para seus chapins.-CĦAPİns are clogs of all fizes, some so high as to be chosen by short women to give elevation and dignity to their ftature. But there are some of so extraordinary a height, that Lase celles, 'in his Tour to Venice, tells us the ladies were obliged by their [ jealous] hufbands to wear them, as, consequently, they could never go abroad without a woman on each fide to support them Specimens of these chapins may be seen at Sir Alton Lever's. 5. When Sancho uses the following'exprellion to fignify his apprehensions of fuffering from hunger, Ponerme en la espina de Santa Lucia, to put me on the thorn of Santa Lucia,' it is easy to understand, that fasting is to him what we proverbially term any great difficulty, or irksome situation, being on thorns. - But wherefore on the thorn of St. Lucia ? we are not likely to be informed, as our Editor is filent on this head. This las borious annotator, however, has shewn us why Donna Urraca is pointed out for wandering about the world, having met with the following lines in the CANCIONERO DE FLORES :

Acabando el Rey Fernando,
: De distribuyr sus tierras,

Por la fala trife,
De negro luto cubierta,
La olvidada infanta Urraca,
Delante fu padre el Rey,
De hinojos ante la cama,
Las manos le pide y besa.
Eo traje de peregrina,
Partire, mas faced cuenta,
Sin varon, y fin facienda.
Si tierras no me dexays,

Yo me yte a las agenas. The first four volumes of this edition consist of the text, or history of Don Quixote, in the original; the fifth volume is occupied by the annotations; and the fixth is wholly filled by the very ample index. This last-mentioned part of the work could not fail of obtaining our approbation, as we have, on many occafions, declared ourselves the advocates, the friends, we had almost said the ADMIRERS of a GOOD INDEX - to works cfpecia:y of considerable fize, which, without such affiftances,

lose,

Jose, perhaps, a considerable part of their merit'; for of what use is a great book on the shelf, if we have not the ready means of consulting it in the moment when a particular paffage is wanted ? - The time of a man who knows how to employ it, is too Short to be fruitlessly spent in bcating the fields in which the game is not to be found.

THE

Art, XIV. Elements of Hebrew Grammar; to which is prefixed a

Dissertation on the two Modes of Reading, with or without Points,
By Charles Wilson, Profeffor of Hebrew at the University of Si.
Andrews, 8vo. '5 s. bound. Cadell. 1782.
HE Author first examines the alphabet, and shews the
power

of the several letters which compofe it. The prefent characters are generally believed to be the Chaldaic, introduced by Ezra after the captivity. The more ancient characters were those of the Phænicians, now called the Samaritan, from whence the Ionic or firft alphabet of the Greeks, both in the order and figure of the letters, is fupposed to have been derived. Grammarians have been perplexed in ascertaining the found of * [called din, or Gnain] some fuppofing it to be a consonant, and others a vowel. Those who consider it as the former, give it the power of gn; and those who think it to be the latter, pronounce it as o. There are also those who maintain that it is a ftrong and deep guttural, equal to three b’s. The primitive found of it was lost before the Septuagint translation ; for in those Hebrew words, expressed by Greek characters, in which this ambiguous letter occurs, we sometimes find it represented by a, sometimes by y, and at other times by w. There are also fome instances in which it is entirely omitted. . From the form and position of it, our Author adopts the opinion of those who think it should be founded like the vowel o.

Those who espouse the doctrine of the Masoretic points, ftrenuously maintain, That all the Letters of the Hebrew alphabet are confonants. This position is improbable à priori. It is contrary to analogy: and our Author ţhinks it is contrary to fact. There are three letters (viz. X 1' a, u, i.) which bear the marks of vowels clearly stamped upon them. Some have added: to this lift three vowels more (viz. nas i o), but others, with greater appearance of reason, add only two (viz. the He and the Ain, and ), and thus make the whole number to be five.

But still there is a difficulty without the Masoretic points ; fince there is a vast number of words totally deftitute of thefe vowels. How are such words to be formed into articulate

• The Hheth sy was the long ē on the former arrangement; and the He 17 was the fhort č.

sounds 1

Tounds? The expedient adopted is the short à or č; either of These, in any combination of consonants, will produce articulate Younds. The Hebrew writers thought it fufficient, in words destitute of long vowels, to note down the consonants only, being fully convinced that, in this abbreviated form, the meaning of such words could not be mistaken by the reader. They employed their vowel characters for the purpose of expressing the long vowels, when these constituted a radical part of the word. For the short vowels they had no characters, deeming them'un. necessary, because the very pronunciation of the consonants forced them, as it were, from the mouth of the speaker, while at the same time these fleeting and variable sounds made no part of the word in its radical and primitive capacity.

To fix words to certain definite sounds was the great object of the Maforites, a set of Jewish critics, who fourished about the commencement of the Christian æra. Their labours were of a very confined nature: they did not extend to the elucidation of obscure passages; but were often wasted on difficult trifles, and puerile conceits. Their attempts to affix points of marks to the Hebrew letters, with an intention to supply the defeets of vowel-letters in the original text, appear in the fifth century, and attained their perfection about the tenth. Some philologiíts, however, give the invention and application of them to the sacred text a much earlier origin. Mr. Wilson declines entering into the niceties of this controversy. “A few centuries (says he) more or less, is a matter of small consequence. It is clear from the moft authentic documents, that the complex system of adding points to the Hebrew letters, not merely to facilitate the enunciation of consonants, but to disguise and transform those very leiters which every one must discern at first view to be vowels, was unknown at the time of the LXX's translation, about two hundred and eighty years before the birth of Christ. These translators of the Old Testament into the Greek language, either used MSS. which had no points at all, which is the moft probable fuppofition; or, if they had any, they were in number and quality entirely different from those which appear in the Bibles printed on the Masoretic plan..... Origen, who lived in the 3d, and St. Jerom, who lived in the 4th century, and were both well skilled in Hebrew, make no mention of vowel points .... The filence of the latter on this subject is' a circumstance truly remarkable. He, of all the ancient Fa. thers, was most devoted to the study of Hebrew literature. He spent more than twenty years in Judæa, merely for the purpose of attending the schools of the most celebrated Jewish teachers, and of conversing with the most intelligent native Jews on the fubject of their language, and the meaning of their lacred writings.' Our Author very properly observes, that whether we Rev. May, 1783

Ff

Icad

« AnteriorContinuar »