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Now it is very certain, that whoever shall dare to appear in behalf of the received reading, labors under very great disadvantages. He has an eminent hand to deal with, a great deal of learning and quotation to encounter, a world of sufficiency, self-evidence, and certainty. So that all he can propose to do, is to play the gentleman's artillery a little against himself, and if he should miscarry, as to be sure he must, to comfort himself with the thoughts, that
Cum illo certasse feretur ; and that in vindication of a Lection 1500 years old.
It is a rule amongst the critics, to prefer, when the manuscripts differ, a recondite and less usual reading, before a more obvious one, and that because the probability of corruption lies much the strongest on the part of the laiter. And so this gentleman says himself in a like case, p. 174. Nor had the Librarii ever mistaken words so trite and common : and then he adds, I am confident Avienus wrote protollere. And su again, p. 177. Cassa, in short, was a word well enough known to the copyists : so that I suspect the Poet wrote Casca. And this rule must then be allowed very good and certain, when a large number of manu. scripts are on the side of the former, against one and no more. In the Case before us, angues being new, and out of the reach of the scribe, he substituted into its place a word more frequent upou the occasion, plair and obvious, and what might reasonably shoot into his head, either from
Georg. IV. 484.
Or, Æn. XII. 481.
Haud minus Æneas tortos legit obvius orbes ; Or from Propertius, Ovid, Seneca, or Severus.
So that what the gentleman says of the passage being altered by a Monk, p. 178, is certainly very right; but then, on the coutrary side, by a Monk the gentleman means the barbarous ages, when learning lay chiefly in the hands of this set of men, and then I'm afraid 'tis no better than an Anachronism, to talk of a Munkish alteration before the days of Servius.
But further, I apprehend the author meant here two distinct punishmeats, though of the same person, or two parts of his punishment, and this appears from the tenor of the whole three lines, i.e. from the shortness of the narration, being as it were only in subserviency, and ex Tapótvu. So that though orbis may be volutus, and rota the machina itself, yet making use of but one and the same punishment, and the bendiadis and tautology nevertheless subsisting, we cannot in so short & parration admit them both. None of the poets or mythologists ever intimate that Irion's wheel stands still, for then why was it a wheel rather than a rock or a post? What becomes of the morality of the story? No; though perhaps they may only mention the wheel, yet the notion of revolution always goes along with it, as an inseparable concomitant. And so says the gentleman himself ; Ixion was fastened to a wheel which was perpetually in motion. But this is plain from very many of the citations. So that waether Pierius is to be reproached for his cowardice or not, in not daring to admit orbes, yet he is most certainly in the
right, in saying that it would make an hendiadis, and whenever it was adınitted, must be admitted upon that footing. So Juvenal xu. 51. calls it rota, and Ovid. Metam. x. 42. orbis, from whence it appears, that orbis and rota are evidently tantamount, and make a tautology. But does this gentleman think that Pierius knew not that orbis was volutus ? Pierius knew that as well as he, but was apprehensive of the hendiadis notwithstanding. As to
Georg. IV. 484.
Atque Ixionii vento rota constitit orbis, only one thing is there meant, namely, Irion's wheel is expressed in a paraphrastical and poetical manner;
and so in those passages of Seneca, Severus, and Tibullus, where those two words, or equivalent ones, arc jointly used. And upon this principle the reading of Mr. Markland is to be rejected,
tortosque Ixionis axes. And lastly, upon this principle angues is the word, and no other; for this alone makes no tautology or hendiadis ; tortos angues is every whit as proper as tortos orbes. So Seneca, Thyest. 96.
Et tortos ferox
Nec serpens habiture torta possit,
32. But above all, Virgil himself has
Intentans angucs Upon which the observer writes, or rather tortosque, as if this was an emendation of his, founded upon conjecture ; whereas Pierius expressly gives notice of its being in antiquis aliquot exemplaribus. But more directly,
Irion was tied to the wheel ; though the gentleman might have spared the pomp of sixteen testimonies, (and yet afterwards he very formally adds a seventeenth) to prove what every one would have granted him, namely, that Ixion was fastened to a wheel which was perpetually in motion. Yet what he has done serves to prove this, if it wants proof, and so I shall only refer you to his citations. But the gentleman himself allows he was fastened. Now as to the materials with which he was tied, Servius upon the place says it was witla serpents; and so again, ed Æn. VI. 601. Ab irato Jove ad inferos trusus est, et illic religatus ad rotam circumfusam serpentibus : from whence Nat. Com. VI. 16. writes, Hic rotæ ferrere fuit alligatus, circa quam angues complures convolvebantur. See also Farnab. ad Senec. Herc. Fur. III. These serpents were therefore a part, as I suppose, of his punishment; and if 50, here are two punishnients or parts of punishment actually alluded to, and all Hendiadis or tautology saved. The gentleman seems plainly to have overlooked Servius, (and yet I don't know from whence he could come acquainted with the antiquity of this reading, but from him) for otherwise he could never have said, that no mythologist or scholiast ever mentioned angues as part of Irion's punishment; nor could he ever have started those two objections from Æneid. VI, 570. 606. for both of them only lie upon supposition that by angues are here meant the
snakes of the Furies, the contrary of which he might have quickly seen, and been undeceived, had he peeped into Servius. The objections are no objections. I'll freely give them him both. And yet I don't think he has removed either of them : for though in the first case Ixion be not mentioned, yet the Furies are made by the mythologers to attend all those that are punished. Sec Æn. VI. 601. seq. where Ixion is named among the rest. So Juren. XIII. 51.
Ncc rota, nec Furia, nec suxum, aut vulturis atri
Репа. And as to the latter, though angues be not named, yet they are the insigniu, the appendages of the Furies, and always are where they are, just as before revolution was made part of the very essence of Irion's wheel.
I know of but one objection to these snakes of Ixion (for the silence' of authors I take to be little or none. In mythology and fiction great liberties are taken, and most authors have their peculiarities, as Philostratus in the case before us) namely, that of Apollonius Rhod.
Λυσόμενος χαλχέων 'Iξίονα νείοθι δεσμών. Now though it be very true, that Virgil has made good use of this author, (which, by the way, is no discovery of his ; for both this obscrvation, and that just before, concerning the Scholiast of Apollonius, he has taken from Matiaire's Lives of the Stephens's, p. 389.) yet it appears at first view, that he used him not here, any farther than that they both agrec, as most others do, concerning the despoi, namely, that Ixion was tid and bound to the wheel. Apollonius says, the ligatures were brazen, whereas Virgii says they were serpentine. What shall we say to this? Why @coinos here does not barely denote the ligation, but the whole wheel hy synecdoche, as Propertius speaks, vincula rotæ, i.e. rota ; and this wheel then being to last for ever, it might well be made of brass, or iron, as Nat. Comes has it. But perhaps there is no occasion for this refuge, for wanyoos is no more than one ipos, lo xupòs, and I shall not need to prove this sense of it in many words, especially to you, and so shall briefly refer you to Suidas, Pharorinus, Virgil Æn. V.198. Serv. ad l. and Ilor. ubique, &c. These decpeod, therefore, even though they were serpentine, were brazen no less, in this sense of brazen, that is, were strong ones.
And now to make an end; supposing angues to be a blunder, as he asserts it to be, yet the Roman code delivered us from it before he did; unless he will more modestly say, that he was the first that recommended and restored the reading of the Romay code; and yet he cannot justly even assume this to himself, secing that Pierius long ago said just as much for its reception as he has done, tiz. that if admittable at all, it was by the figure hendiadis; for upon the face of the note it does not appear, that Pirius preferred either of the readings to each other, I
· This matter of the Snakes would probably have been cleared up, had Euripides's play been extant; and 'tis not unlikely that Virgil ard Serrius inight follow hina for their Author. See Plutarch. de dudiendis Poetis.
2 See Fabric. BiH. Gr. tom. 2. p. 5-2+, 5:0. Sery, ad Æn. iv, 1. Hoelzeinus I'roles, ad Apollon. & Maitt. Hist. Steph.
say, it does not appear, that he postponed orbes to angues ; he leaves us by a fair and just representation of the matter of fact, to judge for our. selves, according to his usual custom. See him above ad Æn. VI. 570, Georg. IV. 415, 416. Æn. XI. 708. and so Servius ad Æn. XI. 708. Upon the whole, he cannot, I am sure, charge Pierius fairly with striking out orbes, for it never was in: he cannot say that by his means only, exclusive of the manuscript and Pierius, we are got rid of the blunder, eveu supposing it to be one.
Your most affectionate Friend, &c. [To be concluded in the next No.]
TACITUS ILLUSTRATED AND EMENDED.
In the Notes to Correspondents subjoined to the XIIIth Number of the Classical Journal, p. 237*. occurs the following passage :“ A young student would feel much obliged to any gentleman, who would give an explanation of the following passage from Tacitus, Ann. I. 1. c. 61. Prima Vari castra, luto ambitu, et dimensis principiis, trium legionum munus ostentabant. What is the signitication of prima? Was there any other camp besides this? It appears from the extent of the principia that there were three legions. What space of ground did an army of three legions occupy when encamped, supposing them to have their full supplements according to Vegetius ?”
I am happy to have it in my power partly to oblige “the young student,” who would not have found much difficulty in understanding the meaning of prima, if he had attended to the subsequent words :
Incedunt mæstos locos, visuque ac memoria deformes. Prima Vari castra, lato ambitu, et dimensis principiis, trium legionum manus ostentabant : dein semiruto vallo, humili fossa, accisa jam reliquia consedisse intelligebantur: medio campi albentia ossa, ut fugerant, ut restiterant, disjecta vel aggerata.
Prima then does not imply the first of two camps, but refers to the first circumstance to be noticed in surveying the melancholy field, upon which the eye could not dwell without horror.' Prima---dein, says Tacitus. But prima is obviously a corrupt reading for primò, which will then correspond with dein, as it ought to do, and does in other passages.
As to the other question about the space of ground occupied by three legions, I must leave the problem to be solved by the gentlemen of the rule and compass.
E. II. BARKER,
The elegant and classical author of the Defence of Public Schools has, in our last No. observed that Wales has furnished but a small proportion of illustrious Scholars. We hail the omen given by the proposer of this prize, and hope that the stimulus will bé continued, and produce still more successful exertions. Although this composition is not faultless, although the imitations of Virgil are in some parts too servile, yet wishing to preserve the memorial, and encourage the repetition, of so meritorious a plan, we have not hesitated to present it to the candid reader.
A. D. 1806.
quæ, Tiberine, videbis
1 Morte venalem petiisse laurum.-Hor.
2 Nelsoni vitam a primis annis repeti voluit, qui hæcce præmia proposuit, neque pauciores quàm vers. 400 componi jussit.