« PreviousContinue »
reasoning without any appearance of art: it is disdain anger boldness freedom involved in a continual stream of argument.” And wherein lies the secret of this power? Brougham asks, and answers :
- To the mind of Demosthenes was never present more than one idea—his subject and nothing but his subject.” Villemain rightly says: “Le première vertu de son style c'est le mouvement:" and to the question, what enabled Lord Brougham to acquire his profound understanding of Demosthenic eloquence ? he replies: “La trempe vigoureuse de son esprit, ses longs exercices, ses luttes fréquentes du barreau et de parlement, ce tempérament, pour ainsi dire, endurci au feu de batailles et de tant d'années militantes et glorieuses 87. Voilà comment on arrive à Démosthene; voilà comment on peut le sentir et le rendre.” This is true, no doubt, but the vast labours especially of German scholars have not therefore been in vain; they have laid the foundation, as regards the facts and the language, on which it is possible to build a right understanding of the orator,
Manuscripts. Editions. Conclusion. There are many manuscripts of Demosthenes's 28 works remaining, about 170, many not yet collated
87 [Unfortunately however for Brougham's version of the de Corona, a sound knowledge of Greek did not accompany the advantages which Villemain enumerates. See the Times review,
at all, very few throughout all the speeches 88. Modern scholars since Imm. Bekker89 have taken a manuscript of the tenth century, now in Paris and generally indicated by the letter ?, as almost the absolute standard of Demosthenic criticismo. Nearly allied to it is a Florentine manuscript of the thirteenth century (I.), which in 1860 Rehdantz collated for Phil. II. and de Chersoneso, giving a list of its very few variations from £. His edition adheres to Codex , except where an error of transcription seems obvious. For the explanation of Demosthenes much has been done since the apparatus criticus et exegeticus of G. H. Schaefero, which incorporated the contributions of earlier scholars. Matters of history and detail have been treated both in general works on Greek History" and Antiquities, and in monographs on Demosthenes 93 and his time" As regards Demosthenic usages and the grammatical and logical explanation generally, especially of the Philippic orations, copious
88 Prolegomena critica in Δημοσθένους αι δημηγορίαι ed. Voemel.
89 Oratores Attici, 1823, where the division into sections is adopted throughout.
90 So in the critical editions of Baiter-Sauppe, Voemel, Dindorf, and Weil. As early as Lucian's time good codices were sought for, especially the copies of one Atticus, to which it is thought codices and I may be referred. Shilleto felt less confidence in E, see pref. to de fals. leg. pp. VI. VII.
91 Lipsiae et Londini, 1824–27, re-edited by Dindorf, Oxf.
92 Especially Grote and Curtius. 93 Especially Arn. Schäfer, Dem. U. sein. Zeit, 1856–58.
94 Böhnecke, Forschungen, 1843, Dem. Lycurg. Hyper. 1864.
illustrations have appeared, both in editions" and in dissertations and journals" But disproportionately little has been done for that, which may not be neglected in any classical work of style, but in the masterpieces of the orators must be indispensable for a complete explanation—a clear development of their perfection in point of form". To this belong the arrangement of the ideas, the choice of expressions, the structure of the clauses, even the sounds and rhythm of the language, in a word, a vivid reproduction of the speech following the creative power in its operation, and showing how each thought, like metal glowing in the mint, was finally stamped with this form or that. That the thought thus perfected should strike the senses fully and clearly was the task of oratorical delivery, a faculty in which Demosthenes was unsurpassable, as the commentator should here and there at least point out, and the reader should endeavour to realize for himself by repeated reading aloud. One thing more. The study of the
95 Vömel, 1829–33. Reuter, 1833. Frotscher and Funkhänel, 1834. Rüdiger, 1833 and 1848. Sauppe, 1845. Doberenz, 1848. Franke, 1850 and 1871. Whiston, 1859. Fornaciari, Prato, 1866. T. K. Arnold, 1868, ed. 3. Heslop, 1868. Courtoy, Mons, 1875. Weil, Paris, 1873. Westermann-Müller, ed. 7, 1875. [The edition of R. Mounteney, Fellow of King's, 1731, deserves mention.]
96 Especially by Funkhänel.
97 Rehdantz gives a very brief list of continental writers on this subject, and of English only J. Geddes, Essay on the Composition etc. of the Ancients, Glasgow, 1748 ; and Brougham's Dissertation on the Eloquence of the Ancients, Vol. VII, of his works, Edinburgh, 1872.
so-called figures of speech has fallen into easily explicable discredit® But, analogous to those of the body, they are gestures of the language, and therefore unarbitrary and vigorous forms, in which the mind under powerful emotion endeavours to attain to fuller expression, and to make the corresponding fuller impression : they have their natural truth and justification. Their names for the most part reach back to the time when artistically-creative life still beat in Greek veins, and there is no doubt that at all the passages, which one generation handed down to another as striking instances of rhetoric, the hearers of Demosthenes once thrilled, as did Dionysius long afterwards : but as the energy of mind and feeling died
away, these figures of speech ceased to be understood : later, used as the masks of an imperfect or false pathos, they became offensive to men of true and natural feeling. Demosthenes indeed is ever free from false pathos; with him word and idea, thought and expression, are always in harmony, and therefore his language is true to nature: but Demosthenes never thought and spoke without pathos : his language is the outcome of anger and pain, and he alone can understand it who finds the counterpart of such pathos in his own heart.
98 On some of the kindred σχήματα διανοίας (changes in the form of the thought itself, while oxímata Néčews refer to the positions of the individual words), see Müller's Greek Literature, Vol. II. p. 112, Eng. trans. How highly the ancients valued the study of these oxhuara may be seen from the speeches of Isocrates and in the rhetorical writings of Cicero.
ΚΑΤΑ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ Α.
Ει μεν περί καινού τινος πράγματος προυτίθετ' ώ άνδρες Αθηναίοι λέγειν, επισχων αν έως οι πλείστοι των ειωθότων γνώμην απεφήναντο, εί μεν ήρεσκέ τί μοι των υπό τούτων ρηθέντων, ήσυχίαν αν ήγον, ει δε μή, τότ' αν καυτός έπειρώμης & γιγνώσκω λέγειν· επειδή δ' υπέρ ών πολλάκις ειρήκασιν ούτοι πρότερον συμβαίνει και νυνι σκοπεϊν, ηγούμαι και πρώτος αναστάς είκότως αν συγγνώμης τυγχάνειν. ει γαρ εκ του παρεληλυθότος χρόνου τα δέονθ' ούτοι συνεβούλευσαν, ουδέν αν υμάς νύν έδει βουλεύεσθαι.
Πρώτον μεν ούν ουκ άθυμητέον ώ άνδρες 'Αθηναίοι τους παρουσι πράγμασιν, ουδ' ει πάνυ φαύλως έχειν δοκεί. ο γάρ έστι χείριστον αυτών εκ του παρεληλυθότος χρόνου, τούτο προς τα μέλλοντα βέλτιστον υπάρχει. τί ούν έστι τούτο; ότι ουδέν ώ άνδρες Αθηναίοι των δεόντων ποιούντων υμών κακώς τα πράγματ’ έχει επεί του, εί πάνθ' ά προσήκε πραττόντων ούτως είχεν, ουδ' 3 αν ελπίς ήν αυτά βελτίω γενέσθαι. έπειτ' εν
θυμητέον και παρ' άλλων ακούουσι και τους είδόσιν αυτούς αναμιμνησκομένοις, ηλίκην ποτ' εχόντων δύναμιν Λακεδαιμονίων, εξ ου χρόνος