Imatges de pàgina

very numerous, and contain in general only one or two,

or at the outside three sentences together. b). The examples of verbal agreement in between St.

Matthew and St. Mark are very numerous, and several of them are very long and remarkable, especially in

Sect. XIV. Xxxy. XXXVII. XXXVIII. XXIIX. c). On the other hand, not one of those sections, which

in St. Matthew's Gospel occupy different places from those which they occupy in St. Mark's Gospel, exhi. bits a single instance of verbal agreement between St. Matthew and St. Mark. Thus beside Sect. v. and xi. there are not less than five successive sections, namely, XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII. XIX. throughout which there is not a verbal agreement in any one sentence, though Sect. xiv. affords a very long example of close verbal coincidence, and Sect. xx. likewise affords examples, This phænomenon will be more fully explained in

chap. io. d). But in no instance throughout X does St. Mark fail

to agree verbally with St. Matthew, where St. Luke

agrees verbally with St. Matthew. r). There are frequent instances of verbal agreement in

e between St. Mark and St. Luke: though they are neither so numerous nor so long, as those between St.

Matthew and St. Mark. f). Upon the whole, the examples of verbal disagree,

ment between St. Mark and St. Luke are much more numerous than the examples of agreement : yet throughout all & St. Mark never fails to agree verbally with St. Luke, where St. Matthew agrees verbally with St,

Luke. 8). In several sections, St. Mark's text agrees in one

place with that of St. Matthew, in another place with that of St. Luke, and therefore appears at first sight to

be a compound of both. b). There is not a single instance of verbal coincidence between St. Matthew and St. Luke, only throughout all x : for throughout all they invariably relate the same thing in different words, except in the passages where both

of them agree at the same time with St. Mark. i). Consequently in no part of X does St. Matthew's

Greek text agree partly with that of St. Mark, and partly with that of St.Luke, nor St. Luke's text partly with that of St. Matthew, and partly with that of St.

Mark, as was just observed of St. Mark's text. (2. In a St. Matthew and St. Mark agree verbally in several in. stances, as may be seen on turning to Sect. 1. xiv. XXI.

On the other hand, in the longest and the most remarkable of all the additions (Matth. xiv. 3-12. Mark, vi. 17–29.) they relate the same thing throughout in totally different words.


• 3. In

* 3. In 8 I have discovered only one instance of verbal agreement

between St. Mark and St. Luke, and that a very short one, namely, Mark x. 15. Luke xviii. 19. in Sect. txvt. This is the more remarkable, as the additions ß are very

numerous. • 4. In y the relation, which St. Matthew's Gospel bears to that

of St. Luke, is very different from that, which the two Gospels bear to each other in X: for in oy there are instances of very remarkable verbal coincidence. See Sect. I. III. XXXI.

• Second Division : containing A. • In A, the relation, which St. Matthew's Gospel bears to that of St. Mark, in respect to verbal agreement, continues the same, as it was in and , as may be seen on turning to the examples quoted in this division.

• Third Division : containing B. In B, the relation, which St. Mark and St. Luke bear to each other is very different from that, which they bear to each other in X, and is similar to that, which they bear to each other in ß. For among the sections peculiar to St. Mark and St. Luke, these two Evange. lists agree verbally in no other place, than a single passage of the first section; and even there, in all that precedes and follows that passage, St. Mark and St. Luke relate the same thing in very differ. ent words.

• Fourth Division: containing r. • In , the relation, which the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke bear to each other, is the very reverse of that, which they bear to each other in X, and is similar to that which they bear in y, as may be seen on turning to the examples quoted in the Fourth Division.

· These facts being admitted, we have a certain criterion, by which we may judge of every hypothesis on the origin of our three first Gospels : for it is obvious that whatever supposition be the true one, it must account for all these phænomena ; and that a supposition, if it does not account for these phænomena, cannot be the true one.'

Mr. Marsh then discusses the supposition that the succeeding Evangelists copied from the preceding; shews the various forms in which this conjecture may be placed; examines the chief of them separately; and exposes its fallacy by convincing arguments. He next in like manner investigates the proposition of a Common Document; and he manifests that the result is quite unfavourable to that supposition, according to any of the forms hitherto delivereid. He then, in the following words, announces his own hypothesis:

St. Ma-thew, St. Mark, and St. Luke, all three, used copies of the common Hebrew document x: the materials of wbich St. Matthew, who Rev. FEB, 1802.



wrote in Hebrew, retained in the language, in which he found them, bit: St. Mark and St. Luke translated them into Greek. They had no knowledge of each other's Gospels : but St. Mark and St. Luke, besides their copies of the Hebrew document x, used a Greek translation of it, which had been made, before any of the additions a, b, &c. bad been inserted. Lastly, as the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke contain Greek translations of Hebrew materials, which were incorporated into St. Matthew's Hebrew Gospel, the person, who translated St. Matthew's Hebrew Gospel into Greek, FREQUENTLY derived assistance, from the Gospel of St. Mark, where St. Mark had matter in common with St. Matthew : and in those places, but in those places only, where St. Mark had no matter in common with St. Matthew, he had frequently. recourse to St. Luke's Gospel.'

The author now proceeds to shew, at length, that the hypothesis thus stated and determined will account for all the phea. nomena * relative to the verbal agreement and disagreement in our first three Gospels, as well as for the manifold relations which they bear to each other; and that it contains nothing which is improbable in itself, inconsistent with historical evidence, or repugnant to the doctrine of the inspiration of the Gospels, as it is understood by Dr. Whitby and Bishop Ware burton. The general result he states to be that the phenomena of every description, observable in the first three Gospels, admit of an easy solution by the proposed hpothesis ; and that, since no other can solve them all, it may be concluded: that this is the true one.

In this article, we believe that our readers will have found an accurate account of Mr. Marsh's system: but they must be sensible that, on a subject of such a nature, it will not be fair for them to pronounce without having first perused the whole work; and, in order to be completely masters of it, they must afford it a very attentive perusal :- because, though Mr. Marsh treats the subject at length, and in an extremely methodical manner, yet it necessarily happens that the thread of the disa cussion is often very finely-spun.

We cannot dismiss these volumes without taking notice of the very indifferent paper on which they are printed. This country has indeed of late experienced an extraordinary scarcity and dearness of that article of manufacture, but we hardly recollect to have seen an English book make so coarse an appearance as this work exhibits..

* This is the word adopted by Mr. Marsh to express the remarkable circumstances which he is discussing. We do not say that we altogether approve such an application of it.


Árt. XII. Alfred; an Epic Poem *, in Six Books. By Henry

James Pye. 4to. Pp. 260. 11. 55. Boards. Wright. 1801.
HB story of Alfred has been repeatedly attempted by Bri-

tish bards t; yet, with all the interest which the subject inspires, it has never been adequately celebrated in verse. To trace the causes of this failure would be a curious inquiry; except to those malignant readers who might question, in the first instance, the genius of all the writers who have undertaken the task. It occurs to us that the nature of the Epic Poem has been misunderstood on this occasion ; and that authors have deprived their compositions of much effect, by selecting a few striking passages from the history of the hero, without tendering them subservient to some general end, or moral precept. In the work before us, Alfred is made acquainted, by the prophecy of a Druid, with many of the splendid events which have concurred to render this nation rich and powerful: but little of this information bears any peculiar reference to the Saxon monarch, though his story would supply a clue to the most brilliant æra of our arms. Alfred was the first of our kings who conceived the plan of defending this country from foreign invasion by means of a fleet; and he may be considered as the Father of our Navy. His maritime campaigns against Denmark would have been admissible, therefore, to a principal share of the Poet's attention; their relation to the events of the late war would have proved much more impressive, than the period which has been hitherto selected ; and our naval heroes might have been displayed to the view of Alfred, with an effect similar to that of the Vision in the sixth book of the Æncid.

After having conjectured what Mr. Pye might have done, we must now apply ourselves to consider what he has done. The poem opens with the appearance of Alfred at the Court of Gregor, king of Scotland; whither he is supposed to repair after the destruction of his troops at the battle of Ashdown, or White-Horse Hill, for the purpose of demanding succours. The exordium is not, in our judgment, peculiarly happy:

* The Public have lately been presented with a sort of Series of Epic poems; and if we had made our report of them chronologically, we should have given an account of Sir James Burges's performance intitled Richard the First, before we paid our respects to Mr. Pye's Muse: but an accident has delayed our remarks on Sir James's work. We hope, to introduce it into our next Number.

+ See particularly Mr. Cottle's recent publication, Rev. vol. xxxv. N, S. p. s.

• While


[ocr errors]

• While, with unequal verse, I venturous sing

The toils and perils of a patriot King;
Struggling, through war and adverse fate, to place
Britannia's throne on Virtue's solid base :
Guardian and glory of the British isles,
Immortal Freedom! give thy favouring smiles.
As, to our northern clime, thy beam supplies
The want of brighter suns, and purer skies,
So, on my ruder lays, auspicious shine,

“ And make immortal, verse as mean as mine."
It has been objected to the opening of the Paradise Lost, that
the name of the Power which Milton invokes is deferred too
long: in this Poem, the same defect is more remarkable, be-
cause Mr. Pye calls on a personage merely allegorical. The
first four lines are prosaic, yet rather obscure; and the 7th and
8th lines contain a very indifferent conceit, which has been
sometimes seriously and sometimes ludicrously applied, on
former occasions. The introduction of a borrowed line, of no
remarkable merit, at the close of this passage, is also a ble-
mish. We are aware that the example of Milton may again
be produced here ; his verse,

Things unattempted yet in prose or rhime," being a mere translation from the second stanza of the Orlando Furioso:

« Cosa non detta in prosa mai, ne in rima :' but in this instance the line is worthy of appropriation, and bespeaks the noble confidence of superior genius, both in the Italian author and in our great poet.

The entrance of Alfred, at the feast, will remind the classical reader of Ulysses at the court of Alcinous. A part of the Song of the Bards is well imitated, from Mr. Macpherson's Ossian,

• Now, mingling pity with the warlike lay,
In softer mood the strings symphoneous play,
And paint, enwrap'd in winter's midnight gloom,
The hunter, leaning by the lonesome tomb,
Where rest, in Death's eternal slumber laid,
The youthful warrior, and the love-lorn maid;
While, as the gale in sullen murmur passid,
The wan ghost shrick'd in the terrific blast,
Like seines of years long flown, the descant stole,
Pleasant, but mournful, o'er the ruffled soul :
For, Memory! thy er chanting light can throw
A glam of languid joy o'er distant wot.
As the pale moon, through watery mists display'd,
Faitly illumes the Dillows' darkling sbade,'


« AnteriorContinua »