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as verse and song, had currency in our island before the year 1380; but in what shape or to what extent used cannot be very nicely ascertained. It would appear that the versions were not always in prose, nor more faithful than paraphrases. Besides, it is probable that the whole of the New Testament was never translated by the Anglo-Saxons. At any rate it cannot with propriety be said that the language of these versions was English ; certainly not English that can now be generally understood, and as certainly not the English of Wiclif, which with little trouble may be read at this day, by any person.
With justice, therefore, in any comprehensive view of English Biblical translation, that by the rector of Lutterworth is entitled to precedence.
With respect to the character of Wiclif's version, the author of the Historical Account is of opinion that it was done from a Latin version, and not from the Greek; and it appears to us that this point is rendered sufficiently probable, and that the value of the work was not such as to entitle it to much regard as a scriptural authority; at least after the appearance of Tyndale's translation in 1534.
We have already had a general account of this martyr's work, the first printed English version, which not only because of this circumstance is a curiosity in the history of literature, but because it exhibits our tongue in that developed condition which may be characterized as midway between the age of Wiclif and that of James the First ; when the authorized version displayed a wealth and beauty of language that continues to be regarded as excellent. Independent of its literary features, Tyndale's version was esteemed to be of such value in a scriptural sense, that it was one of those which the translators of the authorized were to consult as a basis. It had also been reprinted, and again in a revised shape.
Other translations followed that of the martyr, but with comparatively slight alterations; and even Cranmer's, the third in chronological order in the Hexapla, was essentially of this character.
The Geneva version was by exiles who, when persecution was hot against Bible translators and Bible readers, occupied themselves " for the space
years and more with feare and trembling" in this work. They made much use of Beza's version as well as those of their countrymen.
The Rhemish, or Catholic version, was intended to present the New Testament in a truer translation, or, as some will contend, in another form than that of any of those by the English Protestants. They used rather a different phraseology than a different meaning; and unquestionably the work has a right to the place it occupies in the Hexapla. The history of the authorized version requires no remark in our pages.
The Greek text in the present work is that of Scholz, which is
collated with Griesbach's ; and this is no small advantage to the scholarly student. But even to the common English reader we cannot too strongly rocommend a publication which places before him, at a comparatively trifling expense, six translations, and which in no other book can be found; nor separately, unless at an enormous price.
ART. XVI.-Dodd's Church History of England. With Notes, &c. by the
Rev. M. A. TIERNEY, F.R.S. &c. Vol. IV, London : Dolman. We have called the attention of our readers to the preceding volumes of this Church History, and spoken of the moderation and the candour, both of the Author and the Editor. We have also quoted specimens of the work to support the general opinion we entertain of these Roman Catholic writers. The volumes contain an immense body of information, the notes, additions, and corrections alone by Mr. Tierney, being the fruit of extensive research and earnest industry. It cannot be denied, however, that owing to the manner of Dodd's arrangement of his subjects, and also to the multitude and predominance of the Notes and the Appendixes, the work proves heavy and repulsive, if regarded as a history intended for the general reader. On the other hand, to the student of general as well as ecclesiastical history it presents a mine of wealth ; while to the truth seeking and unprejudiced religionist, it will set some things in a light (which he may not have discovered in any of the works which are generally consulted with regard either to the civil or the religious revolutions and changes which have occurred in this country.
The present volume is exclusively devoted to the reign of James the First; and our extract shall relate to that prince's character and policy.
As usual, Dodd takes a middle, or an extenuating rather than an exaggerating method, when drawing the portrait of James. In regard to him, says our historian, “Some have taken so unbecoming a freedom, as to represent him to have been one of the most insignificant princes, that ever sat upon the British throne.” He then goes on to notice the several charges which the monarch's detractors have advanced relative to his
personal qualities, his learning, his political and religious opinions or practices, &c.; informing the reader in the course of the statement, what the plan and principles are which he himself is to observe. “ What reflections occur to me, upon the premises, are, that as the greatest qualifications, and the most cautious behaviour are liable to misrepresentations, when persons are resolved to give things an invidious turn, so such as are inclined to be friends to mankind, may easily disperse the mist that is raised, and find a way to expound matters in a more favourable sense. It is not, however, my design to undertake an apology for king James, as to the particulars he is charged with ; many whereof are visibly nothing else but malicious VOL. III. (1841.) NO. III.
insinuations, to depreciate his character, upon views best known to his enemies, and which the discerning part of mankind may easily guess at." The extract which we now present will exhibit the historian in a moderate light upon a subject which has excited much keenness and controversy.
“ Before I conclude what relates to king James's character, some, perhaps, may expect that I should add a word or two concerning arbitrary power, which he is said to have laboured for. As to the thing itself, arbitrary power, in all governments, must be lodged somewhere; because there must be a non plus ultrá of authority, in order to put an end to debates, which otherwise would be perpetual. Many inconveniences (besides breaking in upon the constitution) attend it, when it is assumed by a single person ; and we are not always in safety when it is managed by a multitude: especially, when the number is contracted into so small acom pass as to become all dependent and creatures to a single person, who may, by that stratagem, deprive the people of their liberties, under the plausible pretence of being their guardians. The usurpation of a single person, in the first case, may be easily opposed ; but, in the latter, where the people are made slaves, as it were, by their own consent, to whom can they have recourse to shake off the burden ? But these are matters of too high a nature to be looked narrowly into. I shall only take the liberty to observe that arbitrary power, in the Kings of England, has always been esteemed directly opposite to our politic constitution. But, at the same time, we are to take it along with us, that politic constitutions have, so far, a resemblance with human bodies, as to be subject to alterations. Now, it is undeniable, that the constitution of the English government bas not always been the same. Several laws, which sometime were esteemed to be fundamental, have been repealed; both those regarding the liberties of the people, and such as belonged to the royal prerogative. Nay, even at this day, these matters are a subject of contention ; nor can it easily be determined, where to fix the boundaries of each of those powers, which make up the legislature. It is not to my purpose to mention particulars. However, thus much may be said in general,—that as several of our monarchs, in former days, have borne hard upon the constitution, by depriving the people of their liberties, so the royal prerogative has been attacked by the people, where they had no right to call it into question. Now, as all persons are jealous of their privileges, king James, perhaps, might think his parliament was too encroaching, and upon that account, show something of resolution and stiffness in asserting his prerogative; which, by construction, exasperated minds might look upon to be an attempt for introducing arbitrary power,”
Dodd, after these generalities, quotes James's high prerogative letter to Sir Thomas Richardson, speaker of the House of Commons, dated December 3, 1631, from Newmarket; the historian's design being to let the reader judge for himself, concerning the king's design and character relative to arbitrary power; a fair way of dealing,
Art. XVII.--The Natural History of the Fishes of Guiana By R. H.
SCHOMBURGH. Naturalist's Library. London: Highley. Our readers have had, ere now, some account of Mr. Schomburgh's pursuits in Guiana, and specimens of his spirited and enthusiastic descriptions of extraordinary scenes in that country. He is a true Naturalist ; for his science is exact and his observation universal and keen, whatever be the object that presents itself, or the spot in which he is placed. Indeed according to the notices given of him, he has shown the direction of his mind by being passionately fond of botany from very early youth, and having had a strong love of surveying adventure.
Guiana seems to have been the principal field of his ardent pursuits, and he has brought many wonderful as well as interesting things to light belonging to that region with a graphic pen, and a really picturing pencil. The descriptions in the volume before us, and the plates from his drawings, are striking illustrations of the twofold and twin capacity.
Fishes and water-monsters did not come within the main scope of Mr. Schomburgh's researches in Guiana ; but as we have intimated, no department of Natural History is indifferent to him ; it is imposible for him to be thrown upon any territory, or to be allowed the free use of his eyes upon any part or kind of God's creation, without applying all his knowledge and energies to its examination. He therefore became an Ichthyologist when occasion offered, and has contributed a good deal that is novel or more vividly exhibited than ever before, in the present volume, although the history may want completeness, owing to being confined to what was actually observed. Nevertheless this part of the Library is exceedingly interesting ; and had the volume contained nothing more than the thirty-four coloured plates, and Mr. Schomburgh's Introduction, would have been worth more than the price of the book as it is, even in this age of cheap publications. We now quote two passages, as specimens of the manner in which the writer can inform and excite at the same moment: we might add, of the way in which he interests you in behalf of the Indians, because he deeply sympathizes with them himself, as a former review of some of his publications will bear out.
The natives of Guiana, we learn, are expert fishermen : they have also some curious ways of hunting and capturing the inhabitants of their rivers, some of these inhabitants being extraordinary enough of themselves. Take a description:
“Partly to serve us for economical purposes, but more to satisfy our curiosity of witnessing the Indian manner of hunting the arapaima, this giant of the fresh-water fishes Irai-i, the Carib chieftain at Currassawaka, induced his men to afford us an opportunity. We selected a sunny day, when there was more chance that at the heat of noontide one of those fishes would rise to the surface. Our party was distributed in five small corials; and we proceeded towards the mouth of the steam Currassawaka, where it enters the Rupununi. Here we remained stationary, one of the corials being put on the watch; and no length of time had elapsed when the signal was given that an arapaima was in sight. All hands were hushed as death; Irai-i and his brother-in-law Dabaero who were considered the stronges
and best shots, went forward with their corial and approached the fish as nearly as possible, the rest following softly, to be within arrow-shot. There stood the sinewy Carib Dabaero, his foot firmly resting upon the bow of the corial, his left hand grasping the large bow of tough uamara, his right the long arrow, upwards of six feet in length, and armed with a formidable iron point. His position, although forced to the unpractised, developed the symmetric forms of his figure, unadorned as it was by any art. Only those who have witnessed the Indian's eye when the bow is strung and he approaches his intended victim, can have any idea of that expression and that fire by which it appears lighted. Irai-i had adopted a similar position, when the crack of the bowstring told us that Dabaero had discharged his arrow, and the chief followed his example, but missed, his arrow floating on the water, while the other disappeared with the monster. The corials pulled into the middle of the stream, the eyes of the Indians directed to all points to detect the arrow-feather appearing. Their quick eye saw it above the water, although it was only for a moment: away went all the corials in full chase; and just as it appeared a second time, a second arrow was sent into the fish. All was now excitement; and the yell of the Indian, the rushing of waters, harrowed up by the quick stroke of the paddles, was one of the most enlivening scenes I ever witnessed. Away we went where the experienced hunters expected to see the fish reappear; and scarcely made the tops of the arrows their appearance, when others flew from their strings and pierced the arapaima. Down he went again; but the period he remained below the surface was much shorter than previously,-a proof that he got fatigued; and when he reappeared, he allowed the first corial to come so near that one of the Indians was enabled to give him a stroke with a cutlass : a few more arrows were discharged at him, and he became an easy prey. The question was now, how to get him into a corial, as we estimated his length at least six to seven feet, and his weight not less than a hundred and fifty pounds. He was floated into comparatively shallow water: and when one of the corials was got under him, the Indians, who were wading in the water, shuffled the corial, with the fish and water in it, to and fro until the water had got mostly out and the craft commenced to float again ; the rest was baled out; and under the huzza of our Indians we returned with our prize to Currassawaka, highly delighted with our sport of hunting the arapaima.”
The roar of alligators
“ The large alligators and caymans are the foremost among the inhabitants of the water which prey upon the fishes. There they lie, like dry logs of wood, at the foot of some cataract, their mouth half open, ready to snatch and swallow what the increased rapidity of the current should carry down the fall. How frequently have we seen them in that situation while ascending the upper river Berbice, which beyond all others seemed to swarm with these horrid monsters. I have already observed how often they tore the fish from our spring-hooks, and carried fish, hook, and line away ; and we naturally did not owe them good-will for their stealing propensities, which served as an additional proof to what extent their depredations must be carried on. And although abundance of fish during certain seasons prevails in the rivers of the interior, the cayman is never