« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
very notes been written forty years stars, instead of ye five-fires, beago, it would then have been pru- cause the sun, moon, and Venus dence to have suppressed them, had been already named in the for fear of injuring one's rising for Morning Hymn, we are indeed tune. But now, when seventy surprised. Did not Bentley know years jamdudum memorem monuer that the sun is not one of the plaunt, and spoke loudly in my ears, nets, and that the earth is, and was
certainly intended by Milton to Mitte leves spes et certamina divitiarum ;
complete the number five ; as in I made the notes extempore, and the eighth book he says, « The put them to the press as soon as planet earth ?” The change of made; without any apprehension darkne88 visible into transpicuous of growing leaner by censures, or gloom is idle and unwarrantable, plumper by commendations." though transpicuous be of the Mil. - We shall not pretend to enter tonian character. into a minute examination of Bent. The passages of this admirable ley's notes and corrections of this poem which our critick rejects are noble poem. That he has im. usually those, which contain simiproved several passages is certain, lies or descriptions. Why these and that he has made many trifling ornamental parts of the work, remarks, and many unjustifiable though sometimes defective,are to and indeed unnecessary alterations be deemed interpolations,' would cannot be denied. The text, how require no common portion of ever, he has not violated, but has sagacity to determine. To us given all his alterations in the mar- these appear beauties. To confess
the truth, Bentley, with all his criHis plan seems strange and un- tical acumen, was ill calculated warrantable. Above three hund for a corrector of Milton's verses. red of Milton's verses are inclosed He is too daring, and does not apin hooks, as spurious, and above pear to possess any extraordinary seventy either wholly written or portion of poetical taste, which was altered by the editor himself, are highly requisite. « The poet's proposed to supply their places. eye, in a fine frenzy rolling," seems These, he hopes, will not be found not to have fallen to his lot ; and diragreeing from the Miltonian cha- even in his grammatical strictures racter. Besides these innovations he is sometimes mistaken, as the in abore three hundred lines, he of. Bishop of London has observed. fers a change of two or more words, Let not this edition, however, be and in above six hundred more, one deprived of its deserts. Many of word only is altered. Such was his remarks are acute, and several his rage for emendation
of his emendations are certainly The sacred top of Horeb, for sc. improvements. Among these cret, is an improvement; but when may be reckoned “ Ichorous huhe wishes to read ardent gems, in mor issuing fow'd," which he dethe third book, for orient gems ; fends by the well-known line of and in the fourth, radiant pearl, Homer. for orient pearl, we cannot but ex. Ixws, 0:00 Teg Ti gali parapetoi Orolol, claim Quis novus hic hospes ?
and in Book IV. v. 944, But in Book
...." With songs to hymn his throne V. v. 177, when he And practise discipline to cringe not proposes ye four other wandering
instead of practis'd distances. It was observed, on the evidence
This emendation is established by of a writer in the Grub-street Jourverse 954, in which Gabriel says : nal, who received the intelligence
from Dr. Ashenhurst, that Bentley “ Was this your discipline ?" had employed eight or nine years
in preparing his Milton, although He ought, indeed, in justice, to
he talks of extemporary notes, in have pointed out the beauties of
his preface. This may be true, the work, as well as its errors
yet it does not contradict the Docfor though he comforts himself
tor's assertion. For he might in Latin and Greek :
have formed his plan, and have
acquainted Dr. Ashenhurst with " Facta est alea, and non injussa cecini :
his intention, and yet not have Παρ εμοιγε και αλλοι, written his notes until the book • OL YE UT TILRTYTI, Mariola de MentIETQ Zeus," was going to the printer. He
might even have noted his correcin his concluding note ; yet if he' tions on the margin of a Milton, had valued his reputation more and yet have been prevented from than the advice of his friends, or, explaining them, by indisposition, perhaps, than his own opinion of or the disputes in which he was his abilities, he certainly would involved with the university durnever have assumed such an office, ing that period. as editor and reviser of Milton, We shall conclude these loose but would have declined the task remarks, with a passage from Dr. imposed on him by her Majesty. Johnson's life of Milton, whose
These notes roused an army of criticism on Paradise Lost, canpetty criticks, who stood forth as not be praised too loudly, or peruchampions of the injured poet. sed too frequently :- The geneThe Grub-street Journal, and rality of my scheme does not adother periodical works, attacked mit the frequent noiice of verbal the critick. But of all the pam- inaccuracies ; which Bentley, betphlets and remarks which were ter skilled in grammar than in then published, Dr. Pearce's re- poetry, has often found, though view of the text of Paradise Lost, he sometimes made them, and with considerations on Bentley's which he imputed to the obtruemendations and new corrections, sions of a reviser, whom the auwas of the most consequence. thor's blindness obliged him to emThe principal part of these re- ploy. A supposition rash and marks, however, has been incorpo- groundless, if he thought it true ; rated into the late Bishop of Bris- and vile and pernicious, if, as is tol's edition of Milton's poetical said, he in private allowed it to be works, so that as our readers in ge- false.” neral must be well acquainted Bentley never attempted any with them, we forbear transcrip- defence of this worls, but permittions, and shall only observe, that ted his enemies to triumph, and Newton and Pearce seem unwar. the criticks to cavil. He seemed rantably severe in their strictures at last inclined to enjoy the otium on Bentley's corrections. Let it cum digniiute, and to leave disputes be remembered, likewise, that the and criticisms to those whose age, learned editor of the new Biogra health,& spirits were better calculaphia Britannica is of the same ted to endure fatigue and who were opinion.
Et cantare PARES, et respondere parati: A slight. paralytick stroke had date of a Persick manuscript of the weakened his constitution : his four Gospels, which had been sent frame was frequently disordered, from Ispahan. This letter has and his mind easily ruffed. Dur. likewise been preserved by Dr. ing the contest about the visitato. Taylor, and is published with his rial power, when Bishop Moore, valuable little tract, De debitore with whom he had long lived in dissecando. He saysin his preface, habits of intimacy, appeared in that it is : “ Mole quidem parva, kxcourt, on the opposite party, he posslc autem et subtilitate plenissima. was so affected with the sight of Qua diligenter perlecta eruditus his old friend, in such a situation, Lector mecum sentiet nihil unquam that he immediately fainted a- argutius, nihil solidius aut verius ir way.
Tripode fuisse responsum.” Bentley was very severely In 1738 a libel was exhibited though surely very improperly before the vicar-general of the satirized by Pope, in the fourth Bishop of Ely, against Dr. Colbook of the Dunciad. The lines batch, rector of Orwell, who reare well known, and were occa- fused to pay the proxies due to sioned by an opinion, which was Dr. Bentley, as archdeacon of forced from Bentley, with respect Ely. In his defence Dr. Colbatch, to the translation of Homer, at who bore an excellent character, Atterbury's table, while Pope was though his virtue was rather of the present. The bishop very impru- severer cast, alleged, that though dently and indelicately asked the Bentley had been archdeacon forcritick what he thought of the ty years, he had never, in obediEnglish Homer. The Doctor ence to the ecclesiastical laws, eluded the question for some time, been known to visit one church or but at last, when he was urged to chapel. Sentence, however, was speak his sentiments freely, he passed against Colbatch, with costs said ; “The verses are good of suit, upon which in 1741 he verses, but the work is not Homer, published a pamphlet, intituled, at is Spondanus !" Pope seldom The State .of Proxies payable to forgot injuries, and many years Ecclesiastical Visitors fully stated. after this conversation, he assigned In 1739 appeared the Astronoa place in the Dunciad to our Bri- micon of Manulius, with corrections tish Aristarchus. Never was sa- and notes, by Dr. Bentley. This tire more illiberal or unjust. Pope edition was ushered into the world was not sufficiently acquainted with by a dedication to the Duke of ancient literature to be capable of Newcastle, and a preface by Mr. deciding on Bentley's critical abili- Richard Bentley, a nephew of the ties. He might see that many of Doctor ; with whose approbation his notes on Milton were trifling, both these introductory pieces and that his remarks on Horace were written. were often bold and hazardous, but In the preface he gives a full acof his solid learning, his extensive count of his uncle's opinion of the knowledge, and his diversified eru- work, and its author, as well as of dition he was certainly not compe. the various manuscripts and printtent to form a judgment.
ed copies which he consulted, in In the year 1735 he wrote an order to perfect this edition. answer to some queries of an Ox Bentley places Malinius in the ford Gentleman, concerning the age of Augustus; and among other proofs, he vindicates his as- thor of the poem, whatever was sertion by the termination of the his name, except in one Greek genitive cases of words in ius, word, never uses the double i, in and ium, which always terminated the Casus interrogandi, determines in a single i, before that period : the Astronomicon to have been as Auxilium, Auxili : Consilium, written in the early part of the age Consili : Imperium, Imperi : &c. Propertius is the first of the Ro- The author, according to our man poets, whose works are ex- critick, was a foreigner, and, theretant, in whom this rule is infringe fore, the peculiarities of style ed, and by him only in two or which occur in his work do not three instances. Ovid, who lived militate against his having been rather later, frequently uses the contemporary with Augustus : esdouble i ; and after him, it became pecially as many of the exceptiongeneral. This change, however, able passages are proved by Bentfook place long after the accession ley to be spurious. Of his name of Augustus to the government. nothing certain can be pronounced.
This remark we owe to Bentley, Neither the manuscript copies of and it is worthy of the British, the poem, nor the author in the Aristarchus. He first promulgat- course of his work, nor the testied it in his notes on the Andria* mony of other writers, bring any of Terence, where he candily cor- certain assistance. reuts a mistake which he had With regard to the text, Bentmade in a passage of Horace, and ley generally follows the edition justifies his observation on these of Scaliger, and has preserved all genitive cases, by citing a passage the readings which he rejected. írom Nigidius Figulus, Romano. In some passages, his corrections rum a Varrone doctissimus, which seem extravagantly different from is preserved by Gellius t, by which the common copies : which apit is evident, that in his age accent pears to be in some measure exwas the only distinction between cuseable, when it is known, that the genitive and vocative cases of no single piece on ancient literawords in ius, as N. Valerius, ture was ever so much depraved G. Valeri, V. Valeri. Bentley, by the negligence or ignorance of therefore, as Manilius, or the au- transcribers ; for the various read.
ings are more numerous even than * Act II. Sc. I. Ver. 20.
the verses of the poem. † Apul. Gellium. XIII. 24.
To be concluded next month.
Astrorum ignoro ;..............
..............ranarum viscera nunquam Inspexi.
Juv. Sat. 3. I have no skill to read the stars, nor ever pried in toads' entrails. OF the effects,resulting from the cipation from the tyranny of sua general effusion of knowledge, one perstition. An eclipse was once of the most useful, and perhaps the portent of revolution, the forethe most extensive, is our eman- runner of defeat, the warning of famine and of pestilence ; but I numerous. The mystical praca have heard of only one man, that tices of astrology and palmistry, thought the darkness on the six- of witch-craft and of fortune-tellteenth day of June last sent, as a ing, required the labours of a life. judgment for our sins. The most The beard of the cunning man artful politician, the most profound was always as long as the tail of philosopher, the most heroick and the comet, from which he derived prudent commander had less influ- his predictions. The instruction ence on the state of society, than must have commenced in childthe crafty juggler, the master of hood to prepare the adept at the the ceremonies at the temple of age of puberty for solemn dedicaDelphi. The armies of the an- tion to the devil. This is the cients were often restrained from course to eminence, pointed out combat at a favourable opportu- by universal experience. Of the nity, because the traiterous sooth- hero of the Iliad we should probasayers declared the omens inaus- bly have suspected the truth, had picious ; so that, says Bayle, a the scholiasts never informed us, diviner was as necessary an officer that the food of the infant Achilles as a general.
was the marrow of lions. Sailors have always been more The punishment of sorcerers by prone to this weakness, than other our laws was formerly terrible. The classes of men ; and the com- statute of Jac. I, who equalled me in mander of the most numerous hating, and much surpassed me in maritime expedition ever fitted dreading, these miscreants, orders, out, was, while his fleet was de- that “such as consult, covenant tained by contrary winds, so igno- with, entertain, employ, feed, or rant of the common operation, or reward any evil spirit to any intent" 80 distrustful of the kindness of shall be punished with death. heaven, as to sacrifice his daugh. But we have gradually parted with ter to propitiate a change. At our fear, and doomed to contempt present, though they hardly dare those, whom we once dreaded as to commence their voyage with ministers of hell. The evil has out a horse-shoe on the foot of increased by this neglect. Supertheir foremast, yet in battle they stition is nearly as prevalent in the rise above such follies, and, whe country, as fanaticism in the city. ther it thunder on the right or the Those who claim communication left, are as heedless of auspices, as with familiar demons, are desery. their captains of danger. Some ing of punishment; and it is hophave even ventured to depart on ed the law may be executed against Fridays, though that has been al- fortune tellers and fanaticks against ways reckoned among the dies pretenders to inspiration from anefasti ; and I have never heard, bove or from below. To shew that any special punishment has the necessity of this, I relate what marked their presumption.
happened a few months since in As arts and sciences are in our our neighbourhood, an instance of days cultivated by greater num. credulity equal lamentable and ribers than formerly, they have also diculous. become easier of acquisition : so Three men, of whom one was a that if the worship be less hon- justice in Vermont, and another a ourable, the devotees are more conjuror, came to a gentleman, re