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adverse to generally received notions, that, taken apart from the arguments on which they rest, they could hope for little favour from most readers; while the principal of these arguments could not possibly be embodied in a compendium of general annotations.
While, therefore, I am far from affecting to depreciate that species of authorship,'so valuable to rudimentary education, whose end is instructive compilation, and whose operation is legitimately a kind of sartorial process exercised upon furnished materials, I am compelled, by the necessities of the case, to present my humble contribution to the permanent Exhibition of the Industry of all Authors, the recognised • Commissioners' of which are the successors of the Sosii, in a perfectly independent form, and one which, I fear, is ill adapted to the great majority of junior students.
In another respect also I feel a disadvantage, in being unable to banish the impression that · Dedication' suggests the notion of patronage courted, more directly than that of compliment intended. I have therefore denied my book this delicate honour. Besides, to resolve against dedicating' altogether appeared the only feasible solution of some conflicting difficulties, which I felt to belong to my own particular case.
I trust, however, that these considerations, physical and moral, may assist in conciliating indulgence; and that I may, without presumption, even read a favourable omen in the date which happens to be proper to this publication,-a date which, the classical reader needs not to be told, was regarded as auspicious in the good old Roman commemorations.
CHAMBERS, 2 TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN,
21st April, 1851.
The products of ancient classical genius, considered
That casual associations should be familiar at one
tions of human invention, and even the powers of fancy, are influenced by local varieties of external nature. On the other hand, the constitution of human society and the natural laws of improvement require that the main amount of the thoughts and practices of men should originate in constant sources, should be familiar to the intelligence of communities in general, and should be transmissible in their virtual history through successive ages. Hence those recesses in the extant stores of ancient literature, which time or change has locked against us, occupy but a trifling portion of the vast included space : and from almost every department of these inexhaustible resources the visitant 'bringeth forth things new and old.'
'Tis true the Æschylean and Pindaric strains awake but faint echoesin the modern mind; the choral chant of Sophocles, and even the less aspiring lay of Euripides, is no longer comprehensible in its primary intent and effect; the flash of Aristophanic wit is widely dissipated.or wholly intercepted by the hazy atmosphere which it now traverses; the written or recited period no more resembles the speaking inspiration of Demosthenes, than the music-scroll represents the performance of the piece; while the didactic truths of Aristotle ever and anon elude our apprehension, because of the apparently irremediable deficiency of our acquaintance with ancient scientific technicalities. Still these disappointments are happily the exceptions, not the rule, belonging to our case. And from the soul-stirring heroics of Homer (the great