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To consider the subject in a moral sense.....A great many evils arise from the heat of passion and from errours of judgment, as well as from the idleness of fancy, which might be corrected by studying the Greeks. Scholars and the poets always have doated on this idea. In the same manner as the natural desultoriness of an inexperienced writer would be regulated by meditating on the models of Grecian composition, the sentiment would be chastened by contemplating the lives of the Greeks, and the principles chastised by the precepts of their philosophers.

Further, and with the greatest deference, Greek literature is in a good measure incorporated with the body of divinity, and ministers to its spirit. It might be called a part of biblical learning. The reason is this, philosophy is auxiliary to religion. Ethicks are employed to construe and ascertain religious injunctions and prohibitions ; and as on this account the science is a concordance to the scriptures and an appendix to the New Testament, so in a political sense it is a supplement to the Bible, varying with different forms of jurisprudence. Now the Greek theories are the first of the kind in moral philosophy, and so all subsequent ones bear a necessary reference to them. The sacred commentators having been decply read in Greek, their reasonings and reflections must be sensibly seasoned by the attick salt, as they were always fond of calling it ; thus the Greeks are a sort of heathen commentators upon the christian commentators, and in this instance, at least, it may be said Greek is embodied with theology. A taste for the qualities of Grecian literature was no more than natural ; for the simplicity of the Greeks is as refined, as the simplicity of the sacred writings is pure.

Add to these circumstances that Josephus is Greek, that the Fathers wrote in Greek, that Greek is related to Hebrew, that the New Testament is originally in this language, and that the whole Bible exists in Greek. On this last head, as the Hebrew is an uncommon study, because it is confined to one set of topicks, whereas the themes of the Greek tongue are numerous, this latter is always preferred on this as well as other accounts, when an alternative is necessary, by reason of the scantiness of the time allotted to academical studies. And it is a fact that those who neglect Hebrew in their college exercises scarcely ever think of attending to it after. Therefore the greater part of such as desire an earlier acquaintance with the Bible, than The English version affords, recur to the Septuagint. The Septuagint is understood better than the Hebrew Testament. The Septuagint was translated from the original at a time when the task was free from many difficulties that attended the version by authority. Now the Septuagint carries its own lights with it, which the original does not. Without the collateral version of the Septuagint, the bishops found words, occurring only once, inconvertible. Still, where the proportion of our studies will admit of it, it is highly desirable to blend both languages ; for, after all, the Septuagint is confessedly defective, and it must be a sublime delight to listen to the echoes of the very sounds which Moses heard from the mouth of God.

There is a circumstance about the reputation of many moderns of transcendant genius, which is all folly and blindness to the illiterate. I allude to the practice of crowning an author, distinguished in the path of an ancient, with a wreath of laurel from the grove of antiquity, in which that path terminated. A classick mind reseives an idea of Gray like lightning, from knowing he is the modern Pindar. What must have been the feelings of La Harpe in 1789, when, in the midst of the French academy, the crator called him the French Sophocles ! But it is perfectly indifferent to a common Spaniard, whether Villegas of Nagera is the Spanish Anacreon, or not. A mere Englishman gets no new impression of the genius of Cumberland, although he is their own Aristophanes ; and what does it signify to most Americans, that Mrs. Morton is the American Sappho ? It is indeed all Greek to them.

This is a reading age; and all read to understand. But there are many attick allusions, besides quotations, in most of our own classicks, which are not only unintelligible to unlearned readers, but even shed a gloom over the passage they were meant to illustrate. Many thoughts are extremely beautiful, which, when they are divested of a certain air of antiquity, instantly evaporate. Some of the best English songs are instances of this ; which shews how completely the whole mass of our literature is leavened. Among the thousand inventions, by which idleness is comforted and abetted, how many there are to render reading easy! It is really quite an art, and the rules are perfectly simple. There are classical dictionaries, and albums, and encyclopaedias, of all sizes. Science is taught in abridgments, and authors are reduced to their beauties. There is not a poem published without a mint of explanatory notes. To these facilities there is no end. They are stale and unprofitable. They, who are in the habit of using them, find them indispensable. Certainly this is too superficial; the best way of rendering reading easy is to get a liberal education, and then there will be no necessity of resorting to compilations.

But these last motives may be extended.....almost to the limits of English literature. Take the poets only. Akenside derived his sentiments from Greece. Gilbert West, who was the master of Warton, and Mason, and Gray, formed himself upon the Greeks, The poems of Thomson shine with the light of Greece, particularly Liberty, and the Winter Season. Pope and Cowper are rival translators of Homer. Yet perhaps Milton has the deepest tinge of any of them. Whether the power of these ancients over him, or his over them, were greatest, it is hard to tell. You may consult his spirit in vain. But, without extravagance, he wrote even his religious poems in a strain as if he had been a Grecian poet. Yet half that admire Milton are ignorant of half the cause they have. In reading many of his finest passages they are as blind as he was when he composed them. The kind of sympathy which they must have who desire to commune perfectly with him, suggests itself at once. An appropriate illustration of it may be borrowed from the effect of the eloquence of Fox. Would it have ever been so powerful, had he never read Demosthenes at college ?


How profoundly must they have felt it, who had read Demosthenes at college, as well as he !

The drama constitutes an essential part of the amusement of the people, as well as of the literature of the nation. The theatre de cides the publick manners, and influences the morals. Thalia is enchanting, and the tears of Melpomene are far more pathetick than the precepts of Paley. At the theatre all are delighted, and almost all are criticks. The bare reading of a good play is seldom unaffecting. Giving a reasonable importance to the drama, the regulation of it is really a vivid concern. Indeed this appears to be a general sentiment. And as criticism never acts with more effect, than in this department, so it seems to be exercised with more frequency in this than in any other instance. Where are the true principles of this kind of criticism to be found ? Shakes. peare is never admitted as authority for any but himself. The principles of the French draina are excellent. Whence did they derive their excellence? The rules of the regular drama are taken from the Grecian, and with great propriety, for there they rose from the merest poverty to the greatest splendour. It may be pedantry to track tragedy back to the old goat, but there is a de gree of propriety in retracing the footsteps of comedy through the

Æschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles are living commentaries upon every modern tragedy. Lee has revived Oedipus, and Electra is an everlasting model. It is an interesting as well as a beneficial employment to compare a dramatist like Sheridan with the Menander of Terence. How can it be otherwise, when Julius Caesar took pleasure in comparing Terence with Menander, although he found him only half Menander !

The classick habit of quoting Greek for republican sentiments, and those who spoke it for illustrations of republican virtues, renders Greek an engaging and an important part of American education. It is natural for the men of any government to turn to its ancient history, if they mean to make the government their study or their object. This is sometimes done from an impulse of vanity. Princes affect the Caesars. But Harmodius and Aristogiton, Aristides and Themistocles, those who slew the tyrant, and they that resisted despots, are the gods of the republick.

Sometimes the works of such, as wrote under commonwealths, are searched for republican principles. Yet many may smile to recollect that Ρlato said a people would be happy ει μεν οι Βασίλεις φιλοσοφησωσιν, « βασιλεύσωσιν οι φιλοσοφοι.

The commercial, military, and civil events of Greece attract a principal part of their attention, who love their country and are sensible of the dangers of republicks. The court of Susa was not so fatal to the liberties of Greece, as the spirit of party. And it was from musing on the ruins of Athens; it was from dwelling on the departed splendour of Greece, and from conversing with the echoes of her plains, and with the shades of her dead, that Ames began to gather that inspiration, which filled his mind with wisdom and his soul with fear, and which ranks him with the civil prophets, with Laocoon and Jonah.







WE have now been in Rome twenty one days, and have been more regularly and constantly occupied than in any other city of Europe, and yet the termination of our researches appears to be still far distant. I was considering the subject of arches in a former letter, when the abuses of the Christian religion so far excited my zeal, as to lead me to a digression of eleven pages. I hope you will forgive in Besides the three celebrated arches of Titus, Septimus Severus, and Constantine, there are the remains of a small one erected to Septimus Severus by the merchants and mechanicks of Rome, and a large one, called the Arch of Janus Quadrifrons, so named from its having four fronts or faces. There were a considerable number of these buildings erected in Rome, which antiquaries agree were intended merely as shelters for the passengers from the rain and sun. Judging from this splendid remnant, we should form a high idea of the magnificence of the Romans, who converted even temporary shelters into solid, durable, and even elegant edifices. There are but two imperial mausolea still extant, but they were the most splendid ; that of Augustus which stood on the eastern bank of the Tiber was one of the proudest ornaments of Rome. After that emperor had succeeded, by the death of Antony and Lepidus, to the sole government of the empire, his next care was to preserve to himself a sort of immortality. It has not been an unusual thing among princes who had no external or internal enemies to subdue, to set themselves about the erection and establishment of trophies and institutions, by which and in which they might survive the merciless rigours of the tomb. Not content with living in marble under the hands of the ablest sculptors; dissatisfied even with the flattering portraits drawn by the immortal pens of Virgil and Horace, Augustus resolved to erect the proudest mausoleum which the world had ever seen, and, as some writers insinuate, foreseeing what happened after his death, his own apotheosis, he intended that his mausoleum should also serve as his temple. Alas! How vain are the hopes and expectations of men founded upon any supposed permanency in human affairs. Torn by the rude hands of Vandalick invaders, and the ruder assaults of Papal barbarity, the mausoleum of Augustus exhibits now but a melancholy resemblance of its former grandeur, a sad emblem of human life : converted into a bull baiting theatre, it is now one of the humblest objects of publick admiration



at Rome. In the verses of Virgil and Horace, however, Augustus yet lives in gayest verdure. Time, instead of diminishing the beauties or the value of their praises, has enhanced them. This ought to convince the great, that it is much wiser to feed and patronize living merit, than to raise mausolea for the dead. The best cinerary urn of an emperour is a sublime effusion of a grateful muse. This mausoleum was a cireular building, one hundred and thirty two feet diameter (longer than the longest college at Cambridge) and two hundred and thirty six feet high (higher than the steeple of the Old South.) It was wholly clothed or ornamented with white marble columns and pilasters of a grandeur and beauty surprising. It was ornamented also with statues, of which that of Augustus was placed on the top of the edifice. Two superb obelisks of Egyptian granite were also erected before the entrance. These two obelisks yet remain at Rome, and enough of the building is still preserved to shew its general construction, and to enable you to form a correct idea of its grandeur.

Its present state of dilapidation, and that to which the mausoleum of Adrian is reduced, is owing in a great degree to the zeal of the popes, who have pulled them to pieces to erect churches. Those of us who do not think that exquisite sculpture, inimitable architecture, and ravishing examples of the talents of the pencil contribute to make us more devout, or more attentive to the preacher, regret the loss that the fine arts have sustained in losing these admirable models of architecture. That you may not think I am unreasonable in this censure, let me observe, that I know by experience, that the impression made by these very gorgeous and splendid churches is a very different thing from devotion, and that marble massive columns and floors render the churches extremely cold in winter, and dangerously damp in the summer. I owe a severe illness to the coldness and dampness of St. Pauls.

The emperour Adrian erected another mausoleum, with a view, it is supposed, of eclipsing that of Augustus; it is on the opposite side of the Tiber, and so situated that you could see and compare them to gether. It was more advantageously placed than the other, because he erected a fine bridge directly in front of it, so that the mausoleum forms a fine object in termination of the vista formed by the bridge. Having been stronger than that of Augustus, it has always served as a fort, and it is one of the noblest citadels in appearance in the world. This has served to preserve it in a more entire state than its rival. Its base is square, and is two hundred and fifty three feet long (considerably longer than Boston state house I believe.) Above the base it is circular, and its circumference there is five hundred and seventy six feet. It was all incrusted with marble ; it had forty eight superb columns, which are now to be seen in all their beauty (and they are extremely fine) at the church of St. Paul ; between the columns were as many niches, all filled with statues. The second story was ornamented precisely in the same manner, and a superb come finished the edifice. After the fall of the Roman empire it scived for the defence of the city. It is now called the Cha.

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