Imágenes de páginas

Notices of Books.

The Agamemnon of Æschylus, and the Bacchanals of And this " bright idea" is no mean help where scho

Euripides, with Passages from the Lyric and Later | liasts, commentators, and grammarians confuse u Poets of Greece. Translated by H. Hart MILMAN, or desert us. Of course, as is natural, the reading D.D., Dean of St Paul's. John Murray, London. and interpretations adopted and followed are not 1866.

always of the newest. No sign or token of the

use of Paley's edition, or of Linwood's Lexicon to The eminent publisher who a year ago launched Æschylus, have we been able to discern in Dean Lord Derby's Iliad into the world of letters, has Milman's translation of the Agamemnon, though ha begun the new year with a not less considerable boon in the shape of a volume of translations by voluminous Dr Peile. But, after all, we do not read

owns to the serious labour of having studied the the veteran Dean Milman. This volume consists translations for the newest fashions in scholarship, of elegant and tasteful versions of the two Greek but rather to see how far the beauties of Greek liteplays, which form the heading of this notice, whilst, rature, which exercised so great an influence not following these, appear copious translations of the lyric passages of the dramatists, tragic and comic, only on contemporary minds but upon the best write and diversified extracts from the chief earlier and ings of all after ages, can be so transfused into our

Anglo-Saxon literature as to represent to even adlater elegiac and lyric poets. Nor is this all. Spe- lettered ears a tithe, if it may be, of their native cimens of the Greek philosophic poets are made publici juris even to English readers through the grace. The Dean's own aim, he tells us, is to reDean's labour of love. He rifles the Anthologia poetical, and while he deprecates tuo great an indul

produce that sense and reading which seems most also, introduces us to the pastoral poets, and finally gives us a pleasant taste of the later post-Homerica gence in paraphrase, he is equally disinclined to of Quintus Calaber, Tryphiodords, and Coluthus. cramp his versifying powers by too strict literality.

Copious extracts are unsuitable to our narrow Perhaps we have to thank those who, some forty limits, but perhaps it will not be amiss to transcribe years or more ago, influenced his appointment to the following version of a part of the herald's speech the Chair of Poetry at Oxford, for the variety of before the arrival of Agamemnon on the stage dainties which Dean Milman sets before us in this

(Agam. 507–518) : intellectual feast, but certainly the increased favour

* Greet, greet him nobly. Is 't not well to greet, shewn to good translation will receive a still further

Him who the firm foundations of old Troy impetus from the accession of so graceful a poet and

Dug up with the avenging spade of Jove, prose writer to the ranks of translators. And his work is done in no perfunctory fashion, as might

Searching the soil down to its deepest roots ?

The altars and the temples of their gods have been the case with one who is entitled to rest full of honours achieved and laurels gained. The

Are all in shapeless ruin; all the seed

Utterly withered from the blasted land. spiritus Graiæ tenuis camenæ is caught up and trans

Such is the yoke, that o'er the towers of Troy. erred to English pages with a delicacy of handling

Hath thrown that elder chieftain, Atreus' son." which, taken with the elegance of the getting-up of the volume by the publishers, and the care with

(P. 27, English Translation.) which it has been put forth, cannot fail to make it' | These verses, if compared with the original, will not welcome and popular with many who are not at- be found faulty on the score of faithfulness, and we tracted to it by the charm which Greek literature think that they entitle their writer to the rare merit, still exercises over those who have been taught to according to Mr Worsley in his preface to the Iliad, love it in early days. The character, indeed, of of being able to use blank verse efficiently. But a Dean Milman's translation is such as eminently greater achievement surely is the power of reprosuits an English ear. There is nothing rugged, ducing the matchless choruses with which both the quaint, or obscure about it. One peruses it with plays in the volume before us are enriched. Here an increasing conviction that, whatever the diffi- is a snatch from the first chorus in the Agamemnon culties and lacunæ of the Greek, however crabbed which will pleasantly awaken 'echoes of the past in one passage, however imperfect another, the Dean's | the minds of scholars, and not be unpalatable to sense of poesy will find means of weaving a con..

less cultivated tastes (Agam. 169–176) :sistent fabric.

" Jove, that great God Transform him, change him, make him what you who taught to mortals wisdom's road : will,

By whose eternal rule The bright idea will be the poet's still."

Adversity is grave instruction's school.

[ocr errors]


pyrean skies !

[ocr errors]

In the calm hour of sleep

narratives which are a special feature in the Baccha. Conscience, the sad remembranoer, will creep nals. These descriptions afford a fine field for the To the inmost heart, and there enforce

translator, and the Dean of St Paul's has not been On the relictant spirit the wisdom of remorse. slow to avail himself of them. Occasionally it may

Mighty the grace of those dread deities, be, even as Homer, so Dr Milman also nods, else Throned on their judgment bench, high in the em- why are inatas translated “ash ” and Fitas (783)

(P. 12, E. T.) · lances,” and rriquye in 372“ a crown"? or why But it would be unfair to pass unnoticed the Dean's again is seos ógyádas in ver. 24 rendered “ In their in some respects more interesting version of the wild orgies,” when it simply means “ to the mea

dows”? We might point out other such slips, but Bacchanals, perhaps the most striking and remem

we prefer to be thankful for the excellence of the berable of all the plays of Euripides, and, as far as we are aware, one of those which have been least general execution, and for the lesson in graceful made familiar to us in separate translations. Scho- turning of Greek verse into English, which so dis

tinguished and venerated a scholar and divine has lars need not be told that it is rich in descriptive

vouchsafed to us. This old favourite from the re. passages, in striking dialogue, in exceedingly beautiful choral odes. We must content ourselves with mains of Moschus will fitly stand as a specimen of quoting an extract from one of these last. If it the latter half of the volume (Moschus III. 106, ai

αι, ται μαλάχαι) :attract readers to a very charming book, the gain

“Alas ! the meanest herb that scents the gale, will be theirs, and our labour repaid in the satisfaction that true pleasure is being circulated. What

The lowliest flower that blossoms in the vale,

Even where it dies at spring's sweet call renews can be more lyrical than these lines from the third

To second life its odours and its hues. strophe of the first chorus ? (ώ Σιμέλας τροφοί κ. τ. λ. 105-114):

But we-but man, the great, the brave, the wise,

When once in death he seals his failing eyes, “ Put on thy ivy crown,

In the mute earth imprison'd, dark and deep, O Thebes, thou sacred town!

Sleeps the long, endless, unawak’ning sleep." O hallowed house of dark-haired Semela !

(P. 260.) Bloom, blossom everywhere

This is exceedingly beautiful. Readers will find no With flowers and fruitage fair,

lack of gems, equally rich and rare, in the same And let your frenzied steps supported be

cave, if they will fathom it.
With thyrsi from the oak
Or the green ash tree broke :

On the Principle of Onomatopoeia in Language. By
Your spotted fawn-skins line with locks Professsor BLACKIE. From the “ Transactions of
Torn from the snowy-fleecèd flocks :

the Royal Society of Edinburgh.” Vol. XXIV. Shaking his wanton wand let each advance, Edinburgh : Printed for the Society by Neill and And all the land shall madden with the dance." Company. 1865.

(P. 106.) Chapters on Language. By the Rev. FREDERICK W.

FARRAR, M.A., late Fellow of Trinity College, This is very good, close, and poetic, and we subjoin

Cambridge ; Hon. Fellow of King's College, Lona very brief extract, with its Greek, of which readers

don ; author of “The Origin of Language,” &c. may judge for themselves (of Bacch. 893-6):

London: Longmans, Green, and Co. 1865. κούφα γαρ δαπάνα νομίζειν ισχύν τόδ' έχειν

At present there may be said to be four opinions και τι ποτ' άρα το δαιμόνιον,

prevalent in regard to language. Some believe that το σ' ένα χρόνο μακρύ

language was given by God to man ready made at νόμιμον αεί φύσει το πεφυκός.

his creation. Others think that the principle of a 'Tis but light cost in his own power sublime

phonic imitation, as Professor Blackie calls it, or of

onomatopæia, as it is usually called, is sufficient to To array the godhead, whosoe'er he be: And Law is old, e'en as the oldest time,

account for the formation of the original stock of Nature's own unrepealed decree,”

human language. Others, like Max Müller, assert

that roots were formed in consequence of a human (P. 150.)

instinct, that as each substance has its peculiar ring Though the Bacchæ probably was written after a when struck, so man in his earliest stage gave forth change for the better had come over the religious instinctively various sounds according as he was tone of Euripides, these lines, ascribing an almost struck by external objects, and that these formed the divine authority to the customs and usages of man- roots, but that this instinct vanished whenever we kind, are thoroughly Euripidean their spirit. ceased to want it. Others believe that sufficient Before concluding our remarks, we would fain direct attention has not yet been given to all the facts of the our readers’ attention to the two distinct and lengthy case to warrant any theory. Professor Max Müller,


in propounding his own belief, deemed it expedient them by virtue of the law of association to him who to attack the interjectional and onomatopoetic had originally felt them, but also conveyed and ex. theories, which he viewed as separate theories, pressed them to others who were similarly affected though they were generally held in combination by by similar causes. But besides this, as may still be the same men. His attack has induced several observed in children, the delicate sensibility of the scholars to discuss the matter more fully. Professor nervous system in the still fresh and unworn human Blackie's paper is a brief enunciation of the principle organisation gave rise to a spontaneous echo of esof onomatopeia, meeting the objections, and shew- ternal sounds, an echo which partly repeated and ing the wide range of the principle. Mr Farrar's inuitated the sounds themselves, and partly modified book is an elaborate exposition of what he considers them in accordance with the ideal impression which to be the processes gone through in the first forma- they reproduced. Originally this repercussion of the tion of language, and then in extending the mean- sounds which had thrilled the auditory nerve was ing and combining the roots thus formed. He first not due primarily to an instinct of conscious imirefutes the theory that language was bestowed ready tation, but a far subtler law of physical sympathy made on man, and agrees with Professor Blackie in with the outer world ; but as it conveyed a pleasurthinking that there is no special piety shewn in able sense of power, it would at once be adopted as maintaining this opinion, but on the contrary that a voluntary exercise apart from any necessity. In the opinion is directly opposed to the statement of this instance also it would be instantly discovered Moses in Gen ii. 19. He then goes into a philo- that the imitative sounds, however modified by orsophical explanation of the formation of language. ganic or subjective influences, inevitably recalled, by It may be doubted whether Mr Farrar's opinion is the same law of association, the external phenomena widely different from Professor Max Müller's. Both with which they were connected. In both cases it Professor Blackie and Mr Farrar give a much wider would be instantly discovered that sounds were capameaning to the word onomatopæia than Max Müller. ble of becoming signs not of sounds only, but of They refuse to confine it to mere direct imitations. things. Here, then, were the elements of language; They indeed shew that even in regard to direct imi- here lay hidden the germs of that infinite discovery tation, there are far more traces of it in language which made man worthy of his destined immortality; than Max Müller has allowed. But they include here, ready provided by the working of divine la ws, also in their onomotapoia all the sounds which can were the materials by which he was enabled to ex. naturally be associated with objects. And the differ- press his own sensations, and to recall the most ence between the two parties seems to us to lie mainly striking aspects and influences of the world in which in this, that Professor Blackie and Mr Farrar be- he lived. lieve the human instinct which was used in forming "The nascent intelligence, sharpened by the wants roots to be still extant, and is unquestionably active of life, at once saw the importance of this marvellous in our perception of the congruity of the sense with faculty, and began with unerring and unconscious the sound in such words as gnash, creep, squeak, instinct to work upon it. Man soon found that it bawl, roar, dawdle, hurry, &c., while Professor Müller was not necessary to rest content with crude interbelieves that the instinct is dead. Mr Farrar thus jections and vowel sounds, to express his own feelsums up the main results of his investigations : ings, or rough reproductions to recall the living

" It may be well, before we proceed farther, to sum creatures and numberless influences of the outer up briefly the main results which the previous pages world. The interjections and imitations were more have been intended to develop, to illustrate, or to and more modified, till they barely retained the prove.

faintest echo of their sensuous origin. They were “ Language then was not a direct revelation of soon accepted as purely ideal signs, and their his. the Almighty, nor was it an inevitable result of our tory and derivation was in the course of ages as physical organization, nor was it a purely mechanical completely forgotten or obscured as if they had been invention, accepted by general agreement in conse- meaningless tokens arbitrarily adopted and absoquence of a felt necessity; but the capacity for lan- lutely devoid of any historical connection with the guage was a part of our human constitution, and in meanings for which they stood.” the development of this capacity, the senses, the me

Mr Farrar's work is crammed with information. mory, the understanding, the emotion, the will, and it is exceedingly well written, as might have been the imagination, all played their part. The great expected, and it is very pleasant reading. We think secret, the divine idea of language became intui- that he has clearly established his theory. It is true tively evident to man from the working of his in- that a vast number of roots cannot now be explained tellect upon two strictly analogous facts. He found by phonic imitation, and perhaps it would have been that the effect of a powerful passion was to force satisfactory if Mr Farrar had exhibited more fully from him involuntarily spontaneous sounds, which, how far his theory fails. But as yet his principle is when repeated, recalled the passions by which they the only principle that is embodied in a theory. We had been originally stimulated, and not only recalled I cannot prove the existence of an instinct, to which



we have no counterpart in ourselves now.

Such an

any one of those gases which weighs as many instinct becomes a mere hypothesis, and we can grammes as there are units in the number expressnever attain any knowledge of the mode in which ing its atomic weight.” such an instinct would work. But if we can shew A series of questions are appended to the first few that there are powers at present working in us in the chapters, which the student is expected to answer formation and modification of language, or powers as he proceeds. These are instructive and wellwhich could work if there were a necessity, we es- selected. The answers are to be published separtablish our theory upon real facts; and if we cannot ately in a short time. We cordially recommend account for all roots at present by means of these the work to the attention of senior students. facts, yet we may shew that there is a possibility of their being so accounted for. This Mr Farrar has Chambers's Readings in English Poetry. A Collecdone in a very able and satisfactory manner. We tion of Specimens from our best Poets from A.D. commend the book most heartily to the attention of 1558 to 1860, Chronologically arranged. With our readers.

Biographical Notices and Explanatory Notes.

William and Robert Cha bers, London and EdinAristotle's Ethica Nicomachea. Edidit emendavit

burgh. crebrisque locis parallelis e libro ipso aliisque

This is a companion volume to “Readings in ejusdem auctoris Scriptis illustravit JACOBUS English Prose.” Extracts are given from Sachville E. THOROLD ROGERS, M.A., (Economiæ politicæ down to Alexander Smith. The extracts are judiprælector. Editio altera. Londini, apud Riving ciously made. Short notices of the poets are preton ; Oxonii, Cantabrigiæ. 1865.

fixed. The extracts from Shakespeare and Milton The peculiar feature of this edition of the Ethics are of considerable length. There is more than the is a notification of parallel passages, either from usual proportion of space given to more recent other portions of the Ethics or from other works of writers, and there is a greater number of specimens Aristotle. The text is carefully printed. No notice from the Scottish and American poets. The volume is taken of various readings, and even the editor's is handsomely got up. emendations are not indicated.

Questions Explanatory of the Books and Writers of the

Holy Scriptures. Compiled for the Pupils at Chemistry for Students. By Alex. W. WILLIAMSON,

Thorperch Grange, Yorkshire. By their Master, F.R.L., F.C.S., &c., Professor of Chemistry in

Rev. R. W. HILEY, M.A., of St Mary's Hall, OxUniversity College, London. Oxford, at the

ford ; Vicar of Wighill; for many years a Master Clarendon Press.

in the High School of the College, Liverpool. The name of the author of this work is a suffi

New Edition. London: Longmans, Green, &

Co. 1866. cient guarantee of its character and worth. It is more adapted for students who have previously gone

This little book, the author says, is not intended through an elementary course of chemistry, than for

to supersede the reading of Scripture, but to aid it. those beginning the study. There are too many And it really is a valuable aid. It contains a great nice details and symbolic formulæ for the latter deal of useful information in regard to the books of class; and even as regards the former, we doubt the Bible, their authorship, their purpose, and their much but what their ardour for the study is apt to peculiarities. It is specially intended for those beflag when they come to the chapters which treat of longing to the Church of England. organic substances. This, however, may be considered a recommendation rather than a fault, by Analysis of the History of Germany: with Brief Exthe earnest student of chemistry.

tracts from Standard Authorities. Continued down In treating of gases, the author adopts the “metri

to the present time. By Dawson W. Turner, cal system ” as being most convenient. In regard

D.C.L. Late Demi and Exhibitioner of Magdato this, he remarks in the preface as follows: “The

len College, Oxford ; Head Master of the Royal knowledge of the absolute volume' is of value to

Institution School, Liverpool ; author of the earners, because it leads them easily from a class

"Analysis of the History of England and France, of similar facts to an important general conclusion,

of Rome, and of Greece.” London: Longmans, and it supplies to chemists a ready means of calcu

Green, & Co. 1866. ating the weight of any given measure of gas or vapour. This absolute volume is in round numbers This is a useful compendium of German history. 11.2 litres, which is the bulk of one gramme of The facts have been collected with great care. Rehydrogen, of sixteen grammes of oxygen, of fourteen ference is continually made to the best authorities, grammes of nitrogen, &c., at the normal temperature and occasionally extracts are given. In an appendix and pressure, in fact, the bulk of that quantity of we have larger extracts, and a chronological table.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


After a student has read over one or two of the more made necessary. The reader ought, therefore, to voluminous works, he will find Mr Turner's Analysis find in the following papers an outline of the whole of great service in refreshing his memory and testing law of England, however concisely it may be stated. his remembrance of the principal facts, and his powers of filling in the details.

Sermons to Schoolboys. Second Series. Twenty

Short Addresses delivered at Morning Prayers to The First Book of Cæsar's Gallic War. With

the three Schools in Liverpool College, during Vocabulary, and a Series of Easy Reading Lessons

the years 1857-1865. By the Rev. J. S. Howsox, for Beginners. Designed as a First Latin Reading

D.D., Principal of the College, and Examining Book in Schools. By A. K. ISBISTER, M.A., Head

Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Ely. London: Master of the Stationers' Company's Grammar

Longmans, Green, & Co. 1866. School, London. London: Longmans, Green, &

This second series consists of twenty sermons. Co. 1865.

These sermons are healthy, practical, admirably is an exceedingly ingenious edition of the adapted to influence boys, and short. First Book of the Gallic War. Mr Isbister breaks up Cæsar's sentences into the simplest possible A Simple Catechism of Modern History. Adapted to forms, forms which present almost no difficulty to the Capacities of Young Children. By R. SALMON, the beginner. The pupil then finds these little sen- Author of an “Introduction to the Systematic Study tences combined into one, and that one is composed of History," &c. Published by Relfe Brothers, of Cæsar's own words. The whole work is got up School Booksellers, and General School Stationers, with great care, and is a valuable addition to elemen- 150 Aldersgate Street, London. tary Latin reading-books.

This catechism, as the title states, is intended for Libri Precum Publicarum Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Versio children. Within its eighty-six pages, the history

Latina. A. Gulielmo Bright, A.M., et PETRO of the world, from the Reformation to the present Goldsmith MEDD, A.M., Presbyteris, Collegii day, is discussed ; notice is taken of the eminent Universitatis in Acad. Oxon. Sociis, Facta. A pud literary men, and science also has a chapter devoted

to it. Rivington, Londini, Oxonii, Cantabrigiæ. 1865.

This is a delightful book to a scholar. We do Manuscript Arithmelic, fc. Specially adapted to Standnot meddle with its suitableness to represent the ards IV., V., and VI. of the Revised Code. By a opinions of the Church of England. With such School MANAGER. Thomas Murby, 82 Bouverie points we have nothing to do in this magazine. We Street, London. merely ascertain how far Mr Bright and Mr Medd have discharged their self.imposed task. And we

This is a book of examples for Standard VI. of willingly yield them the credit of having done their the Revised Code, those for Standards IV. and V. work well. They have tried to produce a work of having been already issued. one tone, and accordingly they have adopted the

We noticed the work in our November number, to text of the Vulgate in all passages of Scripture, and which we beg to refer our readers. they have tried to translate the rest into Latin as similar as possible to that of the Church of Rome. A Short History of English Literature. By THOMAS The book is beautifully printed, and deserves to be ARNOLD, B.A. In two Volumes. Vol. I. Louextensively circulated.

don : Thomas Murby, 32 Bouverie Street, Fleet

Street, E.C.; Simpkin and Co., Stationers' Hall The Student's Blackstone. Commentaries on the Laws Court, E.C. of England. In Four Books. By Sir WILLIAM

Among the manuals of English literature which BLACKSTONE, Knt., One of the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas. Abridged and adapted will take a prominent place. It is intended, he tells

are now appearing in such numbers, Mr Arnold's to the present state of the law, by Robert MAL

us, “ for the use of those who know no other lanCOLM KERR, LL.D., Barrister-at-Law. London:

guage but English.” Accordingly he passes rapidly John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1865.

over the periods in which Latin, Anglo-Saxon, and This book should be in the hands of every English- Norman French were used as the organs of the

It gives a clear digest of the laws of this literature of England. The present volume reaches country, “ The present work,” says the author, "is, down only to the end of the Elizabethan age. Mr as the title-page imports, an abridgment of the whole Arnold gives only very short biographical notices of Commentaries of Blackstone, with such alterations the writers. He also avoids minute criticism of the as the legislative changes of the last century have books, and confines himself to a narrative of the


« AnteriorContinuar »