« AnteriorContinuar »
Medico' is the heading in the ordinary editions. But what
Quantaque Pieria praelia flare tuba,
Et Maecenatem si tibi, Roma, darent ! More properly he should have said “quanta pangeremus si darent,” or “poteramus pangere si dedissent”, in which latter case “ reddidissent”, an unmetrical form, would have been required'. “Poteramus pangere' is like 'poteras requiescere', Virg. E. 1. 80, 'poteras scribere', Hor. Sat. II. 1. 16, denoting a contingency not really past, so that there is nothing incongruous in its being followed by 'darent'. 'Reddiderint' is perhaps less regular : if so, I suppose it is to be accounted for as an aoristic use of the perfect. XI. 49. 4.
Silius et vatem non minus ipse tulit. The reading tulit is obscure. Lipsius proposed colit. It seems to mean sustulit, raised, exalted'. I am surprised that Mr Paley has not mentioned Barth’s very plausible conjecture
aetatem' for 'et vatem'. Aetatem' or 'vetustatem ferre' is a phrase for having a permanent value, the metaphor being appa
rently derived from wines. Thus the sense would be, Silius has earned immortality no less than Virgil. “Colit' on the other hand requires the reading 'minor', which has little or no MS. authority. Whether' optatae', v. 3, can stand in the sense of 'desideratae', I do not know; nor yet whether ‘numina', the reading of one early and three late MSS. is worth substituting for 'nomina', v. 2. XI. 65. 6.
Sexcentis hodie, cras mihi natus eris. “The point is not very clear: either the absurdity of keeping two birthdays is meant, or the poet implies that he will keep it in his own peculiar way, i.e. with anything but good wishes, such as the others offer. Or thus : your second day's birth-day will do for your humble friends'. He seems rather to mean that he shall regard being asked alone as a compliment, which I see is Gruter's view. XI. 79. 1, 2. Ad primum decima lapidem quod venimus hora,
Arguimur lentae crimine pigritiae. He means, by a hyperbole, that he has been ten hours coming one mile'. Is there any occasion for so startling an assumption ? May not the host simply have complained that though he only lived a mile out of town, Martial was an hour behind time? XII. 92.
Saepe rogare soles qualis sim, Prisce, futurus,
Si fiam locuples, simque repente potens.
Dic mihi, si fias tu leo, qualis eris ? Leo : if you were to turn into a lion, you would devour the weaker. Possibly I might act like other potentes and tyranni, who do the same to their subjects'. Is not this treating a joke too seriously? Does Martial mean more than to ridicule the practice of asking what a person would do under such and such circumstances which are not his nor likely to be his ?
ON THE CHINESE SIGNS OF CASE AND NUMBER.
STUDENTS of the science of language appear to incline to the conclusion that of all known languages none is more archaic in its forms than Chinese ; and that a knowledge of Chinese is therefore highly important as contributing by analogy to the discovery of the primitive condition of other languages.
Chinese however presents in its essential characteristics obstacles in the way of grammatical observation from which Sanskrit, for instance, is free.
Sanskrit reached many centuries ago so organized and articulate a condition, that long before European scholars commenced their investigations, Indian students had brought to a high degree of completeness the analysis and classification of the phenomena of language which had been familiar to them from their childhood. But it is otherwise with Chinese ; its constructions, to adopt Prof. Müller's comparison, are rather the adjustment of blocks in cyclopean masonry, than the clamps or the cement with which the more modern builder binds his materials. The orthography of his complicated characters—the blocks of which the edifice he studies has been reared—and their collocation in rhythmical sentences, rather than enquiry into the parts of speech or the framing of grammatical rules, have been the literary exercise of the philological Chinaman.
He has observed indeed the flux of language by which words have passed from their original office as names of things,
NOTE. The orthography of Chinese words, except in quotations and in the illustrations from the Ningpo Dialect, is that of Morrison's Dictionary, Part 11. 1st ed.
The numerals in brackets are those
prefixed to the several words in that Dictionary.
Morrison professed to give the southern, or Nanking, Mandarin pronunciation; and to use letters of the alphabet with nearly their English force.