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épiége, multandus fuerit. Proposita est eadem pæna illis qui fæderis clausulas despexerint et illis qui monimentum ipsum violaverint. Pariter fere in pacto Priansienses inter et Hierapytnios (Marm. Oxon. p. 64. vs. 80.) statuitur illos qui fædus infregerint, illosque qui columnam publicam, fæderis sanciti monimentum, erigere neglexerint, eamdem multam, quinquaginta nempe stateras, esse soluturos.

Explicatis verbis singulis et formulis, adponam versionem totius inscriptionis :

« Fædus Eleos inter et Evaæos. Societas esto ad centum annos ; Archontes autem erunt decem. Quod si quid opus fuerit dictu factuve, conveniunto, et de rebus aliis et de bellicis. Si non convenerint, talentum argenti solvunto Jovi Olympio sacrum pacti ruptores. Si autem quis illa quæ hic scripta sunt deleverit, sive civis, sive magistratus, sive gens, mulcta sacra mulctator hic edicta."

in agro Trojano; sed non necesse est Metrodorum inde fuisse criundum, et potuit Amphipolita Metrodorus in Asia habitare. Præterea notandum verba Inscriptionis Aureliæ Blucia (BAOTKIA valde suspectuin est: forte H AOTKIA); verba, inquam, zwoa rai oporozoa remedium præbere aptissime adhibendum inscriptioni in Museo Cantabrigiensi t. i. p. 554.

ΑΣΚΛΗΠΙΑΔΗΣ ΓΑΥΡΟ

ΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΦΡΟΝΩΝ ΕΘΕ-κτλ, , Scribe ZΩΝ ΚΑΙ Φ"Nuper vir doct. scripsit ad Knightii mentem, ypapivou esse pro yiy papipinning sed re, puto, parum attente perspecta, quippe quam obiter tantum ac velut in transcursu tangebat: cf. Epist. Rocheit, ad Aberd. p. 52. 2 Et hanc sententiam Lennepio prubavi.

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308

ON THE

POLITE LITERATURE

OR

BELLES LETTRES OF HOLLAND.

An account of the Polite Literature, or, as it is technically called, the Belles Lettres, of the Dutch, may perhaps be in the same degree interesting to the English reader, in which it is probably new to him. Very few Englishmen, it may be presumed, have given the Dutch credit for distinguishing themselves as much as other nations of Europe, by the productions of gevius and taste which come under that denomination. They have not been in the habit of associating with the character of a Dutchman the ideas of wit, imagination, and sensibility. These qualities, it has generally been thought, are not to be met with in Holland. It will, however, appear from the statement which is to follow, that such a prejudice is unfounded. As to the intellectual capacity of the people of Holland, no doubt can be entertained. There is, perhaps, no country, in proportion to its population and extent of territory, which has produced more eminent men in science and learning. Let us but recollect the names of Grotius, Noodt, Voet, Bynhershoek, in the department of the law; Boerhave, Gaubius, Albinus, Van Swieten, in medicine and anatomy; Huyghens, Leeuwenhoek, 's Gravesande, Muschenbroek, Ruysch, Swammerdam, in mathematics, physics, and natural history; Erasmus, in divinity, and other branches of knowledge; those masters of classic lore, the Vossii, Burmanni, Gronovii, Grævii, Hemsterhuis, Wesseling, Drakenborch, Valckender, Lennep, Schultens, Alberti; to whom may be added Lipsius, Scaliger, D'Orville, Ruhnkenius, and Wyttenbach: for though these five men last named were not natives of Holland, yet they lived there, having adopted it for their country, and there rose to celebrity and fame. This will be a sufficient argument to prove that the country is not unpropitious to the cultivation of the mental faculties; and naiurally lead to the inference, that there is no ground for supposing that elegant literature would not succeed, where graver learning and science have so remarkably prospered. Otherwise we must assume the ridiculous position, that the Dutch people are by nature formed in a particular manner, and only endowed with one kind of mental ability, fitting them for serious pursuits, but leaving them destitute where imagination is required to co-operate. If such an assertion be but slightly considered, the futility of it will soon become evident. There might, however, have been circumstances, quite distinct from a similar objection, which had a tendency to impede the progress of that species of literature which forms the subject of the present communication, so as to leave the Dutch, in this particular, behind the other nations of Europe. First, much

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would depend on the state of cultivation, which their native language had received, and on the time when it began to be employed in the service of literature; for there was a period when the people of Europe made use of the Latin tongue for the purposes of science, to the neglect of their own. To this practice the Dutch perlaps adhered as long as any of their neighbours, and consequently prejudiced the interests of their native idiom. By degrees, however, it experienced that attention, without which it could not thrive, and was brought to a state of improvement, which rendered it fit for the productions of the Muses.

What the character of the Dutch language is, may be vext enquired, as a preliminary to the present discussion. It is unquestionably a branch of the German tongue, and so nearly resembles that idiom, which is called Low German, that the one appears only a modification of the other. To those, who are acquainted with both, this is an evident truth ; though the Dutch theniselves would rather claim a greater share of originality for their dialect than that proposition allows. I have heard some literary men in Holland make such a pretension, by asserting, that though the Dutch must be referred to the Germanic tongues, yet it ought to be considered as a distinct branch of them, and, in a certain degree, as an original language. This opinion is more the result of national vanity, than of an impartial view of the subject, and of reasoning founded upon a knowledge of the respective languages. The Dutch language, as it now exists, has been very successfully cultivated. It is copious; and has the peculiar advantage, which distinguishes the German tongue, that it possesses the means of creating, out of its own elements, whatever terms may be required for the expression and representation of ideas. Thus it is exempted from the necessity of borrowing foreign words, which gives it a character of purity that cannot be regarded otherwise than as a very high commendation. In such a capability, the powers and resources of a language consist; and, in proportion as it is invested with that aptness, it is calculated for the operations of literature and science. The Greek language had that qualification; avd we know from the works of genius it has produced, how such a prerogative ought to be appreciated. The German language is endowed with it to a remarkable degree; but it is only of late years that the attention of the Germans has been awakened to the importance of this attribute. The Dutch bave been before them in developing and applying this principle; and in many instances the Germans have been indebted to them for improvements in phraseology. In its grammatical organization, the Dutch language resembles the German; but it is more simple and easy. To one particular we must advert, the position of words, depending, as it does in German, not on a vague and undefined perception of the ear, as is the case in the Greek, Latin, and other tongues, but on certaiu laws inberent in the language, which are not to be infringed at the will and option of the writer or speaker. The subject of the collocation of the words in the German language is curious and interesting to the linguist; and I have treated of it fully in my German Grammar,

to which I refer the reader,' who wishes to know something farther on the subject. I believe that I have been among the first, who asces. tained ihese laws, and exbibited them in a system. They were always obeyed, and practised; but, though every German tacitly acknowledged and respected them, yet few were aware of their existence, or ever thought of classing them with the body of their gramnratical rules. This will appear hy examining the different grammatical works that have been published on that language.

The circumstance that the same arrangement of words is found in the Dutch idiom is very important, as it proves that it is an original and permanent quality of the German language, which is the mother tongue, and not an accidental form arbitrarily introduced into the latter. Indeed this may also be inferred from the prevalence of that peculiarity throughout the German nation, where the principles of the position of words are universally adhered to in the common intercourse of life, though some nrodification or deviation from the rules that are laid down may occasionally occur. It is not an oratorical artifice, or the contrivance of learned persons, but a practice that rests on the general consent of the people, and is as much identified with their habit of speaking and writing, as any other property of their language. An arrangement of words in speech, so precisely defined and settled by rules, and at the same time well calculated to promote the effect, which is always intended and to be desired, of stimulating, by the manner in which the words are made to follow one another, the attention of the hearer or the reader, and of giving to the sentences a certain symmetry, must be acknowledged as a great advantage. The ancieuts, I mean the Greeks and Romans, were sensible of the want of this requisite for the purposes of oratory; but they bad not in their languages the means of supplying it. It would have supplied what they call rhythm, or numerus oratorius ; which, although it was the object of laborious research, could never be reduced under any rule, nor be made available for general use.

It is not uncommon to hear foreigners say, that the Dutch is an ugly language. This observation, proceeding from persons who do not understand it, is naturally meant to apply to the sound, which, it is intimated, is of such a character as to affect the ear disagreeably. As there is no settled standard for the merits of sound, by which such an opinion might be regulated, we may expect that there will frequently be a fallacy in a similar declaration. 'But on the other hand, it is not to be denied that there exists a great difference in sounds; and that some are fitted to touch the ear pleasantly, while others tend to produce a contrary sensation. We must, therefore, allow any individual, though totally ignorant of the language he hears, to judge, as far as regards himself, whether it sounds agreeably or otherwise. Much too depends on habit; and it may be conceived, ihat what abso

'A Grammar of the German Language, for the use of Englishmen. Part ii. Chap. 3.

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