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sible the chronological march of the series, in so far as our own judgment enabled us to steer amidst the conflicting opinions of the learned; but the romance of LONGUS-mentioned by no ancient author, and yet apparently imitated by many, belonging to all ages by its graces of truth and nature, yet identified with noneappeared to demand a peculiar place. All writers agree in assigning to "Daphnis and Chloe" a date subsequent to the Ethiopics of Heliodorus, but some misapprehension has existed among the superficially learned with regard to the evidence of the style. The French version of Amyot, deformed as a translation by numerous mistakes, but beautiful as an original composition by its naïveté, had given the general reader an idea that the simplicity of the subject was reflected in the language of the original. The fact, however, is precisely the reverse. The diction of Longus, as M. Villemain says, "is curiously elegant, ingeniously concise, and nicely symmetrical." The art of composition was never more laboriously or more skilfully applied; every word is placed in its proper position with the most delicate care; the adaptation of terms the relation even of sounds -all are so exquisitely adjusted as to make the same writer observe, that the effect of the whole is rather coquettish than graceful. This very care, however, this laborious elegance, instead of identifying the author, as on a hasty glance it would seem to do, with the classic ages of antiquity, proclaims the sophist. The singular circumstance is, that neither Suidas nor Photius so much as allude to the work or name the author; which, unaccountable as it may appear, would almost induce us to imagine, in spite of the thing being pronounced "impossible" by M. Villemain, that the romance really was produced in the midst of "the bad taste and wearisome scholastics of the eighth century." The imitations mentioned by M. Courier rather tend to strengthen this suspicion than otherwise; for if the work was really pillaged by Achilles Tatius, Xenophon of Ephesus, Nicetas Eugenianus, Eumathius, and the whole host of scribblers from the second century downwards, this would prove incontestably that it was intimately and popularly known: and why all the writers and critics of so vast a space of time should have conspired to preserve an inviolable silence on the subject-to conceal the author's name-to refrain from the slightest allusion to his piece, is utterly beyond comprehension. We must confess, however, that it does require some stretch of faith to believe that a Longus was produced in the eighth century—a period which affords no name better known than that of the chroniclemaker Syncellus. But if this were granted, it would be easy to imagine that such a man would be acquainted with the literature
of his language from the earliest times, and more especially with those productions of romantic fiction, which he was destined to imitate and surpass. Moreover, without a particle of invention himself, and gifted rather with an ingenious industry directed by an acquired and fastidious taste, than with natural grace or power, he would be thrown upon these for his resources; he would gather even from the weeds of the garden of literature those minute events which would become visible to the eye only when collected and arranged in his cell; and the future examiner, by a natural mistake, would trace the theft to the poor rather than to the rich-just as we may say of the pulpy end of the grass-flower, it tastes or smells of honey, and not of the fragrant stores of the bee, they taste or smell of the grass-flower.
The circumstance of Longus being a Latin and not a Greek word, would make the subject seem still more puzzling; and in fact M. Harless is perhaps not incorrect in supposing, that the name originated in a mistake. The celebrated Florence manuscript -a little ink spilt on which by M. Courier was the cause of an inundation of that liquid in France and Italy-has no author's name whatever. The title runs simply Λεσβιακῶν ερωτικών λόγοι δ', the last word of which may have been taken by a copier for the name of the romancer.
Daphnis and Chloé" is the romance, par excellence, of physical love. It is a history of the senses rather than of the mind a picture of the development of the instincts rather than of the sentiments. In this point of view it is absolutely original; and the subject, pleasing, but dangerous and seductive to the youthful imagination when treated by the masterly and seldom indelicate pen of Longus, becomes philosophically interesting. Unlike the sensual vulgarities of modern Europe, which can only betray the heart by brutalizing the mind, there is a charm about its freedom-a purity in its very ignorance of virtue. Vice is advocated by no sophistry, palliated by no seductions of circumstances, and punished by no sufferings. Vice, in fact, does not exist, unless ignorance be a crime, and love an impurity. Daphnis and Chloé have been brought up together, free denizens of the fields and groves, and streams of the Lesbian paradise; their eyes have rested from infancy on the same objects; their ideas have been formed by the same train of circumstances; their tastes, feelings, habits-all have sprung from the same root, and grown under the same influence. Their hearts understand each other, the poetry of nature has entered their souls, and is reflected in their eyes; but poor, at least in the wealth of the world and its acquirements, humble in station, solitary and ignorant,
sentiment finds no passage into language, and no voice but the voice of nature is heard in their hearts.
"Paul and Virginia" is nothing more than Daphnis and Chloé, educated by a refined and cultivated mind, and spiritualized and purified by the influence of Christianity. Taking the difference of time, climate, knowledge, and faith, into account, the parallel is complete. If St. Pierre had made his lovers shepherds in the island of Lesbos, under a Pagan regime, his work, instead of being one of the most exquisite and delightful of all modern productions, would have been a tissue of metaphysical mechanism and absurdity. Even in the faults of the two works there is a striking analogy. The infidelity committed by Daphnis carries his ignorance to a pitch of exaggeration which is absolutely repulsive; while the ill-timed and extravagant prudery of Virginia in the catastrophe, in the hands of any other writer than St. Pierre, would have surprised the reader into a smile.
"The expressions of Longus," says Huet, "are full of fire and vivacity; he produces with spirit; his pictures are agreeable, and his images arranged with skill. The characters are carefully sustained; the episodes grow out of the story; and the passions and sentiments are depicted with a delicacy sufficiently in keeping with pastoral simplicity, but not always with the rules of romance-as for instance, where Daphnis is made to commit an infidelity through ignorance. Probability is almost never violated, except in the machinery, which is employed without discretion, and which injures the denouement of the piece, in other respects good and agreeable."
Here the series of prose romancers closes, and a dreary period for literature of all kinds soon after ensues. The Greeks at length had no time for fiction in the terrible realities of their situation. The muse, whose loudest, noblest notes, are usually heard stirring amidst the ruins of dynasties and empires, in Greece was silent. "Arms and the man" was heard echoing throughout the Roman empire, when the mistress of the world tottered on her throne; rising with the smoke of blood amidst the furious contentions of the Guelphs and Ghibelines of Italy, the deep and solemn voice of Dante astonished the nations; and in England, when the state was shaken to its very foundation, the sublime strains of our own Milton floated on the storm. No poet, however, arose in Greece, to ennoble the era of her struggles, and consecrate her degradation. In the fifth century, indeed, the Dionysiacs of Nonnus, appearing in an era of abundance without fertility, startled the critics into admiration. Gustavus Falckenburg, a philologer of the sixteenth century, placed the author in the same rank with Homer; and the elder Scaliger mounted him even a step higher. Nonnus, however, soon found his level.
Poliziano and Muret gently and tenderly lowered him from his dangerous eminence, to place him under Homer; and Nicolas Heinsius, Peter Cunæus, Joseph Scaliger, and Rapin, taking base advantage of his unsettled state, dragged him to the very bottom of the list-from whence he rebounded, in the opinion of M. Schoell, about half way. A little later, too, Proclus sung hymns to the Sun, to the Muses, to Venus, Hecate, Janus, and Minerva; and his voice, though faint, retained stil! some dim associations with antiquity; and Musaeus, still later, celebrated the loves of Hero and Leander in hexameters, which would not have greatly disgraced any age of Greek literature. Here, however, ends the list, for with one or two exceptions, the crowd of court sycophants and laureats, which infested the lower empire, had no pretensions to the name of poets.
At the beginning of the twelfth century, tired of heroic deeds celebrated in shallow verses, and of the praises of great men, sounded in flat epigrams, the rhymsters began to revert to those romances which had consoled their fathers, by the charm of novelty and incident, for the loss of better things. The idea was conceived of writing poetry and romance, and thus of producing epics of common life. By this time the perception of the prosodial quantity was lost, and the poets substituted for the irregular and severe iambics of the ancients verses of fifteen syllables, of which the penultimate was always accented. These irregular iambics were called political verses, and are said by a popular critic to be deficient neither in elegance nor harmony.
THEODORUS PRODROMUS, who made use of this vehicle for insinuating a romance, lived in the first half of the twelfth century. Gaulmin says, that he was a Russian by birth, but it is tolerably certain that, at least, he passed the greater part of his life in Constantinople. He lived by his pen, but although he possessed considerable erudition and surprising industry, he did not live very well. In his farewell to the Byzantines on the occasion of his quitting Constantinople to follow the Archbishop of Trebizond, he talks of leaving a city where his literary labours had met with no reward. This complaint, taken conjointly with the high reputation he enjoyed among his contemporaries, and the respect which was paid him, as is shown by the title Cyrus (Kupòs) which he received on all occasions-would seem to prove that the profits of Greek authors, as well as their genius, had suffered a decline in the twelfth century. Prodromus was a monk, and after his profession took the name of Hilarion. "I write not like such," said he, speaking at one time of authors distinguished by elegance of style, "I am altogether illiterate, and one of those poor monks who possess nothing." M. Ville
main politely contradicts this avowal of ignorance, affirming that the monk had both erudition and rhetoric; but he might have saved himself the trouble: for of all the conceited and self-sufficient authors we have had the misery to know and the amusement to read of, Prodromus is the most preposterous. He took good care that the hypocritical cant we have quoted should deceive nobody into a belief of its truth; as will be seen by the following passage which is preserved by Chardon de la Rochette, and which we willingly give a place to, not only as affording a rich specimen of literary vanity, but as containing some details respecting the author. It is translated from his diatribe against a person who had accused him of heresy on account of his excessive attachment to letters; and this, apparently, must have been written after he had become the " poor and illiterate monk."
"I am not," says he, "of low extraction; many people might envy me my birth. If I do not enjoy great strength of body, I at least exhibit no deformity. I have received lessons from the best masters; I have learnt grammar; I have studied rhetoric-not that which is vomited by your cold Simocateses and their imitators, but the rhetoric of Aristides and Plato. Were I not afraid of being accused of presumption, I would add that there is nothing in the philosophy of Aristotle, in the sublime conceptions of Plato, in the theory of numbers, or in geometry, of which I am ignorant. I have composed so many discourses, that it would be difficult to ascertain their number. I speak with fluency; but I have one defect which I will not attempt to dissemble-it is that my tongue stutters, and sometimes repeats the syllable. Some people correctly imagine that this is occasioned by the difficulty it finds in following my fertile imagination; it hesitates, as if uncertain on what to fix-whereas, when reading the works of another, it experiences no embarrassment at all. If I can judge of myself, however, my tongue, notwithstanding this defect, does not come off worst in dialectic discussions; on the contrary, it seems to hurl a thunderbolt against my opponents or if by any chance it should hang back, my hand comes to its support, and my pen finishes the business. All this, however, I have said, not from vanity, but simply to show how little I have derived from all these advantages. Still I have no sentiments unworthy of that philosophy in which I was brought up; and far from murmuring against providence, I believe that if it has not sent me heaps of gold, it is because it knew that I might be turned away by riches from the love of wisdom."
Of the romance of this modest author, called the "Loves of Rodanthe and Dosicles," we quote the following judgment of the learned Huet.
"Theodorus Prodromus," says he, "is hardly to be preferred to Eumathius. He has more art than he, but still very little art. He never can get out of anything without the aid of machinery; and his actors preserve no propriety or uniformity in their character. Wish