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beauty, which if not left as by the Greeks to please by its freedom from the dress of art, yet claims that next best merit, where every ornament is selected with taste, and put on with gracefulness.
Most of the lighter kinds of Poetry for a long time were neglected among the Greeks, and of the little they produced this way our remains are small. So long as the people were delighted with the high strains of the Epic, the Tragic, and the Lyric bard, the progress of Comedy must have been very slow. Aristotle seems to hint also at another cause, why it was less cultivated, when he tells us the magistrate was late in appointing Comedy a public performance; as if the well-administered states of old time were suspicious of this species of Poetry, and at last rather tolerated than patronized it. The lax sentiments soon introduced by Aristophanes fully justified their caution; especially as he recommended himself by a charm of language, and a pointedness in his wit, most insinuating and delightful. His fables, however, are generally too little studied, his fictions often quite extravagant, and his ridicule too gross, and openly abusive.
Here, as in most of their poetry, the Latins are defective in originality, many of their Comedies being nothing but free translations from the Greek. Plautus is too much infected with the faults of Aristophanes, though it must be owned his wit is more honestly employed, and his plots more natural.
Terence we know was a copyist, yet he has the manner of an original genius. He was the first who introduced the double plot, as in the case of the Andria, which however it may violate the rules of art, gives great spirit and life to bis representations. His language is sometimes defective in vigor, but is peculiarly correct and sweet; and in the preservation of natural character, and in a happy delineation of common life, he is inimitable. Aristophanes amuses us by witty incidents and sayings; Terence, by a vein of humor easy and not overstrained, pervading a whole character: the mirth of Aristophanes is generally unprincipled and coarse; that of Terence always liberal and refined : Terence writes with a neglect of all morality; Aristophanes with a profligate contempt of it.
Of Satire properly so called, and as distinguished from the Satiric Drama, the Greeks appear to have been ignorant, and the invention probably originated with the Latins. Horace alone secms to have understood its right use and end. He
' χορόν κωμωδών οψέ ποτε και άρχων έδωκεν, Ποιητ. xi.
well knew that there were vices and follies more curable by elegant raillery than serious discourse. These he has exposed with so much good temper and wit, as to ridicule the absurdities, without irritating those who were guilty of them; his object is plainly rather to correct than to wound. Juvenal, notwithstanding his occasional sublime morality, abounds too much with declamatory indignation, and shows too little of that humorous yet keen-edged satire which is likely to reform.
The Eclogue, the Elegy, and some smaller branches of Poetry, are the only remaining points of comparison; and even in these we shall find strong characteristic differences, and much resembling those which we have traced out in the more serious compositions, As Theocritus lived before Virgil, and possessed a truly Grecian genius, he has left him but little room for originality. The sweetness of his language, also, and the simplicity of his thoughts, infuse a beauty into • his pastorals, which Virgil from a less studious attention to the real life of shepherds has entirely lost. The Eclogues of the Roman Poet in themselves are most elegant and finished productions; but it has fairly been doubted, whether they would not have been more admirable under a different name, * and perhaps in a somewhat different shape. But in all these simpler branches of Poetry the Latins were defective from a want of simplicity in their lives. They lived too much in the
world, they were too conversant with courts, and too fond of " refined dissipation, to have much of that pure and genuine in
spiration which attends not except upon the admirers of nature, the votaries of retirement, and the sons of peace. Such were the writers of these beautiful appendages of Grecian poesy; in which there is simplicity and strength of feeling without 'affectation of sentiment, and a natural picture of happy rural life, by men who really enjoyed and preferred it.
It would have been better, probably, if these Latin Poets had not attempted to cast themselves back into an age to which they did not belong, and had accommodated their Poetry more to the subjects of their own times. It is by this mcans alone that these smaller pieces become most interesting: and that absurd mixture of modern sentiments and primeval scenes is effectually avoided.
Catullus alone, among all the writers of this class, has had the good sense to keep close to nature, and his Grecian predecessors. He has dressed some of the simplest and happiest thoughts, in the softest and most beautiful expressions; while Martial and the rest, for the most part, expend their chief VOL. XX.
efforts, and place their highest excellence, on the point of a word or the turn of a sentence.
Such are some of the principal merits and defects in the Poets of these two great nations. Upon the whole then we may conclude, that in originality of conception, as it appears in the fable, the characters, and the sentiments, in a bold felicity of expression, in a just neglect of artificial refinement, and a genuine adherence to nature, the Greeks have an unrivalled claim to our fullest approbation. At the same time it must be allowed, that in correctness of taste, in propriety of thought, in a strict perception and observance of the rules of good writing, and above all, in a peculiar talent for descriptive Poetry, they have generally been outdone by the Latins.
To the Greeks, indeed, we must ever resort as the standard models of all the grand excellencies of Poetry; yet as correctors of their oversights, and as guides to teach us the right use and application of these models, we can recur no where so well as to the critical discernment displayed in the successful imitations of the Latins. Let the native genius and spirit of the Greeks remain undisputed : it is still however no small merit in the Latins, that they possessed judgment to appreciate it, candor to acknowledge it, and talent to employ and not seldom improve it.
It is impossible to close considerations like these without congratulating ourselves on the advantages we enjoy in the possession of two such different yet admirable guides; or without admiring that wise and judicious proportion of attention, which in the system of a classical education is bestowed upon each. Seeking as we do our higher inspiration from the Greeks, yet correcting their exuberances in the chaster and severer school of Latin Poetry, we are adopting the most effectual method (a method sustained by the example and by the eminent success of Milton) to combine in the productions of our own country, the bold genius of the one nation attempered with the strict judgment of the other; and to establish for ever that high rank in the civilised world for talent and taste, which we have long maintained for power and virtue. Oriel College,
SAMUEL RICKARDS, A. B, June 23, 1819.
OS A PASSAGE IN THE FIRST BOOK OF THE GEORGICS OF VIRGIL.
I have translated the first book of the Georgics of Virgil into blank verse, and added copious notes, chiefly taken from more ancient writers, to whom Virgil might have been supposed to allude; which together have now amounted to mpwards of 400 4to. manuscript pages. My motive for undertaking the task was partly for my own amusement, and partly for explaining to some agricultural friends my conception of various passages, which the commentators, being mere scholars, and not conversant in the pursuits of husbandry, had, in my opinion, misrepresented ; and of which the English translators had given such free, and such diffuse interpretations, as were incompatible with the preciseness of a didactic poem.
In pursuance of my plan of investigating the relative meaning of every identical word of any consequence, I have discovered, under the article spatium in the concluding lines of the first Georgic, a more plausible solution of the Ænigma of Damætas recited in the third Eclogue, than had been given to it by any former exposition; and by which the Ænigma itself was demonstrated to be much more simple, elegant, and appropriate in all its well-adapted allusions. The Ænigma is couched in the following terms :
Dic quibus in terris, et eris mihi magnus Apollo,
Tres pateat cæli spatium non amplius ulnas. As my performance is not yet sufficiently correct to be consigned to the press, I thought a new explication of the longconcealed Enigma, might gratify the readers of the Classical Journal.
But to comprehend the whole bearing of the Ænigma, it will be necessary to give a cursory transcript of my notes on these three concluding lines :
Ut cum carceribus sese effudere quadrige.
Fertur equis auriga, neque audit currus habenas. The lines are concise, beautiful, and expressive; and the more forcible by not being clogged with epithet: it would therefore be difficult to exhibit them with adequate justice in an English metrical version. My own translation, giving the requisite consequence to each efficient word, is as follows:
“ As when high-metti'd steeds yok'd four abreast
On flies the car, nor heeds the curbing rein." The Poet concludes this first part of his work by an illustration (for Servius will not allow it to be a simile) of unrestrained war by a chariot race: war, he says, when once it is commenced, is no more to be confined within bounds, than spirited horses in a chariot race; which, if they become ungovernable, run off the course, and it cannot be ascertained what direction they will take, nor when their career will be stopped.
quadrigæ” were chariots drawn by four horses yoked in double pairs, or four abreast; in modern times they would be called four-in-hand chariots.
By“ auriga” is supposed to be meant' Octavius Cæsar himself; who, although of a peaceable disposition, could not at the commencement of his imperial power restrain the fury of war.
“ Retinacula" refers to the guiding reins, and “habenas” to the curbing bridles. The force of “audit” is “ to hear so as to obey.”
But the purport of this paper is to examine the phrasc addunt in spulia'; and particularly as the word spalium is applied in the Ænigma of Damoetas.
The phrase addunt in spatia has not been well explained cither by commentators or grammarians. The note of Servius, as a commentator, is : “ uddunt in sputia, id est, currendo plus eorum cursus augetur." And Ainsworth, as a grammarian, interprets " addere in spatia," to“ gallop faster:" each leaving out the peculiar signification attached to in spatia. The term addunt signifies, the horses add something in a certain degree to what they had before, and that is " speed.” And the undefined and overlooked in spatia, means,“ upon the measured space” of the race course.
The stadium (or &póuos) I consider as the stage on which the performances were exhibited, whether on land or water: and the spatium to be the measured distance between the barrier (carcer) and the goal (meta): one certain distance being allowed to the competitors in the foot race, and another, in the horse, chariot, or boat race. The great competition in the chariot race was to get the first to the goal; and great skill and adroitness was requisite to prevent the chariots from clashing with each other, or encountering the goal itself, at cach turn or return. Thus Horace :