Imatges de pÓgina

not placed where it would be placed in Latin. Such then I conceive is the explanation of a mystery which has puzzled some learned men more than one would have thought possible.

of fácies, he would probably be punished as having committed a false quantity, as having lengthened a short syllable. But if the master were not a blunderer himself, he would know that it is no such thing. The quantity is equally regarded, and equally violated, whether the word be pronounced as the trembling little culprit pronounced it, or in the way which his magisterial authority has declared to be correct. The boy was certainly wrong in reading facíes: he misplaced the accent, because the usage of the Latin tongue, as we learn from Quinctilian, required that in such a case the accent should fall on the antipenultima. The place of the accent is determined by the quantity, both in Latin and Greek. To misplace the accent, in either language, is to disregard the established rules of the tongue, but is not to be confounded with corrupting or changing the quantity, with which it has no necessary connexion. Since then, neither in Greek nor Latin, are we accustomed to pay any other attention to the quantity than to place the accent where we apprehend the quantity requires it should be, we may see that the charge brought against the Greek accents, of corrupting the quantity, resolves itself into this: that the Greek accents are not placed where the quantity requires that they should be, according to the rules which we have been used to observe. This is very true, and this is the whole amount of the objection. The rules we have been used to observe are those which regulate the Latin accent: the rules which regulated the Greek accent happen to be somewhat different from these: and therefore we suppose that the Greek accents are not where the quantity requires that they should be. First we say, they corrupt the quantity: this means merely, that they are not conformed to the quantity in the way prescribed by a certain rule: this rule is that of the Latin accent and the objection rightly stated ends in this: the rules of the Greek accent differ from those of the Latin. For example; the laws of Greek require that the accent of óλunos should be on the first syllable: this gives offence: we say the quantity is corrupted, we mean the accent is misplaced and why? because it is

We have now taken a view of the true nature of quantity and accent; we have marked the essential distinction that there exists between them, and the nature of that dependence of the one on the other which is created by the usages of different languages. We have thus been able to trace the ground of that opinion, that the Greek accents are inconsistent with the quantity: shewing that it amounts to no more than that they are inconsistent with the Latin accents. Although, however, this be the true ground of the objection, as generally felt by those that urge it, there is still a more rational form into which it can be thrown, and which it will be proper to consider. It is obvious enough that there is no reason for requiring the pronunciation of Greek to be conformed to the rules of Latin: but it has been alleged, that our present Greek accentuation is not really the genuine ancient method; and to confirm this opinion, it has been said that it is naturally inconsistent with the observance of the quantity. Each of these positions I shall now endeavour to disprove.

In the first place, I shall attempt to shew by direct evidence from antiquity, that the place of the Greek accent is the same now that it was in ancient times. In this place it may be well to take notice, that when the antiquity of our Greek accents is asserted, we are not to be understood as speaking of the little strokes by which they are expressed in writing, but of the tones themselves which are represented by them. The marks are indeed of no modern date; but as I believe that few will be inclined to quarrel with them who believe that they correctly point out the ancient pronunciation, I shall dismiss the consideration of them very briefly. It is admitted that they were not used in the time of Aristotle: their introduction, in some form, is ascribed by the ancients to Aristophanes the grammarian, who flourished about 200 years before Christ, and to whom the invention of the marks of punctuation is also attributed; but after his

time, their reception into general use is supposed to have been but very gradual. It is reasonably conjectured that they were employed not so much for the use of native Greeks, as of foreigners studying the language, in the same way as we may, at this day, see them resorted to in Italian or other foreign elementary books. If the objection to these marks is simply that they are less ancient than some of the authors in which we find them, the very same may be urged against the use of the small Greek and Roman letters, as well as the marks of aspiration and punctuation, which are at least equally modern: that is, under the notion of restoring the native simplicity of the language, we shall object to its most valuable improvements. In living tongues, it is true, the use of written accents is rarely carried beyond dictionaries and elementary books; but in dead languages we stand in need of further assistance, and ought not to quarrel with the helps that ingenious men have invented to facilitate our progress. It is not easy to assign a reason why the accents in all languages should not as regularly be written as the letters: they are certainly not less essential to speech, not less significant in their meaning, not less permanent and integral parts of every word. In some languages, as in the Latin, they are determined by rules so simple and constant, that the use of written marks is less necessary. But what are we to do without them in Greek, in which their position is as irregular and various as in our own language? If we reject the written accents, we are reduced to the inevitable alternative of adopting the Latin system, which is to act in open defiance of the unequivocal testimony of antiquity. These remarks, which relate simply to the use of the written marks, and not to the tones themselves, I will elose by transcribing an extract from a letter written to Foster by an eminent and learned friend: "I am a great admirer," he says, "of that contrivance of accentuation; and look upon it as a remarkable invention, framed by the most ingenious people that ever appeared in the world, for adorning their language to the utmost degree of refinement; and for settling, as far as human wit and wisdom can

fix, a lasting standard of tone for pronouncing every word and almost every syllable of it. I am a friend to the cause, and think an advocate wanting; since that which calls itself the learned world is thoroughly inclined to blot out this ancient character from the book of learning, and had rather lose it entirely, than be at the pains of understanding it at all."

But, to return to my argument, I shall now produce some evidence from ancient authors to prove that our present Greek accents are genuine, that is, that they occupy the same places which they did in ancient days. These quotations will first prove, in general, that the Greek accentuation was in many points different from the Latin, and secondly, that it corresponded in all the particulars which can be ascertained with that which now appears in our printed copies. This being all the evidence the subject admits of, is all that can fairly be required, and indeed is sufficient, I think, to produce the most satisfactory conviction. The following passage from Quinctilian proves, in general, both that the Greek accentuation differed from the Latin, and that it presented that variety which we still find in it. It also proves, in particular, that in Greek the acute and circumflex accents were often found on the last syllable, which also corresponds with our books. "Sed accentus cum rigore quodam tum similitudine ipsâ minus suaves habemus, quia ultima syllaba nec acuta unquam excitatur, nec inflexa circumducitur, sed in gravem, vel duas graves, cadit semper. Itaque tanto est sermo Græcus Latino jucundior, ut nostri poetæ, quoties dulce esse carmen voluerunt, illorum id nominibus exornent." Lib. xii. cap. x. It is truly remarkable, that what our modern literati decry in the Greek as a barbarism, was by the ancient Roman critics and poets deemed a beautiful peculiarity of which their own language was destitute. In another place, the same writer, having observed that many Roman grammarians required that all foreign words adopted into Latin should be made conformable to the usages of that, tongue, gives the following instance: Inde Olympo et tyranno acutam mediam syllabam de

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poikos, porapočutóvas, signifies clownish in manners. This work is printed at the end of Scapula's Lexicon, and may therefore readily be examined. If it would not transgress the limits which it is proper for me to assign to this paper, I could multiply such quotations. I produce these merely as examples of the sort of evidence on which the credit of the Greek accents rests. These ancient testimonies serve only to confirm what would without them be quite sufficient evidence, the authority of all our manuscript and printed copies, and the actual usage of the living Greeks.

I consider it, therefore, as proved by the concurrence of all the evidence which antiquity furnishes on the point, that the ancient Greeks laid the accent where we now find it written, as well as that the accentual marks, though not so old as the usage which they represent, lay claim to quite sufficient antiquity to preclude all just objection on that score. The only argument which has been really influential in causing the rejection of the accents, has been the apprehension that they are inconsistent with the just observance of quantity and the rhythm of verse. I have already shewn, that the majority of those who prefer this charge are such as do not pay any real regard to quantity in any case, and that they mean something different by it from that which it properly expresses. It shall now be my business to shew that there is no real ground for it in its true sense; there is no natural inconsistency in the Greek accents, and the proper observance of quantity. The point of difference between the Greek and Latin accentuation, which is the principal ground of objection against the former, is this: whereas the Latin rule is, that in polysyllables, if the penultima be long, the accent shall rest upon it; the Greek rule, not turning on the quantity of the penultima, but on that of the last syllable, enacts, that if the last be long, the accent shall rest on the penultima, but if the last be short, then it shall rest on the antepenultima. Hence, in such a word as 80s, the Greek accent falls on the first syllable, while the usage of Latin would place it on the second. It is no wonder that we, who are early instructed in the


derunt, quia, duabus longis sequentibus, primam brevem acui noster sermo non patitur." Lib. i. cap. v. In Latin it was not allowed to put the acute accent on the first syllables of such words as Olympus and tyrannus, because their penultima is long: but it is implied that the Greek usage did this; that is, that they were accented as we now mark them, 'OλvμTos, Túpavvos. I may observe, in passing, that there is no instance in which our written Greek accents are thought more objectionable than in such as these. In another passage, having observed that his countrymen sometimes erred in substituting a circumflex accent for a grave, especially in Greek words, he instances the word Arpes, which the best Latin masters he says directed to be made acute on the first, and therefore grave on the second. Plutarch, in his Lives of the Ten Orators, says that Demosthenes was censured for some peculiarities in his speech; among other things, as προπαροξύνων, the word Ασκληπίον, i. e. pronouncing it Aokλýmov, as we do now. Servius, an ancient Roman writer, remarks on that line of the Æneid, "Ubi tot Simois," &c. "Hoc nomen, Simois, integrum ad nos transiit, unde suo accentu profertur: nam si esset latinum in antepenultima haberet accentum quia secunda a fine brevis est." When therefore I find the word in our Greek books accented Zuós, my good opinion of our present system is confirmed. In Apollonius Dyscolos, an old grammarian of the age of the Antonines, we find many notices of the accents: observing the custom of the Eolic dialect, he says, Aλes éμo Bapéws. This confirms our common Greek, which makes it oxyton. Stephanos, another old writer, remarks, “ Δαυλίς' οξύνεται το Δαυλὶς, τὸ δὲ Αῦλις Αιολικῶς βαρύνεται.” Ammonius, a writer about two centuries after Christ, who was also the tutor of Origen, wrote a work entitled "Hepì dusív kai diapógov λégewy." In this book we have abundant evidence that in his day Greek was accented just as we now see it. He often notices the distinction which accent makes in words otherwise alike. For instance, he says that αγροῖκος, προπερισπωμένως, means one who lives in the country, but that dy


Latin rule, and never familiarized with the Greek, especially as the Latin is, in this respect, more agreeable to the English, should conceive that the Greek accent is not properly conformed to the quantity. Thus in the instance before us, we may think that the long quantity of the second syllable of os can hardly be preserved if the tone is elevated on the first. The ear is the only judge in this matter; but as far as reason goes, it would be impossible to shew that this particular predicament of the second syllable is more unfavourable to its quantity than any other. Moreover, as we have already shewn, that in words of this class the ancient Greeks actually did accent the first syllable, and at the same time prolong the second, that fact alone is sufficient to shew that there can be nothing in this usage contrary to natural euphony. But for the sake of argument I will wave these considerations, and illus. trate the use of the Greek accents simply by reference to our native language. For this purpose I have to observe that, in many English words, we may perceive, beside the principal accent, another tone on some other syllable, which, approaching in nature to the first, may be called a secondary accent. For example, I should say there is a secondary accent on the first syllable of the word universal, on the third of the word matrimony, and on the second of the word schoolmaster. This, I think, gives the clue to the Greek pronunciation. In English we may observe that these secondary accents are capable of sustaining verse almost as well as the primary. Witness the line,

Parent of good, Almighty, thine this universal frame.

In this instance there is something of long quantity to help the accent, But in the following this secondary accent, even on a short syllable, is sufficient.

Die of a rose in aromatic pain.

I allude to the first syllable of the word aromatic. Now, I presume that in Greek, the long syllables, especially those most essential to the rhythm, although not bearing the principal accent of the word, were yet sustained

by something like this secondary accent of ours. And if this be just, it will follow, that the principles of rhythm in the two languages are not so widely different as they might otherwise appear. It will shew, also, how foolish the question is that has been proposed, viz. whether the pronunciation of Greek is better conducted by accent or quantity? "It is a question," observes Foster," of like kind with the following, whether in walking a man had better use his right or his left leg singly." This doctrine of the secondary tones I will now apply more particularly to the pronunciation of the several varieties of Greek words, and trust, in this way, to shew that the genuine utterance of this noble language may easily be attained by any Englishman who will bestow common pains upon it.

Take, for instance, the first line of Homer's Iliad :

Μῆνιν άειδε, Θεὰ, Πηληϊάδεω Αχιλῆος.

In the second word we encounter an accent on the first syllable, followed by a long penultima. If we pronounce this word like the English, honesty, our ear will tell us that the just rhythm is lost. We must, therefore, seek for a model a similar English word, accented, indeed, on the first syllable, but carrying also a secondary accent on a long penultima. Let us then pronounce the word duide somewhat as we do the English words, school-master, mán-eater, and other compounds of this description. I do not say that these English words will serve as exact models for the Greek; they fail in respect to quantity, as English pronunciation always does, but in relation to the accent, I think they are very fair examples. Again, such a word as piλáv0owños may be pronounced somewhat as our word elóngated, taking care to utter the third syllable distinctly and firmly, and to dwell on it a proper time. Such a word as a resembles our word headache, when well pronounced. Such a word as πτωχὸς may be pronounced like our word, undone, or herein; and such a one as λaurados will not be misrepresented by such as out-witted, however. These will be sufficient to serve as examples of all others. Another mode in which an idea may be

conveyed of the just pronunciation is, by throwing the syllables into new combinations, as in the following example:

Μῆ νινά ειδεθεὰ πηληϊά δεωαχιλῆος. If the line be read as if thus written, the accents will be pretty well expressed, without injury to the quantity. It really appears to me, that from such examples as these, a very sufficient idea may be formed of the true nature of ancient Greek pronunciation; and may enable us, if so disposed, to restore to living utterance those long-neglected marks which at present seem but as melancholy monuments of the lost graces of Grecian diction. But whether or not we deem it expedient actually to adopt them in practice, these examples may convince us that there is no manner of difficulty in supposing that they once formed the rule of pronunciation, and might again, if it were thought desirable.

But suppose it admitted, that in pursuing the plan here recommended, our English students will, after all, be often found neglecting the quantity in favour of the accent, is this so shocking? Let me beg the reader to consider whether it can take place in any greater degree than it does on the received plan. In our books we see the word auporpois, but our schools teach us to read it αμφότεροις. If the advocate for the accents is charged with lengthening the third syllable of this word, may he not with equal justice accuse his opponents of lengthening the second? And when the last syllable is long, as in ayán, how is its quantity better consulted by reading it ayan? As to the long penultima, if it were true that placing the accent upon it was of any advantage to its quantity, the Latin mode would so far be preferable; but upon the same principle the Greek would have the advantage in numberless other instances, such as EKET, ayaπav, which we read έka, áуanav. So that, judging even by the standard of our own prejudices, the one system seems but little more favourable to quantity than the other. The fact is, that through the whole subject we are apt to fall into the error of thinking a syllable long when it is accented, and the contrary. But this notion is wholly un


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tenable, and not less so in respect to the Latin than the Greek, as is too evident to need proof. The Greek practice of depressing, in many cases, the long penultima is common to the English and many other modern languages, as in such words as chémistry, industry: but the Greeks were, at the same time, mindful of their quantity, which we neglect.

The advantages of retaining and observing the tones are many. To say nothing of that pleasing effect noticed by Dionysios, when he says of them, σε κλέπτεσι τῷ ποικιλία τοὶ κόροι,” and which Quinctilian so well contrasts with the heavy monotony of the Latins; to say nothing of this, their use is exceedingly great in determining the sense of words, between which there is no other distinction. At the end of Scapula's Lexicon is given a list of above 800 words, differing from one another only in their signification and accent. But a still greater number of such words is derived from the infiections of nouns and verbs, of which this list takes no notice, though they are, perhaps, less easy to distinguish than the others. It is useful to discriminate at a glance, Oɛá, a goddess, from éa, a spectacle; but we are more likely to be at a loss between ayopa, a market, and ayop, to a market, ayopas, of a market, and ayopàs, markets: or again, between añol, to do, ποιήσαι, lie would do, and ποίησαι, make for thyself. It may be said that the context will point out all these distinctions; and no doubt it is true, that with sufficient pains, the sense of a passage may generally be thus deterinined. And if we went on to strike out from Greek half the vowels, and reduce it to the condition of Hebrew without points, the sense might still in general be ascertained. But then the difficulty would be much greater; and what ordinary scholar is there to whom additional facility in understanding Greek would not be an acquisition? But it is said that the accents have not the authority of the original author. This is true, but not more so than that the distinction of sand, and w, in Homer, is in the same predicament. But surely it is sufficient, in all ordinary cases, to be guided in our studies by directions, which having first 'been made while Greek was flourishing in purity, have

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