« PreviousContinue »
at least,) do they permit a preceding short vowel to be pronounced distinctly apart : it seems to be coupled with them always by an irresistible attraction.
In turning from the Comic trimeter of Aristophanes to the stately hexameter of Homer, the difference of syllabic quantity must be strikingly felt: and that contrast is here purposely taken, to show more clearly in what the great difference consists betwixt the prosody of heroic and that of dramatic verse.
4. Homer seldom allows a short vowel to form a short syllable before any of those permissive pairs lately detailed, and only before some few of them. The following cases occur betwixt one word and another : such correptions within the same word are yet more uncommon. Α. 113. Οίκοι έχειν" και γάρ ρα Κλυταιμνήστρης προβεβουλα. - 263. Οίον Πειρίθοόν τε, Δρύαντά τε, ποιμένα λαών. - 528. Η, και κυανέησιν επ' όφρύσι νευσε Κρονίων.
609. Ζεύς δε προς δν λέχος ή’ Ολύμπιος αστεροπητής.
5. Aristophanes (with very few exceptions in Anapestic verse, pointed out by Porson, pp. 1x. lxi.=p. 54) never allows a short vowel cum ictu to form a long syllable with any permissive pair, even within the same word.
Ρlut. 449. ποιοισιν όπλοις ή δυνάμει πεποιθότες; Such was, indeed, the vulgar reading, till Dawes (M. C. p. 196) anticipating, as usual, the Ravenna MS., gave the true text :
Ποιοις ο-πλοισιν ή δυνάμει πεποιθότες; 6. Homer, on the other hand, not only in the same word cum ictu, but in the same word extra ictum, and even between two words in the same debilis positio, makes the syllable long. Α. 13. Λυσόμενός τε θυγατ-ρα, φέρων τ’ απερείσι’ άποινα.
' 77. Η μέν μοι πρόφ-ρων έπεσαν και χερσίν άρήξειν. - 3
- 315. “Ως φάτο: Πατ-ροκ-λος δέ φίλω επεπείθεθ' εταίρω. Δ. 57. αλλαχορη και εμόν θέμεναι πόνον ουκ ατέλεστον. Η. 189. γνω δεκ-ληρου σήμα ιδών, γήθησε δε θυμώ.
7. The only possible case in which Aristophanes might prolong such a syllable would be in the use of verbs like these, εκ-λύω, εκ-μαίνω, εκ-νεύω, εκ-ρέω, if compounds of that kind ever occur; because, from the very nature of the compound, ik must always be pronounced distinct from the initial consonant of the verb.
8. In Homer, on the contrary, even the loose vowel of augment (ε) or reduplication, when it precedes πλ, κλ, κρ, τρ, &c., initial of the verb, not only cum ictu, but even extra ictum, is made to form a long syllable. Α. 46. εκ-λαγξαν δ' άρ' οϊστοι επ' ώμων χωομένοιο.
- 309. 'Ες δ' έρετας έκρινεν εείκοσιν, ές δ' εκατόμβην. Ξ. 176. Πεξαμένη, χερσί πλοκαμους επ-λεξε φαεινούς. Ν. 542. Λαιμόν τύψ', επί οι τετραμμένον, οξεί δουρί.
9. In Homer no dissyllabic word like πατρός, τέκνον, όφρα, &c., which can have the first syllable long, is ever found with it otherwise : in Aristophanes those first syllables are constantly shortened.
10. Briefly, then, it may be said, that in Homer, whatever can be long is very seldom (and under very nice circumstances) ever short : in Aristophanes, whatever can be short is never found long. To complete the purpose of this little sketch, the tragic pros
, ody also (of Euripides, for instance), in a few correspondent points, may as well be presented.
11. Aristophanes, even in the same word, and where the ictus might be available ($ 5), never makes a long syllable: Euripides, who excludes the prolongation even cum ictu betwixt one word and another,
(Orest. 64. παρθένον, έμή τε μητρι παρέδωκεν τρέφειν,
i. e. not παρεδωκετ ρεφειν,) within the same word, readily allows it: Med. 4. τμηθείσα πεύκη, μήδ' ερετ·μώσαι χέρας. 17. προδους γαρ αυτού τεκ-να, δεσπότιν τ' εμήν.
τον πάντα συντήκουσα δακ-ρύοις χρόνον.
12. In Euripides, even those dissyllabic words (alluded to § 9), wherever, from its position, the syllable is decisively long or short, exhibit that syllable thrice short to one case of long. Consequently, in certain positions (unictuated) of Iambic or Trochaic verse, which indifferently admit either quantity, there can be no reasonable ground for supposing that syllable to be lengthened : of course, therefore, the following lines are thus read :
Med. 226. πι-κρός πολίταις εστίν αμαθίας ύπο.
13. In cases where the augment falls as in ¿TÉK! Woevor κεκλήσθαι, or where, as in πολύχρυσος and απότροποι, the short vowel closes the first part of a composite word, the prolongation of that syllable in Euripides, though not altogether avoided, is yet exceedingly rare. (R. P. ad Orest. 64.)
14. One great cause of the many mistakes about syllabic quantity should seem to be involved in that false position of S. Clarke's (ad Il. B. -537), that a short vowel preceding any two consonants with which a syllable can be commenced may form a short syllable. Nothing was ever more unluckily asserted, or more pregnant with confusion and error.
15. To the perspicacity and acuteness of Dawes (M. C. pp. 90, 1, 196, 146, 7) we are indebted for the first clear statement of the principal points in this department of prosody: to the deliberate and masterly judgment of Porson (ad Orest. 64, and elsewhere) we owe whatever else is correctly and certainly known.
16. Some little things, however, may serve to show that an English ear, especially on a sudden appeal, is no very competent judge of Attic correptions, so called. For instance, in the following lines :
Phen. 1444. εν τώδε μήτηρ η τάλαινα προσπίτνει,
Alc. 434. έπίσταμαι γε, κούκ άφνω κακόν τόδε, it is not from any practice of our own, certainly, that we should pronounce the words προσπί-τνει and ά-φνω with precision and facility in that very way.
17. So, too, if ákun and Fouev were on a sudden proposed as to the shortening of the first syllable in each, it might seem to an English ear just as improbable in the noun as in the verb; although in Athenian utterance we know very well the fact was quite otherwise.
That eminently learned and powerful scholar, Toup (vid. Emendd. vol. i. 114, 5; iv. 441) stoutly maintained in his day (what is now called) the permissiveness of ou: and actually, on that ground, suggested the following as an emendation of a pasSage in Sophocles, for εμέν or ίμεν: Elect. 21, 2....
... ώς ενταύθ' έ-σμέν, ίν ουκέτ' όκνείν καιρός, άλλ' έργων ακμή. (where akuń, of course, is right enough, being pronounced å-run.) Since Porson's delicate correction of that error (u. s. p. 441) no argument has been advanced in its defence. And yet, à priori, why should not ou be permissive, as well as ou, for instance ? “ The consonants ou can begin a word; why not commence a separate syllable? How can Ou commence a syllable, when notoriously it cannot begin a word ?” Honesta oratio est.
18. The plain truth, however, stands thus : that ku and Ou, (with Xu, pv, tv,) though never used as initial to any word, yet within the same words are found permissive much too often to admit the shadow of a doubt on that head.
Phen. 351. Και γαρ μέτρο ανθρώποισι και μέρη σταθμών may be taken for one undisputed example; there is no want of
19. How far in the different pairs of consonants which have been defined as non-permissive (§ 3), a physical necessity was the obstacle, in some at least, if not in others, might be a question for anatomy rather than for criticism.
1. Vocalis brevis ante consonantes. (Gr. Gr. 37.)
]. Vocalis brevis ante vel tenues, quas vocant, consonantes TT, K, T, vel adspiratas , X, 0, sequente quavis liquida ; uti et ante medias B, n, d, sequente p, syllabam brevem perpetuo claudit.
2. Vocalis brevis ante consonantes medias 3, 7, 8, sequente quavis liquida præter unicam p, syllabam brevem nunquam terminat, sed sequentium consonarum ope longam semper constituit.
Dawes, Misc. Crit.
2. Syllabæ in quibus concurrunt consonantes ßl, yd, yu, yv,
du, dv. κλύουσα θρήνους, ουκ αν εκβάλοι δάκρυ και Primo Ophvois, deinde ydúvous conjicit Musgravius. Nihil opus. Præterea ydúvous metrum vitiaret. Dawesius canonem paullo temerarius, ut solet, statuit, nullam syllabam a poëta scenico corripi posse,
in qua concurrant consonantes βλ, γλ, γμ, γν, δμ, δν. Hæc regula, plerumque vera, nonnunquam ab Æschylo, Sophocle, Aristophane, violatur, ab Euripide credo nunquam.
Porson ad Hec. v. 298.
3. Παρθένον, έμή τε μητρι παρέδωκεν τρέφειν. cur N finalem in imÉKAWoev, v. 12, et similibus addiderim, nemo nisi qui communi sensu plane careat, requiret. Sed erunt fortasse nonnulli, qui minus necessario hoc factum arbitraturi sint in napiĉwkev. Rationes igitur semel exponam, nunquam posthac