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and the vulgar pronunciation, are now confessedly regarded as the keys which unlock the difficulties of comic prosody.
But how does Professor Ramsay deal with Hermann ? A little further on he gives a list of between thirty and forty words with regard to which the law of position is habitually violated : a fact which he without hesitation accounts for by the statement that “all the words given above were occasionally, in familiar conversation, pronounced correptim: that is, the first syllable was almost entirely suppressed in enunciating the word, and thus the dissyllables were transformed into monosyllables.” This sentence, loose and inaccurate as it is, concedes at least the force of the "vulgaris pronuntiatio:" the question of accent Professor Ramsay rudely dismisses altogether: with what justice will appear below. Further on an additional number of contractions is acknowledged. Professor Ramsay never stops to ask whether these contractions, or any of them, are found in the hexameter poets. Not a word is said even of Ennius or Lucilius. Yet nothing (to take one instance) is a stronger proof of the general truth of Hermann's position than the fact that Ennius observes one rule for his hexameters and another for his iambics : even enim and quidem being used by him as dissyllables in the former, as monosyllables in the latter. From what hexameter writer could such a "correption” be quoted as “iuventus” scanned as a spondee or an anapaest (p. lxxxiv)? Nothing can be clearer than the distinction which, from the outset, exists in this respect between Roman hexameters and Roman iambics. There is even a distinction in the iambics and trochaics, according as they were employed for the stage, or for merely literary composition. Few, if any, violations of the law of position can be found in the fragments of Lucilius or Varro. But of the comedians we have Cicero's own words (Orator 55) quoted by Professor Ramsay himself: “comicorum senarii propter similitudinem sermonis sic saepe sunt abiecti, ut nonnunquam vix in eis numerus et versus intellegi
But it is not only clear that all the facts alleged by Professor Ramsay go to support Hermann's theory, but that Hermann's explanation of them is on the whole the true one. Hermann asserted that the anomalies of the comic metres represented the accent on the vulgar pronunciation of the words in the scansion of which those anomalies chiefly occurred. As to accent, Professor Ramsay ventures so far as to maintain “that the belief that we can employ the knowledge which we possess with regard to the accentuation of Latin words in any way whatsoever so as to explain or illustrate questions with regard to quantity, is an absolute delusion, and moreover a mischievous delusion,” &c. (p. lxxvii). No delusion, absolute or not, can be other than mischievous: and it would therefore have been well if Professor Ramsay had attempted to prove this remarkable statement in detail, instead of spending his pains in explaining the distinction between Accent, Ictus Metricus, and Quantity. It is clear that the fact that no Latin polysyllable ever admitted an acute on the last must have had a great deal to do with the uncertainty, so remarkable in all the older Roman poets, as to the quantity of many final syllables (the third person singular of verbs, for instance) whose metrical value was only settled later. It seems equally clear that contraction was peculiarly easy and frequent in the case of enclitics (as ille, iste, ipse, enim, quidem, ergo, esse)! In face of these patent facts, Professor Ramsay's determined opposition to Hermann seems difficult to explain.
Having thus put accent out of court, Professor Ramsay can only fall back on the “ vulgaris pronuntiatio.” Here the reader has to complain of a want of nicety and accuracy. Everything is accounted for by “correption,” that is, the almost entire suppression of the first syllable. In this view a number of words, the account of whose scansion is in all probability by no means the same, are thrown together into two alphabetical lists and dealt with in the lump. But this proceeding involves an important point. In the case of words like bonus, domus, herus, manus, malus, modus, nimis, quibus, magis, genus, it is surely more plausible (with Corssen and Wagner) to assume the shortening of the final syllable (by the well-known habit of dropping the weak consonant s) than the omission of the first.
1 See Çorssen, Aussprache, Vokalismus, &c., Vol. 11. p. 77 foll.
The abnormal scansion of words ending in r (amor, color, pater) is harder to account for, especially as the final syllable of these words is sometimes lengthened. The dropping of the final r, assumed by Dr Wagner after Ritschl, is not confirmed by old Latin inscriptions (see Mommsen, C. I. L. 78), nor does it seem .certain (as Dr Wagner, according to his late pamphlet, thinks) that the instances from later Latin collected by Schuchardt (Vokalismus des Vulgärlateins, Vol. II. p. 390) prove it for Plautus. The supposition that r stands for s is good for color and amor, but not for pater or miser. Yet as the pronunciation pére, frére &c. must (since Ritschl's prolegomena) be given up, it is difficult to see what explanation remains but the dropping of the final consonant. The final d was dropped in apud, the final t in caput, erat, the final l in simul, the final n in tamen (an enclitic). But in inde, unde, intus, inter, nempe, the first syllable was probably shortened owing to the weakness of the vowel before a nasal and a mute. (See the instances in Wagner's Aulularia, p. xliv.)
Professor Ramsay is sceptical as to the scansions perăstromata, expapillato, satěllites, supěllectili, and some others. The doubtful quantitative power of ll in early Latin might account for expapillato, satěllites, supěllectili, especially as they are supported by simillumae Asin. 241: peristromata is not more violent than magistratus. The shortening of the first syllable of exercitus, which Professor Ramsay gets rid of by unnatural scansions, might be supported by the shortening of the same syllable in uxor, excludo, and extemplo (Wagner, Aulularia, pp. xlv, xlvi).
In the section on synizesis there is no mention of the very common scansions of huius, eius, and cuius as monosyllables. Nor, through the whole of the Prolegomena, is anything said on the lengthening of final syllables which the late republican and Augustan poets commonly shorten (amāt, patēr, &c.). The reader also misses any illustration from the fragments of the older Latin dramatists Naevius, Ennius, Pacuvius and Attius.
The explanatory notes are full of matter : but as they stand they will serve rather as a quarry for lecturers or future editors than as a well-redacted commentary on the play to which they are attached. Their strength lies in the laborious accumulation of facts, and in general freshness and interest. Such notes as that on pollucere (1. 1. 23), sagina (1. 1. 62), Hercules (4. 3. 45), ariolus (3. 1. 40), vagulatio (3. 1. 55), arrabo (3. 1. 111), and the Excursus xiv-xvii, are very good specimens of Professor Ramsay's full and vigorous treatment of questions of antiquities. The collection of terms of roguery and abuse is amusing. The first thirteen excursus, on words such as adeo, etiam, dum, enim, and some other of the more delicate phrases of Latin comedy, seem very complete, and will probably be of great use to students. So also will such notes as that on mirum quin (2.2.62), tricae (3. 1. 41), oppido (1. 2. 51), mactus and mactare (1. 1. 58), dierectus (1. 1. 8). As the book was unfortunately left unfinished, a considerable number of difficulties is still unexplained.
NOTES ON MR PALEY'S EDITION OF THE AGAMEMNON.
WHEN a book has established itself as the standard work upon any subject, it seems to be the duty of those who are interested in the subject and more or less capable of forming a judgement upon it, to point out any parts in which they may think that improvement is desirable; and the duty becomes more obligatory when the book is one to which the critic is personally indebted and which he believes to be on the whole fully deserving of its popularity.
For both these reasons I have thought it might be worth while to send to the Philological Journal some occasional jottings which I had made in reading portions of Mr Paley's excellent editions of the Greek Tragedians.
Agam. 82. ń pepo avtov, explained by Mr Paley “his ideas are as vague and ill defined as a dream in a mid-day siesta." I agree with Blomfield in considering it a distinguishing epithet like tnvòs kúwv, "a dream, but one that walks abroad by day."
205. λιπόναυς. The analogy of λιποναύτιον, λιποστρατία, inclines me to prefer the active sense 'deserting the expedition.' This epithet might be used of Agamemnon if he refused to take the steps which were necessary for the success of the expedition and so became a 'traitor to the cause.'
The γάρ which follows would then imply “it is impossible for me to betray them, for they are justified in demanding such a sacrifice at my hands."
269. P. ‘at what time has the city been captured?' rather, within what time?' i.e. 'how long ?'