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portance of the study of Roman law as the basis of the study of general jurisprudence has at length been recognised by both the Universities. It is, indeed, highly desirable, not only because so large a portion of our English law, and especially cur Chancery system, has directly flowed from that reservoir of equity, the prætorian or edictal law of Rome; but because the Roman code is moulded with a scientific regard to principle and method, contrasting very favourably with our own jumbled mass of incoherent statutes. "We have long been approaching," says Hallam, "the crisis of a necessary reform;" and if the nineteenth century is to find her Justinian, that blessing can only be attained by insuring a scientific legal training both to the lawyers and the legislators of the rising generation. We sincerely wish every success to the excellent efforts of the two Universities at once to maintain the unity of education, and to initiate their students in the elements of professional knowledge during the second period of their academic career.
It is almost superfluous to illustrate the advantages of classic lore as the groundwork of theological attainments. Hear the pregnant testimony of Sir W. Hamilton-no partial witness in aught concerning the Church of England or the University of Oxford :
"A comparison of the Scotch and English Churches affords a curious illustration in point. In the latter, the clergy have a tolerable classical training, but for ages, we may say, no theological education at all. In the former, the clergy must accomplish the longest course of theological study prescribed in any country, but with the worst and shortest classical preparation. Yet, in theological erudition, what a contrast do the two Churches exhibit! And this simply because a learned scholar can easily slide into a learned divine without a special theological education; whereas no theological education can make a man a competent divine who is not a learned scholar -theology being, in a human sense, only a philology and a history, applied by philosophy.'
We will only add, that it is of incalculable importance to associate
with the study of theology the culture of a sound ethical system. It is curious to observe the intimate con-. nection between the Aristotelian idea of virtue, and the Anglican as contrasted with the Romanist theory of justification; and full justice will never be done to the purity of our Anglican creed until the defence of its doctrines is grounded upon sound ethical principles, full as much as upon appeals to authority, history, and tradition.
The question of the usefulness of classical studies to the middle and inferior classes of society, obviously depends upon their compatibility with a sufficiently early start in professional or commercial life. Such a problem can, of course, receive only a practical solution. Oxford, meantime, will do well to enlarge her accommodation through channels susceptible of rapid contraction and easy expansion. Sir John Awdry thinks that surgeons, architects, and engineers, and others dependent, not upon capital, but mental skill, might, in a smaller proportion than lawyers, yet still to an appreciable extent, be attracted by the encouragement of lay fellowships, to the great benefit of themselves and their professions. In a commercial country like our own, where wealth is, in a great degree, the standard of social distinctions, and where that wealth is continually shifting, it is obviously impossible to define social privileges by particular classes. There exist at present no statistics by which we can surely calculate the disposition of the middle classes-to use a broad descriptionto avail themselves of the preliminary professional education which is all lowering its functions, impart. that the University can, without
We will now endeavour to offer a few remarks upon classical composition, as practised in our great public schools-a topic naturally suggested by the volumes before us.
It will be readily allowed that the primary object of classical study is not the attainment of a certain amount of knowledge, but the cultivation of a pure taste. That any degree of antiquarian learning, or
* Discussions on Philosophy, &c., p. 380.
mere knowledge of the classical languages, is quite inadequate to secure this important end, is clearly proved by the fact that some of the greatest philologists have been the least imbued with the true spirit of the great writers. To take an illustration: in Professor Herman's works we find several sets of alcaic and other lyrical stanzas, in which, indeed, there is plenty of Horace and Virgil, but nothing Horatian and nothing Virgilian! Now, the habit of classical composition supplies the only effective antidote to the predominance of mere learning over intellect and taste. Original composition answers two ends it cherishes and educates the imagination, the firstborn of the faculties of the mind; it teaches the youthful scholar to cast his own ideas in a classical mould-the best known model of chastened imagery, of just reflection, and especially of simple, energetic, and concise diction. It has been well observed, that there exists an attractive and assimilative power in those noble masterpieces, which can gradually form, after its own image, the sensibilities of inferior minds. The earlier ideas and images of the student are thus moulded in the die of classical beauty, and that without any sacrifice of their own originality and creative power.
Of all the modes of composition, Latin versification conduces in the highest degree to the cultivation of taste and elegant scholarship. Etonian scholarship has ever been characterised by peculiar grace and refinement that it owes these qualities to the culture of Latin poetry is clear, from the fact that versification has always engrossed the chief attention of the Eton masters.
It has this undeniable advantage over exercises in prose, that, as in nations, so in individuals, the imagination is developed earlier than the reasoning powers. Prose compositions, indeed, at public schools, have been happily diversified of late years under the auspices of Dr Arnold: historical and critical disquisitions, imaginary speeches and letters, geographical descriptions of countries, &c., have been substituted with the best effect for the vapid moral truisms (Virtus est bona res, &c.), which
for generations had elicited a series of bald idealess platitudes. In the higher forms this is all very well; bat such effusions demand at once an amount of information, and a faculty of arrangement and distribution, which boys are comparatively late in acquiring. They fully appreciate the fact themselves. A clever boy will take an almost passionate interest in a set of sweetly-flowing hexameters, but he will never enlist with equal zeal and pleasure in a task wherein he feels success to be beyond his years.
It is not historically true that Latin versification has exerted a cramping and technical influence upon works of genius. We will readily accept Dean Milman's axiom, that it never either made or marred a poet. Petrarch, Boiardo, Ariosto, Tasso, all composed in Latin, but assuredly without any sacrifice of pure idiomatic Italian for exotic or Latinised terms of expression. The noble thoughts of the Paradise Lost are perhaps cast occasionally in too antique a mould. But if we turn from poetry to oratory, was Canning under no obligations to his classical studies for the fastidious delicacy of his taste, the high-wrought tone of his style, and the splendid harmony of his diction? Did the pages of Tully and Demosthenes cramp the bold unfettered simplicity of Fox? Few, if any, will dispute the palm of eloquence with the noble Chancellor of Oxford, whose Latin verses are registered among the University prize poems-a standard illustration of our argument.
Without a knowledge of versification it is impossible to appreciate the great principles of ancient harmony as applied to composition in prose. The rhythm of classical prose, if not subject to the same rules with verse, is yet influenced by the same laws. The rhythm is metrical in both. How carefully it was studied is obvious from the elaborate detail with which Aristotle and Cicero enter into the structure of sentences, the arrangement of words, and the cadences of periods. It is well known that, on the death of Plato, the first line of his Republic was found in his study with the words variously disposed in seven different ways. How carefully Tully avoids a hexameter ending to
a sentence, preferring to dilute the force of an assertion to any violation of the laws of euphony. They were adepts, too, in the adaptation of the style to the subject-matter. Their periods, now flowing like the onward swell of the ocean, in one magnificent roll of harmony- now broken into clauses, abrupt, nervous, and concise rise and fall, and are endlessly diversified in sympathy with the author's theme. The metrical cadence of almost every period in Demosthenes and Tully differs, but it is managed with such exquisite skill that the variety eludes the suspicion of design. It was only in the decline of oratory that form triumphed over substance; and the excessive care of Isocrates to balance exactly the opposite clauses of his periods defeated itself. But, with this casual exception, the laws of ancient euphony are almost an essential study for the modern orator or historian. The late Sir Robert Peel endeavoured, with much sincerity and eloquence, to impress this cardinal truth upon the students at his inaugural address at Glasgow; and he assuredly enforced it by his own example. Let any man judge candidly for himself, by contrasting with the oratory of Canning and Peel the style of writers uninitiated in the studies of classical scholarship.
In the practice of Latin versification, many essential improvements have been introduced into our publicschool system in the last fifteen years. At the commencement of that period, original composition in verse was the prevailing fashion-translation from English poetry was an experiment as yet untried. Original effusions are a salutary and indispensable stimulus to the imagination: nor can either style or versification attain equal boldness and freedom when fettered by the process of translation. But as long as it is agreed that education ought to be adjusted rather to the capacities and requirements of the mass than the talents of individual boys, it is clear that this method of composition is very objectionable, if
exclusively employed. It exhausts too rapidly its own resources: the same images and phrases are repeated with wearisome monotony: idle epithets and adverbs are gratuitously intruded to fill up the chinks of a line: the conceptions are destitute of accuracy, the imagery of variety, the language of novelty. Public-school experience will readily illustrate this. Several years ago, at the annual examinations at a certain great school, it was by no means an uncommon practice for several of the competitors for scholarships to prepare beforehand sunsets and sunrises, which they introduced as preludes, interweaving them, as best they could, with the body of their exercises, though usually with some sacrifice of relevancy! To the vices of such a system the habit of translation from modern poetry supplies an effective antidote: it at once evokes a clear appreciation of the distinctive characteristics of ancient and modern poetry, and enriches the imagination with a perpetual influx of new imagery, ideas, and combinations.
"The ingenuity of scholarship," says Dean Milman, "the command of purely classical language, the felicity of expres sion, and the facility of versification, are perhaps displayed in the highest degree in translations from modern poetry: there is the difficulty of seizing the nearest equivalent phrase, of transposing the full of the image, without offending against spirit of the conception or the liveliness the genius of the older tongue; the close adherence to, the slight departure from, the sense-the substitution, where absolutely necessary, of a kindred form of thought or word: all this puts to the severest test the resources of the writer; gives the measure at once of his fertility, taste, and judgment; and-especially in the shorter pieces-seems to demand that perfect polish, that blending of the ease translation, that blameless correctness of original composition with fidelity of both in expression and in versification, which invites, and even defies, the most rigorous criticism: it admits no negligence, and but sparingly poetic licence; it must be tasteful as well as scholarlike."+
Previous to this ordeal, a boy has
*Sc., by uniformly substituting esse videatur for esse videtur at the termination of a period.
+ Quarterly Review, art. "Arundines Cami, " No. cxxxviii.
but little real appreciation of the resources, the genius, the idiom of the classical languages. The practice reacts upon the whole tone of his scholarship, giving it accuracy and depth; awakening the perception of those subtle shades of expression which escaped him before, and quickening his sense of classic elegance and beauty. It demands, however, the greatest care and discrimination on the tutor's part. Those passages only from English poetry should at first be given for translation which approach as nearly as possible the simplicity of the Latin idiom. To subdue to classical purity overcrowded imagery, complexity of metaphor, affected, sentimental, over-florid English, is not a task to be imposed upon a mere tiro; it is the consummate triumph of the most exquisite scholarship. It should always be remembered that the Latin language had not the universality, the comprehensiveness, and flexibility of the Greek it was moulded by the two great spheres of national energy, the Camp and the Senate; and in its purest epochs was scarcely capable of giving adequate utterance to the subtleties of philosophic thought, or the elaborate sentimentalism of modern poetry. "Latin verse," says the eminent scholar and critic whom we have before quoted, "is the noblest vehicle for subjects which admit of study and skill and elaborate finish - where the expression should be condensed or expanded, either to enforce moral truth by some pregnant and apothegmatic line, or to invest a dry and barren subject with foreign hues of picturesque beauty: here it moves in its own element; its masculine beauty and its suggestive richness have full scope." We should hardly have invited attention to a truth which may appear to some at once cardinal and obvious, had we not seen it constantly neglected by inferior peda gogues, who, partly from a petty ambition, partly from want of discrimination, seemed determined to multiply rather than alleviate the difficulties of their scholars.
We shall probably be thought paradoxical for our opposition to another practice which has long been a part of the classical discipline of our public schools. We allude to what is termed
"Repetition;" that is to say, the wholesale committing to memory of books of the Eneid, the odes of Ho race, or even speeches of Cicero. It is stimulated by prizes, and is beyond question well adapted to invigorate the memory; but unless employed with unusual discrimination, it is apt to consult the memory at the expense of higher and nobler faculties. We have known boys receive a prize for repeating a play of Sophocles, without being able to construe accurately a single passage therein. In such cases-and they are by no means of unfrequent occurrence-it is obvious that a double mischief is engendered by the practice; the mind is deadened to the vivid perception of poetical beauty, and a fatal facility of mere verbiage is acquired, without any adequate effort on the part of the composer-without clearness of conception, definite imagery, or skilful choice of phrase. It is arduous to contend against the prejudices of schoolmasters-they are often compelled to revolve in the old orbit by the absence of sympathy or unanimity. Prescriptive usage and tradition exert their venerable influence against change; and the onerous nature of their duties often admits of little discrimination in adjusting their system to the idiosyncrasies of their scholars. But surely it would be easy to substitute a selection of beautiful passages, such as the memorable lines in honour of Marcellus, and the speeches, so full of sweetness and pathos, in the latter books of the Eneid, for these indiscriminate tasks, whereby both the virtues and the faults of antiquity are stereotyped, and condemned to promiscuous and servile imitation. We cannot help suggesting, too, that a similar change might be made with great advantage in the system of impositions. Learning particular passages by heart would surely prove a far more salutary discipline than the existing practice, whereby boys are constantly sentenced to write out thousands of lines, to the great prejudice of their handwriting, in which a slovenly style, once contracted, often lasts for life. It is easy to object that the powers of memory vary, and that it would be difficult to graduate the task to individual capacities; but the facility of
writing rapidly varies almost equally, and a clever schoolmaster soon learns to appreciate the faculties of his pupils.
The editor of the Oxford Anthology bears a highly distinguished name as a classical scholar; and we only wish he had contributed more of his own compositions to the volume before us. He disclaims, in his preface, in the strongest terms, any intention of rivalling the Arundines Cami. We cannot but suspect there is a slight affectation in this; but it would not be good taste in us to put the two works in competition; and we shall only say, we are glad to find in the Anthology a very small proportion of those comic rhymes with which the Arundines were absolutely overrun. To enable the reader to form his own judgment, we will point out several of those versions from English poetry which seem to us most elegant and tasteful. A place in the front rank must be assigned to Mr Goldwin Smith, fellow of University College-a most accomplished and gifted scholar, whose name so often figures among the laurelled lists of the Academic Register. Among his translations will be found a version of four stanzas of Gray's Elegy into Latin elegiacs. He has modestly abstained from attempting the whole- an ambitious task essayed by the Rev. J. H. Macaulay, in the Arundines Cami. The peculiar difficulties which beset the scholar in this arduous enterprise have been described with characteristic taste by Dean Milman. They are created by the peculiar cast of beauty which graces the original poem.
"That beauty consists in the perfect balance and harmony between the thought and the language, in the unity of the versification with the general expression: there is at once consummate art and perfect ease; every line of language is in its proper gradation, every word in its proper place; all the thoughts, words, and numbers are, as it were, tones in the general harmony. Thus it is that the slightest substitution forces an invidious comparison; that the slightest transposition mars the effect; the least omission makes a void, and a superfluous word is felt as a clog and a burthen. Even if the copy could be perfectly alike, with no feature lost, no lineament misplaced, we demand the life, the expression of the
original. But perfect fidelity is indeed almost impossible, from the different idiom of the languages, the closer or more diffuse forms of speech, the different length have too much or too little; the version of the corresponding verses; we always is in one place inadequate, in another spun out beyond the proper extent."
The first stanza of the Elegy— "The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and
is thus rendered by Mr Smith:-
Is exsequias lucis a classical expression? In our humble judgment it savours more of the ambitious, affected than of the majestic simplicity of Virdiction of Claudian and the silver age gil, the modest unaffected purity of Horace and Tibullus. Would not the Augustan poets have written composuit diem, or lucem? And is not Considering that there is no context, vox ferrea fairly open to objection? phrase, it is surely hardly intelligible no preceding verse to explain the apart from the original. Shakespeare talks of the iron tongue; but the midnight bell, in the foregoing line, avoids all ambiguity. Anxiety for close fidelity to the original has probably beexceptionable terms. But the three trayed the translator into both these succeeding lines are admirable; every hue and shade of expression is religiously preserved, and that without any sacrifice of the classical idiom: nothing is otiose; no new image is officiously intruded; there is nothing savouring of elaborate or toilsome artifice; while the last line retains much of the quiet melancholy of the original. We subjoin the three succeeding stanzas, with the Latin version:
"Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds: Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.