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Pentameter is shorter than the Hexameter. Such an epithet would almost tempt us to believe, that the interpolator had talked, like our school-boys, of long and short. Baxter explains exiguos by tenues, querulos; but the interpretation is not worthy of being refuted, as the significations of the several words are so remote from each other. Ovid indeed says,
Nunc primum velis, Elegi, majoribus itis:
Fast. Lib. ii. 3.
But exiguum, you should observe, is here applied to the opus, not to the metre. You and I are content to consider the shorter verse as composed of two penthemimers, and to scan them in the usual way. But we are not ignorant of another method proposed for scanning them; and you probably, as well as myself, have read what is written upon this subject by Terentianus Maurus, at the beginning of his work De Metris (see p. 75, in Brissacus's edition,) and by Marius Victorinus, in Book 3, de Arte Grammat. Vide from p. 2555 to 2558, in the Grammaticæ Latinæ Auctores Antiqui, published by Putschius. It may be worth while to observe, that the Pentameter sometimes preceded the Hexameter, of which you will see an instance in the 11th Chapter, Lib. 3. of Vossius' work above mentioned. He adds, "Est etiam quando carmen e solis fit pentametris." Now in the Sententiæ of the seven wise men by Ausonius, you will find seven Pentameters succeeding each other.
Turpe quid ausurus te sine teste time.
In Liber 9, of Martianus Capella de Musica, you will, under the title of Musicorum concentus, meet with
twenty-eight Pentameters immediately succeeding each other. There is a dispute, you know, about reading the verses, which Ausonius wrote de Burdigalensibus Philologis. But let us return from this digression. I have said enough, I hope, to convince you that Horace, who has spoken so properly of the Elegiac verse, in line 75, is very unlikely, in verse 77, to have written exiguos elegos. I am not without my doubts as to the propriety of the word emiserit, in the absence of any adjunct. Cicero in Familiar Letters, Book 7, Epist. 33, says, "Si quando aliquid dignum nostro nomine emisimus," which Gesner explains by edidimus, and Facciolati by publicare. "Ita forte accidit, ut eum quoque librum, quem de Caussis Corruptæ Eloquentiæ emisi, jam scribere aggressus, simili ictu ferirer," Quintil. Lib. VI. in prom. p. 346, edit. Capperon. But if the passage in Horace be genuine, I should have looked for some word more definitely expressive of invention than emiserit, and such a word does occur in Terentianus Maurus de Metris:
Pentametrum dubitant quis primus finaerit auctor,
Ths words of Proclus, as cited by Photius, are, Aéyet δὲ καὶ ἀριστεῦσαι τῷ μέτρῳ Καλλῖνον τὸν ̓Εφέσιον, καὶ Μίμνερμον τὸν Κολοφώνιον κ. τ. λ. See Procli Chrestomath. Grammat. Electa Photii, p. 341, subjoined to Apollonius Dyscolus de Syntaxi; or, if you have not the book, look at Hoeschelius's edition of Photius's Bibliotheca, p. 984.
Proclus then, after enumerating those occasions, on which Elegiac verse was employed by older and by later writers, does not determine by whom it was first introduced. But further, I am not thoroughly satisfied with
this structure: Grammatici certant, quis auctor elegos emiserit. I should have seen much surer traces of Latinity in Grammatici certant de auctore, qui elegos emiserit. If you have seen certant with a construction similar to that, which appears in this passage, you have been more fortunate than myself.
My last objection is to the concluding words, which, as we all know, are become proverbial; but which, in my judgment, have the same air of a monkish original, which I observed in the 4th Ode of the 4th Book of Horace, where the interpolator gravely tells us, "Nec scire fas est omnia." If any doubts indeed should be raised about the use of sub with judice, they will be entirely removed by a passage in
the 5th Satire of Persius:
Marco sub judice palles?
My objection, therefore, to these concluding words in Horace, is to be considered merely as a matter of opinion and taste. The interpolator found this addition necessary, ὑπερειδεῖν τὸ πίπτον τοῦ μέτρου, καὶ ἀναπληροῦν τὸ κεχηνὸς τῆς διανοίας. Vide Lucian's Timon.
I shall be glad to find that you agree with me about these three passages; and I am,
P. H. W.
[id est, Parr, Hatton, Warwickshire.]
Notices of DR. PARR from the Correspondence of the late GILBERT WAKEFIELD, B. A. with the late Right Honourable CHARLES JAMES Fox, in the Years 1796-1801. chiefly on Subjects of Classical Literature, Lond. 1813. 8vo. pp. 99. 183.
"I have been furnished with many opportunities of observing PORSON, by a near inspection. He has been at my house several times, and once for an entire summer's day. Our intercourse would have been frequent, but for three reasons: 1. his extreme irregularity and inattention to times and seasons, which did not at all comport with the methodical arrangements of my time and family; 2. his gross addiction to that lowest and least excusable of all sensualities, immoderate drinking; and 3. the uninteresting insipidity of his society, as it is impossible to engage his mind on any topic of mutual inquiry, to procure his opinion on any author, or on any passage of an author, or to elicit any conversation of any kind to compensate for the time and attendance of his company. And as for Homer, Virgil, and Horace, I never could hear of the least critical effort on them in his life. He is, in general, devoid of all human affections; but such as he has, are of a misanthropic quality: nor do I think that any man exists, for whom his propensities rise to the
lowest pitch of affection and esteem. He much resembles Proteus in Lycophron,
ᾧ γέλως ἀπέχθεται, Καὶ δάκρυ.—
though, I believe, he has satirical verses in his treasury for Dr. Bellenden, as he calls him, (PARR,) and all his most intimate associates. But, in his knowledge of the Greek Tragedies, and Aristophanes,-in his judgment of MSS., and in all that relates to the metrical proprieties of dramatic and lyric versification, with whatever is connected with this species of reading, none of his contemporaries must pretend to equal him. His grammatical knowledge also, and his acquaintance with the antient Lexicographers and Etymologists, is most accurate and profound; and his intimacy with Shakespeare, B. Jonson, and other dramatic writers, is probably unequalled. He is, in short, a most extraordinary person in every view, but unamiable; and has been debarred of a comprehensive intercourse with Greek and Roman authors, by his excesses, which have made those acquirements impossible to him, from the want of that time, which must necessarily be expended in laborious reading, and for which no genius can be made a substitute. No man has ever paid a more voluntary and respectful homage to his talents, at all times, both publicly and privately, in writings and conversation, than myself; and I will be content to forfeit the esteem and affection of all mankind, whenever the least particle of envy and malignity is found to mingle itself with my opinions. My first reverence is to virtue; my second, only to talents and erudition: where both unite, that man is estimable indeed to me, and shall receive the full tribute of honour and affection. But I am trans