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river break off, and fall to the distance of between one and two hundred feet, and then go heaving onward to Sing Sing, through a huge natural canal, wide as itself, crowned, at the top of the high precipices which border its sides, with shaggy pines and hemlocks, and flowery shrubs and parasites, where the vulture wheels, and the boding owl makes his complaint at evening. This is a faint idea of Niagara. You should sit for hours in the eastern portico of the Pavilion, looking at the waves as they rush over the Horse-Shoe Fall. Continually, large masses of them, green as the richest verd antique, shoot in blended company down into the abysm of hell' beneath. From this point they are full of beauty. Unable to keep together, they burst into foamı; so that the continual recurrence of this has the effect of a long waste of the finest embroidery, in flowers, leaves, and vines, on a ground of green. Over them plays the rainbow, spanning them with its heavenly arch, and shining lovingly upon the madness of which it is created; stretching itself to the distant island, where its ethereal colors smile on the rich woods and golden waters. There in the portico aforesaid — is the place to sit and inly ruminate. I saw one fat John Bull, 'a round and stocky man,' in a checked travelling shirt, and a swallowtailed coat, whose lappels were almost pulled round beneath his arms, standing like some corpulent fowl on the last ledge of Table Rock, peering into the Falls, then only about ten or twelve feet from his side, with a telescope twice as long as his body! It was a pure specimen of the sublime and the ridiculous.
Here let me play the counsellor to the visitor at Niagara. I offer my opinion with confident diffidence. Doubtless you desire to receive at the Falls, and to carry away with you, the strongest impression. Do not therefore go down to the foot of the cataract on the Canada side. Take your coup d'ail as you drive in your carriage to the Pavilion. Take your supper there, as did the goodly company of your adviser, Ollapod. Supposing you are an American - which I trust you are
- you will of course feel a sort of pride in believing that the best view is on the American side. And so it is : yet to look at the United States' part of the cataract, you would say it was a mere mill-dam. It is thus that distance deceives. You cannot see the movement of that far-off water, or hear distinctly the horrid sound with which it plunges from its cloud-kissing elevation to the depth below. But if obtain the deepest and strongest thoughts of Niagara, do as I say. Observe the semicircular cataract on the Canada side from the esplanaile of the Pavilion — but do not go down to the base of the Fall. Let the view remain upon your mind as a beautiful picture; keep the music in your ear, for it is a stern and many-toned music, that you cannot choose but hear. Order the coachman to transport your luggage to the ferry below the Falls some mile or so. There embark: you will be frightened, doubtless, as you gaze to the south, and see the awful torrent pouring down upon you; but you may take the word of the ferry.man that for some dozen or twenty years he has never met with an accident: you may believe him, for the air of truth breathes through his large grim whiskers. You will see the waves curling their turbulent tops, and dark rocks emerging from their milky current and seething foam, within a yard of your prow - but be not afraid. You are soon at the foot of
And here, after all, kind reader, is the place for a view. Do not look about you much. Be content with the thunder in your ears, and wait until some practised and tasteful observer, kindly acting as your cicetone, bids you stop just at that point on the stair-case where the plunging river, on the American side, dashes downward in its propulsive journey. There, by the onward plunge of the cataract, which bounds in a ridge over the abyss, describing as it were a circular fall, the view of Goat Island is completely cut off, and the whole sweep of the Falls -- Canadian, American, and all — is seen at once; apparently one unbroken waste of stormy and tumultuous waters. You mnst be a demigod, if you can stand on that hallowed ground, shaking with the accents of a God, spanned with his bow, resounding with his strength, and laughing in his smile, without eniotions of indescribable wonder. Thus, with a trembling hand, and a spirit saturated with the grandeur of the scene, Ollapod pencilled his hasty, weak, and inexpressive scrawl:
HERE speaks the voice of God! Let man be dumb,
-- sublime !
For the rest -- as touching the sound of Niagara - our wanderings
over Great Island - the fair friends we met perambulating there; with divers other peregrinations — the journey toward the orient the scenes of Lewiston, Queenston, Lockport
, Rochester — that lovely and most hospitable city — shall they not be presented to thee, kind reader, in the next subsections of Thine, heartily, and to serve,
A LIFE OF WASHINGTON IN LATIN PROSE: by FRANCIS Glass, A. M., of Ohio. Edited
by J. N. REYNOLDS, Esq. Third Edition.' New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
We are glad to find, that our anticipations respecting the success of this work have been fully realized, and that it has become already a favorite text-book in most of our classical schools. The present edition makes its appearance with the additional advantage of a copious vocabulary, in which particular care has been taken, among other things, to designate such terms as are of modern origin, and such as, though employed by the ancient writers, are here used in a modern sense. We do not know that any thing can now be done to render the work more valuable and complete, or better calculated to answer the object, and do honor to the memory, of its erudite author. Our intention, however, in writing the present article is, not to praise the book itself, for that were now a superfluous task, but to undertake its defence against a very superficial and illiberal critique, which appeared in the last number of the North American Review. Longinus thought, in his day, that the faculty of passing a sound judgment upon writings was the final result of extensive experience; but Longinus was a fool to think so, and the young gentleman who perpetrates the classical articles in the numbers of the North American could teach him a far different lesson. It was commonly supposed, among the earlier race of scholars, that, in order to become a critic, a man must read and think, and have a little stock of his own with which to enter upon this line of business; but in these days of fictitious capital, you can do just as well by borrowing, and can save in the bargain a vast deal of valuable time. A person would be a very great simpleton, now-a-days, to sit down and study to be a critic.
Poor Glass's work has been subjected to the ordeal of this modern school of criticism; and, as may be expected, has received but little quarter from the Aristarchus of New-England. None of its beauties - and they are not few in number — are even so much hinted at. No merit whatever is ascribed to the fact of the author's having written his work at a distance from all those aids to composition with which others are so abundantly supplied. A few paltry attempts are made, in the very worst spirit of criticism that can disgrace a pedagogue, to pick out some half a dozen verbal errors, and in every instance these attempts have proved completely abortive. A reviewer, who handles in this way the work of another, ought, from motives of common prudence, to look carefully to his own doctrines, lest, from want of sufficient acquaintance with his subject, he be led into greater errors than those which he undertakes to condemn. Let us see, for a moment, how the case stands, in this respect, with our critic. He regrets that the voluminous writings of Cato, Varro, and Lucceius, have not been preserved. Would poor Glass have ever been guilty of such a tissue of blunders? In the first place, the only one of the three that deserves the name of a voluminous writer, is Varro, and no one at all acquainted with literary history would ever think of ranking Cato, much less Lucceius, in the same class with him, as regarded the number of their productions. In the next place, the reviewer VOL. VIII.
appears to be actually ignorant that Cato's work on Husbandry, and Varro's treatise on the same subject, together with a portion of the one which he wrote on the Latin language, have come down to our times, and been commented upon by modern scholars. There can be no escape from this inference; for, in the very next sentence, the critic speaks of the lost works of Cicero, Livy, and others; thus manifestly distinguishing between Cicero, Livy, and the rest, whose productions have come down to us in part, and Cato and Varro, whose writings, according to him, have not reached us at all. Does our remark require any additional confirmation? Let it be found in the fact, that Cato, Varro, and Lucceius, are classed together, whereas no writings whatever of the last mentioned individual have ever come down to our times. Does not this show most conclusively, that our learned friend supposed the works of Cato and Varro to be all in a similar predicament? Besides, who would ever think of calling Lucceius a voluminous writer, when he composed only two histories? - and who but our critic would place him by the side of Varro, who, according to Aulus Gellius, had written, as he himself stated, four hundred and ninety works by the time he had reached his eighty-fourth year ?
The reviewer makes mention also of the lost comedies of Plautus, and thinks that, if we had them, not only the 'vocabulary' of the Latin language, but its 'compass of expression,' would be greatly enlarged. Here again our friend the critic lays himself open to the same charge which he has been kind enough to prefer against the author of the Life of Washington - a want of sufficient reading on the subject. Every scholar knows (we use the term 'scholar' here in the old-fashioned sense of the word) that the genuine comedies of Plautus, as fixed by the Varronian canon, were only twenty-one in number, and that of these we have twenty remaining. Consequently but one is lost. What a wonderful play this lost one must have been, when the mere thoughts of it so bewilder with admiration the mind of our erudite countryman, that he actually magnifies it into a dozen or more! It will not do to say, that Plautus probably re-touched the plays of other dramatists, and therefore that these also should be regarded as his productions. We are talking of the plays of Plautus, not of those of other people. Neither will it do to point to the fragments of Plautus, as they are called, that are appended to some of the editions of his works. Prove, if you can, that Plautus wrote the dramas from which they are said to have been taken. Just so, again, with regard to Terence. Our critic talks of the lost comedies of this dramatist, with the utmost composure, without being in the least aware, as it would seem, that the six plays, which we have at present under his name, are in all probability the only ones that he ever composed, or that, if there were any others, the number of these must have been small indeed. Who, at the present day, gives credit to the ridiculous story, quoted by Suetonius from an obscure writer, that Terence, who spent hardly one year in Greece, wrote or translated, during that period, as many as one hundred and eight comedies? Why, it would be impossible, during so short an interval, to write even one hundred and eight reviews, notwithstanding the little expenditure of intellect which these interesting lucubrations require. If, however, Terence did actually perform the feat that is here ascribed to him, then the loss of these same productions is certainly not much to be regretted. Did our critic never spare himself a moment's leisure, amid his profound researches into modern Latinity, to read the lives of the Roman poets by Crusius? He would have found that able writer advocating the opinion, that in all likelihood we have only lost above one or two of the dramas of Terence.
We come now to the main question, whether this critic, whose own blunders are 80 palpable, and whose own want of reading is so deplorably apparent, was exactly the right person to sit in judgment on the work of another. We think we can show
conclusively that he was not qualified for the task, if we have not already accomplished this by our preliminary remarks. The first objection which the critic raises is, that names are Latinized in the Life of Washington with little uniformity; that we have at one time, for example, Randolphius, and then again plain Randolph. A most profound observation! It shivers the Latinity of Glass into a thousand fragments. The only consolation the poor man has, and it is small indeed, is to fall to the ground in very good company, for Cambden has O'Neale and O'Nealus, Medcalf and Medcalfus, Hawkwood and Harekwoodus; and Wyttenbach has Luzac and Luzacus, Sluiter and Sluiterus, Creuzer and Creuzerus. What shockingly bad Latin Cambden, Glass, and Wyttenbach wrote! The second objection of our friend the reviewer is, that Glass does not use correct phraseology when he speaks of Dux Gage, Dux Howe, etc. Mr. Reynolds, to be sure, had already taken notice of this form of expression in the preface to Glass's work; but we would not for the world countenance the belief that our friend the critic borrowed the hint from that gentle
In a review which contains so many original ideas, this discovery about 'dur' must have been, of course, original also. Let us look at it for a moment. You can say Rex Gulielmus, in Latin, remarks the reviewer, (the English had better take a hint from this, and not blunder away, as they have been accustomed to do, with their Gulielmus Rex,) but you cannot say · Duc Gage.' Why? Listen to the critic. The appellation king belongs so naturally to the individual in question, that it partakes of the use of a proper name.' The remark shows much critical acumen, and makes us quite proud of our countryman. Its meaning is this: you can say, in Latin, Rex Gulielmus, because you say, in English, · King William ;' but you cannot say · Dux Gage,' because no one ever thinks of saying General Gage,' but always · Mr. Gage, the general,' and consequently · Dux Gage' is very bad Latin indeed. It ought to be ' Gage Dux.' We are sorry, however, for one thing. The learned reviewer assures us that the expressions ' Dux Casar,' and * Dux Pompeius,' do not once occur in Cæsar's Commentaries. We regret that he wasted his valuable time in looking over Cæsar for this purpose, and we can assure him on positive authority, that the Romans never said General Cæsar' and 'General Pompey,' but always . Cæsar general,' • Pompey general.' He will find the point fully discussed in Slawkenbergius, lib. 1, c. 3., Harper's edition.
Well, Glass, what do you say to this? The poor fellow shrugs up his shoulders, points to other parts of his book, where he has ' Wayne, dux Americanus,' and ' Cornwallis, comes Anglicus,' and · Howe, imperator Britannus,' and mutters something about fair and honest criticism. But who ever heard that a critic troubled himself about fairness and honesty ? If you find fault with an expression in a man's book, and suggest what you consider a better one, and if this better one be actually used by the person whom you censure, in other parts of his work, that is no concern of yours. Why, if this rule were not adopted, we would have no quarterly reviews at all! And then only think of the worse than Cimmerian darkness that must pervade all the regions of literature, especially classical !
After this handsome display of learning and candor, the reviewer proceeds to make an attack on Glass's Latin forts. The names of fortifications, he tells us, ought either to be adjectives, or nouns in the genitive case, and straightway he levels his critical battering-ram at 'propugnaculum Washingtonium.' Out comes poor Glass, and assures his assailants that Waskingtonium is actually an adjective, agreeing with propugnaculum. “No such thing,' exclaims his opponent, ' it is a noun, second declension, neuter gender, nominative case, singular number,' accompanying each clause with a blow, and behold, 'propugnaculum Washingtonium' is a heap of ruins. What a warning to all forts constructed in a similar manner! A court-mar