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his imperial majesty in the years 1806 and 1807. His style is pronounced to be, pure and classical, and his work estimable.* Of the hellenists of England, Porson alone is mentioned. Among her Latinists, Gilbert Wakefield and Charles Coombe are said to be the only persons worthy of being cited, while these are declared to be, in their capacity, very far from equaling the merit of their countryman Porson in the Greek.—At the same time, that so much stress is laid on the translations from the ancients, either executed or reprinted in France
• The best of the innumerable verses published throughout the French empire, in celebration of the pregnancy of her Imperial Majesty Maria Louisa, is to be found in a Latin poem on the occasion, from a Mr. Lemaire, a professor of Latin in Paris. It is, in our opinion, the most tolerable specimen of Latinity, which the classic literature of France has produced under the new rfgime. The following passages may afford the reader an idea of its merit as a Latin composition. The poet thus apostrophizes the Empress.
Salve, 6 terrarum tu lumen amabile; salve,
He afterwards calls up the god of the Tiber and the shades of the old Roman heroes, to contemplate and admire the grandeur and felicity of Napoleon. The prosopopotia is highly poetical, and beautifully expressed.
Fatidicos sensit Tusco sub gurgite cantus,
Hujus in adventum prxsago agitata tremore
since 1789, no notice is taken of those published in England. With respect to the condition of "philology" in the latter country, not a word is uttered.
It is difficult for persons who are of the class of Qixixxwt, and who have given any degree of attention to the state of classical learning generally in England, not to smile at the supercilious mode, in which her merit in this department, is treated by the Institute. Hellenists and Latinists she has without number, equal to any of whom France can boast, and in order to satisfy our learned readers on this head, we need not recite, besides the three names mentioned in the Report, those of Parr, Burney, Whitaker, Dalzel, Gaisford, Bloomfield, Gillies, Mathias, &c. &c. It is true that the editions of the ancient authors given by the British, are neither as numerous nor as valuable as those of the Dutch or Germans, nor have they done as much as the latter, in purifying the text of those authors. The cause of this deficiency is not easily to be explained, and not now material for us to discuss. They have not, moreover, produced as many good translations of the prose-classics, as might have been expected from their profound and almost universal acquaintance with the originals—This last circumstance is correctly traced by the Edinburgh Reviewers, to the very fact of the wide diffusion of classical knowledge in England. It is justly said in their twenty-second number,* " that almost all who in that country, take any interest in classical subjects, are capable of studying them in the original authors, and that where classical instruction is less generally diffused, translations are rrtore likely to be common."
Notwithstanding the comparative scarcity of English translations of the prose classics, there are very many of considerable merit, and such as the French have not certainly surpassed. 'Wc allude to the labours of Melmoth, Hampton, Murphy and Gillies in this line, of Beloe, Smith, Langhorne, Leland, Sir William Jones, &c.—With the exception of the Georgics of Virgil by Delille, to which the English one of Sotheby is perhaps not at all inferior, we know of no French version of an ancient poet, which deserves much applause. We need not say what treasures of this kind the British possess, in the translations of Homer, by Pope and Cowper, of Virgil by Pitt and Dryden, of Lucan by Rowe, of Juvenal by Gifford, of Hesiod by Elton, and of the minor Greek and Latin poets by various hands, who have most successfully caught the spirit, and transfused the excellence of their originals.
* Review of Stewart's translation of Sallust.
From the confessions of the authors of this report, our readers must be convinced that classical studies are now at the lowest ebb in France. In England they are, on the contrary, in the highest vigor, and have an importance attached to them, which has even become a subject of complaint and reprehension with many respectable writers, who imagine that they consult the interests of the moral and physical sciences, by decrying the collegiate discipline of their country in this respect. We mention this circumstance in illustration of the extensive prevalence of classical learning among the British, and not because we concur with Mr. Edgeworth and his adherents, to the full extent of their doctrine.* We believe from what we ourselves had occasion to note in England, that too great a share " of time, of labour and of esteem" is bestowed in her public schools, upon the comparatively " unimportant business of prosody," but we are not inclined to admit that it is "the cardinal point in English education."! Nor can we suppose, that the effect of this system is so baneful as represented by the Edinburgh Reviewers, particularly when we advert to what is so justly observed by these able critics, in almost the tame breath,—" that in every other department, besides the elucidation and purification of the text of the ancient authors,— in mathematics, in physics, in ethics, in politics, in history,— England stands the very first in the list of nations who have accelerated the progress of knowledge.
Anterior to the revolution, ancient literature generally, was studied in France, in a more superficial way, and had fewer votaries, than among her neighbours. If this were not a matter of notoriety in the learned world of Europe, we could cite in support of the fact, the authority of Thurot, an eminent heilenist of Paris, educated in the old university of that capital, and who is mentioned with honour by the authors of the present Report, in the section on philology.—In one of his late writings he expresses himself thus—" There is no person who does not see that with respect to the study of the ancient languages, of history and of antiquities, France is far behind her neighbours, the Germans;—not that we have not at present eminent men, in each branch; but there is between us and the Germans, this very remarkable difference, that all the branches of knowledge, which are here the exclusive attribution of the third class of the Institute, are, in Germany, an object of study, and instruction in all the universities, and even in a great
* Edgeworth's Professional Education, and the criticism on that work in the Edinburgh Review, t Edinburgh Review—account of Taylor's Pluto. t Ibid.
number of schools of the second order. Let it not, however, be imagined that this inferiority is the result of the interruption of our studies during the course of a sanguinary revolution. The instruction which was received in the university of Paris, twenty-five or thirty years ago, was very far from being as complete, and as solid as it was at the same time, in the universities of Germany and Holland. With us the Greek was much neglected; that criticism of the text of the authors, which is fitted toform the judgment of young students, and to familiarize them with the details of grammar, was scarcely known; even history and the complete knowledge of antiquity, were not objects of particular instruction."
If we substitute the English for the Germans in the first paragraph of this extract, the statement will be equally true. What is in France the exclusive attribute of the third class of the Institute, belongs to multitudes in every part of England, and is regularly and successfully taught, not only in the universities and great academies of the latter, but in her inferior schools, and wherever education is attempted in a liberal shape.
The same French writer from whom we have just quoted, has another passage connected with this subject, which we shallalso venture to lay before our readers. It will serve to awaken them more fully to the truth of a position, which indeed appears to us almost self-evident;—to wit, that admitting England to have done less for the promotion of classical learning abroad;—to have given to the world fewer and less valuable editions and translations of the ancients, than some of the countries of the continent,—this circumstance would not disprove her superiority in scholarship, or the unrivalled excellence of her present system of education, while—with her—classical studies extend as they do, almost to the cottage, and while all the ranks both of active and speculative life are ably filled;—while she reaps from her seminaries, a harvest of intellect, of knowledge and of virtue, superabundantly adequate not solely to supply her absolute wants,—the necessaries as it were of the body politic; but to yield the highest glory to which a great nation can aspire;—the richest luxuries which she can covet.—The following extract may likewise lead to the just reflection, that the country in which knowledge is most widely diffused, and most easily obtained, where the true models of taste are most systematically taught, and generally studied, truly enjoys the pre-eminence in literature, although she may not be as rich in original works of first rate excellence, or be able to boast of as many writers of transcendent genius, as her more lucky rivals.
** It may, perhaps be said," says M. Thurot, " that France is infinitely more opulent in original productions of supereminent merit, than Germany, and then asked, what we would gain, since our native literature is already superior to that of the rest of Europe, by giving greater activity at home to the culture of the ancient languages and of erudition."
"To this objection, we may answer, that it is not for those who are endowed by nature with a happy genius or extraordinary talents, that a general system of public instruction is principally necessary, but for the bulk of the individuals to whom it is to be applied. The former, either by the impetus of their own nature, or the particular interest which they inspire, will always find the means of developing the rare faculties with which they are blessed, while the crowd of ordinary minds will languish in ignorance, for want of systematic aid, and means of instruction both numerous and extensive. The literary chefs-d'oeuvre which constitute the glory of a nation, are not, therefore, in themselves, a proof of the superiority of her public instruction, or her knowledge. And, as it is not the class of superior artists,—those who are able to give the highest degree of finish and perfection to the products of their industry,—that contribute to the wealth of a state, but rather, the body of manufacturing establishments in which a sensible superiority is given to articles of common consumption, over those of the same sort manufactured by rival nations, thus likewise, it is not the works of a certain number of geniuses of the first order, which entitle a people to claim pre-eminence over their neighbours in point of general and extensive knowledge, but, chiefly and properly, the plurality of schools where the elements of sound literature, and of the sciences, are taught by able professors, and after the most approved methods. Doubtless it must be superfluous to insist further on these obvious truths. Moreover, in the age in which we live, it cannot, I imagine, be necessary to demonstrate by any long process of reasoning, to sensible and candid men, that every benefit is to be expected, and no inconvenience whatever to be apprehended, from the diffusion among the mass of the citizens of a great empire, of the greatest possible quantum of light and learning."
At the conclusion of his survey of the progress of philology, M. Visconti points out certain means of reviving and sustaining " good studies," (les bonnes etudes) throughout " the great empire." Among these means are the publication of new and cheap editions of the ancients, the establishment of professorships liberally endowed, in the great cities, &c. He recom