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been so severely censured as Perfius*. Several of the most celebrated among modern critics have given an unfavourable opinion of him : and indeed perspicuity is to indifpenfibly requisite in all composition, that a work totally defiitute of it auft be greatly reprehenfible. But it is certain that Perlius, whether from fear, as some think, or from a defeet in jurgment, as others believe, is fingularly obfcure. Bayle calls bim the Lycophron of Latin poets.

Thisobícurity has excited the indignation of many, who have attempted, without success, to develope his latent meaning ; and S. Hieronymus is said to have thrown his book into the fire with resentment, and with this exclamation, Si non vis intelligi, non debes legi.

If I might venture, after so much has been said on the fub. ject, to advance my opinion, I would express it in the following imperfe&t sketch of his charafier:

The want af perspicuity in Perfus can never be defended. Fer what is the use of writing, if it communicates no ideas ? But yet I cannot think Perfus totally deftitute of merit as several have affirmed. He porefjes the acer fpiritus ac vis in a great degree. Vivacity is his distinguishing characteristic.

He Satiricus fæpe plusquam ferreus, imo faxeus; nam satirica ejus dictio fupra modum horrida est, et Juvenali, ætate licet interiori, postponenda. Morboff

Seqritur Horatium Perfius, qui idem interjectus ek, ct tanquam medias inter ætates hujus et Juvenalis : de quo cum tam honorifice video prædicari et a Quintiliano et Martiale: miror quidem, quod ifti tale ac iantum fex in satıris deprehenderint, quod nos tam longo intervallo, ne luipicione quidem affecuti fumus. ...Nec tamen occurrit quidquam Perfianum, quod laudem a nobis præcipuam, nedum admirationem, magno. pere effiagitet. Nam mihi quidem, ut verum dicam, nihil le offert infignius ipsá sb curitate scriptoris, ex quâ fortasse nata est opinio eruditionis et doctrine... In quam obfcuritatem, fi auctor incidit imprudens, magnam vitium : fi de industria quæfivit ; non apparet cur plerique fcripta mirentur, quæ non intelligunt, aut cur scriptorem laudent, qui intelligi noluit.... Josephus Scaliger miferrimum auctorem Persius dixit, qui ftudeat obscuritati, et qui minime pulchra habeat ipse, cum in eum poffunt fcribi pulcherrima. Vavallor.

Neque ignotum eft quod paffim narratur de S. Hieronymo, qui non capiens ejus tenebras intelleEturis ignibus illa dedit, abjectoque libro, dixit * fa non,” &c. Ernestus.

Perfi ftylus morosus; et ille ineptus; qui cum legi vellet quæ scripEffet; intelligi noluit quæ leguntur. Julius Scaliger,

He con

He is animated even to rage, and he communicates the flame to his intelligent reader. He is not deftitute of frong expressions and sentiments equally manly and just. vinces his reader that he is in earnest *. The last lines of the second satire are among the most beautiful reliques of antiquity. Never was a better sentiment expreffed in stronger language. Indeed I am not sure that these lines are not worth all the rifft. It cannot be denied that there are in every part of Perpus marks of Juvenility.

Persius was an imitator of Horace's phrase; yet nothing can be more unlike the Horatian manner. Horace approaches bis patient with all the gentleness of a polite physician ; Perfius treats him with the roughness of au executioner. Саfaubon in his Persiana Horatii Imitatio, has pointed out several Palages which are doubılefs imitations of Horace, but he has mentioned others which are but casual coincidences. I cannot but wish that Perfius had chosen to imitate the polite manner of Horace, rather than to have stolen a few of his expresions only, which in the bands of Persius lose their grace.

As Persius is confifidly the obscurest among the Roman classics I, and as he is also juftly reprehended for a tumour and a harshness of manner, I should not have inserted his satires in a School Book from choice. I cannot recommend them as particularly adapted to boys; but Perfius has usually been added to Juvenal, and the book would have been considered by many as inexcufiably defective, if the general example bed not been followed.

TO * There is a spirit of fincerity in all he says. You may easily discern that he is in earnest, and persuaded of that truth which he incula cates. Dryden.

+ Qui liber (Perhi) etfi obscuritate et reconditis senfibus eft plerumque rcfertus, nihilominus boris est annumerandus auctoribus. Lilius Gyraldus.

Ignofcendum Perfio quod et crebris et audacioribus utatur translationibus. Nam, uti animus, ita di&tio nobliliimi Juvenis grandia tantum fpectabac. V Jius.

I Magna vis eft obscurarum rerum etiam post commentationes tot doctill morum hominum apud Perlium, ita ille farciendis multis in pauca verba in anivit. Barthius,

With respect to the labour bestowed by the commentators in explaining Perães, a French writer says-On peut dire ncaumoins que leur travail n'a pas été entierement inutile, puis qu'il a fervi du moins a faire conmulte le peu de murite de leur auteur.

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To obviate the inconvenience of peculiar dificulty, I have fubjoined to Perfius, the translaiion of Brewster. To an ax. ther whom the greatest critics have found it difficult to understand, it is certainly not improper 10 afix such an illustration, though in general it is not to be approved. Brewster underfieod Persius much better than Dryden, and has rendered his meaning more accurately. Indeed fucb are the obscurities of Perhus, that a few fhort notes could not poffibly illustrate him suficiently ; and a prolix comment was inconfiftent zwith the design of this publication. I know no method by which I could assist the young reader so effe&ually, as by Jubjoining what may be called a paraphrase or perpetual commentary ; and though I am an enemy to literal transiations, and indeed to all translations in schools, when the original is easy, yet in the present case, where the author presented to school boys has perplexed the most fagacious scholars, I was of opinion, ibat a paraphraffic translation, like Brewster's, was not only an aliowable, but the most defirable method of illustration. I have only to add on the subject of Perfius, for the information of the mere learner, that he was considerably prior in time to Juvenal, though his work is usually placed at the end of the volume; a circumstance, which at first night, has induced young readers Thoughtlejsly to conclude that Juvenal was the earlier.

I proceed to the confideration of Juvenal ; who, though be appeared at a very late period, and in an age rather unfavourable to the culti-vation of poetry, exhibits more of its true spirit than Persius and feveral others who preceded him. Quintilian is supposed to allude to Juvenal, when he says, Sunt clari hodie quoque et qui olim nominabuntur.

Juvenal writes with the morose, yet honest fincerity of a rigid philofopher. His sentiments are fingularly bold, and bis diction approaches to the declamatory. He has little delicacy, but he abounds with masculine beauty. Every part of his fatires breathes a noble indignation §. It cannot be denied

that Juvenalis haud paulo quam Horatius et Persius elatior et fonantior; graviores ponderofiuicique sententiæ ; et joci amariores; fiomachus in

infolentiam

ibat bis Ayle partook of the corruption of the age, but yet it is always strikingly expressive, and often elegant, beautiful and pure. Its distinguishing character is a Force, a Fire, a Nerve, which never faiis 10 excite and animate the reader. There is often a manly music in this verse, and a luminous colouring of expression, which renders many passages, truly poetical. He has always maintained an honourable place among the claffis, and has been a favourite author in the bell schools of England as well as among cialical scholars in their libraries.

Indeed the fine morality of his writings, has recommended him no less thun his mérit as a writer. It has often been compared to the purest philosophy of Seneca and Epictetus, and there is a sublimity in it which nearly approaches to the evangelical. It is well known that a bishop, whose virtues and abilities odorned this nation, recommended the perufal of Juvenal to the clergy as a very proper part of their studies preparatory to divinity. And if any have ohjected to the reading of Juvenal at schools, I apprehend their objection arose from the exceptionable passages, and not from a persuasion that his work, in general, is unft for the perufal of learners. I will not however assert that his gold is so pure and unmixed with alloy, as that of writers who flourished in the age of Auguftus.

Learners

infolentium hominum indignitatem fastidiofior. Cujus non oculi, non aures ferre perditos civitatis mores queant, meditaiur ipfc et adornet fugam in ultimas terrarum oras, ubi ne Romanum quidem nomen exaudiat : interim incurrat in quemvis obvium, et profternat et conculcet: non modo figat aculeis aut morsu frangit, V.39för.

Juvenalis ardet, initat, aperte jugulat. Julie, scaliger.

In taxandis moribus, roftrorum patrum memoriâ, primum locum liabere putabatur adeo, ut is tunc doctior exiftimaretur, qui plures ejus versu memoriter recitaret. Lil. Gvraldus.

Jucunda et utilis Juvenalis evolutio futura eft : continet enim multas graves, et utiles fententias, optimis verbis, et genere quodam dicendo Lallo, feflivo, hilari, et ut ita dicam, vivido, quod huic poetæ proprium ac perpetuum est, celebratas. Muretus.

“ The fatirical pets, Horace, Juvenal and Perfius, may contribute wonderfully to give a man a detestation of vice and a contempt of the common methods of mankind; which they have set out in fuch true colours, that they must give a very generous sense to those who delight in reading them ottan. Perlius's fecond latire may well pass for one of the best lectures in divinity," Burnei's Pafioral Care.

Learners should be instructed to distinguish with taste between the language of Juvenal and that of Horace and Virgil. I am attached to Juvenal, but I will avoid the common exaggeration of editors, who extol the author whom they publif beyond the limits of truth and impartiality.

But in the midst of the encomium of Yuvenal on the topic of morality, it is necessary to pause. The reader is ready to exclaim against the justice of it; and I wish it had been pofsible to afirm that his boafled morality as well as his dittion is not greatly depreciated by a base mixture.

Every man of sense, virtue and delicacy has lamented, that in the freedom of satirical invective, he has made use of expreffions, and introduced passages, which cannot be read by the young and inexperienced without injury t. No arguments are required to prove how pernicious to the morals must be an acquaintance with crimes at an early age, of which it would be bappy if men could be preserved in a state of total ignorance during their lives. Many masters have probably dismissed Juvonal from their schools, because they could not retain him confiftently with one of the juftest of his own observations, That the greatest decency is to be observed in the presence of boys.The poet himself, if he were confiftent, would repro

bate It has been said in defence of Juvenal that he imitates the old comedy in the lincentiousness of his exprefíion:

Quod ad genus satiræ attinet, in eâ imitatus est comædiam Græcam antiquam et dum voluit vitia invita reddere, asperius atque etiam obfcenius fcripfit, neque enim amore obscenitatis fcripfit, &c. Fabricius. His imitation, it must he owned, was too clote. When we fee imitation carried so far, we may juftly exclaim, O imisuiores, fervum pecus. +

“ Alterum est non minoris pretii preceptum; ut, ne dum vitia infeétamur, eas ponamus voces, e quibus qui legunt, evadunt deteriores ; nam sane fæditares nemo bonus nominare debet, nedum ut literis mandet. Quid enim cogitet adolescens, qui certarum ignarus obfcænitatum, audiat verba aut vocabula tam nefanda ? quam inonitroso funt ingenio ii qui ea scriptis suis audent inferere? Malo igitur non re. prehendere vitia deteftanda, quam in execrandâ oratione mereri reprehenfionem. Siquis igitur aliena peccata infectatur : ea modenia utatur ne faum librum efficiat eo nequiorem de quo verba facit. Quid enim tetrius quibusdam verhibus Juvenalis, propter quorum insolentiain, VEL JUSSERIM VEL OPTARIM TOTA OPERA ABSTINERE, VIRUM PROBUM.” Scaliger.

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