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from this ill-digested volume. We do not here allude to the mere sciolism of a considerable portion of the original remarks; nor to occasional errors and mistakes; it is the general and pervading bad taste of the whole composition, which must render it for the most part unacceptable to any cultivated mind. It opens with a dedication of its multifarious contents to Dr. Parr, and celebrates his choice collection of books (munus Apolline dignum) in language as multifarious; it then proceeds with an advertisement of works projected by the same editor, equal to any lottery-puff in extravagance of style and promise; and with an index of twenty-five pages; containing such an ostentatious enumeration of authors quoted, and passages amended, and phrases explained, as we have never seen displayed since the not equally learned but equally various heads of chapters in Sir John Carr's Travels. We select one title to shew the precision of our comparison:-Books cited for the occasional Illustration of the Greek, the Roman, the Gothic, the Jewish, and the Oriental, Religion, Mythology, Government, Opinions, Customs, Manners, and Arts'!!! The admirable Crichton himself, when he challenged the world de omni scibili, was not guilty of a greater absurdity than the foregoing assumption.
A specimen of a commentary on the Germany of Tacitus occupies above a hundred pages at the beginning of the volume. It is selected from most of the approved commentators on this author, and accompanied with original observations by the editor. Assuredly, that editor must have turned over a great ́number of volumes, and he has frequently extracted useful matter from them. He has also imbibed a portion of antient literature, and apparently much love for it. All this is respectable, and we should be sorry indeed to withhold that praise which can be justly bestowed on such a passion: on the contrary, we shall endeavour to do ample justice to it by some of the most favourable selections which we can produce from the work before us. At the same time, we are bound to justify our predominating censure of that work, and shall therefore be forced to condemn this ardent but ill-directed student out of his own mouth. We shall first make our readers acquainted with the principal subjects of his lucubrations. Critical and explanatory notes on the Hippolytus of Euripides, with strictures on some remarks of Professor Monk, follow the commentary of Tacitus; and other criticisms on the Prometheus, as edited by Mr. Blomfield, are subjoined. We cannot say much in favour of either; although in our judgment they are free from that, jealousy and disposition to detract from the merits of these superior scholars, of which we have heard the editor accused. The concluding section contains remarks on the Byssus, E e 4
Bombycina, and Serica, on the Indi colorati of Virgil, the oriental Ethiopia of the classical geographers, the supposed origin of the Nile, &c. &c. with several communications from Dr. Vincent and Mr. Barrow, applied to the Illustration of sundry Passages in the Classical Writers. This last (as our readers will see) is a very taking title: but, if the communications themselves, and the illustration which Mr. Barker has extracted from them, be fairly estimated, every body must ask the question,
"Quorsum pertinuit stipare Platona Menandro,
Ostentation, in a word, is the prominent characteristic of the whole volume. We shall now attempt to refer to some of the really useful reflections which it contains; and also to specify some of its defects. We meet with an ingenious, though not satisfactory, illustration of a passage in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, at page 472.: but we prefer to select, as a specimen of the author's learning and critical skill, the following section, intitled
• AGAMEMNON OF SCHYLUS ILLUSTRATED.
V. 576. τί ταῦτα πενθεῖν δεῖ; παροίχεται πόνος·
τὸ μήποτ' αὖθις μήδ ̓ ἀναστῆναι μέλειν.
"Verum quid ista lugeamus? præteriit labor, primum iis quidem qui mortui sunt, ut ne si detur quidem resurgere velint: nempe se tot ærumnis aliquando defunctos esse lætantur, quos in vitam redeundo nolunt repetere: eandem ob causam Cato Major apud Cic. de Sen. sub. fin. Si quis largiatur, inquit, ut ex hac atate repuerascam et in eunis vagiam, valde recusem." Schutz. But Eschylus appears to me in this passage to intimate the supposed impossibility of a resurrection of the dead in what sense this is to be taken will be seen as we pro. ceed. As this is a serious subject, I shall dilate upon it, and adduce several passages of a similar import: "Eur. Herc. Fur. nal rís lavórtur ἦλθεν ἐξ ᾅδου; Id. Alcest. οὐκ ἔστι τοὺς θανόντας ἐς φάος μολεῖν. Virg. Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras, Hic labor, boc opus est. Catull. Illuc, unde negant redire quenquam. Lucian. Mort. Dialog. οὐ θέμις ἀνελθεῖν τινα τῶν λίμνην διαπλευσάντων. Plut. ἅπαξ ἄνθρωποι γεγόναμεν, δὶς δὲ οὐκ ἔστι γενέσθαι. Sen. Hippol. Gradumque retro flectere haud unquam sinunt Umbra tenaces." Duport's Gnomologia Homerica, p. 54. Again in p. 145. Æs. Eumenid. åraž θανόντος οὔτις ἔστ ̓ ἀνάστασις. The following passage from Dr. Bentley's eight Sermons on the Folly and Unreasonableness of Atheism, 4th Ed. p. 41. contains some luminous ideas upon this subject, which he has very successfully applied to the illustration of Acts, ch. xiv. v. 16. Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man, whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. "Hitherto," says this able divine, and profound
scholar, "the Apostle had never contradicted all his audience at once; though at every part of his discourse some of them might be uneasy, yet others were of his side, and all along a moderate silence and attention was observed, because every point was agreeable to the notions of the greater party; but, when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, the interruption and clamour became universal, so that here the Apostle was obliged to break off, and depart from among them, (v.33): what could be the reason of this general dissent from the notion of the resurrection, since almost all of them believed the immortality of the soul? St. Chrysostom hath a conceit, that the Athenians took avάoraois (the original word for resurrection) to be preached to them as a goddess, and in this fancy he is followed by some of the moderns; the ground of the conjecture is the 18th verse of this chapter, where some said, What will this babbler say? Other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods, (§évwv dasμoviwy, strange deities, which comprehends both sexes,) because he preached unto them ('Ingour xal TŴv åvàoταow) Jesus and the resurrection: now, say they, it could not be said deities in the plural number, unless it be supposed that avάoracis is a goddess, as well as Jesus a God; but we know, such a permutation of number is frequent in all languages: we have another example of it in the very text, As certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring, and yet the Apostle meant only one, Aratus, the Cicilian, his countryman, in whose astronomical poem this passage is now extant: so that although he preached to the Athenians Jesus alone, yet by a common mode of speech he might be called A setter forth of strange gods: it is my opinion that the general distaste and clamour proceeded from a mistake about the nature of the Christian resurrection : the word resurrection (ἀνάστασις, and ἀνάστης σacdas) was well enough known amongst the Athenians, as appears at this time from Homer, Eschylus, and Sophocles (Il. w. 551. Eumen. 655. Soph. Electra 136.): they could hardly then possibly imagine it to signify a goddess: but then it always denoted a returning from the state of the dead to this present world, to eat and drink and converse upon earth, and so after another period of life to die again as before: and Festus, a Roman, seems to have had the same apprehensions about it; for, when he declares the case of St. Paul, his prisoner, to King Agrippa, he tells him that the accusation was only about certain questions of the Jewish superstition, and of one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive, (Acts, xxv.19.); so that, when the Athenians heard him mention the resurrection of the dead, which, according to their acceptation of the word, was a contradiction to common sense, and to the experience of all places and ages, they had no patience to give any longer attention: his words seemed to them as idle tales, as the first news of our Saviour's resurrection did to the apostles themselves: all interrupted and mocked him, except a few, that seem to have understood him aright, who said they would hear him again of this matter: just as when our Saviour said in an allegorical and mystical sense, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you, ( John, vi. 53.) the hearers understood him literally and grossly: the Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his
flesh to eat? This is a hard saying, who can hear it? And from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (v. 60. 66.)" Dr. Harwood observes in his New Introduction to the Study and Knowledge of the New Testament, Vol. ii. p. 366. “It is observable that the Athenians heard with patience and temper the Apostle's discourse, which he publicly addressed to them, till he mentioned the Resurrection, upon hearing which the whole assembly was instantly a scene of confusion; the doctrine and the idea itself was full of such absurdity, that it immediately excited almost universal banter and derision:" this intelligent writer then presents us with the following quotations : “ τοὺς πάλαι ἀποθάνοντας αὐταῖς σαρξὶν ἐκείναις ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἀνάδυντας, ἀτέχνως σκωλήκων ἡ ἔλπις, Celsus ap. Origen. v. p. 240. Ed. Cantab. 1677.: ἀπιστουμένης παρ ̓ Ελλησιν ἀνασTáows ad Grac. Cohortatio, p. 133. Ed. Oxon. 1703.: Aniles fabulas adstruunt et annectunt: renasci se ferunt post mortem et cineres et favillas; et nescio qua fiducia mendaciis suis invicem credunt." Minucius Felix, p. 94. Cantab. 1712.: Vellem tamen sciscitari, utrumve cum corporibus? et corporibus quibus, ipsisne an innovatis resurgatur? sine corpore? hoc, quod sciam, neque anima, nec vita est : ipso corpore? sed jam ante dilapsum est: alio corpore? ergo homo novus nascitur, non prior ille reparatur: et tamen tanta ætas abiit, sæcula innumera fluxerunt, quis unus ullus ab inferis vel Protesilai sorte remeavit, horarum saltem permisso commeatu, vel ut exemplo crederemus? Omnia ista figmenta malesanæ opinionis et inepta solatia,' &c. Minucius Felix, p. 66. :
• Soles occidere, et redire possunt:
· καὶ οὔτ ̓ ἐξ ἐκείνων ἐλπίς ὡς ὀφθήσομαι,
· οὐ ταὐτὸν, ὦ παῖ, τὸ βλέπειν τῷ κατθάνειν,
Eur. Troad. v.
See the same disconsolate thoughts concerning death and the everlasting loss of friends, uttered in a very plaintive and melancholy manner, Iphig. in Aul. 1251. 1416. Hippolyt. 191. Orest. 1207. 1087. Soph. Ed. Colon. 1700. Trachin. 984. Electr. 240."'
Dr. Bentley and Dr. Harwood are indeed the principal performers in the above classical concert: but it is neither an uninstructive nor an unentertaining olio. As this section is one of the best, we shall now turn to one of the worst in the volume; that, we mean, which bears the pompous inscription of An Application of the Doctrine of the Association of Ideas to the Illustration of several Passages in the Hippolytus and the
Agamemnon.' The use which the editor intends to make of this doctrine is thus announced. He is speaking of the ambiguous line in the Hippolytus,
σε αἰδὼς δὲ ποταμίαισι κηπεύει δρόσοις.”
The opinion of Professor Porson, that the phrase came from the schools of philosophy, may satisfy those, who are never disposed to differ from this wonderful man, but I, who boldly vindicate the right of private judgment, unawed as I am by the authority of names, hesitate not to declare that it by no means satisfies me. The expla nation, which I am going to submit to the judgment, not so much of the learned, as of the sensible, and the philosophical reader, is founded upon the doctrine of the association of ideas, the most certain principle of criticism, which can be employed for the illustration of language. I. I must first observe that, unless the three subsequent lines,
· ὅστις διδακτὸν μηδὲν, ἀλλ ̓ ἐν τῇ φύσει
τὸ σωφρονεῖν εἴληχεν εἰς τὰ πάνθ ̓ ὁμῶς,
τούτοις δρέπεσθαι, τοῖς κακοῖσι δ ̓ οὐ θέμις,
are to be refered to aids, there will seem to be a want of connection with the context in a manner, which is, I believe, very unusual with either Euripides, or any other Greek writer. 2. oraμízii xntevel ποταμίαισι κηπεύει Spóros is merely intended to signify that the sanctity, in which this meadow was held, and the reverence for the spot, made it a very flourishing meadow. 3. This line is immediately connected with the three subsequent lines, which illustrate the aids or the reverence for the spot; for they tell to us that the good, that is, the very few, were alone allowed to pluck flowers in it, and this circumstance must assuredly make it a very rich meadow. 4. The words ποταμίαισι κηπεύει δρόσοις were suggested by the association of ideas from the previous mention of a meadow.'
This note, we think, speaks so plainly for itself, that our readers cannot require us to point out its peculiar merits: but the circumstance, which must assuredly have made the meadow so very rich,' cannot in justice be left unnoticed. In one of Mr. Southey's epics, (in a very pretty passage of Madoc, we mean,) is an allusion to the "Dwelling of Bashfulness" which, whether borrowed or not from the above poetical although indistinct image, bears some resemblance to it. This sugges tion will be sufficient for those who are acquainted with both passages; and it would be wasting time to go through the explanation necessary for those whom, want of power debars from the perusal of Euripides, and want of will from that of Southey. To return to the present editor. He is still illustrating the line in the Hippolytus.
I add the following beautiful lines of Spenser,