for some time discontinued : and it had perhaps been totally suppressed, but for the assistances given the editor by Dr. Markland and Mr. Heath, and the advantage of printing at the expense of the fund bequeathed to the university by Mr. Rolle, for purposes of this nature.

The work is a performance of much less ostentation than use ; not being calculated to amuse the critic, but to advance the learner. The notes annexed contain no minute philological disquisitions, which are often still more obscure than the text, and counteract their intention, by increasing that labour which they profess to lessen. Here we have the conduct of the drama laid open, the grammatical difficulties explained, the different readings exhibited, and the text receiving proper light from a just punctuation. Notwithstanding this, the learned author seems sensible of one objection that may be raised against the present performance ; namely, that he has given no Latin translation of the text, as is usual in most editions of the Greek classics. This objection he has taken some pains to obviate. The idioms of the Greek and Latin languages, as he observes, are so different as to render a translation very difficult, if not impossible; but though such a labour were actually effected, it would rather obstruct than promote the end it seems intended to answer. He who, in learning Greek, has continual recourse to a translation for assistance, is insensibly drawn into a disuse of his grammar and lexicon, the proper guides for introducing him to an intimacy with the language he desires to be acquainted with. “Opibus alieni adjustus nihil de suo promet; nihil demum marte proprio sibi elaborandum esse censebit : et velut in regione ignota hospes inelegans, ducem secutus aliquando falsum sæpe fallacem, huc illuc temere circumvagabítur: et cum Græciam universam itinere rapido peragraverit, nihil fere de Græcia, nihil vere Atticum aut quovis modo memorabile, domum reportabit.” We should in this respect imitate such as first revived Greek learning in the West ; who, without translations, instructed those that afterwards became so eminent for their skill in this enchanting language.

The assistances, however, which are denied in a translation, are amply recompensed here, by the explications of every material difficulty in the text, in notes at the bottom of each page; by a separate phraseology, and by a lexicon of the uncommon words subjoined to the whole. These are the helps offered to the scholar, and we will venture to assert, that the learner who will be at the pains of reading Sophocles with only the assistances here offered him, will know more of the real beauties of the original, and the true structure of the language, than if he spent double the time in poring over a faulty Latin version. The translations hitherto published of Sophocles, will be more apt to lead the scholar astray, than to direct him to the meaning or spirit of the original ; for, whether through ignorance of the language they attempted to translate, or through an awkward affectation of elegance, certain it is they are almost always mistaking the meaning of their author.

Though much may be said in commendation of the design and usefulness of the edition now before us, there is room for some objection to the method which our commentator has thought proper to pursue. Not content with the illustrations at the bottom of each page, he adds, by way of appendix, bis deutega. O portides, or Scholia, which are the result of more mature deliberation. These second thoughts, which were not entered upon, as we are informed, till the other parts of the work were printed off, are not only a further comment upon the original, but sometimes corrections of his former annotations, which they frequently profess to contradict, amend, and explain. This ingenuous way of confessing one's faults, though it should serve to shew a man's modesty, may, it is feared, rather lead to prejudice his reputation in other respects. Some may be apt to remark, that criticisms which could, upon a review, want so much amendment, were prematurely inserted : they may say, that it would have been most prudent in our editor to have kept his work by him till repeated amendments had rendered a palinodia unnecessary. And we may add, though second thoughts are generally allowed the preference, yet our annotator, it must be confessed, often corrects himself where there seems very little occasion for correction. As to the edition, upon the whole, it may be numbered among the most correct productions of the British press, some few faults in the accenting excepted. The book is certainly well calculated for the use of schools; and deserves all the encouragement due to the best performances of this kind.


[From the Monthly Review, 1758. « The Tusculan Dispu

tations of Marcus Tullius Cicero. In five Books. A new Translation. By a Gentleman.8vo.]

The panegyric upon Cicero, which Erasmus hath left us, at the same time that it does justice to the merits of the philosopher, reflects honour on the taste of his encomiast. “ I am incapable of determining,” says that judicious critic, “ whether or not my judgment be improved by time, but certain it is, Cicero never so much pleased me in youth as be now does in my old age. I am now at a loss whether most to admire, the divine felicity of his style, or the purity of his heart and morals. His influence upon me rises almost to inspiration ; and I always feel myself a better man upon every perusal I make no scruple, therefore, to

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exhort our youth to spend their hours in reading and retaining his works, rather than in the vexatious disputes, and ill-mannered controversies which at present perplex mankind. For my own part, though I am now in the decline of life, yet as soon as my present undertakings are completed, I shall think it no reproach to seek a renewal of my acquaintance with my Cicero, and an increase of that intimacy which has been for many years interrupted."

How differently does Montaigne express himself on the same subject, when he gives us to understand, that though he finds much entertainment in Seneca or Plutarch, he could never gain any from Cicero. “ For,” says the Frenchman, “ instead of beginning to talk upon the subject proposed, he blunts the edge of curiosity by superfluous divisions; and the time that should be employed in argument is wasted in adjusting preliminaries.”

The truth is, Montaigne was, during his whole life, what Erasmus was in his early youth, incapable of thinking connectedly; so that this celebrated essayist only exposed the defects of his own understanding by attempting to detract from the reputation of Cicero. The concurrent testimony of all antiquity, and of modern times, sufficiently confutes bim ; it being universally agreed, that no philosopher has more forcibly recommended all those

generous principles that tend to exalt and perfect human nature.

From hence, therefore, we may infer, how much the public is bound to acknowledge every judicious attempt to translate any part of the works of a writer so admired as Cicero. If the translator succeeds in so difficult an undertaking, the motives to virtue acquire a more universal diffusion, and our language makes a valuable acquisition : should he fail in the execution, the great difficulty of the work

may, in some measure, plead bis excuse, and the usefulness of the design should soften the rigour of censure.

It is not without reason that this elegant Roman has been thought the most difficult to be translated of all the classics. The translator must not only be master of his sentiments, but also of his peculiar way of expressing them. He must have acquired a style correct without labour, and copious without redundancy. The difficulty is not so much to give his sense, as to give it in such language as Tully himself would have spoken, had he been an Englishman. To follow him in a verbal translation, is to catch his words only, and lose his spirit.

This literal timidity, if we may so express it, where the translator cautiously moves from word to word, for fear of going astray, is still the more unpardonable, as Cicero himself has given us directions to the contrary.

- Nec tamen exprimi verbum e verbo necesse erit, ut interpretes indiserti solent.” His example also, as well as his precept, teaches us to avoid this error. What liberties does he not take with Plato, Euripides, and others! Their sentiments remain their own, but their language is always expressed in the manner of Cicero. The translator before us has fallen into the error of which we have been complaining ; so that Cicero appears in this English dress, not unlike some disguised hero in romance who, though concealed in the garb of a peasant, still moves with an air of superior dignity.

These Tusculan disputations were composed by Cicero when, under the dictatorship of Cæsar, he was excluded from any share in the administration ; at which time, as he informs us, he was obliged to substitute retirement and study, for scenes of more active employment. The work is divided into five books; the first of which teaches us how to contemn the terrors of death, and to look upon it as a blessing rather than an evil. The second, to support pain and affliction with a manly fortitude. The third and fourth, to moderate all our complaints and uneasiness under

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