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the limits of controversial divinity. As to the correctness or incorrectness of the theological views on which they profess to be founded, or the degree of precision with which Dr. Wardlaw has stated them, it is not our intention to say anything. So far as the arguments themselves are urged against the study of mental and moral science, on the same principles and in the same manner with every other science, it is hardly necessary to say that we consider them to fail entirely of their object.
Of Dr. Wayland's work, if we have not spoken so much at length in this article as its merits might seem to require, it is because its eminently systematic and condensed character, preclude all hope of doing justice to it by any analysis or direct criticism, either of the whole or of any
portions. We have preferred to vindicate the propriety and importance of the study of which it treats, and to offer some remarks on the proper mode of pursuing it. If, by this course, we can induce our readers to study the work for themselves, we shall have done them a better service, than we could by any extracts or detached criticisms. As a whole, without making ourselves responsible for every one of its conclusions, we may say that we consider it a highly valuable work, and one likely to do not a little in producing the reform in our course of education, of which we have been endeavoring to urge the necessity. We could have wished to find in it a greater amount of illustration, not only for the sake of giving interest to the work, but also as an essential in some cases to its full comprehension by merely casual readers. The author of such a work, it is to be presumed, will be by far the best illustrator of his own views, and he should not therefore leave the task, in any considerable degree, to others. Future editions, of which we hope there may be many, might be advantageously enlarged in this respect.
Since the appearance of the second edition of the work which we have been noticing, Dr. Wayland has published an abridgement of it for the use of schools. Of this step we can hardly speak too highly. It is, as we have already stated, more than time that the study of Moral Philosophy should be introduced into all our institutions of education. happy to see the way so auspiciously opened for such an introduction. In its general style and illustrations the smaller work appears to us to have been the result of more labor on
the part of the author, than the larger work itself. Indeed, as he himself informs us, it has been “not merely abridged, but also re-written.” We cannot but regard the labor as all well bestowed. The difficulty of so choosing our words and examples as to make them intelligible and interesting to the child, is very great.
The success with which Dr. Wayland appears to have overcome it, is in the highest degree gratifying. We have no doubt that its circulation and utility will far more than repay its author for the pains he has taken with it.
In conclusion, we may be allowed to express the hope, that the science whose claims we have been considering, may not long continue to labor under the comparative neglect, of which it has been our present task to complain, and that, whenever we may again approach the subject, it may be to express ourselves less in the language of complaint, than our sense of what was required by truth, has compelled us in this instance to adopt.
ART. III. — The Alcestis of Euripides, with Notes.
Colleges in the United States. By T. D. WOOLSEY,
Munroe & Co. 1834. 12mo. pp. 124. 2. The Antigone of Sophocles, with Notes, for the use of Colleges
in the United States. By T. D. Woolsey, Professor of Greek in Yale College. Cambridge. J.
Munroe & Co. 1835. 12mo. pp. 124. A few years ago, the Greek classical studies of our schools and colleges were mostly confined to books of extracts. If we were to judge of the progress of taste, by a comparison of the works mentioned at the head of this article with those to which our courses of public instruction have heretofore been limited, we should be far from thinking that the love of ancient letters is on the decline. It may be true that the present age lias but few scholars like the Scaligers, Casaubons, and Bentleys of days departed; but such mighty names are not of frequent occurrence in the literary history of any age. And yet the Hermanns, Boeckhs, Thirsches, to say nothing of living
scholars in England and the United States, will stand a fair comparison, in point of wide and deep learning, with the most celebrated names in the annals of scholarship, while in elegance of taste, and the arts of composition, their superiority is immense and unquestionable.
But as a good education now means a great deal more than a knowledge of Greek and Latin, classical learning is not held in such exclusive estimation, as it has been in times gone by. Hence some people are naturally led to think that the study of ancient letters is fast losing the public regard. This study has gone through a change, it is true, but a change, leading to a broad cultivation of the understanding, and furnishing the means of a just, as well as liberal estimate of the value of the classics. The endless field of modern literature is opened the student of polite letters; and he is taught that taste and genius were not the exclusive possession of the Greeks and Romans. He is allowed to form his judgment by comparing the master-pieces of antiquity, with the kindred works, which have upon them the freshness and glow of modern thought. Thus he may set Homer by the side of Dante, Tasso, Milion, or the Book of Heroes, and the mental exercise involved in doing so is not only delightful by itself, but the comparison will throw a new light on the wonderful genius of the old bard of Greece. Æschylus and Shakspeare may be read together; and the lover of English poetry will be at least entertained by the beautiful analogies, both in thought and expression, between the two greatest masters of tragic passion. Sophocles and Euripides may be finely illustrated by a parallel course from the dramatic poems of Alfieri, Schiller and Goethe, as well as by the curious contrast of the miscalled classical drama of France. The express imitations of the classics, by the poets of modern Europe, also afford the tasteful reader an agreeable subject of comparison. Milton's Sampson Agonistes has the daring sublimity of the Prometheus Bound. Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris has the tenderness of Euripides, with the exquisite finish and just sense of harmonious proportion, which belong to Sophocles. The Agamemnon, Antigone, Orestes and Alcestis of Alfieri bring upon the scene the chief personages of the Attic drama, invested anew with dramatic life. This illustrious poet is not perhaps the best example of the modern classic style. The heroes of his poems breathe a fury too much like the violence of his own headstrong passions, for the sustained dignity and sculpture-like simplicity of Attic tragedy. Orestes, in particular, is always in a storm, and will exclaim, over and over again, “Oh, rabbia," in the very teeth of the usurper, when the fulfilment of his revenge, bis own life, and the life of his friend, are suspended on the issue. Ægisthus is a modern villain, though some of his speeches show a spirit of classical propriety worthy the best days of Athens. His soliloquy, on approaching the palace of Agamemnon, is full of terrific sublimity. These and other dramas of Alfieri, on Greek subjects, afford an interesting and instructive commentary, both by their beauties and saults, upon the theatrical literature of Athens. In this way it is easy enough to show, that a wide study of modern literature, which the opinions of the age favor daily more and more, will strengthen rather than weaken a discriminating love of the ancient classics. It will sharpen the judgment, and refine the taste; for both judgment and laste are more the result of many comparisons and of gradual approximation, than is apt to be supposed. The kind of taste for ancient literature thus acquired, a love of antique poetry for poetry's sake, is doubtless more common now, than it has ever been before.
The two poems which Mr. Woolsey has chosen for commentary and publication rank justly among the most delightful works of their respective authors. In point of morality they reach the highest point of heathen purity. In general excellence of style they are unsurpassed, and in some passages unequalled.
The form in which Mr. Woolsey has given these works to the public is neat and convenient; and they are printed with Mr. Folsom's well known accuracy. The text of the Alcestis selected by Mr. Woolsey, is that of William Dindorf, contained in the Poetiæ Scenici Græci, published at Leipzig and London, in 1830. This text has received the approbation of Hermann, from whose judgment in such matters there lies no appeal. In the course of the drama Mr. Woolsey has introduced a few variations, supported by good authority, but in the main has followed Dindorf. A well written preface contains a clear statement of the subject matter of the play, with a critique on the several characters brought out in the development of the plot. A brief but comprehensive view of the poetical genius of Euripides, in which his beauties are pointed out, and his faults touched upon, with a discriminating hand, gives additional interest to the volume.
The body of notes at the end are remarkable for a union of deep learning, acute judgment and fine taste. Every scholar, familiar with the Attic drama, must have felt the extreme subtlety of the tragic style. Written as these poems were, to undergo the searching criticism of the most fastidious people, on whose severe judgment the poet's triumph or deseat was depending, they were wrought up with consummate art, out of the materials furnished by the most copious and flexible of languages. Besides this, an intense feeling of nationality was to be conciliated. The history of renowned ancestors, the exploits of heroes and demigods, were to be chanted in choral songs, intermingled with moral and religious reflections, naturally suggested by the downfal of mighty families, and the awful retributions of fate, which were the groundwork of most of them. The difficulty of understanding them is still farther heightened by the obscure allusions to remote historical events amidst the highest strains of lyrical poetry uttered in the forms of the venerable Doric. The Attic drama is moreover idiomatic to the last degree. Expressions growing out of the manifold relations of cultivated life, mingled with forms of speech naturally springing to the lips of a people who were lovers of war and rulers of the sea, make it necessary to build up anew in our imaginations the structure of Athenian Society, if we would enter fully into the spirit of the raciest portion of their literature. A commentator, therefore, on the Attic tragedy, ought to be at home in the whole circle of Greek history and fable, beside having a taste trained to feel the delicate blending of shades of meaning, in the finely linked constructions of poetry. The commentaries to these two tragedies show the qualifications we have pointed out, in a high degree. In discussions of the merits of different readings, so far as he enters into them, Mr. Woolsey exhibits a nicely balanced judgment that entitles his opinion to great respect. In unravelling the most curious constructions, his precision and acuteness are admirable. Every Greek scholar feels how much the force and beauty of Greek composition depend on the skilful arrangement of a great variety of particles. In the explanation of these, commentators have had but little success, as any one will see by looking into the common editions of Greek authors. But the exactness with which Mr. Woolsey renders single particles and combinations of particles by good English equivalents is really