Imagens das páginas

up, and still repose, in some bulky volume, an accident that occasionally befalls papers of less value. Nay, it is possible, that some production of the best ages, of considerable size, and of the highest merit, may have been hidden in strange concealment, and may thus have escaped a search, which we are compelled to believe was nearly universal.

We have stated fairly, and perhaps somewhat favourably, our hopes of farther acquisitions from the first source. The second is so very extraordinary, has excited so much interest, and occasioned such magnificent expectations, that it will be proper to enter a little more at large into the subject; we allude to the discovery of the celebrated Papyri at Herculaneum. We will consider, first, the value of the works that have already been discovered; and, secondly, the probability of finding others. To judge of the actual amount of the benefit that has already been received, and to see how very far it has fallen short of the splendid anticipations that were entertained by sanguine archaeologists, as well as to estimate the advantages that may be expected from unrolling the remainder of the manuscripts that have been disinterred, it will be convenient to sum up the contents of those that have been made public. The catalogue is not new; but since it must be collected from several works, it is not sufficiently fresh in the recollection of readers in general, to enable them to form a clear idea of the total amount. The first book that appeared was entitled, * Phi'lodemus de Musicd .•' it was published at Naples in the year 1793, with ample prefaces and copious notes by the ' Academici * Herculanenses,' which illustrate the subject; and although they have the ordinary fault of commentaries, being too abundant and too long, they do not treat of the text alone, or consist merely of that verbal trifling, in which German annotators are apt to waste their ink and oil. The note of an Italian critic is always explanatory of something, although that something is often insignificant; the note of a German is too often about nothing, and that nothing is announced with infinite pomp. Philodemus was a contemporary of Cicero, who speaks favourably of his talents and dispositions, but asserts that he was corrupted by his pupil Piso.—Some of his epigrams are still extant in the Greek Anthology. The work on Music is a fragment, commencing abruptly thus, '/xiSji Hau KhwiMYn raj nx>rixit( Te* and ending '3>i*o3>iu8

'TTffi /xxcnttni A.' It seems, therefore, that it is the latter part of the treatise only; the last of four books. It consists of twentyeight columns, and a fac-simile of each is given in copperplate; but the text is printed also on the opposite page in ordinary Greek characters, the lacuna being filled up in red letters, and a Latin translation is annexed. It is written in neat little capi

inls; and indeed the Herculanean manuscripts are useful in ascertaining the forms of letters with absolute certainty, as there can be no doubt of the antiquity of all that occur in them. He discourses of music Q&osoQa;, not Texvixw;,—as, whether it deserves praise or blame, whether it ought to be discouraged, and altogether rejected, or adopted and cultivated ?—which, we are told, was a great question in the ancient world. Some say that Epicurus disapproved of this science; Philodemus was an Epicurean, and he certainly disputes against it warmly. It appears from column 9, that he argues against some Stoic ; and, like all other disputants, he is very unfair. As wonderful perils and hairbreadth escapes raise the most insignificant individuals into notice, so the most unimportant matter, if it has thus been marvellously snatched from the fires of a volcano, acquires a degree of attraction. A short sample of the manner of this Philodemus, translated, as far as the slang of any sect is capable of translation, may therefore be interesting. The Epicurean writes thus—

'Archestratus and his followers, who assert that philosophy is allied to music, meaning thereby, I presume, such things as the nature of the voice, of sound, and of intervals, and other similar matters, are not to be endured; not only because they intruded upon speculations that were altogether foreign to the purpose, and introduced them, as it respects themselves, most childishly, and as it respects the science, roost irregularly, but because they affirmed that music alone speculated of these matters. What Diogenes says (we are acquainted with all that was written by Heraclides concerning becoming and unbecoming melody, and manly and effeminate manners, and acts suitable and unsuitable to different persons) that music is not far removed from perfect philosophy, in as much as, because it is most useful and most conducive to all the duties of life, and, by the very labour of learning it, it disposes men favourably for the acquisition of many, or rather of all, the virtues; we have expounded this in the third book of our Commentaries, and others also of their assertions of the like nature, and we have shown how full of absurd folly they are. Truly ridiculous indeed must be the opinion which some men entertain of justice, for it is not conceivable that sounds, which excite only an irrational sense, the hearing, can in any way conduce to dispose the mind to speculate concerning the profitable and the unprofitable in our common civil polity, and to induce it to adopt the one and to reject the other, according to those speculations, whereof we are used to treat. But with them arguments have all the force of demonstrations. For if indeed Plato had said, that music was conducive to justice, we should perhaps have had a proof of it from him; but he says, on the contrary, that justice is analogous to music, not that a musician is a just man ; in like manner, also, he never said that a just man was a musician, or tha either of them co-operated with the other towards the attainment of their respective excellences: might he not have said, that to a shoemaker, and to a painter, and to a man skilful in any art whatever, justice was equally analogous?'

The reasoning of this polemic, it will be seen, is not very exquisite. But yet, how fresh is his indignation, how delightfully unimpaired his acerbity! The Utilitarian acidity is indeed surprisingly sharp, for a writer, who had been buried by one miracle, and, after lying two thousand years many fathoms under ground, was disinterred by another, completely charred, carbonated, and reduced literally to cinders,—and whose manuscript was unrolled by a seventieth generation, with a dexterity, patience, and art, that are truly wonderful, and the letters that expressed his ire made out, one by one, as they were seen black and shining on the black but unshining paper; the pages appearing as a letter sometimes appears to us after we have burnt it, the traces of writing being still visible on the black film, whilst it flickers about in the smoke at the back of the grate, before it takes its final flight up the chimney! This work of Philodemus is not a treatise on the science of music, as some writers seem to suppose, and which might be useful in explaining the ancient system more fully than the authors whose works are still extant, and perhaps therefore in improving the modern practice; but it is a disputation, as has been already observed, whether music be a good? Now, the consent of ages having decided the question, and determined, that music, like many other things, is good for those who are pleased with it, we must be allowed to think that such a controversy is perhaps the least valuable of the productions of the pen.

There was a long interval between the publication of the Treatise on Music and the subsequent fragments. The troubles which interrupted the ancient course of government at Naples, interrupted also the unrolling of the Papyri; and lest they should be unfolded at Paris by French hands, they were removed to Sicily. When they were brought back again, many were partially unrolled; they were entitled on rhetoric, on poetry, on virtues and vices, and so forth, and were the compositions of the same Philodemus, and digested apparently on the same meagre plan: And, as there was nothing very inviting in the old question, whether these several things were good or bad, the tedious process was not completed, and we must remain ignorant, for some time at least, of the language in which he inflicted castigation on the Stoics for presuming to differ from his pugnacious Epicureanism. A volume inscribed Efl-uusfs n-ffi fvcrtu; IA. at last presented itself; and five other books of the same work were afterwards found. Books B and IA were printed; but unluckily book the 2d of • Epicurus • de Natura' has only eleven very short and very imperfect pages or columns, and of the llth book there are only thirteen smaller columns, containing nothing that, either for rhetoric or doctrine, was worth the deciphering. They long sought anxiously for Latin works, and at last they found some; but there had been so much glue in the composition of the paper, that most unhappily they were unable to open them, except a part of one roll, which contains a poem, in hexameter verses, treating of the affairs of Caesar in Egypt. It is attributed by some to Varius; but, as it appears to be unworthy of his reputation, it is given rather to one Rabirius. It is printed in the preface to the second of the * Herculanensium Voluminum,' and consists only of eight scraps, comprehending in the whole 57 verses; the last line is—

'Consiliis nox apta ducum, lux aptior armis.' Lithographic engraving appears to have been expressly invented to facilitate and cheapen the publication of Oriental writings, the characters of which can scarcely be imitated by ordinary types, to give a faithful copy of inscriptions, and to supply at an easy price a foe-simile of a manuscript; and to the Papyri this new and useful art was admirably adapted. 'Herculanensium Voluminum pars prima' was accordingly printed, with this aid, at the Clarendon press, by the University of Oxford, and published, in 8vo, in the year 1824. It consists of 133 pages, or rather plates, being merely a facsimile on stone of some of the Papyri, which had been unrolled by the command of his present Majesty—without notes, translation, or commentary, without even a copy in cursive Greek characters of the text, which is written, as in the rest of the rolls, in capitals. The marvellous indolence and indifference of our university in getting up this work, afford a striking contrast to the diligence of the Neapolitan literati, and to the copious and even excessive illustration which their zeal and activity have poured forth. This part contains

{tortious of two philosophical treatises of the same fortunate Phiodemus; of one on anger by an anonymous writer; and of another ircfi TroiYi/Aarav, which is very imperfect, by one Demetrius. The second part appeared in 1825. It comprehends, in 155 pages, fragments of three treatises by the same eternal Philodemus. The last is entitled Trtf! iromnarov. Some passages are nearly entire. It appears to be, as usual, a Philosophical discourse about the utility of poetry, or some such thing—not a technical work on metre. This second publication is as bald, and as free from critical assistance, as the former; and has no other merit than that of presenting the text in a cheap and accessible form. The two great English Universities are certainly more wealthy than any other Universities in Europe; but they have done less for learning of late years than the poorest and most insignificant: the sole employment of the persons who permanently reside there seeming to be, to wait patiently for the death of one another, and meanwhile, in compliment, perhaps, to their common occupation, to resemble the dead as nearly as possible! especially in the grand characteristic of death, —a deep and unbroken rest.

The reports that have been made by the learned men who have examined the Papyri that have hitherto been found, and the specimens of the contents which they have given, have reduced our hopes of any benefit that is to be derived from them to a very small amount. But though these particular rolls have been so unprofitable, may we not expect that others will be found in a better state of preservation, and will repay the trouble of copying them, by supplying more valuable matter?

The Papyri that were discovered were all found in Herculaneum; and there are various reasons that forbid us to look for further accessions from the ruins of that city. It was overwhelmed by torrents of burning lava, of which the intense heat would necessarily reduce to charcoal any manuscripts that might be there; consequently we cannot venture to hope that any exist in that city, which are not in as imperfect a condition as those which have been already extracted; and as the lava forms a stone of extreme hardness, and is of a great thickness, so that the ruins are at a considerable depth beneath the surface, successive eruptions having constantly added to the mass, the process of making excavations is necessarily slow, laborious, and expensive. For these and some other reasons, all operations are now discontinued, and we can expect nothing more from Herculaneum.

We turn our attention, therefore, to the neighbouring city of Pompeii, and there our prospects brighten: and we may hope with some confidence, that literature will ultimately receive important accessions from that source. This unfortunate city was buried under torrents of mud, which were followed by showers of stones and ashes. The labour of removing such substances is comparatively light, and the depth of the stratum very inconsiderable. It is plain that books enclosed in a receptacle of stone or of metal, or in any place that was water-tight, would receive no injury from the mud; and we may reasonably expect that some remain uninjured in those interesting ruins, and await the hands of the fortunate individual whose destiny it is to bring them again to light. It is true, that no books have as yet been found there; but it is also true, that a very small portion of the space within the walls has as yet been explored; and that portion consists chiefly of temples, of theatres, of baths, of the

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