« VorigeDoorgaan »
luctanti Lochielio juvenis indignabundus in hæc verba prorupit : " Quum tu, Lochieli, cujus in fidem ac prope tutelam, tanquam domûs regiæ spectatissimi et integerrimi clientis, me permiserim, belli tamen aleam exhorrescas, mihi certum est et obstinatum, paucis abhinc diebus, passo hoc in littore vexillo, solium avitum utcunque repetere. Tu vero abi, et principe periclitante, otio fruere." Tum demum Lochielius. animi victus, manus dedit.' p. 29.
Our limits will not allow us to follow Dr. Whitaker through the events of this hasty campaign: nor is it desirable, as he professes to add nothing of original information, and we have already given sufficient proof of his skill in managing his materials. The narrative is clear, succinct, and orderly, interspersed with some anecdote and something of individual character. The reflections, though numerous, are neither prolix nor formal; while the feelings and judgment of the author are naturally interwoven, as they ought to be, with the thread of his story. In the description of ground he is remarkably happy, of which almost every action affords a striking specimen. The following is a sketch of the famous pass of Killikranky.
'Scilicet eò loci montana Scotia primum in juga clementiora, inde in planitiem satis amplam demissa, a meridie rursus in fauces angustissimas subitò coarctantur, tanquam provido numinis consilio claustra, ac repagula adversus barbaros futura. Interfluit Tumellus, amnis infremens ac spumosus. Per medium fermè clivum pertinet callis vix singulis jam tum permeabilis; nunc militum operâ egregiè munitus. Infra, usque ad alvum torrentis, descendunt rupes præruptæ, desuper ubique imminentibus saxis, levi momento in subeuntes provolvendis. Adhæc quacunque per cautes licuerit, internatis arboribus, densa adeò arbusta subolescunt, ut per otium intuentibus voluptatem simul et horrorem locus incutiat. Killikrankio nomen est, Grami Taodunensis, viri fortissimi, nece memorabili.' p. 38.
Of the battles, the shameful affair of Falkirk is perhaps on the whole best told; but there are parts of the more memorable event on the plain of Culloden related with a perspicuity and purity which bespeak the hand of a master and which, if we had room to extract them, would fully justify our opinion that Dr. Whitaker has succeeded in catching the native tone and spirit of Roman history. We should also be inclined to present our readers with some of the more interesting scenes of Charles's subsequent adventures : in particular, his hair-breadth escape in crossing the line of centinels by night between Lochnevis and Lochshiel, and the curious hiding-place in the mountain of Benalder, called the Cage, which the author has described with a felicity always observable in his delineations of external objects. His perilous situation, and extra
ordinary risks in eluding his pursuers in the isle of Uist, are finely touched in the manner of Tacitus.
'Hæc inter discrimina per mensem integrum Carolus insulanos fidissimos habuit. Iisdem, ducibus unà [simul] et exploratoribus, usus, noctu sæpissimè per stationes hostium elapsus, alia ex aliis latibula quærere; quæ apud regios agerentur, nihil incompertum habere; ipse nonnunquam, e proximo, verba per silentium minacia exaudire, trucesque hostium vultus inter ignes collustrare.'-p. 114.
But we must hasten to the performance of a task less acceptable we fear both to him and to our readers, although more useful perhaps to both, if we can prevail upon them to follow us through a critical examination of some length and minuteness.
In the first place then we must protest against the unnecessary use of words unknown to the best age of Latinity, and which may be regarded as symptoms, although symptoms only, of approaching decay. We do not profess ourselves to belong to that class of critics whom Lipsius denominates in scorn' the Arpinatian school,' who would absolutely forbid the use of every expression not authorized by Cicero; but we think that where his vocabulary would serve the purpose, it is neither good taste nor good scholarship to pick up our phraseology from later writers; and more especially when the idea is one of familiar and ordinary occurrence, we may safely conclude, that any mode of expressing it not practised by him is offensive to the genius of the language, as it was in his time. Even our author's favourite model, Tacitus, falls within the period denominated by, the soundest critics vegeta senectus, the green old age of Latinity; and therefore, although we may admire and copy his virtues, we must be prepared for some incipient failings-failings, which however we may bear with them, we should be careful not to imitate. But Dr. Whitaker descends yet lower. Pliny, Gellius, and Apuleius, on whose authority he now and then rests, might be allowed to set the fashion in their own days; but there is a more authentic standard to which the learned have now by common consent agreed to return; and we feel a strong disposition to check every needless departure from it. Undoubtedly a thousand improvements might, if we were to set about it, be invented for the Latin of the age of Cicero. He felt as much as any man its defects, especially when compared with the Greek. But to attempt such a project now would argue an ignorance of the real state of the question. Our object is perfect Latin, not a perfect language: the study belongs more to the province of taste than to that of philosophy; and as congruity is one of the first laws of taste, we cannot, consistently with that principle, allow new words to be engrafted on the language, or new
senses to be given to them, however convenient the innovation may be both to the writer and the reader.
Faults of this kind are not indeed very numerous. Quem in finem and hunc in finem, which in this history frequently denote 'for this purpose,'' with this view,' cannot claim a higher sanction than that of Tacitus. Insecutio for pursuit, p. 15. dissita for distant, and viror, p. 88. belong of right to Apuleius. In reference to the first of these words, it may be remarked, that the use of abstract nouns, for denoting those ideas which were before usually expressed by verbs, is one of the surest tests of declining latinity. Nouns of this sort abound to excess in moderu languages, and are coined daily they constitute one of the discriminative features between them and pure Latin. Apuleius, indeed, (although it is too much to say with Melancthon that his language was like the braying of his own ass,') can never be held competent authority, nor do we imagine that Dr. Whitaker would deliberately offer that plea. Pliny is certainly better; but even he does not reconcile us to the use of petris for stones, and vallicula for glens. The word suffecturas we have observed twice used, pp. 36, 72, in the sense of likely to be sufficient,'-a form, we believe, never employed except by that writer. The original meaning of the word gnarus is familiar to every one; but in the following passage it surprised us: 'Gnarum id regiis, primùm per palantes
duplici fragore a Sterlino exaudito.' p. 78. Tacitus has indeed extended it from a person knowing to a thing known; but even this harsh innovation is here surpassed; for in Tacitus it means something that has been a matter of long acquaintance, never a thing just perceived. We have a like objection to possessis, p. 22.; evibrarent, p. 74; fæminam arcanam, p. 133; arcano in Plautus Trinum. 2, 4, 155. is an adverb. Frigusculum, p. 75, for ‘a coolness' between friends, cannot boast a better parentage than Tertullian.
Now and then, though very rarely, we meet with a word that never came from the Roman mint, as oscitantia, p. 34 and 85; restagnescant, p. 11; and in the following passages a use of words is observable, not authorized, we imagine, by any good writer. P. 2. Stuartæ gentis clades ac calamitates altius repetere, quum et notæ cuivis ac vulgatæ sint, et ab aliis summâ et ingenii et elegantiæ laude deducta, prudens omitto.' We say metaphorically of the composition itself, deducere carmen, poema, &c. but never deducere clades, the subject of the composition. We must remark too that Dr. Whitaker is much too fond of the particle ac. It is seldom if ever placed before a word beginning with a vowel, or with the letter c, a practice against which he often
offends. In the same page conlatum is joined with certamen, instead of initum, a use wholly unauthorized in prose.
P. 3. Speaking of the line of Stuarts, he says, decem principibus continuato ordine in regnum cooptatis.' This term is inapplicable to hereditary succession, and especially to the succession of a monarch. In the following passage we are at a loss to guess the meaning of innotuerat. 'Omnibus in usum hominum affatim suppetentibus, nihildum proprii, nihil alicui innotuerat.' p. 12. P. 17. Tragule can never properly denote arrows.
P. 19. Volatilium for birds is entirely without precedent.
Ponti succedebat. Succedo may be used absolutely for to approach: but if joined with a dative case it means 'to come up under,' as succedere muris, turri, portis, &c.; and therefore it is improper with ponti-unless indeed when the person of whom it is said is about to shoot the bridge-not as here, to pass over it.
P. 35. Per hoc tempus copiis tutela Scotia deputatis præerat Johannes Copius,' &c. A very unhappy phrase at best; and disgraced by a word infimæ latinitatis.
P. 42. Qui diu postea,' for multo postea. Diu signifies duration, not distance of time, which is the meaning in this sentence. P.49. Postremi will not do for extremi, in speaking of the left flank of a line.
P. 54. Grates agere atque habere.' Habere gratias means to feel gratitude, not to express it. The same word is used again improperly, p. 107. Dr. Whitaker, when giving the heads of a letter, says, grates habet agitque.'
P. 56. Mor is here used incorrectly, to mark the second of two things not following in order of time or of place. It sometimes is used to mark succession of rank or degree; but then the preceding degree ought to be noted by primum, or some such word.
P. 58. Progredienti Scoto. We should have imputed this error to the press, had we not observed it elsewhere, as præsidi for præside, p. 65.
Ibid. Tamen in ordine viâque rem gerentes. In this passage there is some confusion. Is gerentes put by mistake for gerentibus?
P. 65. Innernessum jurta. Dr. Whitaker generally uses this word in its proper sense, as an adverb. Once or twice it occurs in Tacitus as a preposition, for prope; but for the reasons before given it ought to be avoided. In p. 70, its use is quite barbarous; for secundum juxta supputationem hodiernam.' In p. 71, it is wrong again. 'Macdonaldis, trifariam juxta clientelas divisis.' Here it stands for per or in.
P. 75. Limnuchum noctis beneficio adsequitur. This verb cannot be joined with place, which is a fixed object. In the same page inimicorum is strangely used for hostium. This transfer is
never allowable except in poetry; and even poetry would not sanction it in the passage before us, because it is a feeling of kindness and pity which the author is saying was raised in the breast of the
P. 76. Semicoctos tyrones, raw recruits. Nothing is so unsafe as to introduce a new and harsh metaphor into a dead language. P. 84. Pone secusque aggerem. The use of secus as a preposition, although it may be traced in Pliny, and even in Quintilian, is rightly denominated by Putschius novum et sordidum.'
P. 86. Supplosione. Improperly used for the ordinary sound of footsteps: it means stamping.
P.91. Id quo per otium fieret, præsidium ponti impositum aliquantisper restitit, dum suos in tuto constitutos esse rati, et ipsi sensim elaberentur. Dum, although said by grammarians to be sometimes used for donec, cannot be justified here. It always signifies duration, and belongs therefore in this passage to restitit. Hence either dum or elaberentur is wrong. Exspectandum dum se res ipsa aperiret' in Livy is no precedent: for both exspectandum and aperiret have the same duration. In Dr. Whitaker the time of elaberentur does not begin till that of restitit is past.
P. 99. Ut integra inter superstites semita relinqui videretur. This use of integer, wherever the English word entire might be employed, we hold to be a barbarism. Thus again, p. 114, per mensem integrum, for a whole month; and p. 134, menses integros, whole months. It certainly may mean whole, but only when whole means sound, undiminished, untainted, untouched. It is a negative not a positive epithet, and belongs to quality rather than to substance.
P. 127. Dimissis igitur Macdonaldo Glengariensi et Cameronio Lochieli fratre, qui aliquot post annos, postliminio reversus admissa capite luit. This is a most extraordinary privilege. Postliminiò implies not merely return, but a restoration to civil rights after a suspension of them abroad. Cameron of Lochiel postliminio caruit. P. 128. Sole quodam exorto.' 'One morning at sunrise.' This use of sol for day is noted by critics as a barbarism.
P. 139. Subditos for subjects is remarked by Funccius as one symptom of the last stage, or the decrepitude, as he calls it, of the Latin language.
Besides these mistakes in the use of single words, we have observed some errors of construction, which must not pass unnoticed.
P. 4. Ille and hic have no antecedents specified.
P. 9. Illi arvis agrique culturæ incumbunt.' It is remarkable that after Quintilian's express censure of this very construction, it should still be often used instead of the Ciceronian in or ad culturam.