« AnteriorContinuar »
ing first into indifference, next-after expe- / tion; receiving from every one unmeasured rience of the despots-into determined an demonstrations of homage, which are never tipathy. To an historian like Mr. Mitford, full translated into act except within the bounds of of English ideas respecting government, this a known law; surrounded with all the paraanti-monarchical feeling appears of the nature phernalia of power, yet acting as a passive inof insanity, and the Grecian communities like strument in the hands of ministers marked out madmen without a keeper ; while the greatest for his choice by indications which he is not at of all benefactors is the hereditary king who liberty to resist. This remarkable combination conquers them from without; the second best of the fiction of superhuman grandeur and is the home despot, who seizes the Acropolis license with the reality of an invisible straight and puts his fellow-citizens under coercion. waistcoat, is what an Englishman has in his There cannot be a more certain way of misin- mind when he speaks of a constitutional king : terpreting and distorting Grecian phenomena the events of our history have brought it to than to read them in this spirit, which reverses pass in England, amidst an aristocracy the most the maxims, both of prudence and morality, cur powerful that the world has yet seen, but we rent in the ancient world. The hatred of kings have still to learn whether it can be made to as it stood among the Greeks (whatever may exist elsewhere, or whether the occurrence of be thought about a similar feeling now) was a a single king at once able, aggressive, and respre-eminent virtue, flowing directly from the olute, may not suffice to break it up.”—Vol. iii., noblest and wisest part of their nature : it was pp. 15, seq. a consequence of their deep conviction of the necessity of universal legal restraint; it was a direct expression of that regulated sociality,
That last sentence suggests some interwhich required the control of individual pas. esting speculations. There certainly are sion from every one without exception, and many supposable cases in which the real most of all, from him to whom power was con
power and influence of an English monarch fided. The conception which the Greeks formed of an irresponsible one, or of a king who might have been, or may be, brought to a could do no wrong, may be expressed in the violent trial. If anything had happened pregnant words of Herodotus: He subverts to Queen Victoria while she was Princess the customs of the country; he violates wo- Victoria, Ernest of Hanover would cermen; he puts men to death without trial. No tainly have undertaken to govern England other conception of the probable tendencies of on ultra-tory principles ; but as that perkingship was justified either by a general sonage is not so “ able as "aggressive, knowledge of human nature, or by political ex- he would probably have been put down perience as it stood from Solon downward: no
without much difficulty. Or suppose
that other feeling than abhorrence could be entertained for the character so conceived: no other the present king-consort had united with than a man of unprincipled ambition would his personal advantages, intellectual enever seek to invest himself with it. Our larger dowments of a high order, and an ambipolitical experience has taught us to modify tious spirit—that he had made himself his this opinion, by showing, that under the condi- wife's master, instead of her dependant, tions of monarchy in the best governments of that he had in her name taken hold of inodern Europe, the enormities described by Ierodotus do not take place, and that it is pos- tionists and Free-traders against each
political affairs-played off the Protecsible by means of representative constitutions, acting under a certain force of manners, cus other-or given a head and a nucleus to toms and historical recollection, to obviate many some doubtful interest, “ Young England," of the mischiefs likely to flow from proclaim for instance-might not the personal influing the duty of peremptory obedience to an he
ence of the crown have made itself sensireditary and irresponsible king, who cannot be bly felt in British politics ? Might not the changed without extra-constitutional force. But such larger observation was not open to Aristo- antagonist forces have stopped the matle, the wisest as well as the most cau of
chine altogether, and rendered a reconancient theorists ; nor if it had been open, could struction of the frame of government inhe have applied with assurance its lessons to the dispensable? There is nothing very exgovernments of the single cities of Greece. The travagant in the supposition, that at some theory of a constitutional king, especially as it period the sovereign of Great Britain may exists in England, would have appeared to him be a man of great ability and energy, andimpracticable: to establish a king who will reign
so much do “circumstances alter cases " without governing, in whose name all government is carried on, yet whose personal will is in
-it is possible that the presence of these practice of little or no effect; exempt from all qualities in an English executive may be responsibility without making use of the exemp- | as productive of awkward consequences
as the absence of them sometimes is in our ander threatened his hosts and bade them shut own.
him out. Yet he went to another house of his Having thus far spoken of Mr. Grote's friends, and they received him, as being the son work in the highest terms, particularly for last
, Periander made proclamation that whoso
of Periander, though they were in fear. At its lively and attractive style, we are now ever should admit him into his house, or speak compelled to express our disappointment to him, should pay a fine to Apollo, and the at the jejune and summary way in which amount of the fine was stated; by reason of he has narrated some of the most inter- which proclamation, no one would speak to esting episodes in Grecian history—the him nor receive him under his roof-nay, he stories relating to the early princes, and himself deigned not to attempt what was forespecially those told by Herodotus. The bidden, but endured living in the public colon
nades. But on the fourth day, Periander besubstantial authenticity of these narratives holding him bowed down with squalidness and he admits, and accordingly mentions their hunger, was moved to pity, and relaxing from more important details, but with such ra his wrath, approached and accosted him. My pidity that all the romance of the tale son, which is preferable for thee, to fare as thou vanishes. One instance of this has struck now dost, or to inherit the sovereignty and the us remarkably—the story of Periander's good things which I now enjoy, by being friend
Iy to thy father? Thou, who, being my son and quarrel with his son, which, in Mr. Grote's abridgment, reads like a scrap of an old wanderer's life in perversity, indulging anger
the king of prosperous Corinth, hast chosen a newspaper. The original legend is so against him towards whom it least befitted thee; touching and poetical, that we are tempted for if there hath happened any calamity for to translate it verbatim, though well aware which thou holdest me in suspicion, it hath that no words of ours can convey a prop- happened to me also, and I bear the greater er impression of the Ionic historian's beau
share thereof, forasmuch as I myself did all.
But do thou, now that thou hast learned how tiful language
much better it is to be envied than to be pitied,
and what it is to quarrel with thy parents and “ After that Periander had slain his own wife, betters, depart hence, home.' With these Melissa, upon that mishap there befel him this words did Periander come upon him, but he other: he had two sons from Melissa, one sev answered his father nothing more than to say enteen, one eighteen years old; these, their that he had incurred a fine to the god by enteranother's father, Procles, that was sovereign of ing into conversation with bim. Then PerianEpidaurus, sent for to himself and treated loving- der, finding how unmanageable and invincible ly, as was but natural, since they were his own his son's disorder was, fitted out a ship for daughter's sons; but when he sent them away, Corcyra, which island he also ruled over, and he said, on speeding them, “Do ye know, my sent him out of his sight. And afterward Pesons, who it was that slew your mother ?' riander made a campaign against his father-in
This word the elder of them made of no ac- law, Procles, as the chief cause of his present count, but the younger, Lycophron by name, difficulty, and took Epidaurus and Procles himwas so grieved at the hearing it, that when he self alive. But when, in the lapse of years, came to Corinth he neither saluted his father, Periander had passed his prime, and was con(for that he was the slayer of his mother,) nor scious of being no longer able to oversee and joined in converse with him, nor answered administer the government, he sent to Corcyra word to his questioning, until that Periander, and invited Lycophron to the sovereignty, (for possessed with wrath, drove him forth from the he saw nothing in his elder son, who seemed to palace. And having driven him forth, he in him witless ;) but Lycophron deigned not even quired of the elder what their grandfather had to give an answer to him that brought the mestold them, whereunto the boy replied that he sage. Then Periander, for he cleaved to the had received them lovingly, but the word that youth, sent to him a second, his sister, his own Procles had said, on dismissing them, he remem- daughter, thinking that he would be most likebered not, for he had not taken it to heart. ly to yield to her; she came and addressed him : Then Periander said it might not be but that • Wouldst thou, my brother, that the sovereignhe had given them some secret counsel, and he ty should fall to others, and thy father's house be pressed him with questions; so the other re scattered, rather than go thyself and enjoy membered it, and told the speech. Then Peri- them? Depart home; cease being thine own ander, perceiving this, and willing to yield tormenter. Pride is a mischievous thing; try nothing, sent a messenger to those with whom not to cure evil with evil. Many prefer feasithe son whom he had driven out was dwelling, bility to justice; and many seeking their mothand forbade them to entertain him; therefore, er's interests have thrown away their father's. when he was expelled from that house and went | The sovereignty is a slippery possession; many to another, he was driven from that also, for Peri are desirous of it; he is already an old man
and past his prime; give not thine own property | the accoutrements and military science and to others. Thus said she to him the most se
experience of the Persians seem to have ductive things, as instructed by her father, but been no way behind those of the Greeks ; he said in answer that he would no wise come to Corinth while he knew that his father was
nay, in some departments of warfare, such alive. When she had reported this, Periander
as archery, it is probable that the Persians sent for the third time a herald, that he meant were the more skillful. The Greeks gave himself to come to Corcyra, and he bade his son the fairest proof that they were, in Highreturn to Corinth, to receive the sovereignty land phraseology, “the prettier men.” from him. As the youth agreed to these con- In describing these world-renowned battles, ditions, Periander prepared to sail to Corcyra, both Thirlwall and Grote have acquitted and his son to Corinth ; but the Corcyræans, themselves well, but neither remarkably. on learning the change, slew the young man, that Periander might not come into their coun
Their accounts suffer on comparison with try.” Clio, chap. 50-54.
those magnificent pictures of Arnold, which
give to Hannibal's campaigns all the interOur bare and literal version will give est of a new story. But to say that they some idea of what the story might be fall short of Arnold is no eat censure, made, in the hands of an elegant writer. nor can we feel disposed to blame them Of course it would not be possible or de- much, when we remember how often a sirable that all the tales of Herodotus picturesque historian is tempted to should be thus repeated at full length, but sacrifice accuracy to effect. we cannot help thinking that a few of them, With the battle of Marathon terminates narrated in suitable language, would add Mr. Grote's fourth volume, and here our great interest to a history of this kind, and article must terminate also. We wait with do much to further what ought to be one impatience for his observations on later of the historian's chief objects-encour-Greek politics and philosophy, the more aging his readers to pursue their study so because the increased interest and livefurther, and have reeourse, when it is in liness in the corresponding parts of Dr. their power, to the original authorities Thirlwall's book, induce a hope that Mr. which he consults.
G. will, in a similar manner, continue to And now other nations come upon the rise with his subject. We have accomstage, and particularly the people of the plished our main purpose, which was to Great King, whose previous conquests and supply, to the best of our small ability, a military reputation served so much to singular omission on the part of American heighten the renown of the gallant little reviewers. Here are two works which bands that victoriously resisted them. will be, for many years at least, the standThis glorious struggle has continually been ard Histories of Greece in the English the theme of the poet, the orator, and the language; one of them has been complepatriot, and not without good reason, for ted four years, the other is now about half it is a triumph unmatched in the pages of published; and we are not aware that the any history, except our own. In almost least notice has been taken of them by any all the cases of regular battles gained American periodical. To Mr. Grote's hisagainst great odds, (we put surprises and tory we are almost positive that there has ambuscades out of the question) there not been the slightest allusion. We have have been some counterbalancing physical therefore made bold, in default of abler advantages on the side of the minority, scholars, to take the matter in hand, deepsome superior equipment, the result of ly regretting that so interesting and imsuperior civilization-armor, horses, fire- portant a subject has not attracted the arms, or something of the sort unknown | attention of some one better qualified to to the other party, and rendering the vic- do it justice. tory less wonderful. But in this instance,
THE NEW EDITION OF WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY.*
The price of the previous editions of The work continued to receive emendaWebster's Dictionary, that of 1828, in tions from the author's hand, to the very two volumes quarto, at twenty dollars, close of his life, which was prolonged, with and that of 1840, in two volumes, royal powers still vigorous, to the age of more octavo, at fifteen dollars, was such as than eighty-five years, and to a period of to keep it out of the possession of the just fifty years after he first conceived the majority of those who desired such a work. design. The present edition, comprising all the The preparation of the present edition matter of the former ones, after a thor was intrusted to Professor Goodrich, of ough revisal of the whole, and with large Yale College, who has devoted nearly additions, appears in a single volume of three years to this task, for which he is fourteen hundred and forty-one pages, well known to be excellently qualified by crown quarto, in a type, though small, yet the studies which have been the labor of beautifully distinct, presenting a page on his life as professor of rhetoric. Aware, which the eye can rest with pleasure, and however, that it is “impossible for any run with ease, at the price of six dollars, one mind to embrace all the departments -an unprecedented achievement in the of knowledge,” the editor has secured the art of book-making in this country.
aid of other gentlemen, in particular The reputation of Webster's Dictionary branches of science, art and literature, who has been constantly gaining strength with have become responsible for the classes of the progress of time. The result, in the words relating to their several departfirst place, of more than twenty years of ments; revising the whole, remodelling or study and toil--in which we have an ex enlarging old definitions, and adding and ample, in a country like ours, most singu- defining new words. This has been done lar and to be admired, of persevering de- for the department of law, by the Hon. votion, solitary and unapplauded, to a Elizur Goodrich ; ecclesiastical history and labor purely literary, requiring extraordi- ancient philosophy, by Dr. Murdock; nary ability, and capable of yielding no chemistry, by Professor Silliman ; botany, immediate return of profit or honor—this anatomy, physiology, medicine, and some work, surpassing everything in the same branches of natural history, by Dr. Tully; department from the mother country, with Oriental literature, to some extent, by all her advantages, was an honor to our own Professor Gibbs; astronomy, meteorology, land, of which we were quite too insensible. and natural philosophy, by Professor OlmSlighted by some, and by the majority more sted; mathematics, by Professor Stanley ; or less undervalued, from the very fact geology, mineralogy, and other subjects, that it was a home production ; while by James D. Dana, Esq.; entomology and others were repelled, and in a measure practical astronomy, more or less, by Edblinded to the real merits of the work, by ward C. Herrick, Esq.; and painting and orthographical changes, offensive, because the fine arts, by Nathaniel Jocelyn, Esq. ; unfamiliar; it has, however, worked its way, a general revision of these classes of words, and even gained for itself a reputation through the first two letters of the alphafrom the other side of the water.
bet, having been previously made by Dr.
* An American Dictionary of the English Language : Containing the whole vocabulary of the first edition in two volumes, quarto the entire corrections and improvements of the second edition in two volumes, royal octavo; to which is prefixed an Introductory Dissertation on the Origin, History, and Connection of the Languages of Western Asia and Europe ; with an explanation of the principles on which languages are formed By, Noah Webster, L.L.D., &c., &c. Revised and enlarged by CHAUNCEY A. Goodrich, Professor in Yale College. WithPronouncing Vocabularies of Scripture, Classical and Ge. ographical Names. Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam. 1848.
J. G. Percival. We have thus the best | Couleur de rose; Coup d'état; Corn-law ; Covenpossible guarantee for the completeness try, (to send to :) Cream-cheese ; Croton-oil;Couand accuracy of a most important part of pon; Edge-rail; Eminent domain ; Flying butthe work. In this way, and by the thor
tress ; Gradient ; Kyanize ; Juste-milieu ; Left
handed marriage; Maronite; Middleman, (in ough use which has been made of ency- Ireland ;) Orotund; Quartern loaf; Quantitative lopedias and of dictionaries of particular and Qualitative, in chemistry ;) Rancho; Silarts and sciences, commercial, maritime, houette; Silicated; Stand-point; Steeple-chase. and military affairs, domestic economy, agriculture, architecture, &c., a new and These are but a few among others of the valuable feature has been added to the same sort. It will be seen that they are, work, distinguishing it from all other dic for the most part, the very words for tionaries of the language.
which a dictionary is most needed. The first point to be considered in It is in the definitions that the chief judging of a dictionary, respects the selec- value of a dictionary lies. In this respect, tion of words comprised in the vocabulary. the superiority of Dr. Webster's over other It is not desirable to include all such English dictionaries, has been settled words as may have been licentiously used beyond dispute. He who attempts this by some eccentric writer, in a single in difficult task must set out with the true stance, where of course they interpret idea of the work; and even then he may themselves, or every possible word that show, that to have a correct theory is one can, by composition or inflection, be thing, and to carry it out successfully in analogically formed ; for their introduction execution, quite another. The meaning of would serve only to corrupt the language. words consists of a primary or radical Nor is such a work the place for those signification, and of secondary senses proterms of art or science, which occur only ceeding from it, according to laws revealed in special treatises, where they are of in the philosophy of language. This course defined; while it is of the first primary signification is by no means always importance that such technical and scien- the most general. Words pass from one tific, or for any other reason unfamiliar particular sense, to another allied to the terms, as the general reader may occasion- first by resemblance or analogy; or from ally or frequently meet, should be em
one object to another, the two being linked braced and clearly defined. In this work by some usual or constant connection. great pains have been taken, both to leave Also, instead of merely leaping from out the words which should be excluded, particular to particular,—or, we should and to collect all which should be intro- rather say, by a continuance of this very duced; and when we learn that in this process, they expand into a general and manner, some thousands of words have comprehensive signification. In other been added in this edition, this fact alone cases, however, the primary meaning is is evidence of a great enhancement of value. general, and the secondary are limitations As specimens of their character, we select of the same as applied to particular suba few, mostly under letter C :
jects. It is to be remarked, that the first
law, that of expansion, works chiefly in Calembourg ; Canal-boat ; Cam, (in mechan- the early growth of languages ; while the ics ;) Canonicity; Canterbury, (a stand for other, which may be called that of limitamusic, portfolios, &c.:) Cantabrigian ; Casino; tion or sub-division, prevails as they adCassava ; Cast-iron; Catharine-wheel (in architecture ;) Catafalco ; to Chair anı Chairing,
vance in cultivation. Not unfrequently, [Eng. :) Chaparral; Charte, [Fr.;] Chief-jus. some ambitious secondary sets up for itself, tice; Cheval glass ; Cheroot; Chiltern hun declares independence, as it were, and dreds ; Chinchilla ; Childa ; Circulating media sends off in a new direction a progeny sun; Cirrus, Cumulus, Stratus and Nimbus, having no apparent connection with the and their compounds, with definitions by Prof. original stock. For instance, the word Olinsted; Classis ; Clinker ; Clique ; Close- digest, meaning primarily to distribute corporation; Club-house, (fully explained in the and hence, first, to arrange methodically, as present English sense ;) Coffer-dam ; Coldshoulder, to give the :) Collapse ; Common- a body of law, and second, to dispose of food carrier, with his liabilities explained; Com- introduced into the stomach—from this munist ; Congreve-rocket ; Cordon sanitaire ; | point moves to the laboratory, and there sig.