A Treatise on Homer, with miscellaneous questions

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Page 84 - Achilles, gives us also the consummate elegance and tenderness of Helen. She is through the Iliad a genuine lady, graceful in motion and speech, noble in her associations, full of remorse for a fault for which higher powers seem responsible, yet grateful and affectionate towards those with whom that fault had committed her.
Page 104 - Greek writers it is always long, whether spelled with <i or with i. Note 2. It is a part of the above rule, that a long vowel or diphthong at the end of a word, when the word following begins with a vowel, is usually made short in the thesis of a verse. (See above, Chap. I. 4. note 1 .) [§ 17.] 3. Usage (auctoritas) alone makes the vowel in the first syllable of mater, f rater, pravus, mano (I flow), dico...
Page 66 - The manners of the Iliad are the manners of the Patriarchal and early ages of the East. The chief differences arise from a different religion, and a more maritime situation. Very far removed from the savage state on the one hand, and equally distant from the artificial state of an extended commerce, and a manufacturing population, on the other ; the spirit and habitudes of the two modes of society are almost identical. The Hero and the Patriarch are substantially coeval...
Page 140 - ... and avoidance. Born, like the river of Egypt, in secret light, they yet roll on their great collateral streams, wherein a thousand poets have bathed their sacred heads, and thence drunk beauty and truth, and all sweet and noble harmonies. Known to no man is the time or place of their gushing forth from the earth's bosom, but their course has been amongst the fields and by the dwellings of men, and our children now sport on their banks and quaff their salutary waters.
Page 135 - Eumaeus is a character less within the reach of modern imitation than any other in the Odyssey. He is a genuine country gentleman of the age of Homer, living at a distance from the town, having servants or labourers under him, but being at the same time the principal herdsman and superintendent of the swine belonging to Ulysses, which of course constituted an important article of the hero's property. He had come a stranger to Ithaca, and Ulysses...
Page 132 - ... although Virgil certainly, and perhaps even Tasso, have borrowed particular passages from it more largely than from the Iliad (a fact not commonly noticed), the character and scope of their great poems are utterly dissimilar to those of the Odyssey, which consist in raising an interest about, and in detailing the changing fortunes of, a single man, not as a general warring with armies against a city, but as an exile, compassing by his own courage, and skill, and patience, the return to, and re-possession...
Page 84 - ... seem responsible, yet grateful and affectionate towards those with whom that fault had committed her. I have always thought the following speech in which Helen laments Hector, and hints at her own invidious and unprotected situation in Troy, as almost the sweetest passage in the poem. It is another striking instance of that refinement of feeling and softness of tone which so generally distinguish the last book of the Iliad from the rest.
Page 126 - ... would not become me to pronounce a peremptory decision on this question, I cannot help owning that I never read a book of the Odyssey without being more and more convinced that a considerable number of years must have intervened between the composition of the two poems. It should be remarked, too, that, in every instance of difference, the statement in the Odyssey is invariably that which agrees with the finally prevailing habits and creed of ceding ages.
Page 111 - ¡ng vowel or diphthong, preceding a short vowel in the end of a word, elided in consequence of the next word beginning with a vowel, remains long before that vowel.
Page 128 - ... of the beginning and conclusion of the passage, it will, I think, appear plain that no actual descent, such as that of ./Eneas in the ./Eneid, was in the contemplation of the original poet ; but that the whole ground plan is that of an act of Asiatic evocation only ; and Lucian, who, in his piece, combines the Homeric rites of evocation with an actual descent, makes the evocator a Babylcnian and disciple of Zoroaster, and lays the scene somewhere on the banks of the Euphrates.

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