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&c. which are considered as characteristic of the Goths. From the worship of Tuisto, Mannus, Herthus, (probably the sun, moon, and earth,) scarcely any thing can be inferred : even the Incas of Peru acknowleged these for ancestors. The local knowlege of Tacitus is likewise questionable ; modern commentators being nearly agreed that the authority of Pliny, his learned predecessor, in all geographical points, is much more strongly corroborated by external testimony. These topics have lately been much agitated, but have received no elucida. tion from the notes of Mr. Murphy, which appear to us somewhat “ bebind-hand" in point of information. Mr. M. places great reliance on the Northern Antiquities,-certainly a very curious book, but which contains only the more modern Edda. To seek for information in that work concerning the religion of the Germans during the age of Tacitus, is like searching for primitive christianity in the Golden Legend. In the note to the 43d section, Mr. Murphy sanctions, in some measure, the opinion of Keyser that the brothers Alcis, worshipped by the Naharvalians, were the Alfs or Elves. Surely there is more probability in the other opinion, that they were the sun and moon; which, it may be inferred from the older Edda, were praised in hymns by the name Allkir. (See Alv, 16. 6.) It were an endless talk to go through the several mythological and topographical objections to which different passages are liable.

The Life of Agricola is a model of solemn biography, which has long been familiar among us: it wants the interest of Plu, tarch's familiar details, but is, to a hero, the more agreeable way of being described. This piece again is annotated rather copiously than completely.

The Dialogue concerning Oratory concludes the collection. However interesting, it is remarkable for a dilatation of thought which is not at all apparent in any other works of Tacitus. The scope of the piece may be illustrated by extracting a short paragraph:

• Need I observe to you, that in all I have said, I have not been Speaking of that temperate faculty which delights in quiet times, sup. ported by its own integrity, and the virtues of moderation? I speak of popular eloquence, the genuine offspring of that licentiousness, to which fools and ill-designing men have given the name of liberty : I speak of bold and turbulent oratory, that inflamer of the people, and constant companion of fedition ; that fierce incendiary, that knows no compliance, and scorns to temporise ; busy, rash, and arrogant, but in quiet and well-regulated governments utterly unknown. Who ever heard of an orator at Crete or Lacedæmon? In those states a fyftem of rigorous discipline was established by the first principles of the conftitution. Macedonian and Persian eloquence are equally un

known.

known. The same may be said of every country, where the plan of government was fixed and uniform.

At Rhodes, indeed, and also at Athens, orators existed without number, and the reafon is, in those communities the people directed every thing; a giddy multitude governed, and, to say the truth, all things were in the power of all. In like manner, while Rome was engaged in one perpetual scene of contention; while parties, fac! sions, and internal divisions convulsed the state ; no peace in the fo sum, in the senate no union of sentiment; while the tribunals of juf tice acted without moderation; while the magistrates knew no bounds. and ņo man paid respect to eminent merit ; in such times it must be acknowleged that Rome produced a race of noble orators; as in the wild uncultivated field the richest vegetables will often foot up, and fourith with uncommon vigour. And yet it is fair to ask, could all the eloquence of the Gracchi atone' for the laws which they imposed on their country? Could the fame, which Cicero obtained by his eloquence, compensate for the tragic end to which it brought him .'

Mr. M.'s commentary contains many interesting particulars of the Roman school of oratory :-by way of specimen, we shall infert the note concerning Seneca, as it attacks a fault with respect to taste, which is spreading in England.

? This charge (of aff: Fatian) againk Seneca is by no means newi Quintilian was his contemporary ; he law, and heard the man, and, in less than twenty years after his death, pronounced judgment against bim. In the conclusion of the first chapter of his tenth book, after having given an account of the Greek and Roman authors, he says, he reserved Seneca for the last place, because, having always endea: voured to counteract the influence of a bad taste, he was supposed to be influenced by motives of personal enmity. But the case was other. wise. He saw that Seneca was the favourite of the times, and, tò check the torrent that threatened the ruin of all true eloquence, he exerted his best efforts to diffuse a founder judgment. He did not with that Seneca should be laid aside ; but he could not, in filence, see him preferred to the writers of the Augustan age, whom that writer endeavoured to depreciate, conscious that, having chosen a different style, he could not hope to please the taste of those who were charmed with the authors of a former day. Bat Seneca was still in fashion ; his partisans continued to admire, though it cannot be said that they imitated him. He fell short of the ancients, and they were still more beneath their model. Since they were content to copy, it were to be wished that they had been able to vie with him. He pleased by his defects, and the herd of imitators chose the worst.

They acquired a vicious manner, and flattered themselves that they resembled their master. But the truth is, they disgraced him. Sen neca, it must be allowed, had many great and excellent qualities; a lively imagination ; vast erudition, and extensive knowledge. He frequently employed others to make researches for him, and was often deceived. He embraced all subjects; in his philosophy, not always profound, but a keen censor of the manners, and on moral subjects truly admirable. He has brilliant passages, and beautiful

sentiments i sentiments ; but the expression is in a falfe taste, the more dangerous as he abounds with delightful vices. You would have wished, that he had written with his own imagination, and the judgment of others,

To sum up his character : had he known how to rate little things'; had he been above the petty ambition of always thining ; had he not been fond of himself; had he not weakened his force by minute and dazzling sentences, he would have gained, not the admiration of boys, but the suffrage of the judicious. At prefent, he may be read with fafety by thofe, who have made acquaintance with better models: His works afford the fairest opportunity of distinguishing'the beauties of fine writing from their opposite vices. He has much to be 'ap. proved; and even admired: but a just selection is neceflary, and it is to be regretted that he did not choose for himself. Such was the judgment of Quintilian : the learned reader will, perhaps, be glad to have the whole passage in the author's words; rather than be re. ferred to another book. Ex induftria Senecam, in oinni genére eloquien: liæ verfatum, diftuli, propter vulgatam 'falso de opinionem, quả dama nare eum, et invifum quoque habere. fum creditus. Quod accidit mihi, dum corruptum, et omnibus vitiis fractum dicendi genus revocare ad fe veribra judicia conténdo. Tum àutem folus hic fere in manibus adolefcentiui fuit. Quem non equidem omnino conabar excutere, fed potioribus præferri non finebat, quos ille non deftiterat inceljere, cum, diversi fibi confcius géo neris, placere se in dicendo poflè iis quibus illi placerent, diffideret. 'Ana bant autem eum magis, quàm imitabantur ; tantumque ab illo defluebant, quantam ille ab antiquis descenderat. Foret enim optandum, pares, aut Jaltem proximos; illi viro fieri. Sed placebat propter fola vitia, et ad ea fe quisque dirigebat effingenda, qua poterat. Deinde cum se jactaret eodem modo diceré, Senecan infamabat. Cujus & multé alioqui et magnæ vire tutes fuerunt ; ingenium facile et copiofum ; plurimum ftudii ; et multarum rerum cognitio, in quâ tamen aliquando ab iis, quibus inquirenda quædam mandabat, deceptus eft. Tractavit etiam omnem ferè ftudiorum materiam; in philofophia parum diligens, egregius tamen vitiorum infectator. Multa in co claræque fententiæ; multa etiam morum gratia legenda; fed in eloquendo corrupta pleraque, atque eo perniciofilima, quod abundat dulcibus vitiis. Velles eum fuo ingenio dixisse, alieno judicio. Nam si aliquà con. tempelset; fi parum concupisset, fi non omnia sua amasset ; fi rerum ponderá minutisimis fententiis non fregisset, consensu potius eruditorum, quàm puererum amore comprobaretur. Verùm fic quoque jam robüflis, et feveriore genere fatis firmatis, legendus, vel ideo, quod exercere poteft utrimque judicium. Multa enim (ut dixi) probanda in eo, multa etiam admiranda funt; eligere modo curæ fit, quod utinam ipfe feciffet. Quintil. lib. x. cap. s. From this it is evident, that Seneca, even in the meridian of his fame and power, was considered as the grand corruptor of elo quence. The charge is, therefore, renewed in this Dialogue, with Itria propriety. Rollin, who had nourished his mind with ancient literature, and was, in his time, the Quintilian of France, has given the same opinion of Seneca, who, he says, knew how to play the critic on the works of others, and to condemn the strained metaphor, the forced conceit, the tinsel sentence, and all the blemiches of a corrupt ftyle, without desiring to weed them out of his own productions. In a letter to his friend, Şeneca admits a general depravity of taste, and with great acuteness, and, indeed, elegance, traces it to its source, to the luxury and effeminate manners of the age : he compares the forid orators of his time to a set of young fops, well powdered and perfumed, just issuing from their toilette : Barbâ et coma nitidos, de capsula totos; he adds, that such affected finery is not the true ornament of a man. Non est ornamentum virile, concinnitas. And yet, says Rollin, he did not know that he was fitting to himself for the pi&ture. He aimed for ever at something new, far fetched, ingenious, and pointed. He preferred wit to truth and dignified fim. plicity. The marvellous was with him better than the natural; and he chose to surprise and dazzle, rather than merit the approbation of Tober judgment. His talents placed him at the head of the fashion, and with those enchanting vices which Quintilian ascribes to him, he was, no doubt, the person who contributed most to the corruption of taste and eloquence. See Rollin's Belles Lettres, vol. i. Jur le Gout. Another eminent critic, L'ABBE GEDOYN, who has given an ele. gant translation of Quintilian, has, in the preface to that work, en. tered fully into the question concerning the decline of eloquence. He admits that Seneca did great mischief, but 'he takes the matter up much higher. He traces it to Ovid, and imputes the taste for wit and spurious ornament, which prevailed under the emperors, to the false, but seducing charms of that celebrated poet. Ovid was, undoubtedly, the greatest wit of his time ; but his wit knew 'no bounds. His fault was exuberance. Nescivit quod bene celfit relinquere, says Seneca, who had himself the same defect. Whatever is Ovid's subject, the redundance of a copious fancy still appears. Does he bewail his own misfortunes ? he seems to think that, unless he is witty, he cannot be an object of compassion. Does he write letters to and from disappointed lovers ? the greatest part Aows from fancy, and little from the heart. He gives us the brilliant for the pathetic. With these faults, Ovid had such enchanting graces, that his style and manner infected every branch of literature. The tribe of imi. tators had not the genius of their master; but, being determined to shine in spite of nature, they ruined all true taste and eloquence. This is the natural progress of imitation, and Seneca was well aware of it. He tells us that the faults and blemishes of a corrupt ftyle are ever introduced by some superior genius, who has risen to eminence in bad writing : his admirers imitate a vicious manner, and thus a false taste goes round from one to another. Hæl vitia unus aliquis in. ducit, Jub quo tunc eloquentia eft : cæteri imitantur ; et alter alteri tra. dunt. Epift. 114. Seneca, however, did not know that he was describing himself. Tacitus says, he had a genius suited to the taste of the age. Ingenium amænum et temporis ejus auribus accommodatum. He adopted the faults of Ovid, and was able to propagate them. For these reasons, the Abbé Gedoyn is of opinion, that Ovid began the mischief, and Seneca laid the axe to the root of the tree. It is certain that, during the remaining period of the empire, true eloquence never revived. · On the whole, we think that Mr. Murphy has deposited a very valuable offering on the altar of public inftru&lion ; the

-produce, producé, no doubt, of many years of industry. Passages may be found which will seem to haye been rendered indolently of verbosely : but who can long and incessantly labour with unvarying zeal, and with unremitting ardour of attention ?

attention?

Tay:

Art. XV. Sketches of the Origin, Progress, and Effects of Music,

with an Account of the antient Bards and Minstrels. Jílustrated with various Historical Facts, interesting Anecdotes, and Poetical Quotations. By the Rev. Richard Eastcott, of Exeter. 8vo. pp. 277. 55. Boards. Robinsons. 1793. This entertaining compilation seems to be the work of an 1 enthusiastic admirer not only of the art of music but also of its professors. The author's candour, and disposition to be pleased, are very uncommon ; since there are more musical, perhaps, than religious fects, and there are very few writers on the art who do not manifestly lean toward a favourite and exclusive style of composition and performance : but this gentleman steers clear of all fidling quarrels and musical factions, seeking and relating nothing which does not refect honour on his favourite art and its votaries.

In the preface, we are told that, • The author of the following Sketches has availed himself of those . common sources of information which lie open to every reader. For many years he has been in the habit of mixing with musical people, both professors and amateurs, and has attended the most celebrated mu. fical festivals in London and other large cities: these opportunities furnished him with much information, and the reflections which naturally succeeded, excited in him a ftrong desire to search into the origin, progress, and effects, of an art which appears to command the parfions in an eminent degree, and to communicate so much delight to mankind.'

Mr. E. seems to be as well acquainted with the present state of music, particularly in this country, as he is sedulously desirous of doing justice to the abilities and talents of living distinguished profesors.

Having liberally availed himself of Dr. Burney's researches relative to the history, progress, and effects, of antient music in those parts of the world which were first civilized, he has given, in a note, at the end of the preface, a very just eloge on that celebrated musical historian. · Chap. I. treats of the state of music among the Egyptians, He. brews, Greeks, Romans, &c. with some cursory remarks on other arts and sciences.

What the author here cites from Goguet's Origin of Laws, concerning the Physicians of antient Egypt, is so curious and liule known, that we shall present it to our readers ;

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