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ART. XIV. ΕΥΡΙΠΙΔΟΥ ΙΠΠΟΛΥΤΟΣ ΣΤΕΦΑΝΗΦΟΡΟΣ.
Euripidis Hippolytus Coronifer. Ad fidem Manuscriptorum
Smith. MDCCCXI. pp. 176.
he pleasantly terms them,) after having enumerated several schemes which he is projecting for the good of the literary commonwealth, complains, in a tone of asperity, that' the present generation of critical scholars seems to be so much occupied with the Greek tragedians, that his undertaking will not, he fears, meet with the encouragement which it deserves. On the modesty of this expostulation we shall offer no remark, nor are we inclined to dispute its truth. Certain it is, that, in the course of the last six years, no less than eleven editions of various portions of the dramatic writers of Greece have been put forth in England, exclusive of mere reprints: and, unless we mistake, the whole of the last century did not produce more than twelve or thirteen: what is worse, the evil seems by no means to be at an end; on the contrary, the Recreator has too much cause to look forward to the fulfilment of his apprehensions. Professors Monk and Gaisford have taken Euripides in hand, Mr. Elmsley has given us specimens of his labours on Aristophanes and Sophocles, which make us earnestly wish for more, while Dr. Butler and Mr. Blomfield are at work upon Æschylus. In a word, the tide of public opivion seems to be set with the Greek tragedians; and to what extent we may be deluged with editions of them, we are quite unable to foresee. The only expedient which we can think of to check the stream is, for the complainant to publish more Recreations, as a means of diverting the thoughts of scholars from the channel in which, at present, they flow,
However lamentable the fact in question may be, it is, we think, no difficult matter to account for it. Nor are we, by any means, disposed to wonder that many should be found, who are willing to devote their days and nights to the poets of ancient Greece, the characteristic features of whose compositions are, an elevation and originality of thought, and a nobleness of sentiment, the vehicle of which is the most copious and accurate language of which any monuments are extant. For our own parts, we are inclined to think, that this paramount advantage results from the due admixture of classical studies, and particularly of the Greek poets, in the education of youth ;—that their minds are directed betimes to a fund of lofty and dignified sentiment, rich imagery, and fine language, 04
from an acquaintance with which they gain a manly and liberal mode of thinking, together with an elegance and correctness of expression. We have, therefore, no hesitation in assigning to those scholars who, as the results of their skill and labour, put into our hands editions of the Greek poets which we may read with ease and comfort, a more liberal share of praise, than will probably be conceded to them by the author of Classical Recreations.
One reason of the predilection manifested by critics of the present day for the remains of the Greek drama, may, perhaps, be found in the eminent success which attended the editorial labours of Mr. Monk's illustrious predecessor, who presented the world with an almost immaculate text of the first four plays of Euripides. To attempt a description of the line of criticism, which the late professor chalked out for himself, would be superfluous, since his publications are in the hands and memories of every one who pretends to the name of scholar : but perhaps it may not be amiss to say a few words on what some persons call the Porsonian school of criticism,' as it is asserted ibat Professor Monk, amongst others, has been bred up within its precincts.
We should be extremely happy if any one of those gentlemen who are most in the habits of using the phrase, would state to us distinctly in what points the Porsonian school differs from any other school of true criticism. The peculiar characteristics of the style of annotation adopted by its founder are, Ist, a reluctance to make innovations in the received test without strong reasons and sufficient authority; 2dly, the frequent and effectual use of analogical reasoning ; 3dly, a brief and perspicuous method of stating the arguinents for and against any reading. In the first of these points the practice of Porson differed widely from that of Scaliger, Bentley, Reiske, Brunck, and even Hemsterhuis and Ruhnken. In the second point he pushed to its full extent a mode of criticism, first effectually exercised upon the dramatic writers by Richard Dawes. In the third his practice is original, and forms a singular contrast to that of Valckenaer. If, therefore, his style of criticism differs from that of other scholars, it differs with an excellence, as the grammarians say; and, unless forbearance from innovation, accuracy of reference, brevity, and perspicuity of language be accounted faults, we are justified in saying that the Pora sonian school' is but another term for the best school of Greek criticism.
Our readers, however, will observe, that we here speak exclusively of what is usually termed criticism ; viz. that department of an editor's duty which is concerned about the purity of his author's text. Illustration and interpretation are distinct, we do not say less important, provinces, into'which the illustrious critic in question scarcely ever set his foot. It is much to be lamented that, eminently gifted as he was by nature, and prepared by study for such a task, he should so seldom have undertaken directly to explain the text of Euripides. We say directly, because his critical illustrations, which are always pertinent, are often so judiciously chosen, as to throw a light upon the sense. Of this species of collateral illustration, there are more instances in Mr. Porson's notes than a superficial reader is aware of. We do not hesitate, however, to avow, that we were never perfectly satisfied with the reason which he assigns, in his preface to the Hecuba, for abstaining from these useful, and, in our opinion, essential parts of the task which an editor has to perform. Interpretandi et illustrandi labore, utilissimo sane, supersedendum duxi, partim ne libellus in librum excresceret.' Præfat. in Euripidis Hecubam, p. xiii.
Professor Monk, who may so far be said to belong to the Porsonian school, as he has the writings of that great scholar at his fingers' ends, and has adopted his caution, his exactness of reference, and his orthography, has avoided the defect of which we have just complained, by enriching the notes in his edition of the Hippolytus with a great variety of philological and illustrative remark. We may, perhaps, be inclined to wish that he had separated this from the critical matter, judging merely from the convenience which we have ourselves experienced in using books, wherein this practice has been adopted; but this is a question which concerns the form, not the matter of the work. We have only to consider how far the Professor has succeeded in accomplishing the two ends which he had in view, of restoring the text of Euripides, and of explaining it when restored.
But, before we enter upon this consideration, we think it proper to notice an objection which has been made in an obscure publication, that the Professor has, in more instances than one, quoted the same passages as Valckenaer without mentioning his name. Whether the fact be so or not, the Professor, in our opinion, is not at all concerned to deny it. There is a wide difference between emendation and illustration. The chances are very greatly against two persons' hitting upon the same emendation, unless, indeed, it be a tolerably obvious one; whereas they are just as much in favour of their thinking of the same illustration. Emendations are private property; the sources of quotation are common: and although Valckenaer has scrupulously noticed the different uses which have been made of every line he cites, we cannot help thinking that this practice incumbers the notes and distracts the eye of the reader. “If Mr. Monk needs any other justification, he may urge the example of his predecessor, who, in his notes on the Phoenissæ, and, indeed, on the other plays, frequently quotes passages which
had before been used by Valckenaer and others, without mentioning their names; for instance, on v. 1. of the Phenissæ, the
passages of Athenæus, Stobæus, and Accius, are all in Valckenaer's note. V. 18, 19. Max. Tyrius is cited by Valckenaer. 20. Origen the same. V. 45. The passages of Eustathius and the Etymologist the same. V. 216. The lines of Horace the saine.
V.470. Statius the same.
531. The Syleus of Euripides the same. 534. Cicero the same; and so on throughout the notes. Again, Mr. Porson says, in his preface to the Hecuba, ' Loca tantum quæ Latini imitati sunt, prout memoria suggessit, adscripsi.' Now although this was undoubtedly the case, yet the passages, which Accius and Ennius imitated from Euripides, had all been collated by Fulvius Ursinus in his Virgilius collatione Scriptorum Græcorum illustratus.' Again, on the Orestes 387, the remarkable passage of Eustathius had been pointed out by Stephen Bergler in his notes on Alciphron III. 55. p. 413. V. 1272. únno sáníow oxómei. Porson, after Brunck, T&T CoŨ. This correction had been made long before by William Canter, Nov. Lect. II. 7. V. 1338. The same critic had before compared the passages of the Rhesus, Hecuba, and Alcestis. On the Medea v. 333, Mr. Porson, after quoting a passage from Athenæus, says, 'Hinc saltem Euripidis senarium lucramur. Κακός σε δαίμων, και κακή τύχη λάβοι' which had been before observed by P. Leopardus Emend. III. 12.
Mr. Monk's object in publishing this edition of the Hippolytus was, as he informs us, to put into the hands of students a purer text than had before appeared; and to explain whatever is difficult or abstruse, by comparing Euripides with the other poets of Greece, as well as with himself. In our opinion lie has fulfilled both these departments of his undertaking in a manner, which entitles him to the thanks of every lover of the Greek drama. He has carefully weighed the various lections of the MSS. collated by Musgrave, Brunck, and others, and lias followed the example of his illustrious predecessor, in diligently collating the editions of Aldus, and the very rare one of Janus Lascaris. For a reference to those ancient authors, who, by way of quotation or allusion, have cast any light upon this play, Mr. Monk acknowledges himself greatly obliged to Valckenaer, whose stupendous diligence has not omitted more than two or three references of this description. With regard to the choric metres of this tragedy, the Professor adopts the safe and judicious plan which was followed by Porson. Some observations of this great critic are dispersed through the notes, consisting principally of references, which may serve as materials of criticism, but which are, in a few instances, worked up into the form of regular annotations. A striking example of his research and accuracy occurs in the note on v. 209. Besides these remarks, ninety
lines of the play, viz. from v: 176 to 266, are given as corrected by Porson. Mr. Monk properly remarks, Neque id leve, aut parvi momenti habendum ; siquidem dicere solebat Porsonus se nihil dubitare, quin hanc scenam celeberrimam, qualis esset ab ipsius Euripidis manu profecta, ipse demum emaculatam præstitisset.'
A few remarks of his friend Mr. Blomfield are inserted in the notes, of which perhaps the Professor speaks rather more highly than either their number or their importance deserves. We now proceed to consider the manner in which he has fulfilled the duties of an editor.
V. 3. "Όσοι τε πόντου τερμόνων τ' 'Ατλαντικών Ναίουσιν είσω. Mr. Monk corrects the error of Musgrave, who understood nóvrou of the Euxine.
19. Meíšw Bporéias Apocneow Gueríar. This correction of Porson's, for opsdías, Mr. Monk introduces into the text, and confirms from a fragment of the Æolus.
23. Tlárat nepoxófad'. Hæving formerly made great progress. Mr. Monk says, that this usa ge of #ponónley is taken, ' ab iis, qui ligna et alia impedimenta in itinere concidunt.' To his instances may be added, v. 946, of the Hecuba, Alcæus in Athen. X. p. 430, B.
31. ναόν Κυπρίδος εγκαθίσατο. Dawes εγκαθείσατο. Μusgr. καθείσατο which Mr. Monk adopts.
We think with him, that the confusion arose from some copyist who prefixed the augment.
32. "Ερωσ’ έρωτ’ έκδημον. Ιππολύτω δ' έπι Το λοιπόν ωνόμαζεν ιδρύσθαι θεάν. This word wrónaley has sadly perplexed the critics. It appears to us, that some of the difficulty would be removed, by taking éri with sò λοιπόν, as επί μικρόν, επί τοσούτον, and the like. But we do not scruple to avow our belief, that the two lines are insititious. In the first place, we do not like the repetition of fronpos within five lines; and secondly, unless we take these words parenthetically, which will make the sentence very aukward, we destroy the antapodosis, which begins at v. 34. and which no one of the commentators has perceived. It is evident that the d' after *17 Torúrw has nothing to do with the pèr in v.29. Now see how much the whole passage is improved by the omission of these lines :
και πριν ΜΕΝ έλθεϊν τήνδε γην Τροιζηνίας,
ενταύθα δη στένουσα κ. τ. λ. The
passages adduced by Valckenaer and Mr. Monk relative to the history of this temple, are rather to be referred to the Phædra of Sophocles. We are certain that this is the case with the fragment of Asclepiades, which is taken from his Tpaywdoúpevce, although the Scholiast on Homer does not mention the title of the work.
38. κάκπεπληγμένη Κέντρους έρωτος. We agree with Valckenaer in preferring και πεπληγμένη ; for though a person may be said έρωτα εκπλαγήναι, or, simply, ixracywvers, yet not, we think, xévrpoos ixthaywar. We would refer Mr. Monk to his own note on v. 1298.