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Greeks to assimilate to the passion it would excite. Number Musæus was the favourite scholar of Orpheus, or per. Greek
Hesiod, Pindar, Sophocles, Euripides, and even of A wrote sacred instructions, which he addressed to his son.
but his great Muszus. Greek student.
work was a Theogony, or History of the Creation, &c. 167 Every body knows that the practice of writing in Melampus brought the mysieries of Proserpine from Melampus, verse was antecedent to the date of prosaic composition. Egypt into Greece. He wrote the whole history of the Here, then, the Aoidon and the ministers of religion disasters of the gods. This seer is mentioned by Homer chiefly displayed their skill and discernment. By a ju. bimself.
163 dicious mixture of short and long syllables; by a junce Olen came from Lycia, and composed t'e first hymn Olen, tion of consonants which naturally slide into each other; that was sung in Delos at their solemnities; he probably by a careful attention to the rhythm, or barmony result- emigrated from Patara a city of Lycia, where Apollo ing from the combination of the syllables of the whole had a celebrated temple and oracle. line-they completed the metrical tone of the verse, The Hyperborean damsels used to visit Delos, where guided by that delicacy of musical feeling of which they they chaunted sacred hymns in honour of the Delian god.
169 were possessed before rules of prosody were known To these we add the great Homer himself, if indeed Homer and among men.
the hymns commonly annexed to the Odyssey are his Hesiod. Much liberty was certainly used in transposing let- composition. Hesiod's Theogony is too well known to ters, in varying terminations, in annexing prefixes and need to be mentioned. affixes, both to nouns and other kinds of words where From these instances we hope it appears, that the such adjuncts were possible : and upon this occasion we origin of the poetry of Greece is to be found in the think it probable, that those particles of which we have temples; and that there, its measure, numbers, rhythm, spoken above were inserted like filling stones thrust in to and other appendages, were originally fabricated. stop the gaps or chinks of a building. Verses were then The Grecian poets, however, enjoyed another adclumsy and irregular, as the quantity of vowels was not vantage which that class of writers have seldom posduly ascertained, and the collision of heterogeneous con sessed, which arose from the different dialects into which sonants not always avoided. Probably these primitive their language was divided. All those dialects were Different verses differed as widely from the finished strains of adopted indifferently by the prince of poets; a circum-dialects, Homer and his successors, as those of Chaucer and stance which enabled bim to take advantage of any word with their Spencer do from the smooth polished lines of Dryden from any dialect, provided it suited his purpose. This, origin. and Pope.
at the same time that it rendered versification easy, dif.
chiefly calculated for religious services, we imagine they and Illyricum, to the purposes of his versification : Be-
of the barbarous aborigines; 2d, of an adventitious co-
lony of Egyptian Saïtes; 3d, a branch of Ionians from
the coast of Palestine. These last formed the old Ionian Quo scribi possent numero monstravit Homerus.
dialect, from which sprung tbe Attic and modern Ionic. We have hazarded a conjecture above, importing that The Æolians emigrated from a different quarter of the the earliest poetical compositions of the Greeks were con same coast; the inhabitants of which were a rempant of secrated to the service of the gods. We shall now pro the old Canaanites, and consequently different in dialect duce a few facts, which will furnish at least a presump from the two first-mentioned colonies. The Dores
tive evidence of the probability of that conjecture. sprang from an unpolished race of purple fishers on the 165
Orpheus begins his poem with ancient chaos, its trans-
same coast, and consequently spoke a dialect more coarse
an analysis would carry us far leyond the limits of the
Greek article in question. For entire satisfaction on this head, preceding pages, conscious of the superior excellency of Greek
Linguæ Dialecti, where he will find every thing ne heart, stigmatized every nation wbich did not employ
could not endure the untutored voice of the people whom Greeks to
countries, in comparison of whom the Greeks themselves The Ionic, as was said, was the ancient Attic ; but were of yesterday, and knew nothing. By this unlucky when that nation emigrated from Attica and settled on hias, not only they, but even we who derive all the litthe coast of Asia Minor, they mingled with the Cariang tle knowledge of antiquity we possess through the chanand Pelasgi, and of course adopted a number of their nel of their writings, have suflered an irreparable injury. vocables. They were an indolent, luxurious, and dissolute By their transformation of oriental names they have in a people; of course their style was indeed
easy and flow manner stopped the channel of communication between ing, but verbose, redundant, and without nerves. This, the histories of Europe and Asia. This appears evident however, is the leading style in Homer; and after him from the fragments of Ctesias's Persian history, from a prodigious number of writers on every subject have Herodotus, Xenophon, and all the other Grecian writers used the same dialect, such as Herodotus of Halicarnas. who bave occasion to mention the intercourse between sus the celebrated historian ; Ctesias of Cnidus the his the Greeks and Persians. 3d, It deprived them of all torian of Persia and India ; Hecatæus of Miletus ; Me-' knowledge of the etymology of their own language, withgastbenes the historian, who live under Seleucus Nica out which it was imposs: ble for them to understand its tor; Hippocrates the celebrated physician of Coos; words, phraseology, and idioms, to the bottom. We Hellanicus the historian often mentioned with honour mentioned Plato's Cratylus above. In that dialogue, the by Polybius ; Anacreon of Teia, Alcæus, Sappho of divine philosopher endeavours to investigate the etymoLesbos, excellent poets; Pherecydes Syrus the philoso- logy of only a few Greek words. His deductions are pher, and a multitude of other persons of the same pro- absolutely childish, and little superior to the random confession, whom it would be superfluous to mention upon jectures of a school-boy. Varro, the most learned of all the present occasion.
the Romans, has not been more successful. Both stumbThe Æolic and Doric were originally cognate dia- led on the very threshold of that useful science; and a lects. When the Dorians invaded Peloponnesus, and scholar of very moderate proficiency in our days knows settled in that peninsula, they incorporated with the Æo more of the origin of these two noble languages, than lians, and their two dialects blended into one produced the greatest adepts among the natives did in theirs. By the new Doric. The original Dores inhabited a rugged prefixes, affixes, transpositions of letters, new conjuncmountainous region about Ossa and Pindus, and spoke a tions of vowels and consonants for the sake of the music rough unpolished language similar to the soil which they and rhythm, they have so disguised their words, that it is inhabited. Andreas Schottus, in his observations on poe almost impossible to develope their original. As a proof try, lib. ii. cap. 50. proves from an old manuscript of of this, we remember to have seen a manuscript in the “ Theocritus, that there were two dialects of the Doric bands of a private person where the first twelve verses tongue, the one ancient and the other modern ; that this of the Iliad are carefully analysed; and it appears to our poet employed Ionic and the modern Doric; that the old satisfaction, that almost every word may be, and actualDoric dialect was rough and cumbrous; but that Theo- ly is traced back to a Fiebrew, Phænician, Chaldean, critus has adopted the new as being more soft and mel or Ægyptian original: And we are convinced that the low.” A prodigious number of poets and philosophers same process will hold good in the like number of verses Wrote in this dialect, such as Epicharmus the poet ; Iby- taken from any of the most celebrated poets of Greece. cus the poet of Rhegium; Corinna thie poetess of Thespis, This investigation we found was chiefly conducted by or Thebes, or Corinth, who bore away the prize of poetry reducing the words to their original invariable state, from Pindar; Erynna a poetess of Lesbos; Moschus the which was done by stripping them of prefixes, affixes, poet of Syracuse; Sappho the poetess of Mitylene; Pin &c. These strictures are, we think, well founded; and darus of Tbebes, the prince of lyric poets; Archimedes consequently need no apology to protect them. of Syracuse, the renowned mathematician ; and almost These imperfections, however, are counterbalanced Beauty of all the Pythagorean philosophers. Few historians wrote by numberless excellencies : and we are certainly much the Greek in that dialect; or if they did, their works have not fal more indebted to that incomparable people for the in- language. len into our hands. Most of the hymns sung in temples of formation they have transmitted to us through the niethe gods were composed in Doric; a circumstance which dium of their writings, than injured by them in not'conevinces the antiquity of that dialect, and which, at the veying to us and to themselves more authentic and more same time, proves its affinity to the oriental standard. ample conimunications of ancient events and occurrences.
After that the Greek tongue was thoroughly polished Withoutfatiguing our readers with superfluous encomiums by the steps which we bave endeavoured to trace in the on a language which has long ago been extolled perhaps
Greek to an extravagant degree by the labours of men of the sires with all these what is proper and suitable. The Greek
shall now proceed to make a few observations on spirits With respect to accents, it may be observed that
It was thought that the raising the tone upon more than
rough or aspirated." The gentle accent, though always The grave accent always takes place when the acute
elevating and depressing the voice; but that they were
The Greek accents are three in number; the acute, uttered in such a manner as to produce a melodious cents. the grave, and the circumflex. The acute raises and rythim in discourse.
sharpens the voice; the grave depresses and flattens it; In a word, the acute accent might be placed upon any
175 the Athenians would have bissed an actor or actress off The ancient Greeks bad no accentual marks. They The anci* See Puls the stage or an orator off the pulpitum *, on account of learned those modifications of voice by practice from ent Greeks pitur.
a few mistakes in the enunciation of those notes. their infancy; and we are assured by good authority, bad no acThe elevations, depressions, and suspensions of the that in pronunciation they observe them to this day.
" Rhetorical con.position is not interspersing the whole disquisition with quotations
ken at pre
Greek that language to quote from, because the Greeks knew A great part of the south of Italy was planted with Greek
guage, and consequently have recorded nothing but denominated Magna Græcia. Here the Greek tongue
of this excellent language, will endeavour to be thorough- sive a spread, where it was not propagated by the law 176 ly acquainted with the books after mentioned.
178 Books to be
Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics, his book De Inter The Greek tongue, at this day, is confined within Greek spostudied by
pretatione, especially with Ammonius's Commentary. very narrow limits. It is spoken in Greece itself, exevery one who wishes Ammonius was a native of Alexandria, and by far the cept in Epirus, and the western parts of Macedonia. It to be a mas-most acute of all the ancient grammarians.
is likewise spoken in the Grecian and Asiatic islands, in ter of this
Dion. Halic. De Structura Orationis, where, amidst Candia or Crete, in some parts of the coast of Asia Miabundance of curious and interesting observations, will nor, and in Cyprus: but in all these regions, it is much be found the true pronunciation of the Greek letters. corrupted and degenerated. Demetrius Phalereus De Elocutione; a short essay
in As a specimen, we shall insert a modern Greek song, deed, but replete with instruction concerning the proper and the advertisement of a quack medicine, which with arrangement of words and members in sentences. other plunder, was brought by the Russians from Choc
Longinus, the prince of critics, whose remains are sim or Chotzim in 1772.
Song in modern Greek.
Και να φανή μια σωτηρία, να ιδαν τα μάτια μυστρια.
the Latin language could accomplish notwithstanding Και τετα άν βασαξεν, εμπορει να με φυλαξε».
native language along with them, and industriously dif O'erwhelm'd, ingulph'd, I struggling fight;
Heave surge on surge. Ah! far from sbore
While yawning gulfs extend beneath.
When sball the friendly dawning rays
Waft to some port of endless rest?
much of the air of extempore compositions ; an epithet Greek Language. I veer my sail from side to side.
is never wanting to fill up a verse; and a set of expres- Languags. Conduct me, Heav'n! to yond' fair coast, sions are mechanically annexed to such ideas as were of Or plunge me in the 'whelming tide.
frequent recurrence. Hence that copiousness and waste
of words in the old Greek bard, wbich forms such a The Quack Bill.
contrast to the condensed and laboured composition of
The Greek prose was of a more difficult structure;
and it may be distributed into different styles or degrees
of purity. Of the prose authors now extant, the first ΤΟΥΤΟ το μπαλσαμον ωφελεί εις το αδυνατόν σομαχι, ,
and best style is that of Herodotus, and of Plato in
the florid or mixed kind, of Xenophon in the pure and
in composition as the study of these writers.
The style of Polybius forms a new epoch in the biεις παλαιάς. Ocov xai lovics, retais rives jordbārs, xào story of the Greek language : it was the idiotic or poμαχαιριαϊς, και άλλα κοψίματα ιατρευει κάθελογής Φισολα,
pular manner of expression, especially among military
came the model of succeeding writers, by introducing a
the cadence and choice of words. The style of the
New Testament, being plain and popular, frequently re-
sembles that of Polybius, as has been shown by Raphe-
Before this historian, the Alexandrian Jews had
formed a new or Hellenistic style, resulting from the
Grace, book i. ch. 8-10. Critics lose their labour in
The diction of the Greek historians, and geographers
schools of Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople; We shall now conclude this section with a brief de- rank and luxuriant, full of oriental idioms, and formed guished tail of the most distinguished stages and variations in a great measure on the Septuagint version. Such is, stages of
through which this noble tongue made its progress for instance, the style of Eusebius. After him, the best
pular and flowing purity of St Chrysostome, who has