« 上一頁繼續 »
of minor consideration. Of these last, some remain to be mentioned ; and our readers must be satisfied with their titles. We have here sundry observations -- On the astronomical games of Greece and China - On the use of the Intaglio — On the offices of the Eleusinian Priests.-On the
foundation of the Theology of the Ancients on Natural Philosophy - On the inculcotion of those Theological Doctrines by Ænigma and Allegory - On the Mysteries of the Idei Dactyli, as illustrated by a Sicilian Vase On the harmonious arrangement of the Universe by the Deity - On the attributes of the Deity variously personated on Vases – On Shields and their Devices — On the temporary Repose of Nature --- On the Egyptian Horus in the torpid state - On Mutes upon the reverse of Vases — (This we consider as a very curious and significant device; and we are much struck with the ingenuity of Mr. Christie's explanation.) ---On draped and naked Figures On Fish and the allegory of Angling - On old Age, Wine, Music, and Rhetoric - On the dotted Chaplet, Girdle, and Scarf - On the fate of Cassandra and flight of Æneas, mystically treated On Solstitial Fountains On the Window and Ladder - On some singular Customs of the Oriental Buddhists On the extinction of Heathen Rites in Greece and Italy -- On the Inadequacy of the Eleusinian Mysteries to the end proposed in them.
This last chapter contains many very sagacious remarks, and much good learning: but we would rathercall the attention of our readers to passages which interest us in the Eleusinian Mysteries, than to those which check that interest. Doubtless, the Heathens saw “ through a glass darkly," indeed, but they saw some rays
of the light; and if those rays are to be discovered anywhere in the classical records, we are convinced that they will be found to have flowed from Eleusis; from those rites which, however corrupted, as all humm and it would seem all divine institutions must be in process of time, contained at first and communicated to the initiated (that is, to every good Greek) the imperfect elements of truth and of knowlege, of virtue and of religion. We agree indeed most fully in the fears of Mr. Christie that, if we enter the penetralia of Eleusis, we shall find the shrine contaminated by the impurity of the priests: who, though they may not have deserved all the accusations of the Christian fathers, too plainly appear in a lamentable degree to have debased and polluted all that was sublime or pure in their doctrines, by a mixture of barbarous and obscene solemnities.
After having remarked on D’Hancarville's attempt to establish the antiquity of certain painted yases at an earlier date than even the foundation of Rome, and to aigribute the invention of the potter's wheel to the Athesians, ( n invention which
is here more justly ascribed to an older nation,) Mr. Christie observes that
• The manufacture of these urne might have been originally * carried on in that street in Athens called Kepee peeiros, or the potter's way;' (see Suidas; and Scholiast in Aristoph. Ranæ,) and from this circumstance so named. It was there perhaps that the Wedgewood of antiquity resided ; and it certainly was from the temple of Ceres at Eleusis, that he drew the various designs which still embellish his works. Upon the mysteries of this temple, the Baron de Ste. Croix has thrown some light : aided by Meursius, he has pointed out the time of their celebration ; he has enumerated the priests, and assigned to cach their proper office and attire. He has prepared the great temple or theatre, with its artificial thunder, lightning, and necessary decorations. The Mystæ, introduced in the dark, have taken their seats; and wait with trembling expectation for the opening of the Mysteries. Of these he has given a glimpse by noticing though briefly the spectacle which succeeded t.
“ At this moment, the candidate for initiation heard different voices, according to Dio Chrysostom; light and darkness alternately - affected his senses; and hardly could be gaze on the multiplicity of objects The principal were phantoms, of a dog-like figure, and various forms of monsters, which the noise of thunder and the light. ning rendered more terrific. Thence arose those tremblings, those terrors, those sudden shocks and perspirations, which made Plutarch compare the state of the initiated to that of the dying." (Page 214.)
And farther : “ They then exhibited the statue of the goddess, annointed with adorned with taste, and drest in her most beautiful apparel. She appeared resplendent with a divine brilliancy, by the reflections of light, which they knew how to manage like artists." -P.215.)
“ The sanctuary of Eleusis was the place which the whole Divinity filled at this moment:- the darkness immediately disappeared; - the soul came out of the abyss ; — and the initiated passed from the deepest obscurity into a mild light, under a tranquil sky, and were received in meadows, in which they heard songs and sacred discourses and were surprised with the sight of holy phantoms. They were declared to be Epopta after this spectacle.” (Ibid.)
Mr. Christie makes an excellent use of these quotations in support of his argument as to the illuminated paintings :- but to him we must now bid adieu. He has omitted nothing
* He adds -I say originally; because from the number of vessels found in Sicily and ai Nola, it is probable that hereafter, we shall hear of Agrigentine mysteries and Nolan mysteries, equal in point of splendour to those at Eleusis.' + We shall give the quotations from the Baron in English.
which could strengthen his own opinions in the course of his reading; and he adduces all the corroborating facts with clearness and precision. We must remind him, however, of misquoting Gray, when he says,
“ No more the call of incense-breathing morn," instead of “ the breezy call :” since a mistake in such simple things will lead the reader, who may be unacquainted with the author's general merits, to suspect equal mistakes in less common quotations : but from this charge we vindicate Mr. C.; -- and we would remind the critic that even the acutest literary Argus sometimes seems to have partaken of the çup in which poppy was the chief ingredient; the xuxewy, in a word, of the Eleusinian Mysteries. We conclude by recommending the possession of the author's present and former volume to all antiquaries who are fortunate enough to procure them : but, alluding to the Vasa Necrocorinthia, mentioned above, we fear that we must add,
“ Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum." Yet that we may not throw a damp on the ardour which we are desirous of exciting in our readers to approach at least to the distant neighbourhood of Eleusis, however we may deprecate a closer view of the Adyta, we subjoin the promised extract from Warburton. It is the translation of a passage of an antient writer, preserved by Stobæus. (See D. L. Book. 2.)
“ The mind is affected and agitaced in death just as it is in initiation into the grand mysteries ; and word answers to word as well as thing to thing: for Terutay is to die; and tihtiolan to be initiated. The first stage is nothing but errors and uncertainties ; laborious wanderings ; a rude and fearful march through night and darkness. And now arrived on the verge of death and initiation, every thing wears a dreadful aspect : it is all horror, trembling, sweating, and affrightment. But this scene once over, a miraculous and divine light displays itself; and shining plains and flowerv meadows open on all hands before them. Here they are entertained with hymns, and dances; with the sublime doctrines of sacred knowledge, and with reverend and holy visions. And now become perfect and initiated, they are free, and no longer under restraints; but crowned and triumphant, they walk up and down the regions of the blessed ; converse with pure and holy men ; and celebrate the sacred Mysteries at pleasure !"
Art. VIII. A Selection from the Poetical Works of Thomas Carew.
Crown 8vo. pp. 95. Boards. Longman and Co. 1810. WHAT
would become of the borrowed plumes of those imi
tative Jays, our modern amatory poets, were the antient Peacocks each to claim his own? Carew and Suckling (especially the former) have furnished these birds of prey, or plagiarism, with many of their most shewy feathers; and as to Mr. Thomas Little, although he has new-set the plumes which he has stolen, sometimes even in a better shape than they originally bore, yet of all the brilliant tints which shine through his poems, how few are of his own creation!
The editor of the selection before us declares his principal object to have been the hope of inducing his readers to pay more attention than is usually allotted to the contemporaries of Carew. That author has been well denominated is the link which joins Spenser and Fairfax to Waller and Denham ;" and, as the present editor observes, Waller ought not to be exclusively considered as the refiner of English poetry.' He observes that, in our admiration of Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton, we seem to have forgotten the existence of Drayton, Daniel, Browne, the two Fletchers, Drummond, and Wither; Habington, Lovelace, and Herrick.' Doubtless we have ; and Pope's complaint is no longer just :
“ But for the wits of either Charles's days,
Has sanctify'd whole poems for an age." This censure, however, as apphed to several of these authors, is too severe. Carew, in particular, abounds with similes, metaphors, -allusions, and figures of every kind. Indeed, his fault seems to be a redundancy rather than a want of imagination. Witness the following long-admired poem, which has many parallels even in the present short selection :
• LIPS AND EYES.
Which were more beautifull, her Lips or Eyes :
Then wept the Eyes, and from their springs did powre
Weeping, or sıniling pearles in Celia's face.' Carew, however, we think, must be considered as the flower of the parterre; and he too is choked with so many weeds, that Pope, if not strictly just in the extent of his condemnation, may yet be excused for feeling indignant that so much consequence should be attached to the comparative antiquity of writings, and that, as Horace says, a poem should be condemned,
non quia crassè Compositum illepideque putetur ; sed quia nuper." It is a much more reasonable subject of complaint that we neglect our early dramatic writers, than that we shew the same inattention to
6. These twinkling stars the miscellanies o'er.” Much of Old Ben, of Beaumont and Fletcher, of Massinger, Shirley, Ford, Webster, &c. &c. might yet be revived, and adapted to the modern stage. The task of expurgation would indeed be difficult : but it would be honourable, and, if judiciously executed, would amply reward the labour bestowed on it. A vigour and an originality, and, above all, a correct draught of character, are observable in these antient efforts of the English drama, for which we find but an ill substitute in the coarse caricature, or the puling sentiment, the “ dammes, poohs, and zounds," or the patriotic clap-traps, of our present Anglo-German compositions. — Shakspeare, however, thanks to the remains of natural feeling and common sense, still maintains his ground; and being in himself an host, we cannot wonder, although we may regret, that he has obscured the confessedly inferior lustre of his distinguished contemporaries. - 'Ασίρα μεν ήμαυρωσε –κ. τ. λ.
Instead of pilfering good thoughts, and clothing them in bad language, would that our modern song-writers were modest enough to imitate the simple and elegant flow of the following lines of Carew, with which we shall close our remarks on his poems :
• The snake each year new skin resumes,
And eagles change their aged plumes;