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Ever lovely, ever dear,
Pipe and lute and dance are there,
Out upon thee, fie for shame!
O she's joy and recreation,
Thus without ;-while all within
Of a general jollity.
These and thousand blessings more
Peace hath ever yet in store.'-Pax. 520–538.
We wish that every good poetical extract, with which the annotations are enriched, had been in like manner versified by one so well fitted for the task. It would have saved us some trouble in relation to one or two additional proofs we shall offer of the taste manifested in the selections, and the adroitness displayed in
making a way for their appearance. The occurrence of a common contraction (v. 385) originates the following remark:
The crases, by which two short syllables pass into one, have hitherto been unnoticed. Let the following noble fragment, from the Melanippe of Euripides, (the commencement of which will perhaps remind an English reader of the "accusing spirit" of Sterne), atone for the omis
δοκειτε πηδῶν τὰδικήματ ̓ εἰς θεοὺς
πτεροῖσι, κάπειτ' ἐν Διὸς δέλτου πτυχαίς
Think ye that crimes unto the gods ascend
On wings, and there upon Jove's tablet-folds
One writes them down, and so the leaves exploring
Did Jove record the trespasses of men,
Might 'vail to hold their sum, nor He to lay
Here close beside you wons, would ye behold!
The word oxangos (v. 407) produces a tidbit from Menander: γυνὴ πολυτελὴς ἔστ ̓ ὀχληρὸν, ουδ' ἐν
ζῆν τὸν λαβόνθ ̓ ὡς βουλεται· ἀλλ ̓ ἔνεστί TI
A spendthrift wife's a troublesome appendage,
In sorrow clings she to your side; in death
Swathes with fond hand your limbs and smooths your grave;
For thus you'll lightliest bear th' appointed burden!
Compare the beautifully delicate, but still kindred lines of Sir Walter Scott
'O, woman! in our hours of ease,
By the light quivering aspen made;
Or the more passionate breathings of poor Zuleika's tenderness, in the verses of Lord Byron:
To soothe thy sickness, watch thy health,
Partake, but never waste thy wealth,
And lighten half thy poverty;
And, making due allowance for the difference of times and manners, we will match the Athenian with either of the modern
Again, the word iπwяív (v. 496) ushers in the gaiety and gravity' of the comic Eubulus:
τρεῖς γὰρ μόνους κρατῆρας ἐγκεραννύω
τοῖς εὐφρονοῦσι τὸν μὲν ὑγιείας ἕνα,
Of wine three cups, and only three, I mix
Right readily it trips the toper's heels.
It requires considerable forbearance not to dip further into Mr Mitchell's notes, as every experiment would bring up something agreeable. But our limits permit us to add only that ticklish as the subject was he had to deal with-he has contrived, both in them, and in his revision of the text, to keep out every thing even bordering on indelicacy. When we jested, in our former encounter with him as a translator, about a Family Aristophanes,' we scarcely expected ever to find him, as an editor, seriously playing the part of Bowdler to the Attic comedy. And, though we ourselves rather side with Porson as to this matter, and have no objection that a spade should be called a spade, we admit that the operation of excision has been performed, in the play now published, without much damaging its humour. Witness the Megarian scenes, to which we willingly refer the learned reader. Should Mr Mitchell prove equally successful in the dramas which still await his pruning-knife, he will gratify a few very respectable persons, who shrink from all contact with uncleanness and, possibly, he may silence that far more nume, rous class of objectors to Aristophanes, whose ears-according
to the cutting observation of the satirist are the nicest part about them.*
* In the modest guise of a note-which may be skipped at pleasure— we will venture to introduce a few of those observations that have been withdrawn, as too scholastic, from the body of our strictures. The lines are numbered according to Mr Mitchell's edition.
V. 1. Mr M. repeats Porson's erroneous statement, that a tragic iambic trimeter, with the cretic termination (——), admits a tribrach as well as an iambus in the fifth place. A tribrach in that position, followed of course by an iambus (vvvv-) would remove the cretic termination altogether. Though pointed out in the first edition of Sir D. Sandford's prosody, this error has continued to infest the pages even of Mr Tate and Bishop Maltby.
V. 47.-Porson's Emendation of Aristoph. Eq. 32. (BPETαS; TO TOTOV ¿Teóv; nyeĩ vàg beous;) to which Mr M. objects, is perfectly admissible. Supply Xys: Statue? what statue can you mean?'-which gives an oblique turn to the question, and justifies the article. We refer Mr M. to his own reading of Ach. 876, and to Sandford's Rules in Homeric and Attic Greek,' 2d edit. p. 235, where the passage in Homer's Odyssey (a. 171. §. 188,) which puzzled Dr Elmsley, is rightly explained on the same principle.
V. 118. Με Μ. says (on ταυτασὶ λαβὼν ὀκτὼ δραχμὰς) ταυτασί, here they are. The word is used duxTxas, and the article in consequence omitted.' This canon is not of universal application. See Arist. Ran. 19. ὢ τρισκακοδαίμων ἄρ ̓ ὁ τράχηλος οὑτοσί : and again, v. 30, ουκ οἶδ'. ὁ δ ̓ ὦμος οὑτοσὶ πιέζεται.
V. 199.—νῦν δ' ἐπειδὴ στερρὸν ἤδη τοὐμὸν ἀντικνήμιον, κ.τ.λ. Mr M. seems to think that, and on are joined together here, as in Aristoph. Nub. 295. κεὶ θέμις ἐστὶν, νυνί γ ̓ ἤδη, κ.τ.λ. But in the passage before us they qualify different words. "Hd belongs to Gregov, vv to oxera in v. 201.
V. 200.- We don't allow Solon's verse: dcxòs rigov didágtai, náñiTireipta yivos to be an example of the insertion of a choriambus in the middle of a trochaic tetrameter. The sixth foot is a regular spondee. Bentley and Elmsley might be wrong in disturbing Arist. Pac. 1154, and Ach. 200; but the choriambic license appears to us to be restricted to proper names.
V. 232.—Pax, the companion of Bacchus, who perplexes Mr M. and other commentators, is merely a personification of the Phallus. Mark the words of the scholiast : ὁ κωμικὸς . . Διονύσῳ τὸν φαλλὸν ἑταῖρον εἶναι φησίν.
V. 417. The passage of Euripides, parodied in goûda và xęńματα κ. τ. λ. seems to be Hec. v. 159. Φεοῦδος πρέσβυς, φροῦδοι παῖδες κ. τ. λ. V. 426.-Пxтa dwudray, an expression termed pleonastic by the editor, is no more pleonastic in Greek than doors of the house' in English. There are room-doors as well as house-doors. That which discriminates is not pleonastic.
V. 468.-The Editor follows Brunck in ascribing a variable quantity,
except in Aristophanes, to the first syllable of xgos (ouixgós). But, as to the Attic poets, Bishop Maltby has corrected this error. The first syllable of the word, in those writers, is always long. We will add that the same is uniformly the case in Homer likewise; and that a supposed exception in Eurip. Iph. Aul. 1580, should be corrected, with Hermann, by reading ἐμοὶ δ ̓ ἐσῄει τ ̓ ἄλγος οὐ μικρὸν φρενί.
V. 475.-The expression gy, in a rage,' requires no ellipse-a principle of which Mr M. is too fond (see the note on v. 25)-to explain its meaning.
V. 496-The reading doos ávaxλntógwy z. T. λ. (in the quotation from Eubulus), violates the rule, given by Mr M. himself at v. 18, that a dactyl before an anapæst is inadmissible in a comic senarius. Read, with the Critical Review, Jan. 1803, i d'öydoog xλntñgos, ó d'evatos xoxйs. V. 700, 713.-In the notes to both of these lines the Sigean inscription is referred to instead of the Elean.
V. 701.—We have grave doubts whether is ever put for it. Cer. tainly not in this place. Diccopolis (having lifted the girl awkwardly) exclaims: What was that I saw?'
V. 743.—πολυπραγμοσίνη νυν εἰς κεφαλὴν τρίποιτ ̓ ἐμοί. We cannot render these words, with Mr M. may what your impertinence leads you to reject, fall upon my own head!'-but, may my superfluous civility (the salutation, rejected by the Megarian boor) light upon my own
οὐκ ἤκουσας οἱ προβαίνει
τὸ πρᾶγμα τοῦ βουλεύματος
We cannot assent to the editor's note, 'oî—ra Bovλsparos. Similar to οἱ κακῶν, οἱ τύχης, to what degree of. The right construction is τὸ πρᾶγμα τοῦ βουλεύματος like τὸ χρῆμα τῶν νυκτών. Nub. 1. &c.
V. 808. It was hypercritical of Elmsley to object to 'Abavas without the preposition in this line. Nor is it correct, as Mr M. proposes, to supply from the other member of the sentence. There is, rather, a studied variation of expression. One member refers to place, the other to people :'Abávars—y BowTołσly—at Athens-among the Boeotians.' ἐκέλευε δ ̓ ἐγχέαι σε, τῶν κρεῶν χάριν, ἵνα μὴ στρατέυοιτ'
The editor says, 'the past tense ixíλve in the preceding sentence requires the optative mood in the following sentence.' On the contrary, the subjunctive would be quite admissible here: nay, even preferable, as the effect contemplated is future.
P. 271.—It is a defiance of philology to say that the Dorians substituted for in the termination of verbs: ExT, ETI, &c. They kept the old form (compare the Latin, Sanscrit, Celtic) which the Ionians and Attics had altered.