Imágenes de páginas

ing being due to the fact that 77 is a verb both Lamed-He and Ayin-guttural (Ayin-Resh.) The explanation of ning as an anomalous infinitive absolute Kal with the final - hardened into n, can only be sustained by such rare instances as sing, Isaiah xxii, 13, and nixy, Isaiah xlii, 20; but both these are peculiarities employed for the same of paronomasia with the associated verbs. The difference is, perhaps, not important, except that my is often used in Piel but never in Kal, and this gives an intensive sense, utterly sweeping away, eminently appropriate here. The term 110?, “foundation," e. g., of a structure, as being carried away by the flood, introduces so incongruous a metaphor in connection with the following 73, “nape," that some interpreters are inclined to understand 778, “ a rock," either pointing 777, (Henderson inaccurately adduces D7for 57872, Nehemiah iii, 5, as a case in point,) or adopting the slenderly supported reading way into the text; while others render 79, as high as, extracting the not very apt sense,“ razing the foundation [of the house] to the height of a man's neck;" that is, really leaving the foundation standing, and demolishing only the upper part of the building. On the contrary, we apprehend the force is represented as a stream undermining the basis of the edifice, and causing the whole to fall in ruins, (compare Matthew vii, 27.) The parallelism explains the “laying bare” as corresponding with the “crushing," that is, a complete destruction; the “foundation” answers to the “house,” that is, the blow is aimed at the homestead or seat of the guilty; and the “head” or “neck” indicates that the chief or arch offenders are to be reached : the head is to be clean severed from the shoulders on which it stands. The interlude lends emphasis to the climactic strain.

Strophe VIII continues the military figure: the victorious Deliverer thrusts through the prematurely exultant oppressors with the lance wrenched from their grasp, and rides in triumph over their routed phalanx, like the swell of the mighty deep.

Verse 14. The pronominal suffix in 792 and 7779 (Keri) refers to the enemy collectively as an army, the captains of which are individualized in the latter term; while it's, as in the preceding verse, indicated the despoiling of the very flower of their chivalry. The same idiomatic omission of the subject relative, noticed in verse 11, occurs in 7730?, which literally denotes the whirlwind swoop of a tempest, that scatters ( and; where, in the singular suffix, the prophet puts himself in his nation's place) everything in its path. The ungodly character of the malicious but insidious foe is delineated in the next clause, where y, “poor one,” is used in the devout sense (compare Matthew v, 3–5) so characteristic in the Psalms. In the rendering “is but to devour," I have endeavored to hit the peculiar force of the prolonged particle of comparison in 538 2-in," as it were) to eat up."

Verse 15. The verb 7 has almost the transitive force of “directing in a pathway,” and hence 777070 (the divine cavalry of verse 8) is put directly as its object without any preposition. The d', or “sea,” here is the serried ranks of battle, with an allusion perhaps to the passage of the Red Sea, the foam (in) of whose tumbling vortex (02) 72, huge billows) was all that was left to mark the track of Jehovah's exterminating car.

Strophe IX. As the cry of the slaughtered vanquished mingles with the surge-like roar of the field of strife, the seer listens with appalled senses; his faculties are palsied with a feeling of personal danger, while he “stands still and sees the deliverance of God.” There are no marks of the abrupt transition which many commentators find here from a contemplation of the divine achievements in ancient times to the impending calamities of the present conjuncture; the rapt poet views the oncoming invasion of heathen Babylon as but another act in the grand drama of Jehovah's encounter with his people's adversaries, and he shudders in mute dismay as he finds that he is himself to be involved amid the spectacle. In this way there is a natural recurrence to the opening sentiments of the ode, (verse 2.)

Verse 16. The prophet as yet hears only the still distant rumbling of the approaching storm, but all his physical powers take instant alarm : his bowels (72) show their quick sympathy with his emotions, (referring to the spasmodic contraction of the abdominal muscles through sudden fright;) his blanched lips are nervously convulsed with fear; the firm, bony structure of his very body appears to break down with ricketty caries ; his tottering limbs refuse their customary support to the fainting heart. He is struck dumb with terror and amazement at the omens that already present themselves, and in which he, with inspired certainty, is enabled to read the fate of his nation—the direful invasion of the Chaldeans. The relative man with the subjunctive denotes simply the result. The prefix in bys is 3“ auctoris.

Strophe X depicts the desolation that this hostile incursion (with the ensuing captivity) would occasion, singling out its most striking features to a rural people, under the figure of a general blight upon the most permanent and regular agricultural sources of prosperity, (the fig orchard, the vinery, and the olive-yard, as well as the annual crops,) and desolation of the pastoral means of wealth, (the sheepcote and the cattle-pen:) in short, absolute and universal famine should supervene. There is no occasion to render the introductory - of verse 17, “ Although,” as most interpreters do.

Strophe XI. The prophet consoles himself, (and so, representatively, every faithful soul,) amid this gloomy prospect of national affairs, with the fact that Jehovah is yet the protector of his true people, and that he will not give them over (eventually and fully) to the will of their enemies, but will support them in the severest trial and, at length, rescue them; in a word, he seeks relief from outward trouble in spiritual comforts. Lightened by this thought, his depressed spirit bounds over the tops of the mountains of sacred joy with the agility of the light-footed deer. Some take pina in verse 19 to stand for

27 ning, (as in Psalm xviii, 34,) in the sense of securing one in the citadels of the country; but this is arbitrary and inconsistent with the context, which clearly indicates the utter subjugation of Judea, and is especially incongruent with the figure of the roving hind, (1379, the female being taken as the more delicate and fleet; not the caprea, or “wild goat," as some imagine, which, although appropriate to the mention of mountains, is designated by other terms, as is likewise the "gazelle.") These symbols of exuberant activity are meant as a contrast with the physical prostration expressed in verse 16.

The subscription contains the remainder of the musical notations which are elsewhere found only in the title of compositions like this. The force of the prefix in nap is doubtful, whether it be dedicatory “to” or directory “ for;" the latter sense seems preferable. We venture the suggestion that these directions may be added (either by the author or the first editor of such psalms) to signify that the vocal part should be performed solo; while the term “Selah” may denote the proper intervals for the interlude or chorus. The officer intended is, doubtless, the superintendent, or “leader” of the Levitical orchestra in the temple. The concluding word nina, expresses the mode of the musical performance (the style being probably indicated by the singer of the title) as being, "by means of the Negináh,which, as being derived from 2, to strike the chords, “ to play," probably designates some form of stringed instrument, as if it were said, harpsichord. The suffix “my” can hardly be pressed to show any special invention or participation in the performance by the writer, (compare Isaiah xxxvii, 20,) but seems to be used vaguely (as in the clause preceding) to express simply his sympathy or concurrence in the music.


The Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Dean of St. Patrick's,

Dublin. With Copious Notes and Additions, and a Memoir of the Author. By Thomas RosCOE. Complete in six volumes.

New York: Derby & Jackson. THERE is scarcely to be found in literature a term more vague than “ classic." It is presumed to indicate some undefined excellence in an author to whom it is applied. For ages the ancient writers of Greece and Rome occupied this niche in the temple of fame, far beyond the reach of rivalry. To this day the word retains so much of its old and special signification, that a man can scarcely vindicate a claim to be called a classical scholar unless he is familiar with the renowned authors of Greece and Rome.

The term “classic," however, has no such exclusive application as of old. We have voted our favorite modern authors cards of admission into the charmed circle. An enterprising American publishing house has recently issued the works of a dozen English authors, who are catalogued as “Standard British Classics.” To this choice library Addison, Smollett, and Swift contribute six volumes each, while Sterne, De Foe, and Johnson furnish each but two. Seldom in any convivial assembly did the words of Dr. Johnson bear such a proportion to those of his companions as in this collection of British classics. As if in compensation, however, Boswell is allowed to present four volumes, with Dr. Johnson as his subject.

In this coterie of British classics there is no one who appears so unexpectedly to himself as Dean Swift. He was always sufficiently careful of his personal appearance in gay and fashionable circles, but for this unexpected presentment he manifestly made no special preparation. He is not clad in costume which he has carefully adjusted in reference to a fine appearance before posterity. He appears in plain every-day apparel. All his productions are of a practical character, written for immediate effect. Yet no author, who has treated solely on the ephemeral topics of his time, has ever appeared so well in the presence of posterity. Here is a collection of political pamphlets, thrown off in haste to subserve the fleeting purposes of the hour, which it seems the world will not willingly let die. This is a literary example well worthy of study. Here is an artist who never gave out that he “painted for immortality;" who applied the colors to the canvas for the amusement and instruction of his own times, and yet did his work so well that succeeding ages demand the right to be amused and edified by the same effective means.

Many Grub-street bards, learned prelates, and literary lords, ambitious of fame, have chosen to dwell upon “glittering generalities” as the best means of gaining their end. Failing to gain the attention and applause of their own times, they have found fault with the age. Presuming that there must be an immortal principle in their works, they have hoped to find at length an appreciating public. They sadly missed the immortality they aimed at, and the world does not imagine herself the loser that they have gone to oblivion. The lesson to be learned by the literary man is, that he should practically and earnestly further by his writings the great ends of the age in which he lives. If he does this with genius worthy of distinction, he is more likely to be known and honored in future ages than if he makes recognition by posterity his only end. Dean Swift trod no new and unexplored highway to immor

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