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quibus est assecuta divinitatem. Hoc enim arbitror Hesiodum significare voluisse, cum illos divitias cultoribus suis elargiri affirmat." P. 39—41.
"Nam cum aliquis aut turpitudinis illecebra delinitus, aut alia quavis animi perturbatione concitatus flagitium committit, ubi primum ille motus animi residet, qui rationis judicium impediebat, multis signis ostendit, quam acerbo animi cruciatu afficiatur ex illius maculse conscientia. Hinc ilia Phsedra privigni amore insaniens, atque a mollissimo vitse cultu ad venationis studium traducta ab Euripide lamentans inducitur. Cum enim amore furens nihil aliud quam tela, canes, et montes inclamaret, ubi se colligit, ita suum dedecus lamentatur:
Miseram me quod facinus feci?
Quo me traxit furor invitam?
Agit in prseceps dira calamitas.
Heu! heu! infelix,
Iterum nutrix caput occulta
Nostrum, nam me pudor oppressit.
Tege, nam lacrymis oculi stillant,
Vultumque rubor nimius tinxit.
Rediens sensus cruciat animum,
Amens trudor in exitium. Sed
Prsestaret tunc funere mergi,
Cum sensum furor eripit omnem. Videtis in Phaedra etiam scelere et amentia furente, non esse penitus extinctam indolem pudoris et honestatis ? Sed quid Phsedram admiramur, cum Medea mulier omnium scelestissima multiplicique parricidis contaminata apud eundem poetam Corinthiis mulieribus persuadere nititur, sese nullos officii numeros prsteriisse?" P. 137—9.
Osorius is not the only one who has been accused of appropriating the "Treatise of Glory." The charge of destroying the original MS. that he might conceal his own plagiarisms, has been urged against Petrus Alcyonius, an Italian physician of the sixteenth century, and corrector for some time to the press of Aldus Manutius, at Venice; and with better foundation and more success than that against the Portuguese prelate. Cicero's Treatise, it is well known, was extant many years after the discovery of the art of printing. It was once in the possession of Petrarch; and he, in his letters, has given a full account of the mode in which it came into his hands, and was afterwards lost. Raimondo Soranzo,(Suranum,*) from his extensive collection of books, presented this treatise, among others, to Petrarch.
* This name is thus Latinized in the original of Petrarch; and not Superantius,&s Tiraboschi and Dr. Middleton have it. These facts are detailed in Tiraboschi, Storia della Letteratura Italiana, par. iii. lib. iii. p. 256; and Middleton s Life of Cicero, vol. iii. p. 72.
VOL. I. PART II. Z
The precious volume Petrarch preserved with great care, and set an extreme value on it; when a man who had formerly been his
J (receptor, and treated him with great kindness, begged the oan of it, under the pretext of wanting it for a work which he was then composing. Petrarch could not refuse the request, and he never saw the book again. After making many excuses for retaining it, the man, being at last pressed, confessed that once when in want of money, he had pawned it. Petrarch, anxious to recover the book at any rate, offered to pay the pledge-money; but his friend never could be brought to acknowledge the person in whose hands he had placed it. The borrower of the book, whose name is not mentioned, at last died in Tuscany while Petrarch was in France, and after his return he endeavoured in vain to hear any news of it, or regain its possession.*
Of the grounds of the charge against Alcyonius, a full and sufficient account is given in this letter from Jo. Burchard Mencken to John Robinson, Ambassador at the Court of Sweden, prefixed to our edition of the Merlices Legatus, itself.
"Jam ut ad hunc ipsurn, quem manibus tuis oblatum volui; vir excellentissime, libellum veniam, Venetiis is primum A. 1522. ex Aldi Manutii officina prodiit, et deinde non tantum cum Cardani libris de Sapientia, et Consolatione, Aureliop. 1624.,verum et seorsim Basilese 1546. recusus, curante Jo. Heroldo Hsechstetten, qui in erudita ad v. cl. Ludovicum Maigret adlocutione diserte scribit, in hoc Dialogorum de Exilio genere ap. Grsecos nihil succulentius exstare, inter Latinos vero a Cicerone, cui in hoc argumento vetustas illi cariosa cladem intulerit, unicum, qui hoc tentarit, Alcyoniumexstitisse, additque,eundern, quod auspicatus sit, tanta sermonis elegantia absolvisse, ut Ciceronis de Exilio commentarius ab iis, qui rerum, quam vetustatis, rationem
* Petrarca Epistoll. Senilium xvi. ep. i. (edit. Veneta, ap. Torre
sani de.Asula, 1501.) obtulerat casus mihi jam antea venera
bilem senem, cujus nomen, ut reor, adhuc in curia notum est, Raymondum Suranum, ad quem ante hos quadraginta annos, scripta juvenilis mea qusedam nunc etiam extat epistola; ille copiosissimus librorum fuit; et ut jurisconsultus, in qua facultate pollebat, alia quidem cuncta despiciens, prseter unum Titum Livium, quo mirum in modum calcatabatur; sed historise insuetum, magnum licet, ingenium hserebat. In eo studio me sibi utilem, ut dicebat, expertur, tanto amore complexus est, ut patrem potius crederes quam amicum: ille mihi et commodando libros, et donando supra communem modum facilis fuit. Ab hoc habui et Varronis et Ciceronis aliqua. Cujus unum volumen de communibus fuit; sed inter ipsa communia libri de Oratore ac de Legibus imperfecti, ut fere semper inveniuntur; et prseterea singulares libri duo de Gloria; quibus visis me ditissimum existimavi. Longum est exequi, &c.
potius habent, non magnopere desideretur. Cum vero plerosque alios suae setatis eruditos dicacissima obtrectatione in se provocasset, non defuere, qui,ut gloriam pulcerrimo opere partam, qua licet, offuscarent, foedissimi plagii eum accusarunt. In his princeps fuit'Jovius, qui, ut in Elogiis suis plebeios et sordidos ejus mores alios perstringit, eumque impudens gulae mancipium appellat, ita hoc quoque tradit, quod ex libro Cicerorns de Gloria, quem nefaria impietate abolerat, hunc velut centonem confecerit. Hunc Antonius Verderius in praef. ad Bibliothecam suam, Petr. Victorius in prsef. ad Comment, in Aristot. Poet., Paulus Colomesius in Opusculis, Abercombius in Fure Academico, et complures alii sequuntur. Neque adeo id ab ingenio Alcyonii alienum videtur, si vera narrat Valerianus noster, qui, ubi de Petri Martelli infelicitate agit, addit quatuor ejus libros exactissimse interpretationis in Mathematicas Disciplinas, cum in Alcyonii manus incidissent, ita suppressos esse, ut nusquam amplius comparuerint. Prolixius vero rein enarrat Paulus Manutius, qui testatur libros duos, quos de Gloria Cicero scripsit, usque ad patrum suorum setatem pervenisse. Nam Bernardus Justinianus, inquit, in Indice Librorum suorum nominat Ciceronem de Gloria. Is liber postea, cum universam Bibliothecam Monasterio legasset, magna conquisitus cura, neutiquam est inventus. Nemini dubium fuit, quin Petr. Alcyonius, cui Monachae Medico suo ejus tractandae Bibliothecse potestatem fecerant, homo improbus, furto averterit. Et sane in ejus opusculo de Exilio adspersa nonnulla deprehenduntur, quae non olere Alcyonium auctorem, sed aliquanto praestantiorem artificem videntur. Hactenus Manutius : enimvero facile est inventis aliquid addere. Ego autem nequissimi Elogii scriptorem, Jovium, quem praecipuum opinor, et primum hujus fabulse auctorem extitisse, multo, quam Alcyonium, turpiorem censeo, quod non modo nulla ab eo contumelia lacessitus, verum et in hoc ipso opere, quod Medices Legatus, seu de Exilio, inscriptum est, quaesita de industria laudandi occasione, longe maximo ac splendidissimo praeconio ornatus est. Sed una tanti odii causa fuit, quod fama acceperat, Alcyonium quoque ad historias scribendas animum convertisse, quam gloriam sibi soli servatam cupiebat homo sui, si quisquam alius, amantissimus. Memini autem, me abhinc octennio, cum illustri et doctissimo cive tuo, Ricardo Bentleio, quem cum Caveiis, Covelis, Hudsoniis, Newtoniis, Woodwardiis, aliisque summis Britanniae tuse luminibus, impense veneror, hac de re aliquando sermonem habuisse. Is igitur nihil se deprehendere in eo libro fatebatur, quod Alcyonium dolosi plagii convinceret; quae enim ex libro illo Ciceronis proferantur ab Alcyonio, haberi eadem in Fragments, quae hodie supersunt. Neque sane mihi dubium est, calumniae loco habendum esse, quicquid de plagio Alcyonii, et suppresso, seu potius combusto unico, qui supererat, Ciceronis de Gloria codice traduntscriptores."—Jo. Burckard. Mencken, (prof. Petr. AlcyoniMedices Legati s. de Exilio,) ad Jo. Robinson, Magna Britannia Regina ad Regem Svec'ue Legatum Extraordinarium et Plenipotentiarium.
Though Mencken here appears to be decidedly of opinion that the accusation had its foundation in malice,—his arguments are by no means conclusive. The force of the authority of Manutius, as expressed in the passage from his commentaries here given, is the most difficult to resist. But it will be observed, that there is much vagueness in the evidence which Manutius gives, as having carried conviction to his mind. One Bernard Justin, it seems, leaves his library to a Nunnery; —in the catalogue, is found the title of the treatise of Cicero, de Gloria; but, upon a search being afterwards set on foot, the book is no where to be found. Now, Alcyonius being physician to the Nuns, and having had free access to the library, and being homo improbus, a man of bad character, (in the opinion of Manutius,) he doubtless stole it and appropriated it to his own use. This, we think, it will readily be granted, is but an inconclusive piece of reasoning. It is supported by Manutius's critical opinion of the book itself. He avers, that in his opinion, there are passages in Alcyonius's treatise de Exilio, which Alcyonius- himself could not write. Manutius, it must be allowed, was an excellent judge of the peculiarities of style, and of the difference between that which was Cicero's and that which is Ciceronian. He was likewise, of course, well acquainted with the talents of the man who had long been the corrector of his press. On the other hand, it is a very difficult thing to say what an individual can or cannot do, upon an acquaintance however intimate. And in the case of Alcyonius, it is proved by the fact, that two orations which he afterwards published after the taking of Rome, against Charles V. and the "barbarities of his army, materially increased his reputation, and manifestly proved him to be possessed of talents for which he would not previously have been given credit. Moreover, it does not seem very clear how Alcyonius could make much advantageous use, in a treatise on Exile, of passages filched from a treatise on Glory. He must, indeed, have been a very ingenious botcher, who could so curiously introduce the purple rag into his coarse foundationwork, as to deceive the sagacity of such a man as Bentley.— Bentley, however, it seems from the letter of Mencken, saw nothing in the treatise of Alcyonius which looked like plagiarism. Though to this averment is added an exception, which considerably deteriorates the value of this testimony: for Mencken adds, as from the mouth of Bentley, that what is quoted in Alcyonius from Cicero on Glory, the same form part of the fragments of that work which still remain. Now we have carefully examined the little work of Petrus Alcyonius, and with confidence can assert that it does not contain any of the fragments of Cicero's treatise de Gloria: and, therefore, are justified in saying either that Dr. Bentley, in the moment of conversation, hazarded an assertion, which on a proper examination of the book he would have found unsupported by fact, or else that J.
Burchard Mencken had misrepresented what fell from the lips of Dr. Bentley. However this may be, the question of the dishonesty of Peter Alcyon must still remain a moot point—his memory must still be darkened with a shade of suspicion; though we, in charity, recommend to our readers the noble maxim of the English law, to hold the accused as innocent until he has been proved guilty. And this, probably, will not take place till the discovery of some still existing copy of Cicero's lost work.
This, we fear, is an improbable event; but the exploits of Sig. Maio, in the libraries under his care, forbid us to despond. We understand that it was the opinion of the intelligent Lord Hutchinson, that the MS. had been traced to Constantinople, and that he had some reason for supposing it to be buried in the library of that city. During his lordship's residence in Egypt, he used every possible means to obtain the liberty of inspecting that literary sepulchre, but in vain. His lordship is said to have declared, that he would have gladly sacrificed all his military honors to the glory of having rescued, from the hands of barbarians, Cicero's Treatise on Glory.
"Cedant arma togse; concedat laurea linguse."
We fear, however, that all the hopes which have been entertained of recovering the lost decades of Livy and other classical MSS. from Constantinople, either has or will prove an old, though not unpleasing illusion, which the inferences to be drawn from the accounts of Dr. Clarke and Dr. Carlyle, in Mr. Walpole's Memoirs of Greece, are well calculated to dispel. The forgotten and vamped up apartments of the Constantinopolitan seraglio—the Arabic translations of the Escurial—the yet to be discovered remains of ancient Persian literature—have all been successively pointed out to the eager scholar, as the secret depository of the treasures which his soul thirsts after. We fear, that his researches, in these quarters, will only appear feasible in the enthusiastic ardour with which we are apt to fume and swell in the retirement of our own closets; and that a nearer approach to the site of the spots, where our imaginations have built massive cases in dusty and neglected recesses, with countless shelves arranged in regimental order, and groaning beneath the weight of ponderous volumes, will cause to vanish the fairy vision: reminding us of the stories of our youth, where the silent ghost appears at the bed-side, and beckons the affrighted dreamer to follow its steps to some damp and choked apartment, where, being arrived, the awful guide points out to the delighted beholder the rusty ring, which, being raised, will disclose the buried treasure. The dreamer pulls and exerts himself, and with the exertion he awakes, and the stoney apartment vanishes