Page images

your verytreely

Emile Kraton

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

و و

[ocr errors]

Lot G Allen Eyn
28 Henrietta Street
Covent Gardece

London we

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

It is now about four-and-twenty years since I first, being then somewhat over forty years of age, began the study of the Aeneis. The first fruit of my labors was a translation into English blank verse of the two first Books, published in Dublin in 1845, whilst I was still a practising physician in that city. Little satisfied with that first essay of my prentice hand, I threw it aside and, having in the meantime left my profession and being more at leisure, began a new translation in the same measure, only to be as little satisfied with it as with its predecessor, and to throw it too aside, even unpublished, when it had been already printed as far as the end of the sixth Book. Still I was not deterred, and began anew, and, convinced by my repeated failures that it was in vain for me to attempt to preserve both form and substance, and at the same time warned, by the ill success of all who had preceded me, not to sacrifice substance to form, adopted the sole remaining course, viz. that of sacrificing the Virgilian*

* Not in ignorance of the new fashion ¿how could I be ignorant of a fashion so ostentatiously paraded before my eyes at every turning? but in conformity with the opinion of the best authority I know on the subject, do I adhere to the long established practice of writing Virgil and Virgilian, not Vergil and Vergilia n. The opinion, as probably true as it is rational, which not only leaves me at liberty to do, but assigns a good reason for my doing, that which I was of myself previously determined to do, is thus modestly put forward by Schuchardt, Vokalism des Vulgärlateins, vol. 2, p. 58: "Die frage, ob der dichter der Aeneide Virgilius oder Vergilius zu schreiben sei, hat auch in nicht philologischen kreisen ein gewisses aufsehen erregt. Die Vergilianer sind

form on the altar of the Virgilian meaning, and so at last succeeded

as I was then, and even yet am, fain to believe in representing in English verse — errors excepted - the sense of the Aeneis as far as the end of the sixth Book. That translation, under the title of Six photographs of the heroic times (on account of its diversity of form I did not honor it with the title of translation, did not even so much as connect it in any way with the name either of Virgil or the Aeneis), forms part of a volume printed and published in Dresden in 1853 under the title of My Book. Out of the critical and analytical investigations necessary for the due execution of that work, arose another, printed and published in Dresden in the same year entitled Notes of a twelve years' voyage of discovery in the first six books of the Aeneis, a work which in its turn gave rise to another, viz. a résumé or abbreviation of itself, which, adapted to a periodical and translated into German and containing much new matter and many corrections of the old, was published in the Göttingen Philologus in 1857, under the title of Adversaria Virgiliana. My love for the subject, instead of diminishing, encreased with years, how much owing to the mere influence of habit, how much to the approbation with which my labors, imperfect as they were, had been received by competent judges both in England and on the continent of Europe and especially in Germany, how much owing to a consciousness of the daily increasing facility with which I brushed away, or imagined I brushed away, from my author's golden letters some of the dust accumulated on them during the lapse of nearly twenty centuries, I shall not take upon me to say, but certain it is, that it is only with increasing love and zeal I have since 1857 not merely rewrought the whole of the old ground, altering, correcting, introducing and eliminating, according as it seemed expedient, but taken-in the entirely new ground of the last six Books, and, that nothing might be wanting to the completeness of the work, increased the previously very imperfect collection of variae lectiones, by the insertion in their proper places of those of all the first-class MSS. carefully collated by myself and daughter in two journeys made to Italy for the express purpose, and of ten, being all that were of any importance, of the Paris MSS.

u. a. von F Schultz, Progr. von Braunsberg 1855 (Quaestionum orthographicarum decas) S. 23 lg. und Conrads, Progr. v. Trier 1863 (Quaestiones Virgiliana e) S. III. Anm., bekämpft worden. Letzterer betont mit recht, dass Vergilius eine rustikform sei. Doch ist zuzugestehen, dass auch ein ursprünglich rustikes Vergilius zum einzig rechtmässigen namen einer familie werden konnte.”

Neither on my part nor on that of the publisher, has commercial speculation had anything whatever to do with the work. ¿How could it? or where are the crowds ready to give gold and silver in exchange for a work which is as little political, . religious, or romantic, as it is little useful either to competitive examiner or competitive examinee? Still less has the work been accommodated in any respect to reigning literary fashion or dogma, or one word of it written to suit the taste of powerful patron. If I have kept clear of all such, rather gilt than golden, trammels, I have yet not felt myself free to gallop immissis habenis. On the contrary, the less the control from without, the stronger has always been the impulse from within, (a) never to speak until I had examined all that had been already said on the subject, nor even then unless I had, or thought I had, something new to say; (6) never to leave my meaning liable to be misunderstood so long as I saw a possibility of making it clear by further explanation, but always to prefer laborious, oldfashioned, and even, as I fear it may sometimes be found, tedious prolixity, to the safe and easy brevity of the modern professorial cortina; (c) never either to take or quote my authorities at second hand, but always directly ex ipso fonte, always from the best editions available to me, always at full, and never putting-off the reader or student hungry for the living bread of the author's own words, with the indigestible stone of signs and ciphers sometimes wholly unintelligible except to the party employing them, sometimes rewarding the pains of the decipherer with cold and dry, too often careless and incorrect, references to works, or editions of works, which, in order to be consulted, must either be brought from distant countries at a great expense of time, trouble, and money, or visited in those countries at a still greater. Let not, then, the reader complain of the length


of the work I have laid before him. It is in his own interest and
his author's it is long. Whatever any individual reader
there will be a difference of opinion on the subject among
readers — may happen to find too long, he can at pleasure curtail
for himself. He would, perhaps, have found it less easy to
lengthen anything I had curtailed.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The omission, from my Greek quotations, both of accents and breathings, will, of course, be remarked. It cannot consistently be complained-of by those who do not complain of the so frequent and even usual omission, no less by my more immediate and modern than by my more remote and ancient compeers, not of the accents and breathings only, but of the very words themselves. Those who cannot or will not read my Greek quotations because they are without accents and breathings, have in these quotations what they never have in the quotations of any ancient commentator, and seldom have in those of any modern one anterior to La Cerda, or even in those of La Cerda himself, full and particular references to the places where they will find the words garnished-round with all those schoolboy scratchings, all those grotesque and disfiguring additamenta of the grammarians. I wish I could refer them to places where either inscriptions or papyri or first-class codices are to be found so bolstered-up. Alas! of these helps, so superfluous to the real scholar, not one, except the aspirate, has found admittance even into the Herculanean Academicians' exposé in Greek minusculae of the Herculanean papyri. Readers who are still dissatisfied, may e'en remain so. I decline both the trouble and the responsibility.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »