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Juvenal and Johnson on the “ Love of Fame.” They aggravated the disease, for I was continually piping that I had not written those beautiful pieces, or projecting something to surpass them. I have lived on cold water and cucumbers, and whatever else is cooling and depletive. But as I reduced my body, my mind grew more active and feverish than ever. The coming vacation I shall try the “Water-cure.” If that does not relieve me, I shall surrender to the certainty of an early death. For if Magazine-articles affect me so terribly, I am sure a duodecimo will give me the dyspepsia, an octavo shatter my nervous system, a quarto flush my cheek with the deadly“ hectic," and a folio lay me in the grave.
Should any one ask “is this sketch fact or fiction ?" I will state, privately and confidentially ,of course, that perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't ; or, in the guarded language of the old lady, when asked her opinion whether there was any such thing as a “mare's nest ;" “ Wall, now, there mought be, and there moughtn't be, but, then agin, there mought be.” At all events, authorship has its dangers and its vices; and among them, my fellow-students, “guard against ambition ; by that sin fell” your servant.
I have the honor, Messrs. Editors, to remain, yours, if you publish; yours doubly, if you praise.
NOTWITHSTANDING the great number of persons who obtain a degree by a four years' residence at college, there are very few who know the character and extent of the literature of Greece and Rome. The perusal, more or less critical, of Virgil and Horace, of selections from Sallust and Livy, from Cicero and Tacitus, is far from bestowing a complete knowledge of the treasures contained in the Latin language. Still less does the amount of Greek acquired in a collegiate course, make manifest all the beauties and the full worth of Grecian poetry, eloquence, and philosophy. By the perusal of the works which col. lege laws prescribe, we only enter an extensive garden full of fruit and flowers. A further study of ancient authors would bestow the fruit, and enhance the enjoyment of the flowers of the classics. But few reap the harvest which might be gathered from the broad field where poets, orators, and philosophers have toiled and sown the seed. This cannot be ascribed to the draught from the classical fountain which is
* Selections from Catullus, for the use of Classical Students, with English Notes. · By G. G. Cookesley, M. A., one of the Assistant Masters at Eton. Revised, with additional Notes, by C. A. Bristed, late B. A. Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge. New York: Stanford & Swords, 1849.
obtained at college ; since by this all must be filled with the desire to drink deeper and longer of what is sweeter than nectar.
The lack of proper text-books which undoubtedly exists, may partially account for this neglect of ancient literature. While we have an abundance of editors of such classical works as are read in a regular course of education, there are few or none who have stepped aside from this beaten path to assist us in acquiring a knowledge of the less familiar portions of antique lore. On the other hand, the reason why so few are found to edit the works not required to be read in a fashionable course, is, doubtless, that there are so few who pursue the ancient languages farther than they are compelled to pursue them. But if a general demand be made for text-books, scholars will supply the demand; or if text-books be furnished, it is accordant with experience to declare, that purchasers will be found who will also be readers. Accordingly, we are glad to be able to register the present contribution of Mr. BRISTED to the number of classical text-books, especially since it seems calculated to increase the attention of students to the ancient languages.
Critics, whose opinions have very much weight in the literary world, have long since declared, that the writings of CATULLUS possess great and peculiar merits. He lived in the golden age of Roman literature; his birth having occurred about 85 B. C., his death forty-three years afterwards, B. Č. 42. We are informed that he was of good family and fortune ; but as appears from his Odes, he was so profligate and extravagant as to be compelled to mortgage one of his villas. That he was a good Greek scholar, and that, too, when Greek learning was not fashionable at Rome, is evident from the fact that he has a translated Greek poems into Latin verse, and in his writings has expressed the simplicity, the grace, and the vigor of the Greek muse in a manner unapproached by any other Roman.” *
The chief productions of Catullus which have survived to our day, are : the “ Epithalamium of Peleus and Thetis,” and “ Concerning Atys.” Besides these he wrote numerous Odes on a variety of subjects, chiefly, however, to commemorate his loves and his rivalries. The elegance of his playfulness and the deep feeling which is often manifest, at once win for him the favor of the reader. When he pleases, he is familiar without being vulgar and is sublime without being bombastic. Some of his amatory effusions to Lesbia are unequaled in their ardor of sentiment and choiceness of expression. The “ Lament at the death of Lesbia's Sparrow," breathes a fervency of affection which always characterizes the true poet, and is unsurpassed in beauty. The expression :
" Qui nunc it, per iter tenebricosum,
Illuc, unde negant redire quemquam :" (which occurs in it,) will be recognized as remarkably similar to the English : “the bourne whence no traveler returns."
* Biographical Notice, p. 10, Mr. Bristed's edition.
Both Virgil and Horace, however they may excel Catullus in other respects, must yield to him, in the expression of the passions. As an amatory poet we know of no superior to the Veronian ; and, we think, all who read his Odes to Lesbia, will award 10 him the palm for heart-gushing love-verses. But the delicacy of sentiment and elegance of expression which generally prevails, are sometimes sadly forgotten, and the grossest impurity of thought and of word take their place. No poet ever stood so much in need of a prudent expurgator as Catullus. In the case of other writers, we are often compelled to accept of all they have written or none, so intimately is the obscene blended with the excellences of their works. But with Catullus, the matter is different. When he sinks into impurity, he seems to lose his poetry with his morality, so that by expurgation no poetic beauty is lost, while the reader avoids sone of the grossest passages in the whole range of language. In the English edition, which Mr. Bristed has adopted as the basis of his “ Selections," the expurgation is complete; while in the German editions to be found in our Society Libraries nothing is omitted, their phlegmatic editors deeming it a duty to print every word our author wrote whether worthy to be read or not.
In a work like the present, the character of the Notes is an important consideration. One who has perused a “pocket edition without notes,” can well afford to hear a tirade against annotations, and still give in his approval to the labors of critical editors. There can be no good reason why explanations of meters and of obscure allusions should not be collected and printed in connection with the text. When this is not done, the student is obliged to runmage metrical grammars and classical dictionaries, to find what might be expressed in a note of a few lines, with much greater clearness and satisfaction to him. Unless the mere labor of thumbing several volumes is in itself an advantage, and we do not conceive it to be, the assistance of a judicious editor is of great value.
Such Mr. Bristed has shown himself to be. The notes, both original and selected, are calculated to assist where assistance is needed, and to give rise to an affection for the author and for the classics generally. All of the ideas advanced or endorsed by Mr. B., do not agree entirely with those entertained by some other scholars of high merit. Nor is it to be expected. The construction and meters of a dead language furnish an ample field for discussion and for honest difference of opinion. Still every one will coincide with us in the assertion, that Mr. Bristed deserves well of every reader of Catullus for this edition of the poet's works.
E. H. R.
THERE! Reader, wasn't that cleverly done, though? Didn't we achieve our editorial bow then, in “ about the tallest,” or rather, in the lowest style known in the fashionable, at least, the College world ? If, however, our saläm did not suit you, friend, wamemca? we are really sorry, exceedingly so,—but it is too late—we can't try it again-and,
?? u besides we think it was “ done up" after the most approved Parisian manner,
n 'after the most approved Parisian manner, and shau decidedly object, therefore, to repeat it, except by private and special request. And now you are looking for an Editor's Table,
" All neat and complete,
And slick all over;
Right in a lot of clover," as a long-limbed, whistling and whittling Yankee, who had gone “out West” from some place “ down East” to speculate, but who, smit suddenly with the “ love of song," had become an ardeut devotee of the Muse, and a hair-brained rider of a Rozinantean Pegasus, so felicitously and graphically said of a certain village which met his admiring eyes somewhere on the banks of the Muskingum or Ohio, or-or-we don't know what river it was—we only remember the fact, that is all. But we intended to ask you, reader, what you wished us to talk about at this our present interview ;whether you desired our “confab” to be of a somewhat familiar and social sort, or more formal in its character-whether it should be on some special topic, or of a het. erogeneous and miscellaneous nature. Have you any subject to propose, adapted for our mutual edification and amusement, or shall we discourse about matters in general, with now and then a brief dash at something in particular, as for instance, Our Maga - College doings—the weather--the cholera-vacations, etc.; or shall we start some interesting theme for debate, as " Whether the Moon has any t'other side, or no," or, “Whether Freshmen are properly eligible to the office of Sophomores;"—the same query may apply to Sophs. in respect to Juniors, with even greater interest ;-or, " Whether two and two, metaphysically speaking, really, after all, make four;" or any other important questions, which may be worthy of debate ? The latter is doubtless the most agreeable as well as the wisest course-besides, it is “rather warm about these days," as the old Almanacs used to say, and to bring three consecutive ideas within moderate distance of each other in the month of July, is a 'task of no small difficulty, and consequently it cannot be expected that when they are brought into collision, any very astonishing number of sparks should be elicited for your illumination. Au Editor, we are well aware, is expected to be a huge wit-a prodigiously humorous biped, who has only to open his mouth, and instanter there gushes out, like bottled beer, a torrent of jokes, witticisms, puns, satirical cuts and comical dashes, sparkling, foaming, in an endless stream, and sending up a cloud of aroma, pleasant to the senses, and bewitching as exhilarating gas. We, however, are not sufficiently acute to appreciate the reasonableness of this expectation; we object to this tacit demand—we think it absurd, a thing preposterous per se. If you don't agree with us in this, just try it, my friend, for once-get into our editorial chair some one of these days—thermometer up to 98° in the shade—air pulseless as that of an oven—the sky like molten brass over your head, and clouds of dust pouring in at your window ;-try to be witty now-d'ye give it up ?-rather warm business, you think--so do we.
Talking about editorial chairs will serve to remind you, reader, that you are at present, in an editorial “ Sanctum"-a place supposed to be highly literary in its atmosphere and possessing all possible accessories to the enjoyment of life-filled with fun -crammed in every nook and corner with jests, quaint conceits, and humorous hits at every body and every thing—stacks of puns all “cut and dried” under the tablepiles of lepigrams, burlesques and caricatures, ready to be fulminated in the very next No.-and whole cartloads of literature, destined to immortalize their authors, lying on every shelf. Whether this is the case with our editorium, we shall not venture to say, The most that we can do is to offer you our hospitality-tender you a cordial welcome, give you our arm-chair, make you at home, and-do you smoke ? you do, eh :-sorry for it, we don't-we were cured of that habit years ago, so smoked that we were cured in a physical sense completely, and have never fingered a cigar since. Was it not a lucky escape we effected then, reader, from the regions of smoke dom, and, if you use the weed in question, would it not be wellit is a mere suggestion—had you not better follow our plan? Try it once for six months or so—do?
Vacation ! does n't the word sound pleasantly in the ear as one utters it? Does it pot flow smoothly over the tongue, calling up delightful remembrances of past pleasures and awaking as vivid anticipations of future joys? Well, there is a vacation before us, and we have never watched for the autumnal equinox and the signs of decadent summer with greater interest than during this sultry season. How wearily beneath this torrid sky the weeks “slow-circling” drag themselves along! But it will not be so long, reader, we guess it won't, oh, no
“ There's a good” vacation "coming !" etc. Then what fishing excursions, what bewitching, care-dispelling rambles in the dim, quiet woods,
- the forests
God's first temple"what freedom from books and the toil of study, what evenings for pleasant visits, what mornings, cool and breezy, for undisturbed and silent thought-all this and much more! Of course, we don't allude to ourself in any such connection—not in the least, oh, certainly not, do not believe it-we only make the observation, applicable in a general sense, that wild ducks and pigeons may expect a "little more grape” than usual about those days—black squirrels will be seen turning remarkable somersets, and describing parabolas off the trees--fish, trout, for example, will be noticed trying to swim on the grass, and various other things will take place which we cannot now particularize.
We had intended to perpetrate an extensive Table for your benefit, reader, in this No. but we fear this may not be-we have received a sudden intimation that we must economize in the matter of space, as we have already reached "the jumping off place” in our Editors' ollapod, so we must end our lucubrations rather abruptly.
We feel that we must apologize for the extreme length of the article entitled "Rem. iviscences” &c., but it could not well be abridged or divided. Nothing but its peculiar character prevented its rejection. We hope it will be acceptable to our readers. We intend to reform in this matter in future Nos. of our Maga.
On account of the space occupied by the Prize Essays, several articles intended for this number have necessarily been excluded. They will appear in due time. Among these wo may mention "Lines to * * *, on receiving a white Rose-bud,” “ National Congress," etc.
“Our Calamities often emanate from ourselves" is most decidedly rejected. It is lamentably deficient in energy, point, measure, and general execution, so that it would honor neither the author nor the Magazine. We recommend him to use the scissors freely, when he attempts another poem of the sort, or else we must for him, and editors' shears are sayage instruments, merciless in the extreme.
The next number will be published about the 7th of August. We have space only for a brief notice of our Exchanges. “ The Indicator" deserves much praise for the tone of its articles, at least, we can say this of the last No. We wish our brethren at Amherst all possible success in their noble enterprize.
“The University Magazine” has much that is entertaining in its issues and we solicit from its conductors a punctual exchange.
“ The Collegian" is equally successful in its efforts to gratify its readers. We should be glad to excerpt from its pages some amusing hits, could we find space.
We close with a suggestion to contributors that they hand in their articles for publication early in the month, that no delay may be needlessly occasioned your Editors.