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I kept my plots distinct and clear, and to prevent confusion,
Ms. Twas well at least that you forbore to quote your own extraction.
Eu. From the first opening of the scene all persons were in action. The master spoke, the slave replied; the women, young and old ones, All had their equal share of talk.
Ms. Come then, stand forth and tell us What forfeit less than death is due for such an innovation?
Eu. I did it upon principle, from democratic motives.
B. Take care my friend, upon that ground your footing is but ticklish.
Eu. I taught these youths to specify.
Ms. I say so too—Moreover
Eu. The rules and forms of rhetoric, the laws of composition;
Ms. I grant it all—I make it all—my ground of accusation.
Eu. The whole in cases and concerns occurring and recurring; At every turn and every day, domestic and familiar: So that the audience, one and all, from personal experience, Were competent to judge the piece, and form a fair opinion Whether my scenes and sentiments agreed with truth and nature. I never took them by surprise, to storm their understandings, With Memnons, and Tydides's, and idle rattle trappings Of battle-steeds and clattering shields, to scare them from their senses; But for a test (perhaps the best), our pupils and adherents May be distinguished instantly by person and behaviour; His are Phormisius the rough, Meganeates the gloomy, Hobgoblin headed, trumpet-mouth'd, grim visag'd, ugly bearded; But mine are Cleitophon the smooth, Theramenes the gentle.
In some of the illustrative remarks which Mr. Frere has added to his translation, he has, perhaps, not always sufficiently resisted the temptation, (natural in a person who has long studied an author,) of finding in the words of Aristophanes a deeper and fuller meaning than is discoverable by the less practised vision of an ordinary reader. We think it unnecessary to cite any examples of these conjectures, and we will only adduce a passage in which Mr. Frere bestows a well-merited commendation upon Boeckh's elucidation of the true nature of the Athenian valuation for the property-tax, though we are not aware of the grounds upon which he assumes that Aristophanes belonged to the class of Knights.
"The money-loving spirit of our age manifests itself even in our literary researches; and we cannot refrain, even with respect to an ancient poet who lived 2300 years ago, from the invariable enquiry, What was he worth t It may be inferred then, from grounds of presumption too long to be detailed here, that he must have belonged to the class of the Knights. Now the Knights were rated (according to the modus fixed by Solon) at an amount of 300 bushels of corn. But how rated? As for the sum total of their income? Or as being that portion of it which in cases of emergency was exigible for the service of the state? Those students of antiquity, who are not endowed with the faculty of digesting gross absurdities, are under great obligations to Mr. Boeckh, for having relieved them from the cruel necessity of being constrained to believe that a man with £75. a year (taking corn at five shillings a bushel) was bound to keep a war horse, and to serve in the cavalry at his own expense; or that another with an income of £225. (estimated according to the same permanent standard of value) could have been charged with the expenses of a ship of war; a proposition, we conceive, wholly contradictory to the experience of the members of the Yatch Club. Mr. Boeckh has shown that these sums were the extreme rates of taxation to which the individuals of these classes were subject; a rate which was not always exacted in full; and which we may suppose at the utmost to have been a double tithe, or four shillings in the pound; a rate of taxation to which in difficult times our own country was contented to submit. The elucidation of this point is by far the greatest service which Mr. Boeckh has rendered to ancient literature, in the whole of his accurate and learned work. To have dissipated these misapprehensions, which as long as they were implicitly adopted, diffused an air of utter incredibility and unreality over the whole system of antiquity, is a result far more important than the dcvelopement of details hitherto unknown and unexamined4."
We had intended to append to this article some specimens of Mr. Frere's translation of parts of Theognis; but the very complete account of this work given in the last number of the Quarterly Review (No. 144, p. 452), has rendered this a superfluous task. We will only express our admiration of the facility with which Mr. Frere has passed from the wild, grotesque, and ever-varying language and metres of Aristophanes, to the sedate admonitions and
4 We observe, from the instructive work on Thucydides, by Roscher (p. 299), that two new hypotheses have lately been propounded in Germany with respect to the character of Aristophanes. One theory—which, as Roscher says, requires no refutation—makes him a new-Hegelian; i. e. a member of the modern ultraliberal school in philosophy and religion. The other view is taken by Droysen, the author of a translation of Aristophanes, said to be excellent, who considers him as a clever roue, a man without principles, belonging to no political
party, without patriotism, and without religion; but overflowing with bold genius, and capable of embellishing the commonest subjects by the magic of his wit. Of these two views, the latter is undoubtedly the nearest to the truth. If we may be allowed to use a modern party phrase, we should call Aristophanes a tory-radical. His opinions belong to the aristocratic or conservative side; but his character of a comic poet, and the means which he uses in that capacity, place him in the category of demagogues.
reflexions of the gnomic poet, and the fidelity with which he has represented both sorts of diction in English, always pure, terse, and idiomatic.
We agree with the Quarterly Reviewer in thinking that Mr. Frere has built upon the fragments of Theognis a superstructure of supposed facts, which the foundation is too narrow to support. We will moreover add, that he has sometimes, by combining fragments which appear to be quite separate, obtained a meaning for which no evidence beyond mere conjecture can be produced. These objections to his arrangement, however, rarely affect, the success of his translations.
In one or two cases, which we will proceed to point out, Mr. Frere seems to us to have missed the meaning of the original.
The first passage is from v. 53 (fr. xii. Frere).
Our commonwealth preserves its former frame;
The Quarterly Reviewer has correctly observed, that the sense of the original has been reversed in the sixth line of the above version. The passage describes the effects of a political revolution in the State of Megara, by which the cultivators, formerly a subject class who dwelt exclusively in the country, wore a dress of skins, and never came into the town for the purpose of making laws or administering justice, had now displaced the ancient aristocracy, and had become the governing class. Instead of avoiding the frequented places like timid deer, they now rule in the city. The consequence of this political change is, that those who were formerly the io-6Xol, the bettermost class, are now the 8«Xoi, the plebeians: the words have not in this context the moral force which Mr. Frere attributes to them. They must be construed like the word Kokos in the address of Demosthenes to the sausage-seller, which we had occasion to animadvert upon above. (See p. 250.)
T« 2' uK\a aoi wpoo-eo-rt ciifittyioyiKci.
i. e. you are of low birth.
ov Toi Krjcei o eti Ovt evvovv ovre *rov eydpdv,
Which Mr. Frere translates thus :—
The sovereign single person—what cares he
adding the note: "the phrase 6 «fs is evidently used in the same sense as its corresponding term, 'the single person,' which was so frequently employed in England during the ten years from 1650 to 1660 to signify an individual exercising the functions of royalty." Bekker however has restored the true reading, oS Toi K elheirjs, from the MSS., which shows the relation of avriTvxois, and expelled the imaginary 6 «s. He has been followed by the subsequent editors; and the reading seems to us to be required both by the sense and metre. The meaning is, that you cannot discern whether a man is really your friend or not, until you try him in some serious matter.
The following six lines are extremely obscure, (v. 825—30.)
irco? vfiiv TCTXrjKev vtr avXririjpoi deiceiu
tjre Tp€<pet KapiroTo'iu eu el\wjrivai<i (popeovras
d\\' dye hij, 'S.nuda, KeTpe KO/xriv, diroirave oe Ku/ion,
Mr. Frere says that, 'the text is hardly intelligible; but that
he has endeavoured to restore the original picture from the traces
which are still distinguishable.' He translates thus: (ft*. 61)—
How could I hear it? In the public place
266 Mr. FRERES TRANSLATIONS OF ARISTOPHANES.
"tfiiv in the first line has been restored by Bekker for ijjui>: the verses seem to be a remonstrance to certain friends of the author, who are listening to the merry pipe, while the enemy has taken away a part of the territory, so that the boundary of the country can now be seen from the marketplace. So at least the passage is understood by Welcker, p. 116. 5TM%, in v. 5, appears to us to be the name of a Greek citizen, and to belong to the same class as Cyrnus5, Simonides, Onomacritus, Clearistus, Democles, and the other friends whom Theognis elsewhere addresses. Pape, in his W°rterbuch der Griechischen Eigennamen, cites iKvdris as the name of the king of the Zancleans in Sicily, Herod, vi. 23; another Sicilian, vii. 163; a Lacedaemonian, Xen. Hell. iii. 4. § 20.; and an Athenian in Demosthenes. nt/xTTjr is well-known as the name of Hesiod's brother; Aifivs was the name of the brother of Lysander, Xen. Hell. ii. 4. § 28.; and Aiywrnos was a common name in later times.
We will now conclude our notice of these pleasing translations, by citing the version into which Mr. Frere has combined the two consecutive fragments, v. 756—68. of Bekker's edition, and which has not been extracted by the Quarterly Reviewer, (fr. 105.)
May Jove the almighty with his own right hand
G. C. L.
5 Miiller, Hist, of Gr. Lit. ch. x. § 14 note, has correctly remarked that 71-oXu•raWijs is the patronymic jiame of Cymus, from troXvirat, equivalent to irokvirdntov, a rich proprietor. See also Schneidewin,
Poes. Gr. p. 50. 'EinratSai, the name of an Epidaurian inThuc. iv. 119, seems to be an analogous form. See Ahrens de Dialecto Dorica, p. S59.