Imagens das páginas

Island and Texas are of equal size.* Of the beauties of his style, we need remind no one who has read the dialogues between Henry and Dr. B., or looked at a page of his anno. tations to Vigil and Horace. The clearest exegesis becomes in his hands obscure, and the neatest emendation bungling. Nil tetigit quod non fæduvit. His Homer is a mere “poney ;" his book in Latin versification swarms with false quantities. These we might forgive. His great sin is, that he knows nothing of the spirit and aims of classical philology- that he offers to act as a medium for thinking men without thinko ing hiniself. But, fortunately, all our philologists are not of this class. Some transfer from their sources with discrimination, elegance and due acknowledgment; and, while those who might have attained to eminence in this department have found it too barren, and have left it for the area of politics or the field of lighter literature, there are some who have given an earnest, and many who are giving promise, of original American contributions to philological science. We, of the South, should take this specially to beart. Our North. ern brethren have developed greater commercial activity, and, without being more literary, have produced a more comprehensive literature. Here is a harvest, untouched by the sickle. The host of school-books published at the North, go for nothing in the philological account. We must wake to higher efforts, for which we are well adapted by the quick conception, love of classic forin a:d instinctive rejection of extravagance, which are our birthright. Here, the wild political, social and physical theories of our day, find no debateable ground between those who know too much and those who know too little. If united with vigorous action, this conscious self-possession would make us the arbiters of literary destiny. The sentences which we pass are confirmed by time, but they lack the weight which power confers. If we make the South, where the materials abound, the centre of classical learning, we must holi the balance. To create and perpetuate such a classical school, we must have an enlarged and elevative system of education, and the rising generation must be trained in a domestic institution, of a higher type than the out-door schools, whither so many of youth go, seeking knowledge, and finding a miserable succedaneum.*

* The apparent completeness of this work should not be suffered to deceive the student. We notice the following ylaring instances among a ho-t of omissions :Callinus, the elegiac poet ; Clitarchus, the historian ; Constantinus Porphyrogpportus, at whose instance the celebrated extracts were made (Excerpla Con-lantini de Vir. tutibus et Vitiis, etc.); Crates of Mallos ; Diogenianus, the lexicographer; Dionysius Thrax, the grammarian : Druis of Sainos, the historian ; Pbilochorus, known as one of the wriiers of 'Arlides ; Musonius Rufus, the philosopher; Teltilli, the virgin heroine and poetess of Argos ; Tolmides, the Athenian :trategus; Zenodotus, the first librarian of Alexander and editor of Homer.

Our reviewers are often like the Pharisces, and make broad their phylacteries at the head of their articles, without paying much attention to the contents of the text. We do not desire to treat Professor Bernhardy so cavalierly, by making bis valuable work a stalking-horse to our own considerations. We have merely reversed the order of our thoughts in tracing back the continuity of reflections which arose from the study of this book, by which we were led to the consideration of the pre-eminence of the German school of classical philology, and thence, by easy steps, to the general discussion which has given a name, if not a character, to the preceding remarks. The subject which was the first in our conception, becomes, necessarily, the last in execution.

To write a history of Greek literature, is, in our day, an undertaking for which a boldness is necessary, little short of audacity. The material has increased so much in the last half century, that a supplement might be written, which would outnumber the pages of Harless' edition of the mammoth Fabricius. Almost every department has its especial students. Monographs have thrown individual rays of light on almost every author. Life and light go together, and every material acquisition aids in the spiritual reconstruction of antiquity. To unite these separate atoms—to fuse them into a living unity, demands the strength of no common mind. A mere reader would have the substance without the life. A mere theorist would produce the semblance of a spirit without the body in which the spirit must have its being. In Professor Bernhardy, both requisites—theoretic constructiveness and comprehensive reading-are united in a high and rare degree. We do not claim for him absolute infal. libility in theory or statement. A phrase may have misled him, or an important fact may have escaped his notice. But these intervals of giddiness and sleepiness, if such there be, are exceedingly rare. Our author seeks no excuse in the Horatian allowance :

* The able letter of President Thornwell to Gov. Manning, on Public Instruction in South-Carolina, has given an impulse in the right direction. Amid the jar of contending sects, and the “solemn chatterings” of theorists, it is grateful, beyond expression, to listen to such excellent and temperate counsel.

# The first volume of Prof. Bernhardy's Outlines, containing the Inner History of Grecian literature, appeared in 1836, and the second volume, in which the Outer History of Greek poetry is comprised, in 1845. Upon the present revised edition, or" Bearbeitung' of the 1st volume, the third volume will no doubt follow, thus completing the whole.

Operi longo fas est obrepere somnum.

We find, in the work before us, clear perceptions of literary laws, phenomena significantly grouped, controversies lumi. nously and succinctly unfolded and decided, hints of penetrating suggestiveness. His style is unfortunately rugged, at times positively obscure, at all times demanding, imperatively, an attentive and thoughtful reader. He cannot be read with the same placid attention as Müller, and many a passage will balk even those most conversant with the idiom. By reason of this defect and his numerous excellencies, our public is not yet prepared for him. For the present, the English reader must be content with the elegant but incomplete history by Müller-the review-articles of Mure,* and the recent opus tesselalum of Anthon, that gigantic scholasticus, who builds his philosophical houses out of specimen-bricks.

Many have raised the hue-and-cry of Hegelianism against Bernhardy's works. Philologians are not want to swear by the magistral words of any school, and this imputation is intended to diminish the authority of our author. We, for our part, have found nothing in this volume that requires the aid

* Bernhardy notices “ this first attempt of the English" in the following way: “ This author, acquainted, but not agreeing with the investigations of the Germans, gives us a series of ratiocinations in the spirit of British æsthetics."

of the Hegelian system, or the Hegelian terminology. If his peculiar views were transferred into our literature, they would be at once admired, and readily appreciated by many a M. Jourdain, who would afterwards be astounded at the discovery, that he had been speaking the language of Hegel without knowing it.

B. L. G.

Les SavanesPoésies Américaines. Par Adriey * * *

[ROQUETTE) de la Louisiane. Paris : Jules Labitte. New
Orleans: Alfred Moret. 1841.

We have found pleasure, on two former occasions, in drawing the attention of our readers to the muse of the Abbé Rouquette, of Louisiana. A brief notice of his English verses may be found in our pages for October of last year: and the body of critical notices, in our last, contained a hurried description of his “ Thebaid," a prose work, partly philosophic, partly sentimental, with a warm poetic tone giving eloquence to the author's ideas upon subjects particularly well calculated to appeal genially to the poetic temperament. The volume under examination, though published in 1841, has only now come to our notice; and we take for granted, in the too general indifference of the people of the South to literature of domestic origin, that, beyond the author's own parish, it has been as little known to others as to us. We shall endeavour to repair this ignorance. We are glad of the opportunity, though at this late day, to welcome this additional proof of the vitality of the Muse of Louisiana ; and shall devote a few paragraphs to the consideration of the claims of this volume, not because of any surpassing merits which it possesses, beyond the qualities of grace, sweetness and delicacy of sentiment, such as we have ascribed already to the writings of the author; but because he is one of our special brood-a native son of the South

one of a class to whom we shall always accord our prompt attention, for the very reason that it is so common with all others to pass them by with little notice. Young poets are necessarily a sensitive race, needing to be encouraged ; and a kind word in season may relieve a Muse in her embarrassment, and bring about her safe and easy accouchement, giving birth to a very handsome and vigorous progeny. The criticism that helps to do this, is the only proper sort of criticism; the properly-minded critic only using saw and forceps, when there is a necessity that the birth should be extinguished in the bud. For our own part, we are pleased to think that we are very tender in our treatment of these young innocents; and, even when compelled to have to resort to such processes as the “Cæsarian," we make it a point to save both dame and young, whenever they have sufficient vitality to survive the operation. Our maxim is not unlike that of Dr. Isaac Lettsome, well known to the ancient readers of Joseph Miller-at once humanely tender and philosophically indifferent.

“If any sick to me apply,
I physics, bleeds and sweats 'em;

I!, after all, they choose to die,
Wbat's that to me?

I Lettsome."

Patients are of very differing degrees of strength and fortitude ; a fact equally well known to critics and physicians. What will kill Keats, only puts Byron in a passion. We should regulate, as good critics, our processes to the capacity of endurance and temper of the patient. The poet that has much of the “irrilabile” in him, we dismiss with the exemplary policy of Dogberry, dealing with the “vagrom man” who will not stand at official bidding. “Take no note of him ; but let him go; and presently call all the watch together; and thank God you are rid of a knave !" Little do these irascible poets conjecture how much good censure they have escaped, because of the critical reluctance to meddle with edged tools.

But, to the poesies of M. Rouquette. We may safely ven

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