ePub 版
[ocr errors]

as we still pressed forwards. The ruins, the rubbish heaps, the dogs, the
irregular vegetation of the district beggars, were all opened up to view in
we had traversed changed into the due time as we approached nearer to
pleasant alternation of corn fielels the fortifications. Heated by our rapid
and pasture-land, of vineyards and advance, we now walked our horses,
orchards. Oxen and sheep were to to the great satisfaction, doubtless, of
bu seen on both sides of our path, the mules who were labouring on far
browsing in silent happiness ; whilst behind.
the mulberry, peeping out frequently The entrance to the town did not
from the patches of corn-land and greatly differ from that which usu.
orchards, toid of the silk-worm and ally conducts the traveller into exten-
industry. A pleasanter change than sive fortifications. There was the
that we experienced in issuing from same covered-way-in, as I believe it
the desert waste of a large portion of is technically called, under the ram.
our roul, and finding ourselves sud. parts--the draw bridge—the gradual
denly transferred into a district rich emerging into the light, and then
with the bounty of nature, and bear- plunging into darkness again, until
ing evidence of human tending, can finally, the interior of the town was
hardly be conceived. Our horses exposed to our eager gaze. Turkish
seemed as elate at the transformation soldiers were on guard, but we were
as we were, and tripped snortingly allowed free entrance, not being even
along, as if they already snuffed up challenged as we rode forward--ex-
the savoury odour of their evening cept by the vendors of sherbet and
meal from some still distant stables coffee, of rackey and camandriz, who
in Nicosia. Even the very mules kept their little stalls at the entrance
pricked up their long ears and quick- of the fortress.
ened their paces, at the aspect of the And now that I have got over the
town, and the luxuriant vegetation, twenty-five miles that separated us
and the evidences of human culture from Larnacca, let me do an act of
all around.

justice to the Turk, in recording the New life was inspired into our perfect safety with which we accom, whole party by the distant prospect plished this and other journeys in of the town. We simultaneously put Cyprus, and how totally unnecessary spurs to our horses, or touched them our arms were, as implements of degently with our riding whips - for fence. Nor was this accidental. Wė they wanted little incitement to put travelled northwards and westwards, forth their strength and exhibit their through the cultivated and uncultiva: speed. The muleteers shouted lusti- ted districts, in all more than two ly to the laden animals as we did so, hundred miles, and a large portion of and they, too, broke into a brisk trot, those two hundred over rugged moun. without any unreasonable aniount of tain passes, and at the bases of uninflogging -- as willingly, indeed, as habited ranges of hills clothed with mules under any circumstances could forests ; but, whether journeying over be expected to do. All was life and the beaten highroads, or making our gladness and joyful expectation, way into the recesses of the mountain where, a quarter of an hour previ. range in search of ruins, we still found ously, all had been taciturnity and ourselves perfectly safe from violence; grim endurance.

safer than we should have been in There are certain characteristics by many parts of Western Europe, whicli which the vicinity of all towns under are regarded as much further ad: Turkish domination may be known. vanced in the race of civilization than One of these is, an abundance of Cyprus. I do not mean to take up ruined houses ; another, numerous the cudgels against any man in de. consequent heaps of rubbish ; a third, fence of the Turk. I believe his tax. prowling, yellowish, hungry-lovking ation is irregular and arbitrary-his dogs, roaming about as if condemned governorships of provinces and islands for sins, in a previous existence, to given away to incompetent or rapa. perpetual motion in this life; and a cious men—his distant provinces comfourth, most melancholy of all, beg. paratively uncared for; but of some gars of all ages and both sexes. Not of the evils usually regarded as in. one of these characteristics was want- separable from his rule

there is litt: * ing as we drew near Nicosia. Tho or nothing to be seen in Cyprus

[merged small][ocr errors]

There is, I verily believe, security for agement, the ruined lines of houses, life and property in the island, the diminished population, and the whatever people may say about the troops of beggars are sufficient to danger of men allowing it to appear drove. That the resources of the that they are rich. There is, too, se- island are vast, that these resources are curity enough in travelling about, at undeveloped, there cannot be a doubt, least for Europeans, without taking Let the Turk be blamed for this as with them troops of horse or armed much as you will, and he deserves men of any kind as a protection. great blame for it, but let him not be

That there has been gross misman- blamed for evils which do not exist.


The palmy days of Latin verse writing was worth more than an emperor's are now, it must be confessed, over. crown, and a good copy of “longs and No man any longer expects to be shorts” was a patent of nobility. made a bishop, a judge, or Secretary And, indeed, we have a kind of of State from his familiarity with secret conviction that, after all, but Virgil or Statius. A false quantity little apology is required for offering is no longer the mark of the beast, this kind of entertainment to our denoting a miserable outsider, inno- readers. A large class of society, cent of the mysteries enacted on the though doubtless a small minority of banks of the Isis and Cam. Latin the whole, is still so thoroughly im. quotations in the House of Commons pregnated with the classical tradition, are getting rarer and rarer, and more still feels so strongly that scholarship and more limited in their range. Peo- is a kind of freemasonry, a sort of ple are altogether beginning to look qualification belonging to a peculiar upon scholarship as a thing of the class-in fact, like Sir Walter Scott's past-a superfluous accomplishment Toryism, so much the attribute of a not to be weighed in the balance gentleman-that the editor of such against an acquaintance with the works as the Musæ Etonenses may rule of three. Immediate productive- feel pretty sure of his labours being ness is now the sole test of ability. generally approved, without taking What is a man the worse for calling into account that class of readers to tympanum, tympanum? What is he whom they may be an object of special better for knowing that the fifth foot interest. Let us see then without of an hexameter must be a dactyl ? further delay who were the first These are the questions a man will scholars that initiated the gentle art hear asked in the same sort of society of Latin poesy in these islands. in which, some years ago, it was the Scotland was early celebrated for proudest boast to say,

her Latinity. The “Deliciæ Poetarum manum ferulæ subduximus." But

Scotorum,” published by Arthur Jonfar be it from us to combat the “spirit ston about 1630, contain a variety of of the age.” We are not just now poems written with considerable elegoing forth to do battle with that gance and idiomatic knowledge. Those brazen coated Goliath. The reed and of Jonston himself and of John Scot not the sling is our weapon on the of Scotstarvet, are, perhaps, the best present occasion ; and we seek no in the collection. The former was more than to offer half an hour's also the author of a translation of the amusement to those in whom the old Psalms, which has long disputed the superstition is still alive ; and who palm with Buchanan. Hallam thinks are yet fresh enough to take delight him little, if at all inferior, though in the reminiscences of their early he admits that Buchanan has excelled days, when the prize for Latin verse him in his version of the 137th. We


" et nos ergo

Tom. In

Musa Etonenses-sire carminum Etonæ conditoru:n delectus. Scries nova. Fasciculus 1. Edidit Richardus Okes, S.V.P.






do not ourselves go so far even as Oramus veniani, et dextras præbemus inermes. this; we think Jonston in every way

Fors ille audacis facti, et justæ iininemor ira Buchanan's equal; and we think that Placatus facilisque manus et fædera junget; in those two Psalms which have been

Fors solito lapsos, peccati oblitus, honori usually considered Buchanan's mas

Restituet, cælum nobis soliumque relinquet:

At me nulla dies animi cæptique prioris terpieces, Jonston has on the whole

Dissimilem arguerit ; quin nunc rescindero excelled him. In the 104th Psalm

cælum we prefer Jonston's elegiacs to Bu

Et conjurato victricem milite pacem chanan's hexameters. And in the

Rumpere, ferventique jurat miscero tumultu. conclusion of the 137th, we think the same superiority is visible. We quote

Equemus meritis pænas, atque ultima passis the three last couplets from each ;

Plura tamen magnis exactor debeat ausis.
Tartareis mala speluncis, vindictaque cælo

Deficiat; nunquam, nunquam crudelis innla Tu quoque crudeles, Babylon, dabis impia Immeritosve Erebus capiet; meruisse nefanpanas,

dum Et rerum instabiles experiêre rices ; Supplicium medios inter solabitur ignes. Felix qui nostris accedet cladibus ultor,

Reddet ad exemplum qui tibi damna tuum, Felix qui tcncro consperget saxa cerebro,

This last sentiment is sublimely Eripiens gremio pignora cara tuo.

Satanic--and the whole poem is truly classical both in diction and rhythm ; but it has been strangelyoverlooked by

most of the writers on modern Latin Felicem qui clade pari data damna rependet, verse. Et feret ultrices in tua tecta faces,

Milton is of course the great luFelicem quisquis scopulis illidet acutis,

minary in the Latin poetry of EngDulcia materno pignora rapta binu.

land. His verses possess all the

fluency and vigour that might be exWe do not share the admira

pected from a great poet writing in tion which has been generally_ felt for Buchanan's Latin verses,

what was still almost a living lan

Even in his last poem, De Sphæra, there

guage. They are redolent, as Hallam is a monotonous jingle which re

says, of the same spirit that produced minds us painfully of the workshop.

Comus and L'Allegro before the sour He does not seem to be aware of the

spirit of Puritanism had infected his offensive effect produced by rhymes.

genius. At the same time, we think And the repetitions which are meant

it is a question whether Milton really to be Virgilian are in our opinion

deserves the preeminence in this declumsy and inopportune.

partment which is usually assigned

to him. His verses have a sonorous Buchanan died in the year 1582 ; and in 1584 was born Phineas Fletcher,

swing that carry us away as we read author of the Purple Island, and

them, but they often deviate from also of a Latin poem, entitled the

classical simplicity-and are characLocustą, written at Cambridge in

terized by an effort at point which not the year 1627. Certain passages in

unfrequently turns out to be purely

verbal. On the whole, we are inclined this poem are said to have furnished

to think that Fletcher, Cowley, and Milton with his idea of Satan in Paradise Lost--a tradition warmly

May, are all on the whole equal to combated by Todd, but apparently

the author of Paradise Lost, and that

each of them has in turns surpassed not without some foundation. The Locusta was directed against the

him by a longer interval than he has Jesuits, and the spirit of the follow

surpassed them. Of Fletcher we have ing lines is certainly thoroughly Mil- already spoken. May and Cowley

were contemporaries. The former, tonic.

however, though more than twenty Nos contra immeinori per tuta silentia somno

years older than Cowley, did not pubSterniinur interea, et mediâ jam luce supini

lish his Supplementum Lucanitill some Stertentes fessam trahimus pia turba quietem.

time after Cowley was known as a Quod si aniinos sine honore acti sine fine la

Latin poet. May was born in 1595, boris

was educated at Sidney Sussex, CamPænitet, et proni imperii regniqne labantis bridge, and afterwards entered at Nil miseret, positis flagris odiisque remissis, Gray's Inn, 1615. Later in life he+ Clarendon.


on the whole; though, as above stated, we think Milton has written nothing equal to Cowley's Epitaphium Vivi Auctoris. This little ode, though well known, our readers will, we are sure, pardon us for recalling to their attention.

Jlic, oh viator, sub lare parvulo Couleius hic est conditus, hic jacet, Defunctus humani laboris

Sorte, supervacuâque vitâ.


Non indecorâ pauperie nitens, Et non inerti nobilis otio : Vanoque dilcctis popello

Divitiis animosus hostis.

Possis ut illum dicere mortuum,
En terra jam nunc quantula sufficit .
Exempta sit curæ, viator,

Terra sit illa levis, precare.

Hic sparge flores, sparge breves rosas, Namn vita gaudet mortua floribus ; Herbisque odoratis corona

Vatis adhuc cinerem calentem.

became a Roundhead. He died on the 13th of November, 1650, “after having drank his cheerful bottle as usual.”+ He is principally known by his Latin verses aforesaid, though he was also the author of several plays. His poem is much lauded by Hallam as having caught the peculiarities of his original very exactly, and the passage he cites is certainly a very happy

Speaking of the intrigue of Cæsar and Cleopatra, who had married her brother Ptolemy, he says :

nec crimen inesse Concubitu nimium tali, Cleopatra, putabnnt, Qui Ptolemæorum thalamos, consuetaque jora Incestæ novêre domus, fratremque sorori Conjugio junctum, sacræ sub nomine tædæ Majus adulterio delictuin; turpius isset (Quis credat?) justi ad thalamos Cleopatra

mariti Utque minus lecto peccaret, adultera facta est.

But May is very unequal. His versification is distigured by the use of such terminations as et scelerata," "inveniebat," and the like, a license which Lucan never permits himselfby the constant use of the short final

0, in which the Roman poet very sparingly indulges, and by a constant disregard of the laws of quantity in respect of the vowel before two consonants, such as spero and sciens. It is very remarkable that so obvious a solecism as this should have maintained its ground so long. Yet up to the middle of the last century we find it practised by all the eminent Latin writers. A parallel case is that of the fifth foot of the Greek Iambic, which, according to the universal practice of the tragedians, must be an iambic where the last word in the line is a trisyllable. Yet this simple rule was overlooked by all the great critics down to the days of Porson. May is also very often prosy in the extreme. His description of the honours paid to Cæsar is ludicrously so, and remindsone irresistibly of the “He laid his knife and fork across his plate," style, which Johnson hit off so happily.

The other two principal Latin verse writers of this period are Cowley and his friend "Crashaw. The former Johnson thought superior to Milton, an opinion we do not share

[blocks in formation]



the attention of all lovers of the art delicate and felicitous fancy which of Latin verse.

was the prevailing characteristic of The second volume of the Muse Addison's mind, and which afterAnglicanæ opens with a great subject, wards shone forth so charmingly in and a still greater name.

The Peace that variety of allegories which form of Ryswick by Joseph Addison, A.M. some of the most attractive numbers Coll. Mag. Soc. If not the first, Ad- of the Spectator: But perhaps even dison is certainly in the very first this is surpassed by some lines quoted rank of English Latin poets. The in one of his own essays,* and genersuperiority of his composition to those ally ascribed to himself, on the pairby which they are surrounded is ing of birds. As many of our readers marked and shining. They display

may never perhaps have noticed them, a union of elegance and simplicity, we shall take this occasion of introand a nice appreciation of the genius ducing them. of Latin poetry, which has been rarely equalled. It has been said that too Scit thalamo servare fidem sanctasque vemuch of his attention was devoted to the poets of the silver age, and that Connubii legcs ; non illum in pectore candor Claudian was his model rather than Sollicitat niveus, neque pravum accendit Virgil. There is little evidence of this, however, in his own verses. His

Splendida lanugo, nec honesta in vertice cadences are Virgilian. We find in

crista, him none of the cloying harmony of

Purpureusve nitor pennarum; ast agmina

late Claudian, who has frequently as many

Fæminca explorat cartus, maculasque reas two hundred lines together with

quirit out a single elision, nor any of the

Cognatas, paribusque interlita corpora guttis. sententious morality and obscure Ni faceret pictis silvam circum undique mon. terseness of Lucan. Even the fluent stris and spirited versification of Statius Confusam aspiceres vulgo, partusque biforhas hardly attracted him. The mes, Georgics seem to be his model ; and Et genus ambiguum, et Veneris monumenta He is almost always easy, graceful,

nefandæ. and natural. He has the art of making us think that what he says in

Hinc merula in nigro se oblectat nigra maLatin could not have been said so well in English ; and of pleasing no

Hinc sponsum lasciva petit Philomela canoless by the ingenuity of his thoughts

Agnoscitque pares sonitus; hinc noctua tethan by the correctness of his language. The battle of the Cranes and

Canitiem alarum, et glaucos miratur ocellos. Pygmies will always remain a monu- Nempe sibi seinper constat crescitque quota ment of his skill in this respect. Did annis our space permit us, we would wil- Lucida progenies, castos confessa parentes : lingly quote it entire; as it is, we must Dum virides inter saltus, lucosque sonantes content ourselves with the concluding Vere novo exultat, plumasque decora jurén. lines.

Explicat ad solem, patriisque coloribus ardet. Elysii valles nunc agmine lustrat inani, Et veterum Heroum miscetur grandibus Addison's Latin verses are, in our umbris

opinion, much better than his EngPlebs parva: aut si quid fidei mereatur

lish; and the above specimen, togeanilis Fabula, Pastores per noctis opaca pasillas

ther with the Cranes and the Pigmies,

a better title to honor than the CamSæpe vident umbras, Pygmxos corpore cassos. Dum secura Gruum, et veteres oblita labores,

paign, or even the greater part of Lætitiæ penitus vacat, indulgetque choreis,

Cato. But, then, we must remember Angustosque terit calles, viridesque per orbes

that in those days Latin had hardly Turba levis salit, et Lemurum cognomine become a dead language. It was no gaudet.

longerindeed the vernacular tongue of

Italy, but it occupied the same place The whole poem is pervaded by that in Europe then, as French does now.





Spectator, No. 412.

« 上一頁繼續 »