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But as he objects to Weber's explanation, who supplies the word in so that the full expression shall be "signator in falso," and adds, that Weber should have given some example of the phrases "signator in falso, in tabulis," and the like; so we object to Madvig's "signato falso," and we require examples of this usage. The legal phrase is "falsum signare" (Dig. 48. tit. 10): a forger is "signator falsus." If the reading " signator" is right, as it most probably is, and if the point should be placed after "falso", as to which there can hardly be a doubt, either Heinrich's interpretation is right, or we must take "falso" as an adverb. In the sixty-ninth line it is obvious, as Heinrich observes, that we must read "Occurrat," for the words "Occurrat matrona potens," &c. belong to the sentence "quum jam sexta cervice feratur," and "quum" must be understood with "occurrat." The note of interrogation must come at the end of v. 72. One more instance of the blundering of Ruperti, in which, however, he is not alone, will be sufficient:—
v. 77. Quem patitur dormire nurus corruptor avareo,
Ruperti explains "sponsae turpes" to be "viri viris nubentes," though the context clearly shews that Juvenal is speaking of dissolute women, who are debauched after they are betrothed (sponsse) and before they are married. Heinrich says, "sponsw turpes, wie die arnica" (v. 62), from which it appears that he understands it a3 Ruperti does; but this is certainly a mistake. Vices of this kind, as Madvig remarks, are lashed in the second satire. Besides, the words "praetextatus adulter," are significant enough. Ruperti halts, as usual, between two opinions, as to the words "pretextatus adulter;" but there is no doubt about the meaning; it is, as Madvig observes, "adolescentulus jam in prsetexta adulter."
These remarks only apply to the first eighty lines of the first satire, but they are enough to shew what remains to be done for the interpretation of Juvenal. A complete review of Heinrich's Juvenal would be almost, as long as his own Commentary, and such a review is not within the scope and compass of this journal. The object has been, generally to point out the merits of Heinrich's Commentary, and to shew by a few instances what its character is. The Commentary, as already observed, has the appearance of not being in that form in which the author would have published it: he would probably have added some things, altered some remarks, and erased others. Perhaps he might have treated his brother critics somewhat more gently than he does, though they generally deserve his censure. Ruperti comes in for his full share:—
In tabulam Suite si dicant discipuli tres. n. 28.
On this passage Heinrich correctly says, dicere in is the Greek Xeytiv Kara nvos. Ruperti's remark is, de judice sententiam dicente; on which Heinrich remarks—"der mann versteht kein Latein," which is rather abrupt.
To write a good commentary on a classical author, a man must first know the language well; and herein modern scholars are rather deficient. He must also make himself thoroughly acquainted with the author as a whole, and explain him as much as possible by means of his own work. If he will do this, he will not. go far wrong; and even if the author occasionally requires illustration from extraneous matter, we would much prefer a critic who should neglect such illustration altogether, to one who loads his commentary with foreign matter, and thinks he is explaining the text of an author when he is -obtruding on him his own misconceptions. It is not a mass of matter, good and bad heaped together indiscriminately, like Ruperti's Commentary, which will explain an author; nor is a great parade of authorities a proof of learning, much less of sense. With the ample means now at our command for the illustration of antient, writers, there is some risk of the subsidiary being viewed as more important than the principal, and of the author being considered less than the commentary. A good work in any language is a thing of art, and that which professes to explain it is so far good as it does explain, but no further. What is superfluous, is so much useless lumber; what is trifling or false, is a positive injury.
The following remarks of an excellent critic may not be out of place:—" Neminem esse arbitror in iis qui in scriptoribus Latinis legendis versati sunt, qui ignoret, quantum restet opera; in Juvenalis satiris ponendae, quum propter ipsarum difficultatem, turn quod ad eas enarrandas nee multi accesserunt nee satis plerique instructi ad earn rem agendam. Quum enim plerisque, quod in vetustissimis illis, Calderino, Brittannico quique circa earn aetatem fuerunt, ferendum est, subtilior sermonis Latina cognitio deesset, sine qua nemo potest omnia vestigia verborum persequi, et ex iis ita sententiam eruere, ut non solum, quid verba significent, videat, sed, quid significare non possint, perspiciat, neglecta fere est in locis difBcilibus grammatica hsec subtilitas et accurata verborum interpretatio, quae illius tanquam radicibus niteretur, sententiaeque ssepe conjeetando magis quern interpretando effect». Quo quum accessisset,
ut opinarentur, in poeta satirico ante omnia videndum esse, quid
oblique et obscure tetigisset (allusiones vocant) isque sibi ingeniosis
sitnus videretur, qui aliquam hujusmodi significationem reperisset, id
quod facillimum est, si orationis vinclis te exsolvas et rerum leves
similitudines veneris, neglectis dissimilitudinibus, permagna orta
est errorum et vanissarum suspicionum multitudo, quum, nondum
perspecto, quid poeta dixisset et qu» posset in verbis sententia
inesse, qua^reretur, quid significasset, significationes autem non ex
notis iis, quas poeta posuisset, eruerentur, sed aliunde sumptae
inferrentur, et ad eas verba accommodarentur." (Madvig, Opus
atla Academica, p. 30, &c.)
NIEBUHR AND THE WESTMINSTER REVIEW.
The 79th number of the Westminster Review, published last December, contains an attack upon Niebuhr, in which not only his general merits are depreciated, but the most extraordinary charges are advanced against his fidelity as an historian. He is deliberately charged with having "falsified" and "mutilated" several passages of Livy to support his own views; and "the hundreds who are to study his great work" are told, "that they cannot rely upon his statements, nor credit his citations." These accusations are taken from a pamphlet by M. Auguste Poirson, published in Paris in the year 1837, under the title of Eccamen de divers points du Gouvernement et de FAdministration de la Republique Bomaine et de Vouvrage de M. Niebuhr, and which is a reprint of an article that originally appeared in the Revue Francaise (Tome H. 2e Livraison). Now if one half of the charges which M. Poirson brings against Niebuhr's fidelity are true, the Reviewer deserves our best thanks for laying them before the notice of the English public, and for teaching us, however painful the discovery may be, that we have hitherto been imposed upon by a dishonest writer. Considering, however, the European reputation of Niebuhr, the number of eminent scholars who have studied his work, the sifting criticism which his statements have undergone at the hands of enemies as well as friends, and the testimony which all parties have borne to his love of truth, however much they may have questioned many of his conclusions, we think that no writer should have attempted to assail Niebuhr's veracity without, having studied his History most carefully, and feeling quite certain that he understood the statements he was going to attack. We think that modesty should have suggested to a writer, that he might himself have misunderstood Niebuhr, and that such glaring instances of inaccuracy could not have escaped the eyes of the eminent men who have from time to time recorded their opinion upon the merits of his work. But, unhappily, the Reviewer has been entirely led away by the bold and confident assertions of M. Poirson, who has, with strange effrontery, brought forward the most serious charges, which are utterly and completely false, against the good name of one of the greatest men in modern times. From the general tone and spirit of the Reviewer's remarks, we conclude that he regrets the course which his duty has compelled him to take; and we therefore readily acquit him of any dishonest intention, though we must express our regret that he should have allowed himself to be imposed upon by the shallow sophisms of M. Poirson, and thus have been the means of giving publicity to calumnies, which many may believe from the very confidence with which they are uttered. Before proceeding however to point out the groundlessness of these specific charges of falsification, we may say a few words upon one or two general accusations which the Reviewer urges against Niebuhr's history. He maintains that it is deficient as a work of art, and as a work of historical philosophy. It is not our intention now to enter into the general question of the merits of Niebuhr as an historian, upon which many different opinions may be held, nor do we mean to discuss at length the truth or falsehood of these charges. We only wish to call the attention of our readers to the strange manner in which the Reviewer supports them: some of his remarks seem to us so extraordinary, that we can only account for them on the supposition that he never read the whole of Niebuhr's work. Could any person who had read and thoroughly mastered Niebuhr have written the following passage ?—
"Few men ever approached the subject prepared with so much valuable knowledge, and few have shewn such inability to use it as an artist. To a copious erudition, and a rich' and varied knowledge of history in general, he joined a practical experience of political institutions, and a large acquaintance with men. Few writers have been so learned who have been so little of the mere bookworm. Yet he was singularly deficient in that quality which usually distinguishes the practical man, or the man of the world, viz. an ability of imparting what he knows. However great Niebuhr*s knowledge of Roman life, he is unable to reproduce it under the form of art; nay, as far as internal evidence goes, one might almost suspect that he had never realized it for himself. All that relates to the political institutions has a great attraction for him; but we do not see that the social life ever absorbed his attention. No Roman lives in his pages. No Roman feeling is artistically reproduced. The ethnological peculiarities are left to be guessed. Neither the great characters nor the great mass are to be met with vividly delineated; only names, indications, and abstractions."
It has always struck us that Niebuhr's error has been in the opposite direction; that he has sometimes attempted to reproduce what must, from our scanty knowledge, ever remain in darkness, and that his strong imagination has led him to attribute feelings and motives to the actors in Roman history, which a man of a less ardent temperament, would have hesitated to ascribe.
The Reviewer also objects to the style of the work as cumbrous and deficient in clearness; and, notwithstanding the eulogies of some of Niebuhr's friends, we must agree in the general truth of these remarks. But here again the Reviewer has not done Niebuhrjustice. He remarks: "that it is, perhaps, hardly fair to criticise his pretensions as an historian by the two first volumes. The whole subject was buried in obscurity, and he had to clear away much rubbish before light could penetrate. He was compelled to write dissertations, because he had no settled narrative
to relate It is in the third volume therefore we must look for
the historian: there, his friends tell us, we shall find him. Unfortunately we see as little evidence of historical genius in the third as in the other volumes." And then the Reviewer proceeds to take the history of the First Punic War as the most favourable specimen of Niebuhr's skill in historical composition. Now this is not fair, and would not be honest, only we conclude that the Reviewer never read the preface to the third volume. If he had, he would have seen that, the history of the First Punic War was only a sketch, written twenty years before the author's death, as a continuation of the lectures on Roman history, which he had delivered in 1811 in the University of Berlin; that this sketch was never even finished; and that the history of this war would have been entirely re-written, had the author lived to continue his work. We have therefore good grounds for complaining of the Reviewer's selection of the most unfinished part of all Niebuhr's work as a specimen of his historical composition. Though Niebuhr's style is far from faultless, there are many parts in his work, such for instance as the history of the Samnite wars, where his style rises