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guage was in process of formation--that was already full formed, had reached its climacteric, and was indeed verging, though as yet imperceptibly, toward decay, with all the stiffness of commencing age already upon it. Such the Church found it--something to which a new life might perhaps be imparted, but the first life of which was well nigh overlived. She found it a garment narrower than she could wrap herself withal, and yet the only one within reach. But she did not forego the expectation of one day obtaining all which she wanted, nor yet even for the present did she sit down contented with the inadequate and insufficient. Herself young and having the spirit of life, she knew that the future was her own—that she was set in the world for this very purpose of making all things new —that what she needed and did not find, there must lie in her the power of educing from herself—that, however not all at once, yet little by little, she could weave whatever vestments were required by her for comeliness and beauty. And we do observe the language under the new influence, as at the breath of a second spring, putting itself forth anew, the meaning of words enlarging and dilating, old words coming to be used in new significations, obsolete words reviving, new words being coined with much in all this to offend the classical taste, which yet, being inevitable, ought not to offend, and of which the gains far more than compensated the losses. There was a new thing, and that being so, it

1 See Funccius, De Vegetâ Latinæ Lingue Senectute, p. 1139 seq.

needed that there should be a new utterance as well. To be offended with this is, in truth, to be offended with Christianity, which made this to be inevitable.

We may make application of all which has been here said to the metrical forms of the classical poetry of Rome. These the Church found ready made to her hand, and in their kind having reached a very high perfection. A true instinct must have told her at once, or after a very few trials, that these were not the metrical forms which she required ; yet it was not to be supposed that she should have the courage immediately to cast them aside, and to begin the world, as it were, afresh-or should have been enabled at once to foresee the more adequate forms which she should one day develop out of her own bosom. But these which she thus inherited, while she was content of necessity to use, yet could not satisfy her'. The Gospel had


Dans le monde grec d'abord, puis, dans le monde romain, les chrétiens éprouvèrent le besoin de se servir des formes de la poésie antique et de les appliquer aux idées nouvelles. Les IVe et Ve siècles virent naître un assez grand nombre d'efforts en ce genre, surtout en Italie et en Espagne. Evidemment, ces tentatives souvent renouvelées étaient sans portée, sans avenir; les sentiments chrétiens les traditions chrétiennes ne pouvaient s'accommoder des formes créées pour un autre emploi, vieillies au service d'une autre Muse; évidemment, la littérature chrétienne devait produire sa propre forme, et c'est ce qu'elle a fait plus tard. Ce n'est pas quand elle a cherché à traduire ses inspirations dans le langage de Virgile, qu'elle a enfanté des ouvrages de quelque valeur ; c'est quand elle a inventé son épopée, avec Dante et Milton, et son drame dans les mystères du moyen âge, ou les actes sacramentaux de Calderon, qui ne sont qu'une résurrection et un raffinement des mystères ; c'est quand elle a inspiré ces beaux chants qui, depuis

brought into men's hearts longings after the infinite and the eternal, which were strange to it, at least in their present intensity, until now. Beauty of outline, beauty of form—and what a flood of light does that one word forma, as equivalent to beauty, pour on the difference between the heathen and the Christian ideal of beauty! —this was all which the old poetry yearned after and strove to embody; this was all which its metrical frameworks were perfectly fitted for embodying. But now heaven had been opened, and henceforward the mystical element of modern poetry demanded its rights; vaguer but vaster thoughts were craving to find the harmonies to which they might be married for ever. The boundless could not be content to find its organ in that, of which the very perfection lay in its limitations and its bounds. The Christian poets were in holy earnest ; a versification therefore could no longer be endured attached with no living bonds to the thoughts, in which sense and sound had no real correspondence with one another. The versification henceforth must have an intellectual value, which should associate it with the

Luther, n'ont cessé de retentir sous les voûtes des églises d'Allemagne. Alors la poésie chrétienne a fait son æuvre; jusque lá elle n'était qu'un calque pâle et un écho affaibli de la poésie païenne. (Ampère, Hist. Litt. de la France, t. 2, p. 196.) And again : Il faut que le chant chrétien dépouille entièrement ces lambeaux de métrique ancienne, qu'il se fasse complétement moderne par la rime comme par le sentiment; alors, on aura cette prose rimée empreinte d'une sombre harmonie, qui par la tristesse des sons et des images et le retour manaçant de la terminaison lugubre fait pressentir le Dante, on aura le Dies Iræ. (t. 2, p. 412.)

onward movement of the thoughts and feelings; whereof it professed to be, and thus indeed should be, the expression. A struggle therefore commenced from the first, between the form and spirit-between the old heathen form and the new Christian spirit—the latter seeking to release itself from the shackles and restraints which the former imposed upon it; and which were to it, not a help and a support, as the form ought to be, but a hindrance and a weakness—not liberty, but now rather a most galling bondage? The new wine went on fer

We see already in Prudentius the process of emancipation effectually at work, the disintegration of the old prosodic system already ginning. He still affects to write, and in the main does write, prosodically; yet with largest licences. Now it is not for a moment to be supposed that he was more ignorant than most schoolboys of fourteen would be now, of the quantitative value which the old classical poets of Italy, with whose writings he was evidently familiar, had attributed to words ; yet we continually find him attributing another, postponing quantity to accent, or rather allowing accent to determine quantity, as cýāneus, Sardinia, énigma. As his latest editor has observed : Metrum haud rarò negligitur, quia poeta in arsi vv, majorem vim accentui quàm quantitati tribuit. (Obbarii Prudentius, p. 19.) The whole scheme of Latin prosody must have greatly loosened and let go its hold, before he could have used the freedom which he does use, in the shifting and altering the value of syllables. We mark in him especially a determination not to be deprived altogether of the use of words through a metrical notation which excluded them in toto from a place in the hexameter. This technical hindrance shall not hold good, where the word is really required by him. Thus he writes těmulentus, delībutus, idololatrix, calceămentum, margāritum ; though as regards this last word, in an iambic verse, where there was no motive, but the contrary, for producing the antepenultima, he restores to that syllable its true quantity, and writes margărita. In the same way it was not ignorance nor caprice, but the feeling that they must have the word ecclesia at command, while yet, if

menting in the old bottles, till it burst them asunder, though not itself to be spilt and lost in the process, but

they left it with the antepenultima long, it could never find place in the pentameter, and only in one of its cases in the hexameter, which induced the almost universal shortening of that syllable among the metrical writers of the Church. I cannot but think but that amid the many motives which prompted the Christian poets to strive after emancipation from the classical rules of quantity, first to slight, and then to cast them off, this must needs have had its weight : the opposition to the metrical scheme lay deeper than this, or at least this was but one moment of it: yet the fact, that the chiefest metres absolutely excluded, and rendered impossible ever to be used, a vast number of the noblest and even most necessary words, and rendered far more, though not absolutely excluded, yet inadmissible in far the greater number of their inflexions,—this must have been peculiarly intolerable to them. Craving the whole domain of words for their own, finding it only too narrow for the uttering of all that they were struggling to express, desiring, too, as must all whose thoughts and feelings are real, that their words should fit close to their sense, they could ill endure to be shut out from that which often was the best and fittest, by arbitrary, artificial, and, as they must have seemed to them, merely superfluous restrictions. Thus Augustine distinctly tells us that the motive which induced him to compose his very curious Psalmus contra partem Donati in the rhythm which he did, was that he might not be ham. pered or confined in his choice of words by the necessities of metre. He says : Ideo autem non aliquo carminis genere id fieri volui, ne me necessitas metrica ad aliqua verba quæ vulgo minus sunt usitata compelleret. Carmen is here, as so often, used to signify a poem composed after the old classical models. He would claim for his own, as being popularly and not metrically written, to be only a canticum. The two words are brought into direct antithesis, and the statelier diction of the carmen indicated by Terentianus Maurus, 298 :

Verba si non obvia Carminis servant honorem, non jacentis cantici. To estimate how large a proportion of words, which in elevated Latin prose would be used, are yet under exclusion in verse, I analyzed a passage or two of Cicero's prose, and found in fifty lines

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