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J. CORNISH & SONS, 297, HIGH HOLBORN.

1870.

291. f. 21

DEDICATED

TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

THE EARL OF DERBY,

BY HIS LORDSHIP's

MOST OBEDIENT SERVANT,

H. A. G.

Taiwan CONSULATE,

FoxMOSA.

LIFE OF LONGINUS.

Of the life and writings of Longinus just enough has been preserved to make every one regret that there is not more. The deepest research has failed to complete more than a skeleton of what must have been an eventful life, and but one corrupt manuscript of one short treatise has been spared from the works of a voluminous and powerful writer. Such as it is, the name of Longinus has been immortalized, and the little book remains to testify to a refinement of thought and purity of style unsurpassed even in the brighter days of ancient Greece. Criticism, at the time of which we are speaking, seems to have been, with a few splendid exceptions, little else than a morbid search after short-comings or inaccuracies in works of art, rather than a just appreciation of such beauties as might deserve to be brought into notice, tempered with a gentle severity for any faults which might be too glaring to admit of excuse.

Longinus himself blames Cæcilius for his absurd prejudice against Plato, whom he ranks after Lysias, hating the former even more than he loved the latter. Then, truly, the critical phalanx was composed of “those who had failed in literature and art," and were fond of venting their disappointment in depreciatory remarks on the productions of others.

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