Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

This is that 'consistent reading of all the MSS.,' on which editors would rely less if they remembered that it may represent but one original copy of little value; and, besides the awkward construction of the elra, it gives us the admirable sense that the clouds are compelled through compulsion I But the reference to this very passage, which Socrates immediately afterwards dins into the forgetful ears of Strepsiades, might have made the editors suspect their own slowness also—

Vv. 383-4: Ovk rjKovards /ilov ras Nf^,eXas Vsotos /iiara? Oti <j>rnu ifnrnrroi«Tai; cis dAAiJXas ira.ta.yiw Sia rrjv irvKVorqra; whence we Correct V. 378, 8ia Ttjv irvKVOrTjra, /?apeiai.

These specimens may serve to indicate the kind of matter that awaits the reader who is disposed to break the bulk of which they are but samples. They form but an introduction to the mass of emendations on Plato, of which we have space left for only some two or three. In the Cratylus (p. 424, D), Kox iireihav ravra BieXtbfieda ra ovra, ev iravra, avdis Bel ra ovofuna eiridelvat (Orelli), Sauppe saw that o£? was necessary to the sense, but he did not perceive that the useless ATOIC was made up of AOIC, the final letter oiiravra with the very word wanting. Dr. Badham reads, ra. ovra av irdvra oh Bel K.t.\. The same dialogue obtains the ending which it evidently wants, by the equally simple and ingenious correction of the one final word, changing 'AXXa Kal av ireipcb en, ivvoelv ravra tfBw into y Br e^et.

As our object has been to awaken attention to the revival of criticism among us, we have preferred selecting a few striking specimens of the success of the method to criticising the critic; but lest any young scholar should imagine that criticism is a safe trade, requiring no prudence, we will mention two or three cases in which, as it seems to us, even Dr. Badham falls into error.

In p. xv. of his Epistola ad Senatum Lugd., among other examples of words suffering from the omission of a syllable in their midst, Dr. Badham gives from Plato's Banquet (p. 215 D) iiareifKrryfievoi. eafiev, which he considers faulty on account of its connexion with Kare^ofieda. But the perfect here is from its nature equivalent to a present (for the man o? eKireirXTj/crai remains e/arejrXrjyfievos, the permanent state following and presupposing the particular fact), and the correction of earafiev is altogether unnecessary. We are the more surprised at his not having perceived this, because we have in this same dialogue, and but a page or two from this very passage, iicTreirXrjydai, and exactly in the same sense. There is nothing absolutely faulty in this correction; but the alteration on p. vii. of a manifestly

rurrupt

[graphic]

r

corrupt line in the Agamemnon of ./Eschylus (620), e? Tov Tto\vv <friXoicn KapTTOva-dcu ypovov, into Oio~t' ov Tt. occasions what appears to us an intolerable construction—' I would not utter tidings, false and fair, For friends to cherish with a fleeting joy.' The sense of the latter verse might be expressed either by <fii\ot,<; KapTTova-Bai or wore cjii\ o v? Kap7rova0ai, but a mixture of the two constructions is inadmissible. We have also some doubt about the necessity of making any change in the passage from the 'Sophist,' 242, C. (Epistola ad L., p. xxxiii.)—eu/coXw? pat So/tei HapfJ,evt&r)s r)fuv Biet^e^dai—which we should render, ' It seems to me that Parmenides has conversed with us in an off-hand manner'—i. e., as if he did not care whether we understood him or not. A passage in the 'Laws,' 752 C., is exactly similar to the one in question—ai? ev/coXw? Kal a<fxif3(o<; U7reipot<! uvBpaeri vofi.o6eTovft.ev—' How unconcernedly and coolly we legislate,' &c.

We could point out other instances where we are inclined more or less to demur either to the necessity of an alteration or to the propriety of the one adopted, both in Dr. Badham and in Professor Cobct; but it will be enough to observe that no works require to be read so critically as those of the critics themselves.

The two Epistles upon which we have been commenting fully sustain the reputation which Dr. Badham enjoys on the Continent of being the first living scholar in England. This being so, is it not surprising that a man who can do so much for the advancement of Greek learning, and who can impart instruction to our ripest scholars, should be prevented from affording to literature a tithe of the service which he is capable of rendering, because his time is absorbed in a routine of daily drudgery? There is something very touching in the graceful humour with which Dr. Badham (in the Epistle lately cited) veils his deep feeling as to his present position, leaving it to his friends at Leyden to understand, if they think fit, that all posts of learned leisure or more dignified employment had been a dignioribus occupati! We, however, well knowing that such is not the case, cannot help deploring that in a land like ours, amply provided with such posts, and wont to confer them with no grudging hand on scholarly distinction, Dr. Badham, notwithstanding all his critical labours, should continue to fill no higher office than that of head master of a proprietary school at Birmingham, over which dreary place he contrives to throw a classic interest: 'Memineritis me quam longissime a Musis in Chalybum terram relegatum vivere.' We would follow up the allusion with the hope that in this iron age of material work, his skilful labours in what is at present the least popular branch of learning may herald an age of English scholarship, which shall have nothing of Binning*

ham but its energetic industry, and nothing of its iron but its fibre and toughness, qualities which sound criticism alone can give; and to this hope we would fain add a second, that he himself may not want the reward due to the leader in such a regeneration.

Art. III.—1. Insect Architecture, Sfc. By James Rennie, A.M.

London, 1857. 2. Homes without Hands, being a Description of the Habitations

of Animals, classed accordinq to their-Principle of Construction.

By the Rev. J. G. Wood, M.A., F.L.S. With New Designs

by W. F. Keyl and E. Smith. London, 1865.

4 MONGST the various races of mankind the degree of J\_ civilisation to which any particular nation may have attained is, in a great measure, evidenced by its proficiency in the art of building. Rude savages content themselves with mere holes scooped in the ground, or with a few branches temporarily erected for the purpose of keeping off the wind and the cold,—a contrast, indeed, to the convenient mansions and noble castles of a civilised nation. But with the brute creation we often find, the lower the organism, the more marvellous the structure of the dwelling-place. The larger animals, for the most part, do not construct abodes; the lion and other wild camivora make use of caverns and hiding-places, but show no signs of skill either in improving these natural haunts, or in building for themselves; so with the sagacious elephant and other pachydermata, we meet with no instances of architecture amongst them. Birds, however, are pre-eminently builders, and their nests are often very elaborate structures. Certain insects, as bees, wasps, and ants, surpass the birds in their architectural designs and operations; even very low down the scale of creation we meet with extraordinary instances of architecture, one kind of little rotifer, for instance, almost rivalling in its building instinct the beaver and the bee.

Various and numerous are the builders, of such diverse habits of life and architectural tastes, furnished with building implements of so many different forms; some framing structures for themselves, others appropriating the deserted abodes of other animals, or forcibly ejecting the rightful occupant; some burrowing in the ground, others in stone, others in wood; others mining tunnels in the leaves, stems, fruit, roots, &c., of various plants, to the utter destruction, in many cases, of the prospects of the agriculturist; others, again, taking up their abodes in

the the furniture of our houses, or making their tents amongst our wearing apparel, or perforating our books, or scooping out places of lodgment in our Natural History collections; some, again, making the living bodies of animals both their food and habitations; others occupying the lofty boughs of trees, or making their habitations under the eaves of our houses; others constructing homes in the mud-banks of our rivers, or in the sand of the sea-shore. Then, again, as to the buildings themselves, some are of extreme simplicity, others rival in their completeness the works of the human architect; some are simply for places of concealment from enemies, and some for the nurseries of the young; others for keeping out the cold, others for temporary abodes in which the inmates may complete their metamorphoses, others for play-grounds or toy-houses—as, for instance, the Bower-birds of Australia; others for traps to catch prey. Various, also, are the tools or building instruments used by animal architects: some employing their beaks, some their feet, some their jaws; the small rotifer, referred to above, fabricating its bricks of clay within its own body.

The materials used in animal habitations are of all possible kinds. Some creatures build their homes of paper, others of wax, others of moss, sticks, straw, or feathers; others of mud. Some line the cavities they have excavated in wood with pieces of rose leaves; others spin a web around leaves of different kinds, and conceal themselves within them as in tents; others prefer to make use of the deserted houses of various molluscs, and encase themselves snugly within; some form balls of dung in which the young are developed; some clothe themselves, like Hercules, with the skins of their victims and lie in ambush for their prey.

The simplest form of animal habitation is a burrow, whether in the ground, stone, wood, or other substance. Many animals adopt this form of habitation both amongst mammalia, birds, a few reptiles, some Crustacea, molluscs, spiders, and insects. All vertebrate burrowing animals excavate their homes out of earth, the invertebrate out of earth, wood, or stone.

Of this form of habitation amongst the mammalia, the most common instances are those of the rabbit, fox, badger, mole, &a, of our own country; while numerous interesting examples of this kind of home occur in other lands, as in that of the prairie dog, chipping squirrel, pouched rat, &c., of North America; the mole-rat of Asia, the sand-mole and the strange-looking aard-vark of South Africa, and the armadilloes of South America. An earth-burrow may be a simple tunnel, with the nest at the extreme end of it—as in that made by the rabbit, when about to

produce produce her young—or it may consist of several passages forming a complex abode, as in the fortress of the mole. Of this very common creature Mr. Wood, who has carefully studied its habits, gives us several interesting particulars, some of which we shall transcribe :—

'This extraordinary animal does not merely dig tunnels in tho ground, and sit at the end of them, but forms a complicated subterranean dwelling-place, with chambers, passages, and other arrangements of wonderful completeness. It has regular roads leading to its feeding-grounds; establishes a system of communication as elaborate as that of a modern railway, or to be more correct, as that of tho subterranean network of metropolitan sewers; and is an animal of varied accomplishments. It can run tolerably fast; it can fight like a bulldog; it can capture prey under or above ground; it can swim fearlessly; it can sink wells for the purpose of quenching its thirst.'

'Mr. Wood considers the mole to be by far the fiercest and most active mammal within the British Isles. 'Indeed so remarkable,' he says, 'is it for both these qualities that I doubt whether the great ferae of tropical climates can equal it either in ferocity, activity, or voracity. The mole's appetite is enormous, and it is hardly possible to conceive and quite impossible to describe the fury with which it eats. It hunches its back in a most curious manner, retracts the head between the shoulders, and uses its fore-paws to assist it in pushing the worm into its jaws.' The mole, however, does not enjoy the exclusive peculiarity of this habit of dining; the carnivorous chelodines of America eat 'exactly after the same fashion employed by the mole, seizing their food in their jaws, and tearing it to pieces by the aid of the armed fore-paws, one foot being applied at each side of the mouth, so as to push food forwards while the head draws it back.' 'From seeing the animal eat, I can readily conceive,' our author adds, 'the fury with which it must be animated when it fights, and can perfectly appreciate the truth of the assertion that it has been observed to fling itself upon a small bird, to tear its body open, and to devour it while still palpitating with life.' The mole is certainly an animal of very varied accomplishments; but our subject has less to do with animals than with their habitations; so let us glance at that of the mole. The author to whom we are principally indebted for our knowledge of the structure of the mole's domicile is Henri le Court, who, about the time of the French revolution, spent the latter portion of his life in studying the habits of this creature.

'VVe all know,' writes Mr. Wood, 'that the mole burrows under the ground, and that it raises those little hillocks with which we are so familiar; but we do not generally know the

« AnteriorContinuar »