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Quod ad Æschylum, Editionem Stanleianam nuper à Pauwio propriis additis annotationibus renovatam, et in Fragmentis Editionem itidem Grotianam. Cæterarum Æschyli Editionum, præter Turnebianam parvam, nullam oculis usurpare contigit ; cum igitur Aldinæ, Rebortelliane, Stephanianæ, Scripturas varias in notis noftris allegavimus, id omne ex fide Stanleii et Pauwii pendere intelligendum eft.”
We could not but smile at our Author's serious asseverations, towards the conclusion of his Preface, that, in his annotations, he has borrowed nothing but what he has acknowleged. Nay, as if it were a case of life and death, he produces the strongest and most inconteftible instances of his honesty in in this respect. “ When Musgrave's edition of Euripides's Hippolytus came into my hands, and I found that many readings, of which I had given emendations, were confirmed by respectable copies, I struck out all my own alterations at one daih. Nay, when in rummaging my library, I met with a Basilian edition of Euripides, on the margin of which were several valuable notes, written by some ingenious gentleman unknown to me, though I could have put them off as mỹ own, snug and safe, without the least danger of detection, I most religiously ascribed them to their Author.”
We think the Doctor has done extremely well to defend his readings by fimilar expressions taken from the same or different Authors; but sometimes his quotations of this kind are superfiuous, particularly where the text he exhibits or maintains is sufficiently confirmed by the consistency of the sense, or a natural probability: as in the following instance in the Prometheus vinctus of Æfihylus, Act 1. v. 91. K« TOV πανοπλην κυκλου ήλιου καλω. Πανοπλην (fays he) 1hould by all means be retained. there is not the least doubt that it should; but then was it necessary to quote Sophocles to convince us that the epithet all-beholding may with propriety be applied to the fun?
We are the more offended by these fuperfluous quotations, because it is usual with commentators to fill whole pages with them, while they answer no end but a vain display of erudition.
We cannot agree with our learned Critic in support of the following reading in the same play. Act 1. v. 157.
Νυν δ' αιθεριον κινιγμ’ ο ταλας. “ It is easy to believe (says he) that whatever was elevated by way of spectacle, was called sovuque, on account of its being exposed to the agitation of winds. Such are ale-house
signs, and rogues that are hung in chains among us. Pro-
With respect to the famous question, Whether lö appeared
Prom. vinet. A&. 4. V. 599.
ΥΙαν προς αυτόν καυκασον μιλής προν
Without doubt opov vid 150v is a good emendation, being more easy and obvious than opwv wifosor ; yet the Doctor will not allow it, because it belongs to poor Pauwius.
It is with pleasure, however, we recollect that our Author seems to have had some little stings of conscience concerning his treatment of this unhappy victim ; for in his Preface he attempts to apologize for this conduct. But his apology is surely a most unfortunate one. The reason, he fays, of his abusing Pauwius was, that Pauwius had been abusive. With the same propriety, therefore, may some future Critic fall upon the Doctor, quod Dii avertant!
Would these Commentators take it into their heads to enliven their works with sentimental as well as verbal observations, they would be more honourable and more useful; but it is all measuring lines, and weighing syllables. They content themselves with cleaning and scrubbing the picture, without once remarking its peculiar beauties, or teaching the less skilful beholder the criteria which he wants. These sentimental Comments would be extremely useful in forming the taste of the young Reader, who alone can be supposed to stand in need of a Commentator. We cannot indeed but wonder that a person of Dr. Heath's erudition fhould pass filently over so many beautiful scenes without one euge Poeta! How could you, Doctor, over-look that animated scene in the first Act of the Septem apud Thebas, where the Spy describes the appearance and facrifice of the enemy, without erecting one note of admiration ? Not so the acute Longinus !
Tδ' Αισχύλε φαντασίαις επιλολμωλος ηρωϊκώλαίαις.
Ανδρες, φησιν, επτα θερμοι λοχαγέται,
Longin. de fub. Sec. 15.
Seprem ap. Theb. A&. i. v. 75.
What can be more obvious than that the infinitive mood is here put imperatively; and who can want to be informed that the Greeks use this enallage modi very frequently?
Of that difficult passage in the Septem ad Thebas, v. 167, &c. the Doctor has, in our opinion, given the most rational exposition ; and, instead of xou die
tev, we would by all means read w siater. This and many more of our Author's most valuable observations Dr. Burton has taken into his Pentalogia, published in the year 1758. To convince Dr, Heath that we would do every thing to place his reputation, as a Commentator, in the fairest point of view, we shall here quote the testimony which Dr. Burton has given of him in his Preface to the Pentalogia,
“ Mecum adeo intelligat (Lector) viro in literis humanioribus universis, et præcipue in Græcorum re metricâ, verfatiffimo Benjam. Heath Exonienfi quantä et à me, et à republica literariâ gratiæ debeantur : quem virum negotiis publicis curisque forensibus usque districtum quis non jure miretur ita ftudiis liberalioribus vacare potuiffe, ut [nequid hic loci de scriptionibus cæteris commemorem schyli, Sophoclis, et Euripidis Tragoedias omnes continuo justoque Commentario illuftraverit ? A nobis certè pro merito vix satis prædicari poteft illa animi benevolentia et liberalitas, quæ pretiosam hanc fuppellectilis literariæ copiam defiderantibus adeo non invidit, ut etiam publicos in usus libenter communicaverit ; unde quæcunque ad rem noftram maxime pertinerent, five ad metra reftituenda, five ad verborum, fententiarum, rerumq; memorabilium explicationem, excerpta depromfimus.”
In the following passage of the Septem ad Thebas, V. 225, &c,
μηδ' επιδοιμι τανΔ’ ασυδρομεμεναν πολιν, και τραβευμα
Πτομενον πυρι δαιω-We cannot by any means agree with the Doctor that Spaleure
' air quavos should be rendered hoftem invadentem. spaleup here signifies the people of the city, as the word spalas does, v. 308.
πολιν και τραιον Καδμογενή ρυεσθε. . 1.e. Deliver the city and the offspring of Cadmus. So spaleure' a plouevos should, without doubt, be rendered populum incendendum, by which means a louevov will be taken as a passive
participle participle in conjunction with a sud pouzdevæv; and the construction of the whole passage will be much easier. This is so very obvious that we are surprized Dr. Burton should adopt Hoftem invadentem, or incendentem.
The animated and picturesque description of Tydeus in the second scene of the third act, (Sept. ad Theb.) puts us in mind of the Scout's account of Swaran, in Fingal. (See Review, Vol. XXV. p. 50.) Thus the reconnoitring messenger informs Eteocles of what he had seen :
Tydeus rages before the gates of Prætus. His indignation is roused. He burneth for the battle. He crieth aloud like the dragon at noon-day. He shaketh the three shadowy crests that adorn his head. Terrible is the clang of the brazen bells of his shield. Great are the figures on his shield. There burn the stars in the vault of heaven. The full moon blazeth on the centre of the fnield. Brightest of planets is she, the eye of the night. On the banks of the river he shouteth for the war; like the warrior horse that despiseth the rein, when he heareth the trumpet of the battle blown. Whom wilt thou oppose to him, son of dipus? Who shall go to the gates of Protus ?”
There is something supremely grand in the above passage, to which the elegant simplicity of the answer of Eteocles is a fine contrast.
" I fear not (said the prince) the trappings of a man. It is not the engraving on his shield that can wound : and what are his crests and bells without a spear? As lightly do I think of that image of night blazing with the stars of heaven, which, thou sayelt, is upon his shield.”
" To Tydeus I will oppose the illustrious son of Astacus. He shall defend the gates. He is nobly born. He reveres the throne of modesty, and despiseth proud words. He is virtuous, and cannot do a base act. Menalippus is a branch of those illustrious Spartans whom the sword of Mars has spared. He will fight to defend her that bore him, from the spear of the enemy
If we have any Readers that are as yet strangers to Æschylus, we hope these quotations will make them folicit his acquaintance. Yet, whether they may answer that end or not, we must acknowlege that we could not pass them without notice.