Peter undoubtedly meant to say that Simon Magus was altogether immersed in the very quintessence, as it were, of malice and bitter"Sic enim loquuntur Hebræi, ut hominem prorsus oppressum ac quasi intus sepultum declarent." (Beza ad loc.)


xv. 17. That the residue of men, &c. The original is word for word from the Septuagint version of Amos, ix. 12.

xxvii. 29. They cast four anchors out of the stern. An evident mistranslation. The τέσσαρες ἀγκύραι mentioned by St. Luke are not four anchors, but a four-pronged anchor; perhaps the grapnel or grappling anchor of our sailors. (See Fragments to Calmet, No. ccxiv.)

Rom. v. 11. By whom we have now received the atonement-Tǹv Karaλλay. Our translators, by rendering this word at-one-ment, appear to regard the latter not, according to the opinion of some divines, as synonymous with expiation or ransom, but merely as expressing a reconciliation of enmity or difference, whereby the adverse parties are made at one again. So in 2 Maccab. vii. 33. Kai máλiv καταλλαγήσεται τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ δούλοις. Yet shall he be at one again with his servants.

vii. 25. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Instead of εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ, one of the Clermont MSS. has ἡ χάρις τοῦ Θεοῦ; which is, I think, undoubtedly the true reading, as exhibiting a most consistent sense, and giving a direct answer to the question in the preceding verse. (See Locke's Paraphrase and note on the passage. See also Beza). It is worthy of remark that the Vulgate also reads, Gratia Dei per J. C. Dominum nostrum.

viii. 19. The earnest expectation. 'ATоKapadoкía. "As a man, who looketh for the coming of a special friend, getteth him up to some turret, or high place, and putteth forth his head, and looketh this and that way, &c." (Leigh. Crit. Sac. ad verb.)

"Look from the turret, sister dear,

And see if succour be not near

O! tell me what do you espy?"

G. Colman. Blue Beard.

A remarkable, though undoubtedly an undesigned coincidence of thought and expression.

xvi. 25. Since the world began. Rather, through a series or long course of ages—χρόνοις αἰωνίοις.

1 Cor. xv. 47. The first man is of the earth, earthy-xoikós. Hesychius interprets this word, Týλvos—yýjivos. (See Bryant, Analysis of Anc. Myth. ii. 117. Ed. 1775.)

Galat. i. 18. To see Peter. A stronger expression should have been used to express the force of the original-iσropñσaι Пéтpov. "Non simpliciter ut viseret, sed ut notitiam compararet Apostoli sanctissimi, cui hactenus ignotus fuerat." (Stanleius ad vii. ad Theb. 512.) So Shakspeare in Othello,

"Still question'd me the story of my life."

v. 20. Witchcraft. Rather, poisoning. Dealing in unlawful drugspapμákela an offence very commonly practised in Rome, when St. Paul wrote. This interpretation is controverted by Leigh, Parkhurst, and Doddridge; but, I think, not on sufficient grounds.

Ephes. iv. 30. Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are · sealed, &c. This text may fairly be adduced in proof of the personality of the Holy Spirit, if we render ev in or by whom, instead of whereby.

Phil. ii. 15. Ye shine as lights in the world. Gr. pworñpes. St. Paul did not mean to call the Philippians lights; but to compare them to candelabra or light-houses, such as the Pharos at Alexandria. (See Fragments to Calmet, No. cclxxv.) The apostle here uses the same word as that employed by the LXX. to express


(Gen. i. 14.) See the note above on Gen. and compare Matt. v. 14, 16.) Hence it appears that our version of Wisdom xiii. 2. Dworñpas oupavou, lights of Heaven,' is not quite correct. It may be remarked, that the last cited chapter contains an admirable exposure of the folly of Sabæan worship.

iv. 12. I know how to abound. Rather, to excel, to be eminentπερισσεύειν—opposed to ταπεινοῦσθαι in the first case, and to ύστε peiola in the second. "I am instructed. Gr. I have been initiated. Meμvíμa-initiatus sum."-Beza.

i Pet. i. 12. Which things the angels desire to look into. This expression falls far short of the force of the original word, napákvar, which so clearly denotes the position of the Cherubim expanding their wings over the Ark of the Covenant, and looking down upon the mercy seat.'-(See Exod. xxv. 18-20. xxvii. 7-9.)

Tansor, July, 1818.



NO. III. [Continued from NO. XXXV. p. 47.]

SECT. VIII.-That Theocritus observed the slighter and more imperceptible shades of Nature.

THUS we have sufficiently illustrated how much Theocritus was struck with the charms of nature in general, which he describes with singular pleasure," ingenti perculsus amore." He could also discriminate the slighter and more imperceptible shades of external scenery

and inward sentiment. It is this quality which particularly distinguishes the poetic eye. It appears very conspicuous in Thomson, and Cowper the author of The Task. We meet with descriptions which charm at first sight, and of objects which seem to be familiar, yet which no one ever thought of describing before. The rich embroidery of nature is infinitely diversified, and new events continually arise in the moral world; so that to the want of a capacity for observation and description we must, in some measure at least, ascribe the scarcity of original poetry. Theocritus frequently strikes us with these minuter and more delicate shades. Thus when the goat-herd in the first Idyllium excuses himself from playing on his pipe for fear of disturbing Pan, who then rests, weary after hunting, he adds:

ἐντί γε πικρὸς,

Καὶ οἱ ἀεὶ δριμεῖα χολὰ ποτὶ ῥινὶ κάθηται.

-and he is of bitter temper,

And sharp anger always sits on his nostrils.

v. 18.

Now we may often observe a kind of venom playing in the noses of some choleric persons when they are provoked; yet it is not a common appearance.

In the same Idyllium, when describing the figures on the cissybium, he mentions a fox laying his measures to steal the dinner of a little boy who tended the vineyard, and who amused himself with forming a gin for grasshoppers with reeds and bulrushes. To show us that a boy prefers his own pleasure and amusement to every thing, he says: μέλεται δέ οἱ οὔτε τι πήρης,

Οὔτε φυτῶν τοσσῆνον ὅσον περὶ πλέγματι γαθεῖ.

v. 54.

-but he cares not for the scrip (which contains his dinner,) Nor cares so much for the vine, as he is delighted with his twining. In the Pharmaceutria (Idyllium ii.) Simætha, who is deeply in love with Delphis who had forsaken her, observing that the sea and air are calm and silent, surprises us with a sudden and unexpected contrast in these two soft and plaintive lines, which have always particularly struck me.

Ηνίδε, σιγᾷ μὲν πόντος, σιγῶντι δ' ἀῆται·

̔Α δ' ἐμὰ οὐ σιγᾷ στέρνων ἔντοσθεν ἀνία. Idyl. ii. v. 38. 39.
Behold! the sea is silent, the breezes are silent,

But the grief within my breast is not silent.

When her lover came to see her first, she was in such confusion that she could not speak :

οὐδ ̓ ὅσσον ἐν ὕπνῳ

Κυζῶνται φωνεῦντα φίλαν ποτὶ ματέρα τέκνα. Idyl. ii. v. 108. "faint tremors seiz'd my tongue,

"And on my lips the faltering accents hung:

"As when from babes imperfect accents fall,

"When murmuring in their dreams they on their mothers call."

Who ever described this circumstance of babes before?


In the Comastes (Idyl. iii.) the lover says to his mistress-"I bring you

ten apples." The value of this present is heightened by this circumstance: "I took them from the place from which you ordered me to take them."

Ηνίδε τοι δέκα μᾶλα φέρω τηνῶθε καθεῖλον,

Ω μ' ἐκέλευ καθελεῖν τυ· καὶ αὔριον ἄλλά τοι οἴσω.

Idyl. iii. v. 10. In the Οδοιπόροι (Idyl. v.) Comatas, contending in extemporary poetry and singing with his rival, delights us with a trivial but natural incident:

Βάλλει καὶ μάλοισι τὸν αἰπόλον & Κλεαρίστα

Τὰς αἶγας παρελῶντα, καὶ ἁδύ τι ποππυλιάσει. Idyl. v. v. 88. "Clearista pelts the goat-herd with apples,

"When driving his goats, and she hums something sweet." The present which he promises his mistress is no less agreeable: Κἤγω μὲν δωσῶ τῷ παρθένῳ αὐτίκα φάσσαν, Ἐκ τᾶς ἀρκεύθῳ καθελών· τηνεὶ γὰρ ἐφίσδει. And I will give to the virgin a wood-pigeon,

Idyl. v. v. 96.

Taking it from the juniper-tree; for there it builds its nest. This circumstance has been literally imitated by Virgil, but Mr. Shenstone has made a new and nobler use of it in his pastoral ballad. I have found out a gift for my fair,

I have found where the wood-pigeons breed;
But let me that plunder forbear,

She will say t'was a barbarous deed.

[blocks in formation]

In the sixth Idyllium, Daphnis singing tells Polyphemus that his mistress Galatea pelts his flock with apples. He then adds a simple circumstance, which, as described by him, gives the reader much pleasure.

—πάλιν ἅδ', ίδε, τὰν κύνα βάλλει

"Α τοι τῶν δΐων ἕπεται σκοπός· ἡ δὲ βαύσδει,
Εἰς ἅλα δερκομένα· τὰ δέ νιν καλὰ κύματα φαίνει
"Ασυχα καχλάζοντα, ἐπ' ἀιγιαλοῖο θέοισαν.
Φράζεο μὴ τὰς παιδὸς ἐπὶ κνάμαισιν ὀρούσῃ

Ἐξ ἁλὸς ἐρχομένας, κατὰ δὲ χρόα καλὸν ἀμύξῃ. Idyl. vi. v. 9.
See! She again pelts the dog

Which follows as the guardian of the sheep: while he barks
Looking into the sea for the beautiful waves

Soft murmuring show the reflection of him running on the shore.
Take care lest he rush against the legs of the nymph
Emerging from the sea, and tear her beautiful body.

There immediately follows another circumstance, of a more singular kind :

'Α δὲ καὶ αὐτόθι τοι διαθρύπτεται, ὡς ἀπ' ακάνθας
Ταὶ καπυραὶ χαῖται, τὸ καλὸν θέρος ἡνίκα φρύττει.

Idyl. vi. v. 15.

"But there she frolics for you, as from the thistle
The down adust flies, when beautiful summer burns it."

To compare the frolics of the nymph to the bounding of the filmy gossamer, is surely something out of the common way. I shall pass by many instances of this habit of delicate observation in Theocritus. A few more, however, I may be permitted to add.

In the xiv. Idyllium we have this remark:

—ἀπὸ κροτάφων πελύμεσθα

Πάντες γηραλέοι, καὶ ἐπισχερὼ ἐς γένυν ἕρπει
Λευκαίνων ὁ χρόνος.

Idyl. xiv. v. 68.

We all grow old from the temples,

And time bringing white hairs creeps gradually to the cheek. In Chaucer, in the Reve's Prologue, we have something very like This white top writeth mine old yeres,

[ocr errors]


this: In the xv. Idyllium, or Sicilian Gossips, we have many nice traits: as the strange look of the little boy, when his mother spoke ill of his father without adverting to the child's being present; Praxinoe's attention to her dress; her care of her cats; her fear of a horse and a serpent, &c." Gorgo also ends with a singular but just observation: Ὥρα ὅμως κ' εἰς οἶκον· ἀνάριστος Διοκλείδας.

Χὤνηρ ὄξος ἄγαν· πεινᾶντί γε μηδέποτ' ἔνθης.

"But it is time to go home: Diocleides has not dined:

And the man is of a sour temper: you must not meet him when he is hungry."

I believe those who have been accustomed to ask favors of the great, and to watch the "mollia tempora fandi," have often experienced the truth of this observation.

The last instance of this kind which I shall mention is of a very sublime and unusual nature. It is where he compares in Hercules the lion-killer, (Idyll. xxv.) the herds of cows which belonged to Augeas to successive masses of clouds.

Αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα βόες μάλα μυρίαι ἄλλαι ἐπ ̓ ἄλλαις
Ἐρχόμεναι φαίνονθ ̓ ὡσεὶ νέφη ὑδατόεντα,
Ὅσσα τ ̓ ἐν οὐρανῷ εἰσὶν ἐλαυνόμενα προτέρωσε
Ἠὲ νότοιο βίῃ ἠὲ Θρηκὸς βορέαο·

Τῶν μέν τ' οὔτις ἀριθμὸς ἐν ἠέρι γίνεται ὄντων,

Οὐδ ̓ ἄνυσις· τόσα γάρ τε μετὰ πρώτοισι κυλίνδει

Ἲς ανέμου, τὰ δέ τ' ἄλλα κορύσσεται αὖθις ἐπ ̓ ἄλλοις·
Τόσσ' αἰεὶ μετόπισθε βοῶν ἐπὶ βουκόλι ᾔει.

Idyl. xxv. v. 88.

But afterwards innumerable cows, one set after another
Arriving, appeared like the watery clouds,

Which pass in the sky driven forward

By the violence either of the south-wind, or Thracian north-wind: Of these clouds in the air there is no numbering

Or measuring: for the force of the wind rolls so many after the first, And some again rise in curves over others:

So innumerable droves of cows followed each other.


To the same turn of genius we may ascribe the exact paintings of persons, dresses, and animals, which Theocritus presents to us. images are not vague and general, but picturesque and particular.

« ElőzőTovább »