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could possibly have been. But the incident is important; for, certainly, if the dying man was so anxious to make reparation for an injury which the subject of it was never conscious of receiving, he must, beyond all question, have taken the same opportunity to clear his mind from the shade of those greater offences with which he has been charged, if there were any such to remember. Were there nothing else, this would be sufficient to prove to our satisfaction, that he had never been guilty of that fraud, falsehood, and intemperance, of which an enemy accused him, and which have left a reproach upon his memory that it is high time to remove, wherever the condemnation may fall.
It is a matter of deep interest to the cause of letters to clear from unmerited reproach one of the few, who, with high literary eminence, have labored to maintain not so much the reputation as the character of a Christian. It is the glory of Addison, that in an age when lawless ridicule was sometimes applied to subjects the most important, and when religion was neither valued nor understood by many of the leaders of taste, when Sir William Temple had reason to say, "The fools of David's time, who said in their hearts, There is no God, are the wits of ours," he never was ashamed of the gospel, but quietly opened his heart to its influences, and endeavoured to keep its commands. He was also free from that narrowness with which religious principle is sometimes attended. Sometimes he speaks with severity of those who differed from him; for the virtue of toleration had then hardly dawned upon the public mind; but that he was free from all bigotry is manifest from his patronage of Whiston, and his respect for Thomas Burnet, and the "reasoning mill," as Voltaire called him, Dr. Samuel Clarke. Without any compromise of his faith or feeling, he associated with such men as Garth, who, when dying, sent to him to ask if Christianity was true; and under all circumstances and in all associations, he kept the whiteness of his soul undefiled, except by the stains and shadows thrown upon it by the wretched hostility of Pope. How this was requited we happily are able to tell. After their separation, brought on by the insolent letter mentioned above, having occasion to speak of the manner in which the language was enriched by transla tions of classical authors, Addison, in the Freeholder, mentions Pope's Homer, not cordially, as if it was meant
for a peace-offering, but in terms of respect perfectly natural, kind, and such as, though they would not equal the demands of the poet, all disinterested persons would allow to be just.
But we do not mean to represent Addison as faultless; neither was Pope destitute of virtues, though afflicted with that disease of the spirit which made him see all things yellow. To us it seems clear, that the great failing in Addison's character was his fastidiousness; excellent as his heart was, this difficulty prevented his sympathies from extending as widely as religion would have them. It made him shrink from near approach to mankind in general, though warmhearted to his friends and companions; and thus it often happens, that literary habits and a sensitive nature, though they have their own ways of manifestation, do something to unfit men for active usefulness; as the marble, though excellent for sculpture, is less adapted for works of public improvement than coarser varieties of stone. But after making all possible abatement, enough will remain to establish the character of Addison on the highest ground. As a writer, we look through the history of letters, and we find very few before him; as a man and a Christian, we know of none.
If we have exceeded our usual bounds in enlarging on this subject, it is because we are fully persuaded that justice has never been done to Addison. Those who look into the matter are surprised to see how little foundation there is for many things which go down from generation to generation; it is sometimes alarming to think how long the effect of a calumny may last. But it is consoling to see, that, where the life has been ordered in principle and faithfulness, the general character bears witness for itself which none can deny. The world may charge the man with weaknesses and frailties, but they cannot misrepresent him so far as to overcloud the brightness of his fame. So it has been with Addison; those who credited the slander have not denied his excellence; they have tenderly lamented these darkening stains, as those infirmities which may be expected from poor human nature. But in truth, he needs no such forgiveness, and we believe that those who investigate the matter without having made up their minds beforehand will bring in a verdict of "not guilty," and be ready to exalt him to one of the highest places among the lights of the world.
ART. IV. 1. A Comprehensive Lexicon of the Greek Language, adapted to the Use of Colleges and Schools in the United States. Third Edition, greatly enlarged and improved. By JOHN PICKERING. Boston: Wilkins, Carter, & Co. 1846. 8vo. pp. 1456.
2. A Greek-English Lexicon, based on the German Work of Francis Passow. From the English Edition of Liddell and Scott, with Additions. By HENRY DRISLER, A. M. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1846. 8vo. pp. 1705.
A COMPLETE lexicon of an extensive language, like the Greek, deserves to be ranked, in some points of view, among the rarest monuments of human toil and perseverance. Unpretending as it may be in its appearance, it requires ages for its completion. A pyramid or a temple may be erected in a single generation; for after the plan of it is once formed, it requires only a sufficient array of physical force to speed the work to its conclusion. But no combination of effort in a single generation can form a complete lexicon of an extensive language. The labors of one generation of scholars form but the scaffolding on which the next generation must stand; it is by slow approximations only that the work can be brought to a complete state. As it advances, moreover, the contributions required from other branches of knowledge become more and more extensive. Not to speak of the general advance in the science of language, the results of which the lexicographer is expected to embody in his work, each successful investigator in the history or archæology of an ancient nation imposes a new duty on the interpreter of its language. The labors of a Niebuhr, a Müller, or a Becker, require the lexicographer to readjust his materials, and to reconsider in a thousand wearisome particulars the dicta which he or other laborers in the same field have before uttered.
Not only, therefore, must a lexicon be an imperfect record of the language of which it treats (for so much is implied in the fact that all knowledge is progressive), but it will ever come short, more or less, of representing fully the state of learning in its own time. It will require a whole generation to embody in a lexicon the knowledge possessed.
in this department of Greek studies by the scholars of the present age. Such would be the case, if the only obstacle to be overcome were the physical difficulty of collecting and arranging the scattered items of knowledge, and bringing them into harmonious adjustment with the materials already accumulated. But besides these difficulties, it must be remembered that every improvement is an innovation, and in that character it must somewhat offend every scholar who has an affectionate remembrance of his early guides and helps in the road to learning; so that error does not stand on its own merits, but is already intrenched in the favorable regards of most of those who have any knowledge of the matter in debate.
The question to be asked, therefore, respecting a new lexicon is not, whether it is defective, or in some respects erroneous; but, first, How extensive is its aim? And, secondly, Does it embody in a satisfactory degree the learning of the time in regard to the language in question?
We have before us, in the two works named at the head of this article, the latest results of American and foreign scholarship in the department of Greek lexicography. We congratulate the student of the Greek language, a language whose great claims were never appreciated with a nicer discrimination than at the present time, on this accession to their means of study. Estimating each of the works with regard to its proposed end, they leave comparatively little to be desired. The first named, the lexicon of Mr. Pickering, may with much justice be called an original work, since the author, in the earlier edition of it, issued twenty years ago, was the first to break away from the usage that had before prevailed, and to present the definitions in English; and in its present form, the work embodies the best results of his whole life, devoted with singular ardor and success to classical and kindred studies. This work, we believe, will be found to be the best Greek lexicon in the English language for the use of schools and colleges. While it does not aim to embrace the whole circle of Greek literature, it is sufficiently extensive for schools and for the usual wants of students in college. Its execution within its prescribed range is singularly faithful and complete.
The larger lexicon, edited by Professor Drisler, from the English work by Messrs. Liddell and Scott, has been already
briefly noticed in this Review. We will here only add, that for the mature scholar it forms the proper complement to the work of Mr. Pickering. Though not properly a Thesaurus of the language, it is far more extensive and full than any Greek lexicon ever before published, at so low a price as to bring it within the reach of every scholar. In general, we may say that the mature scholar will find here, in all the attractiveness of historical arrangement, whatever he may wish to know in Greek lexicography.
We would not imply, however, that there are not important deficiencies yet to be supplied in this department. The investigations made in lexicography within the last generation, while they have freed the whole subject from much of the confusion in which it formerly lay, and have led the student to recognize a scientific basis for its future treatment, have yet stimulated inquiry rather than satisfied it, and tend to lead the scholar to look to the work yet to be done, more than to any past achievements. At no former period, we believe, would the observation of Coleridge meet with so ready an acceptance among learned men as at the present time; that the greatest single benefit which learning could bestow on the age would be in the construction of a dictionary of the English language, in which each word should be traced from its root, logically and historically, through all its meanings in the English, and those kindred languages in which it is found. We do not hesitate to say that it is through investigations of this kind, of a wider or narrower extent, that the richest fruits of classical study are to be sought. It is through this intimate communion with the laws of thought and feeling that underlie the conventional usages of languages, that the student becomes an artist, and gains for himself a point of view where he can not only dispense with the aid of critics, but can understand their ignorance.
But before such a work can be done, the ground must be cleared of many obstructions that now occupy it; and this part of the task is hardly more important than it is difficult. It is remarkable with what tenacity an error once received will hold its place, in the midst of inquiries that would seem sufficient at any time to annihilate its claims and banish it. from the field. It seems very excusable, as well as natural, on a subject like language, to receive a positive statement as accurately true; it is far easier to accept the dictum of an