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without an s, as the Latin word shows that it ought to be, while the
“ Vos estes saives hom.”-xvii. 7.
“ Dame, véistes unkes hume nul de desuz ciel.” Charl. 9. The examples which Raynouard has given in his Observations on the Roman de Rou (p. 53) of homs and hons, as the nom. sing. show only the badness and lateness of the MS. from which Pluquet printed.
We have another example precisely similar in the Latin comes ; but as we have here an s final in the nom. sing., so the nom. sing. in Ang.-Nor. and fr. is quens, whilst comitem becomes Ang.-Nor. cunte, Old Fr. conte.
We have again instances where the oblique case of the sing. terminates in s, namely, those which come from Latin neuters in us : thus corpus and tempus give us in both cases sing. of Ang.-Nor. and Old Fr. cors and tens. Nom. Sing. “Tut li cors li tressalt de joie e de pitez."— Charl. 183. Ac. Sing. “ Ad sun cors demened.” Rol. xxxix. 6. (suum corpus.)
“ Si ad sun tens uset."-xxxix. 4. (suum tempus.)
Had we time, or were the present occasion opportune, we might easily multiply examples of forms of declensions of substantives differing from the rule of M. Raynouard. We have pecchet (peccatum) making both its cases in the sing. without s (Rol. ii. 6, xvi. 11); we have onur (honor) lxxii. 7, frère (frater), Ixviii. 7, xcii. 2 ; cervel (cerebellum), clxv. 2, mort (mors), passim ; and a host of others, all forming their nom. sing. in the same manner without s, to say nothing of the feminines formed from the first Latin declension in a.
The plurals of the French and Anglo-Norman nouns seem to have fallen into one general rule at a much earlier period than the singulars. In our two poems we find few plural nominatives which have the final s. The Latin nominatives homines and comites, contrary to what we should expect, and to what must at one time have been the case, become invariably hume and cunte, their ac. pl. being humes and cuntes. We still, however, find a few words which seem to point out the existence of other forms. Singularly enough, the plurals of cors and tens have both in nom, and ac. the same form as in the sing., contrary to what might be expected from corpora and tempora. We may
also quote arbres (arbores), Rol. clxvi. 1; marchiz (marchiones), Charl. 444 ; and baruns (barones), Rol. xiii. 1, clxxix. 14, whose nom. sing. is barun (baro), lx. 1.
The foregoing examples will, we think, be sufficient to show the danger of emendating the texts of Old French and AngloNorman poems according to Raynouard's rules, as some French editors have proposed to do. We want much yet editing accurately from the manuscripts, before we shall have the necessary materials to hope for the formation of a complete grammar of these tongues; and we suspect that at last we must seek them among the early AngloNorman metrical legends of saints. We are perfectly satisfied that the language of the Chanson de Roland and of Charlemagne is that of the twelfth century; and it is probable that during that century the language did not undergo much change. When, however, we compare with this language those of the laws of William the Conqueror * and of the Psalter of the library of Trin. Coll., Cambridge, we cannot hesitate in pronouncing these latter more ancient. The laws of William, which we ourselves believe to be authentic, have been much disfigured by modern and ignorant copyists; but we believe that they had before them very ancient manuscripts, because the errors are in general not such as would arise by a regular transmission through manuscripts of different periods, but rather such as would have been made by an unlearned scribe of the fourteenth or fifteenth century in copying a manuscript of the twelfth.
There is another part of the grammar of the Neo-Latin tongues which must be well known before we can venture on concluding in many cases on the forms of words, and which is as yet very little known: we mean the syntax. The Chanson de Roland and Charlemagne make known to us several very curious constructions of the Anglo-Norman language, which, if unobserved, must have caused an emendator of the text to do great mischief. We will simply point out one, and then conclude. The expression i ad and i out (il y a and il y eu) take invariably an accusative case, as in these examples :
“ En la citet n'en ad remés paien.”- Rol. viii. 6. (ac. sin.) “ Jamais n'ert hume ki encuntre lui vaille.”-xxvii. 11. (ac. sin.) “ Meillor vassal n'out en la curt de lui.”—Ix. 10. (ac. sin.) “ Dux i out e demeines e baruns e chevalers.”—Charl. 4. (ac. pl.) “ Ainz n'i sist hume.”—122. (ac. sin.) “ Draguns i at qui la guardent.”—S. Brandan, fol. 10. ro. (ac. pl.) During the change of the language in its progress towards the
* While mentioning the Laws of William, we will correct an error of their last editor, Schmid, (Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, 1832,) who (p. 178) translates “ si la plaie lui vient a vis en descuvert al polz,” by " Wenn ihm die Wunde in das Gesicht auf die unbedeckte Haut kömmt,” taking polz to be pellem. The termination shows it to be an ac. pl.; and in fact it is pilos (mod. Fr. poils), and it means “if the wound should be given him on the face where it is uncovered by the hair.” The l of the article is probably a mistake of the copyist for the long/ ; it should be as polz. Thus interpreted, it answers exactly to the expression of the Saxon laws.
fifteenth century, the constructions were more universally lost than were the grammatical forms. The following verse, taken at random from Jubinal's “ Mystères inédits du XVe siècle," contains two grave infractions of the grammar of the twelfth century,
“ Sire, s'il y a ja prins homs.” p. 26. First, we have a nom. sing. with a final s, where it ought not to be ; and, in the second place, we have this nominative where the construction requires an accusative. Yet in these late Mysteries, the form of the accusative, here written homme, is very carefully preserved, -so, p. 45,
“Sy est folie à homme en terre.” Diez's first volume is entirely occupied with the subject of the interchange of letters in the different Neo-Latin languages, and it doubtless displays vast research and deep penetration. But, we repeat it, we think that he has not proceeded far enough in classifying the different dialectic forms : we would at least have had what he bundles together under the head French, separated into Old French, New French, and Anglo-Norman. The new work of M. Raynouard, of which the second volume (the first of the Dictionary) is published, will be a noble monument to his memory, and such a one as few, under the same circumstances, have ever built. We have pointed out freely Raynouard's errors, not out of disrespect to his memory, but as a warning to some who, we think, are inclined to receive every thing he taught with more zeal than judgment. The memory of Raynouard will ever live among scholars-he will be laudatus a laudatis. It was he who first, in this instance, drew regularity out of confusion. The glory of Columbus was that of having projected the discovery of a new world, and of having ventured in search of it, where others saw nothing but destruction. We do not blame him because he did not discover every part of America: we must not blame Raynouard because, having made discoveries where nobody else ventured to seek any, he did not make all the discoveries that might be made.
The two volumes edited by M. Francisque Michel are valuable for other purposes besides philology: they contain rich and interesting illustrations of the literature, and of the manners, customs, and feelings of our forefathers at this remote period. The Chanson de Roland, itself a noble poem, forms with its copious illustrations and excellent glossary, an extremely handsome volume, such a one as we seldom receive from a French printer. We wish its editor success in his undertakings, and we hope to see many more such volumes from his hands. We expect, above all, the Anglo-Norman romance of Horn, which is now, we believe, in the press, and which will, no doubt, afford us valuable materials for the formation of an AngloNorman grammar.
Art. XI.-Delle Tragedie Greche, Libri quattro, di Filippo Volpicella.
Napoli. (Observations upon the Greek Tragedies, in Four Books, by
Filippo Volpicella. Naples.) 8vo. 1833. Many and great are the obligations which society owes to bim who, resisting, in the flower of his youth, the allurements of ease and pleasure, assiduously devotes bimself to honourable studies, to self-improvement, and to the advancement of his species in knowledge and virtue. By examples such as these, men become imbued with a passion for learning, and inflamed with an unextinguishable desire after that glory, which awakens and keeps alive the noblest affections of our nature. Too rarely, however, are instances like these to be found in the present day. The majority of our youth, especially those who are either in the possession, or in the expectation, of fortune's golden favours, prefer a life of idleness and pleasure, strewed as its path appears to be with flowers, to one of mental exertion and of self-denial, the transit through whicb, although at times toilsome and difficult, is free from regrets, and replete with real joy and solid satisfaction ; and even should some of these we have just described, “ smit with the love of sacred song," be disposed to woo the Nine, they are generally more inclined to entwine their brow with the myrtle garlands of Sappho and Anacreon, than with the laurel crown of Sophocles and Homer, “hiding," as the great Theban sings, “ the flower of their green April in some obscure cavern," and thus justifying the indignant reproof of Horace.
“ Ætas parentum, pejor avis, tulit
Progeniem vitiosiorem." Of a far different character to these, Signor Volpicella---whose profound erudition, extensive knowledge, and indefatigable study, have acquired him the esteem and admiration of the learned world-has produced a work which, while it stamps him as one of the first critics of the age, reflects the highest honour on the country which gave him birth. It will be the object of the following pages to present the English reader with a faithful summary of this admirable account of and comment upon “ The Greek Tragedies."
Commencing his introductory chapter with a plan of his work, the author judiciously observes :
“ That it has always been considered of the utmost utility, when treating upon any study or pursuit, to make known the works of those who were either the inventors or the restorers of it; that present example is much more efficacious than precept in awakening a love for the truly beautiful and in alluring others to follow in the paths trodden before them by the mighty and illustrious sages of antiquity—that tragedy would be particularly benefited by this—and that, the better to enable it to attain such perfection, that it may accomplish its sacred mission of instructing mankind by delighting them, it is indispensably necessary to endeavour to restore the art to its first principles, to penetrate into the real meaning and sense of the ancient dramas, and to discover and exhibit their truly wonderful invention, construction, and machinery."
Such is the object of the present work on the tragedies which have been preserved to us of Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. The three first books treat of these three famous tragedians, present us with all the interesting facts which have reached us respecting them, and investigate the object and construction of their plots, recording likewise the opinions of the ancients themselves upon them, and showing how and by wbich of the moderns they have been occasionally imitated. The fourth book contains critical remarks upon the modern French and Italian tragedies. The introduction is followed by observations upon the origin of the drama, one of the most ancient kinds of poetry, which, receiving in the first instance considerable improvement and amelioration at the hand of Thespis, was in a short time afterwards carried to the utmost perfection. The author then speaks of the three actors of tragedy. In the time of Thespis there was only one actor--the second was introduced by Æschylus, the third by Sophocles, in which innovation he was soon imitated by Æschylus, who occasionally placed a fourth actor upon the stage. A few observations follow upon the chorus, which at first appeared to constitute almost the entire tragedy ; but Æschylus, by his introduction of the second actor, considerably curtailed this part of the drama, converting it almost into a dramatis personæ.
Æschylus. This great writer was the first who raised tragedy from its previously low and degraded state, subjected it to new rules, and imparted to it a charm hitherto unknown. Justly hailed by the Athenians as the Father of Tragedy, he was alike remarkable for gravity of deportment, simplicity of manners, and loftiness of sentiment. His tragedy of the Supplices, one of the seven which have been preserved, appears to have formed part of one of those compositions called by the ancients Triologia ; the tragic poets of Greece being accustomed to dispute the prize not with one but with three tragedies, which were hence called Triologice—a satirical drama, called Tetralogia, being sometimes added. We accordingly find, in an ancient catalogue of this poet's works, the Supplices placed between the Ægyptiani and the Daniadæ, which tbree tragedies thus formed together a Triology, entirely relating to the adventures of the daughters of Danaus. The Prometheus vinctus also formed part of an entire Triology upon one subject, four Promethei having been written by Æschylus, one being satirical ; these four were called Prometheus ignifer, Prometheus accensor, Prometheus vinctus, and Prometheus liberatus. The author makes a short but highly interesting analysis of the Prometheus tinctus, observing that the poet rises in an astonisbing manner above human nature, and succeeds in representing the sufferings of a god, who, that he may succour afflicted humanity by communicating to it celestial fire, willingly braves the greatest and most terrific dangers; an admirable allegory, developed and explained with great acuteness and ingenuity by the learned Gravina, the passage from whose work is quoted by our author.
The Septem contra Thebas is one of the tragedies upon which Æschylus is said to have particularly prided himself. The subject of it is the siege of Thebes by the seven confederate chiefs who had espoused the cause of Polynices against his brother Eteocles, and the death of the sons