« НазадПродовжити »
had the same number of accents with the Greeks, it cannot easily be conceived how a difference, arising from the mere placing of accents as to one syllable only, could cause a difference in the sweetness of them; and such a difference too as would in this respect give a considerable advantage and superiority to the Greek language; unless it can be proved that the placing of accents on final syllables is more harmonious than the placing them on penultimates and antepenultimates.
“But what is more material, if this point be accurately considered, no such difference between the Latin and Greek accents will be found as Quinctilian suggests. For the circumflex containeth an acute and a grave : therefore, when it is placed upon the last syllable of a Greek word, and resolved into its constituent parts, the pronunciation of this word will end in a grave. And though an accent be placed upon the last syllable of a Greek word, yet this is to take place only when the word is pronounced separately. For in discourse the final acute is always turned into, and pronounced as, a grave. Where then is the real difference, in this respect, between the Latin and Greek accentuation? What foundation does this afford to blame the Latin manner as less harmonious and diversified than the Greek ?
" Quinctilian appears still more prejudiced in favour of the Greeks, by what he says at the close of this passage. For what Latin poets have, in order to make their compositions more harmonious, made use of Greek words, merely because they were accented upon the last syllable ?” (Second Dissertation against Greek Ac. cents, p. 36.)
This is a fair specimen of the contradictions into which a correct and elegant scholar is forced by allowing the prejudices of his ear to control his judgement. The difficulties which Dr. Gally finds in the passage are all of his own creation. It is true that the Latins had the same number of accents with the Greeks, but the question here is not as to the number of the accents, but the application of them; and if in one language the accent be admitted in three places, while the other admits it only in two, it seems to be easy to conceive how this could cause a difference in the sweetness of them; and particularly when we learn from a person of taste who had heard both, that he found such a difference. Neither is it necessary to say, that the placing of accents on final syllables is more harmonious than the placing them on penultimates and antepenultimates. If the Greeks had made every word an oxytone, this would have been a monotony still more rigid, and doubtless more inharmonious than that of the Latins. No: the harmony of the Greeks consisted in this,-not that they placed the accent on final syllables, but that they did not exclude it from final syllables, and that by giving
it three places instead of two, they imparted a pleasing variety to the modulation of their language. But Dr. Gally not only doubts Quinctilian's taste, but discredits his testimony. He roundly asserts that no such difference between the Latin and Greek accents will be found as Quinctilian suggests. In the case of a circumflex, it seems that the Greek is the same as the Latin, because a circumflexed syllable ends in a grave. But Dr. Gally here has confounded a grave sound with a grave syllable. It is true that a circumflex contained two sounds, one of which, and probably the latter, was grave; but this grave was so blended (ouveplapuévn) with the acute, as to produce a peculiar sound, which required a name of its own to describe it, and must have been perfectly distinct from the sim. ple depressed sound of a grave syllable, or Quinctilian would not have said, as he has [p. 91], that the acute and the circumflex are the same. To express the difference at once by an instance: the last syllable of Dell is raised, but the last of Déo is depressed.
As to what Dr. Gally says of the final acute of an oxytone word being in discourse turned into, and pronounced as, a grave, this has already been shown to be a mere misconception, arising from the inclination of the mark. And this passage of Quinctilian, instead of being refuted by Dr. Gally's reasoning, seems to be a strong additional authority for raising all those final syllables on which we find a mark, whether written in one way or in the other. But sooner than admit that Quinctilian knew anything of the matter, we must discredit not only his ears, but his eyes also. When he said that Latin poets inserted Greek nouns into their verses, he must be understood to be speaking of what he himself had seen, and what his readers must have known as well as himself. But it seems he was mistaken. “For what Latin poets," asks Dr. Gally," have, in order to make their compositions more harmonious, made use of Greek words, merely because they were accented upon the last syllable?” I answer, all who have come down to us, and probably many who have not. It is true we do not usually find these words written in Greek characters, but the Greek form has been studiously preserved, and doubtless for the reason given by Quinctilian. Whether the oxytonic endearments, lwni Kal Yuyn, which Juvenal ridicules, owed any charms to their accent, I will not venture to decide ; but I would, on this subject, take the testimony of a Roman lady, if I could get it, before that of the most learned divine that ever filled a stall at Gloucester or Norwich.
Whether Quinctilian's account of the Greek accents is to be understood of all the dialects, or only of the Attic, which in his time had so prevailed as to have perhaps nearly superseded the others, it is not easy to say. Dr. Foster devotes a chapter to show the strong analogy between the Latin and the Eolian dialect, which admitted fewer osytones thai the other dialects, often throwing back the accent from the final to the penultimate syllable, as opow for upw. (chap. ir.) As my remarks are contined to the Attic, it is not necessary for me to enter on this field of inquiry.
But the authority of Quinctilian stands not alone : indeed we cannot read any work of any grammarian without seeing that our barytone pronunciation in numberless instances is directly contrary to that of the Greeks themselves. The scholiast on Homer, I. I. v. I, on the accent of aútap, says that there is a dispute as to how it ought to be pronounced (=popépeslai), and that some, as Callimachus, read it as an oxytone. Observe that I am not here relying on the opi. nion of the scholiast, as to the pronunciation of avrup, but I am giving him credit for knowing, either from a treatise of Callimachus, or an edi. tion of Homer marked by Callimachus, how that grammarian pronounced the word. I say pronounced, for apo pépew and #popopà always express oral pronunciation.
Apollonius has a disquisition extending over several pages, whether the preposition, when it comes after the noun, should have a different accent, as Ioárny káta KoupavéovOL (Syntax, iv. I, 2.), all which would be utter nonsense, if we suppose that these words were pronounced as