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THE

BRITISH CRITIC,

FOR MAY, 1816

ART. I. Lexicon Graco Prosodiacum auctore T. Morell, S. T.P. olim vulgatum typis denuo mandavit, permultis in locis cor rexit, exemplis a se allatis, et animadversionibus, illustravit, verbis, a Morello omissis, quam plurimis auxit; et Græcis vocibus Latinam Versionem subjecit Edv. Maltby, S. T. P. Cantabrigia, Typis Academicis: 2 vols. 1242 pp. 51. 5s. Cadell and Davies. 1815.

ENTITLED as Dr. Morell undoubtedly was, to respect from his contemporaries, and gratitude from the succeeding generation both of pupils and instructors, still it must be acknowledged that his Greek Thesaurus, notwithstanding its utility, had many inconveniences and defects. Of these, every scholar, and especially every scholar concerned in the education of youth, could 'not but be too often reminded, by the unfortunate errors into which it occasionally led the eager but unpractised student; and we know at least one very respectable school, where partly from the difficulty of procuring copies of the work, and partly from its imperfection, the writing of Greek verses as an exercise had been discontinued. It must have been found, even on slight experience, that the quantities of syllables were very frequently left ambiguous and not seldom incorrect, that corrupt passages were quoted for genuine, that barbarous and ill assorted epithets from the Anthology and later writers, were combined with those of an earlier and purer age: that the synonyms, in like manner, were often adopted carelessly, and the phrases sometimes selected injudiciously, without regard to the fluctuations and idioms of the language: that the references were but too frequently erroneous, and too frequently omitted altogether, thus leaving the learner no better guidance than his own good taste and experience in determining what expressions he might adopt or avoid. With all these defects however, still we must acknowledge that the literary world in general, and especially that great and valuable portion of it engaged. in education, are under conHh

siderable

YOL. V. MAY, 1816.

siderable obligations to the venerable author of the Greek Thies saurus; in whose behalf indeed, justice and candour require us to remark, that considering the state of Greek literature in this country at the time of its appearance, a reasonable excuse might be offered for many more and many greater imperfections than it presents.

More than half a century has elapsed since Dr. Morell's Thesaurus was published in 1762. Since that period the text of almost all the Greek poets has been revised and corrected by the examination of many manuscripts before either imperfectly or not at all collated, and by the accurate and critical labours of many distinguished scholars both at home and on the continent, successors in that school of genuine Greek criticism, which the names of Hemsterhusius, Valckenaer, Ruhnken, Toup, and Porson, and before and above them all, the immortal BentLEY, will ennoble, as long as profound literature, sagacious judgement, and uncorrupted taste continue to command the admiration of mankind. Since the period we allude to, Homer and Pindar have appeared under the auspices of Heyne, and the former under those of Porson also, Sophocles bas been edited by Brunck, Euripides by Musgrave and Beck, Æschylus by Schutz and Porson, Aristophanes by Brunck, Theocritus by Valckenaer, Warton and Brunck, the Anthologia by Brunck and Jacobs, Hesiod by Loesner, Aratus by Buhle, Q. Calaber by Tyschen and Heyne, Apollonius Rhodius by Brunck and Shaw, and the minor Greek poets by Gaisford; almost all which editions, besides presenting a more correct: text, are enriched with correct and copious indices, a circumstance of inestimable value to the compiler of a work like the Thesaurus. When we add to these the detached plays of the several tragedians, which have appeared under the care of Markland, Wakefield, Elmsley, Monk, Blomfield, the yet unfinished, though we understand nearly complete edition of Æschylus by Dr. Builer, and, abuve all, the unrivalled four plays of Euripides by Porson, and the many niyor editions of the Greek poets which we have been obliged to forbear enumerating, and to this host of learned editors, subjoin that of critics, commentators, and pbilologists: when we consider how much that was begun by Bentley and Dawes, bas beeu followed up by Toup and Porsoni on Aristophanes--how much the Greek lyrical and choral metres have been elucidated by the labours of Herman, Burney, and Gaisford; the lambic, Trochaic, and Anapæstic by those of Person--we shall rather admire the extensive reading and patient industry which could enable a scholar to compile at all such a work as that of Dr. Morell, at the time when it appeared, than be disposed to cavil at pardonable inaccuracies and unatoidabiu imperfections:

On the other hand, after the advantages we have enumerated, it would be but reasonable to expect from any scholar who should undertake a republication of the Thesaurus at the present time, a work considerably more correct than that of its original editor: But when we find it undertaken by one who is confessedly among the very first of the present age, we look for much more, and in that expectation we rejoice that we are not dis. appointed.

Still we must confess our satisfaction is not pure and unalloyed. We have enumerated certain defects inherent in Dr. Morell's work, which must make even so excellent a republication of it imperfect, and we cannot therefore forbear expressing our deep regret, that the very profound scholar who has given this highly improved edition to the public, has not laid us under still greater obligations. The same ten years labour and patience which he has bestowed in correcting an old and imperfect work of another, would have sufficed to produce a new and perfect one of his own, free from all the objections which we have already detailed, and calculated, from his acknowledged learning, taste, and judgement, to be of infinite advantage, not only to the youthful and unpractised student, but to the mature and experienced scholar. If the labour of so many years were not too precious to be thrown away, and too wearisome to be resumed, we should positively say to Dr. Maltby, begin again. Much as you have done for your own fame, and the interests of learning, do yet more. Complete our obligation, or rather lay us under a new one, which our own gratitude will concur with the applause of posterity to repay; and, by the time Dr. Malte by's edition of Morell is exhausted, let Dr. Maltby's own Thesaurus be ready to appear *.

Having * In a work of such extent and labour as the Thesaurus, the most profound scholar will not be able always to satisfy himself or others, and the most vigilant will sometimes nod. If Dr. Maltby should really re-write the Thesaurus, he will find some omissions to be supplied, some uncertainties to be fixed, and some accidental errors of dormitation to be corrected. Of the latter description is the word 'οψαμάτης, which he marks thus oψαμάτης, and supplying the verse from Theocritus Idyll. x. 7, of which Morell had given only the two first words, leaves not a doubt but that he scans it thus,

Μιλων | oψαμα | τα πετ Γρας απο | κομματε | ραμνο, thus making, by an hallunication perhaps never exceeded, three false quantities in as many consecutive syllables. If the learned Doctor had even recollected that the word would have been infanátng out of the Doric dialect, he would at once have

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corrected

Having made this " prodigious bold request," we shall now proceed with our account of the services which Dr. Maltby has already rendered to the cause of Greek literature, in the work before us.

In a short and unassuming, but manly preface, we are in formed that the republication of Morell was suggested to Dr. Maltby ten years since, by that truly eminent scholar, Professor Porson; and the defects of the work are briefly noticed, while all due praise is liberally bestowed on its merits. We are nexť presented with a list of Dr. Morell's precursors in the same field of literature, whose labours afforded him both the outline and some subsidiary aid in the completion of his work. These were communicated to Dr. Maltby from the valuable and ample stores of that illustrious scholar, his former preceptor, Dr. Parr. As they are, some of them especially, of rare occurrence, it may be gratifying to our readers to have them concisely mentioned.

The first is a work of Michael Neander, De re poetica Gracorum, first published in 1583. This book Dr. Maltby appears not to have seen; he speaks only of the second edition, published at Leipsic, by John Volland, in 1592.

The next book is less rare, the Epithetorum Græcorum farrago, by Conrad Dinner, published at Frankfort, in 1589. From this book Morell often borrowed epithets, and sometimes phrases.

Next is the Thesaurus Græca Poeseos, published by Nicolas Caussin, a Jesuit, at Mentz, in 1614, which furnished Dr. Morell with the title of his work.

Lastly comes the Opus Prosodiacum Græcum, of Petrus Colemannus, a schoolmaster at Stettin, published at Frankfort, in 1651; a work in which the worthy pedagogue appears to have had a double object, having principally selected moral and proverbial sentences by way of examples, thus combining a gnomologia with his prosody, and giving rules for life as well as quantity.

We are next presented with a short and unostentatious account of the improvements introduced by Dr. Maltby into this edition; and they are indeed important, removing in a considerable degree many of the evils we have already noticed.

In the first place, in cases of ambiguity, variety of significa. tion, or other peculiarity, the meaning of the Greek word is explained by a Latin interpretation; and a better and more

corrected himself, but his own note on auá contains a full answer to any cavils which might be urged against him by a modern Zoilus. Rev

luminous

luminous arrangement of the synonyms and epithets has been adopted.

Secondly, the inaccuracy of quotation, and frequently the indecision of quantity, so often complained of in Morell, has been very much obviated by more correct reference, and fuller, quotation, so that the sense, as well as the quantity of each word, may be collected from the context.

But as the scholar cannot always ascertain the quantity, in words which occur in uncertain places, and in obscure or licen-, tious metres, besides the usual marks of long and short, two new ones have been introduced on the suggestion of Dr. Maltby's learned friend Dr. Davy, the Master of Caius College. These are u and S, the former signifying that the syllable is more frequently long, but is sometimes found short, the latter that it is. more frequently short, but sometimes found long. This, howa ever, we cannot help thinking rather an ingenious refinement, than an absolute improvement, and indeed, Dr. Maltby seems to be of the same opinion. So much depends on the usage of different ages, dialects, and even styles of writing, that accuracy in this point is not only often unattainable, but the attempt to observe it would frequently lead into error. For instance, we looked to the word xaños, where instead of finding these ambiguous marks, we were much better pleased by a note of the learned editor,

“ Penultima hujus nominis semper producitur” inquit Dammius. Apud Homerum et epicos poetas credo : sed apud Atticos et forte Lyricos semper corripitur."

Yet even with this we must confess ourselves not contented. It either asserts too much or too little. If by the Epic Poets, are meant those strictly so called, such as Homer and Apollonius Rhodius, we admit the fact, but if the term is meant to comprehend all writers in heroic verse, it is incorrectly stated; and if it is not meant to comprehend them, it should have been remarked, that in Hesiod, Theocritus, and Callimachus, it per petually varies. In the two latter writers, indeed, it is used both long and short in the same line, Theocr. Ecl. vi. 19. and Cal. lim. Hymn. Jov. 55. We are aware, indeed, that the authenticity of the passage in Callimachus, has been questioned by Lennep and Ruhnken, with whom, however, we are not absoa lutely disposed to agree, and even if we were, it would not affect the argument, as we could produce many other passages from the same author, in which the quantity varies. See Hymn. Apoll. 3. 36. 59, to go no further.

We wish, however, to be understood, rather as hereby illusMrating the difficulty of ascertaining with any degree of certainty,

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