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the Lacedemonians against Timotheus; the Cretan marble in Prideaux, and a thousand others (vide Maittaire, page 262. et seq.).
Dr. Bentley has very justly observed, from Dionysius Halicarnassensis, that the old Attic and the Ionic were nearly the same; doubtless they were exactly the same, and continued so in every point, except the contraction and resolution of the vowels: and this is the only characteristic of distinction between them that can be depended on; all the others, upon a nice scrutiny, I conceive would be found promiscuous.
If this point was once fairly proved, which I think it easily might, and the Ionic and Attic shown to be one dialect, would not the whole argument about the variety of Homer's dialects drop to the ground of itself? for the Doricisms in Homer are few, perhaps none, but what were common to the poetic language in general; nor are they ever of that kind which cause the obscurity and perplexity of that dialect.
The only difficulty, Sir, that you would start here is, that if we make Homer a mere Ionic, we take away from him the use of the digamma, because that is supposed to be merely Æolic, and the Æolic is only a branch of the Doric. That Homer was an Æolian, I think the authority you produce incontrovertible; but, because he was an Æolian, he should therefore write in the Æolic dialect, is no more a consequence than that Herodotus, who was a Dorian, should necessarily write in the Doric.
Neither does it follow that Homer used the digamma merely because he was an Æolian, for it will be found that the digamma was used promiscuously in the early ages of the Greek language. Dionysius Halicarnassensis, as quoted by Maittaire, page 159., says that the prefixing την 8 συλλαβην ἑνι στοιχείῳ γραφομενην (F scilicet) συνηθες ἦν τοις αρχαίοις Έλλησιν. (I have never seen Forster's Treatise, but suppose, when Dawes rejects the authority of Dionysius, he does not sufficiently consider the melting of ou―00, into w in English.)
That Homer used the digamma,- that is, that it was in use in his age, and the language he wrote, I think may be established beyond all contradiction. Dr. Bentley, by applying it to solve the difficulties of Homeric quantities, and relieve the ear from the ungrateful sound of naked vowels, upon the whole, bids fairest to establish both its use and authority; and though I entirely agree with you, that this may now be impossible to be reinstated with the general consent of all critics on every separate and individual word, yet, to all who are admirers of Homer, every removal of an imperfection is a satisfaction and a triumph.
Still there is nothing more difficult than to establish the genuine sound of letters in a dead language. The very vowels themselves are very dubious and confused. Our English vowels correspond
not with the vowels of any of our neighbours on the Continent, nor do theirs with each other. If I may be allowed the expression, they graduate on a different scale.
The French have no sound of our long i (kind) in their whole language; observe their pronunciation of the word invincible. I am not skilled enough in the Italian to assert it, but I think it is the same with them. This, with the variety of pronunciation of each vowel in every language respectively, the distinction into long and short, broad and narrow, grave and acute, produces such an infinity of difficulties in treating even of living languages, that where the same occur in a dead one, it is almost impossible to reconcile them, or lay down any general system that shall find the concurrence of critics and grammarians.
In regard to the digamma, all this is multiplied ad infinitum. The letter itself, the use of it, and disuse of the sound, the manner of its affecting quantities, are all disputable points. You will see all this difficulty in its full extent, by referring once more to Priscian, De numero literarum apud veteres, Putchii, page 541., which, in many particulars, militates against Gataker de bivocalibus.
And, from these premises, I do most entirely agree with you in all you assert at the close of your 417th and 418th pages. And now, Sir, sincerely wishing you all success in your researches and publication, I conclude myself
Your most humble servant,
APPOINTED TUTOR OF CORPUS.-HIS COLLEGE FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES.
1782 to 1783.
IN the summer of 1782, Mr. Burgess was appointed tutor of Corpus, and held the office till the year 1791.
Though his studious habits and retiring disposition prevented his mingling much in general society at Oxford, there was a select set of literary men, including several Wickamites, with whom he lived on terms of intimacy, and to whom he was endeared by the same pleasing and attractive qualities both of head and heart which distinguished him in after life. Of these, nearly all have paid the debt of nature, but among the few that survive, those whom the author has had the privilege of consulting, either personally or through friends, bear their united testimony to his superior talents and amiable qualities. Among these may be enumerated the Reverend Dr. Routh, the present learned and venerable President of Magdalen College, Oxford; the Reverend Gilbert Burringdon, a Prebendary of Exeter; and the Reverend Mr. Putt, of Combe, near Honiton, Devon. The latter
thus describes him in a letter to his friend, the late Reverend Francis Huysh, written in the year 1837:
"Mr. Burgess was of rather longer standing at College than myself. From my first acquaintance with him, I perceived that he was indefatigable in the pursuit of literature, -more especially in the study of the Greek language. He had a pleasing person, simple, unaffected manners, was truly amiable, and universally beloved. He was as social as a life devoted to study could allow him to be. In short, he was, in every respect, among the most exemplary Academics of his time. I cannot express how gratified I feel at having once again met him at your house and my own.”
With Dr. Routh, for whom he felt the highest esteem, he kept up a literary correspondence to the end of his life. In a conversation with which the author was honoured by that eminent individual in the spring of 1837, he described his old friend as wedded from his youth to studious habits and pursuits, but as a most welcome and agreeable companion whenever he allowed himself to indulge in the pleasures of social intercourse. He is described by another of his contemporaries as wearing on his fine features, as he paced the streets of Oxford, "the pale cast of thought;" and as having,
* Dr. Routh alludes to the Bishop in the following terms, in his Reliq. Sac. vol. i. p. 139. "Thomas Burgessius, vir etiam apud exteras gentes eruditionis laude insignis, nunc episcopus Menevensis dignissimus."
in youth, been, in person and manner, more like what he was in advanced life, than is often the case.
About this time, one of his favourite schemes was the publication of a quarterly Classical Journal, of which he was to undertake the editorial part. The nature of the project will be fully illustrated by the following letter from Mr. Tyrwhitt,—which, at the same time, forcibly proves what a wise Mentor he continued to possess in that gentleman.
THOUGH, upon the first reading of your project, I thought of it as I do now, I did not choose to make an immediate declaration of my sentiments to you, for fear you should imagine that I had not given it all the attention which you had a right to expect from a friend to whom you had imparted so confidential a communication. To say the truth in a few words, I apprehend that your plan is not likely to answer either in point of reputation or profit, at the same time that it must necessarily engross your whole attention, and preclude the advances which you would otherwise make in more useful studies. With respect to this last point, I believe any one, who knows what the life of a journalist is, will tell you, that it is as laborious as that of a galley slave, and as closely confined within a very narrow circle of labour. His trials are literally "never ending, still beginning." While he is copying or extracting one piece of nonsense,