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of thought or subject into an incidental digression, as I proceed.
The title, I there learn, is declared by the venerable author to have been adopted from the Italian phrase "La Letteratura Amena," but I cannot divest myself of a persuasion, founded on the most striking analogy, that it was rather suggested by the Amanitates Litterariæ, quibus variæ Observationes; scripta item quædam Anecdota exhibentur," of J. G. Schelhorn, published in successive numbers at Leipzig, from 1724 to 1731, and partly reprinted at Francfort, in 1730. The whole constituted fourteen numbers, or seven full volumes, octavo, which were followed, in 1737, by his "Amœnitates Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ et Litterariæ," in four volumes; and, as these works cannot be unknown to Mr. D'Israeli, and are not dissimilar in their purpose to his own, while, identical in name, it is difficult to ascribe his chosen title to any other source. They were very popular productions during the last century, as literary, bibliographical, and anecdotical repositories. The author, a most laborious compiler, born in 1694, died in 1773, and I have had frequent occasions to refer to his multifarious volumes in my addresses to this Magazine.
Scheller's (E. J. G.) "Præcepta Styli bene Latini, imprimis Ciceroniani," &c., (1778, 2 vols. 8vo.,) is quoted in proof of Caesar's negligence of style and inaccuracies of language, for which, however, we have much better authority than this German, whose own diction, correct certainly, is heavy and inelegant. Asinius Pollio, according to Suetonius, (in Julio Cæsare, cap. 56,) arraigned the great Dictator of carelessness, and, what is much worse, of bad faith in the 3 R
composition of his commentaries, " parum diligenter, parumque integra fide compositos;" adding that, had Cæsar lived, he would have revised the hasty work. But Hirtius Pansa, who wrote the eighth or completing book of the Commentaries, though not denying the haste, by no means concurs in its alleged and censured consequence, “Ceteri quam bene et emendate, nos etiam quam facile atque celeriter, eos (Commentarios) confecerit, scimus." (Lib. viii. cap. 1.) Cicero's eulogy is peculiarly expressive (in Bruto, cap. 75,) "nudi sunt, recti, et venusti, omni ornatu orationis, tamquam veste, detracto," a narrative of unadorned beauty, likely to betray the tasteless or unwary into a hazardous imitation, from its seeming ease, but deterrent of any such attempt, he adds, to better judges. Fatal, too, we know, to many, has been the seductive simplicity of Addison's style. Nor was Cæsar's eloquence less the theme of Cicero's admiration, though Plutarch describes it as rather of a military character, “ λόγον ἀνδρός στρατιωτικού,” quite natural in a great soldier, more familiar with the camp than the forum.
Pollio's animadversions, not only on Cæsar, but on Cicero, as stated by Quintilian, lib. xii., cap. 1., and on Livy, to whom he imputes the provincialisms of his birth-place--Patavinitas (Quintil. viii., 1.,) whence flowed the expression patois,* show that he was very difficult of satisfaction as a critic. Still, he was among the most conspicuous personages of that era so fruitful in distinguished men, the friend and patron of Virgil, who dedicated to him his fourth Eclogue, and
See Morhofius (D.G.) "De Patavinitate Livianâ....Urbanitate, et Peregrinitate sermonis Latini," &c., 1684, 4to. This curious dissertation is also appended to the Livy of Drakenborgius, 1738, 7 vols. 4to.
of Horace, who inscribed to him the first Ode of his second book. He was, also, the first to institute a public library in Rome; but, though ranking high as an orator, he is accused by M. Aper, one of the interlocutors in the Dialogue " De Oratoribus," included in the works of Tacitus, (cap. 21,) of an overweening affectation of antiquated language, pretty much like Lord Brougham, whom, however, it would be eminently unjust to subject to the consequent censure passed on Pollio, of being "durus et siccus."
The curious particulars of Father Hardouin's literary hallucination, certainly appear entitled to a clearer, though it still shall be a brief exposition. This coryphoeus of learned visionaries, and most singular man, passed a general sentence of proscription, it is well known, on all the extant productions of antiquity, which he unqualifiedly denounced as spurious, the fabrication of certain monks of the thirteenth century, with the very limited reserve of the works of Cicero (excluding, however, the Orations,) the Georgics of Virgil, the Satires and Epistles of Horace, the Natural History of Pliny, and Justin Martyr's Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon. This sweeping condemnation he supported with all the array of the profoundest erudition, in various publications, but more directly in his Chronologiæ ex Nummis Antiquis Restitutæ," to which is appended "Prolusio de Nummis Herodiadum," (Paris, 1693, folio.) His superiors, afflicted and scandalised at such an abuse of learning, which spared' not the Greek text of Scripture, (for the original New Testament, in his fancy, was Latin,) nor the Holy Fathers, compelled him to retract; and, in 1708, he accordingly signed a declaration to that effect. His
opinions, however remained unchanged, like those of Galileo, though on infinitely more tenable grounds, after the astronomer's similarly enforced retractation, in 1615. So Hardouin's posthumous works, "Opuscula Varia," printed in 1733, at Amsterdam, folio, and Prolegomena ad censuram veterum scriptorum," Londini, 1768, 8vo., which may be considered the testamentary repositories of his sentiments, amply prove. Even in the history of his own country, he pronounced every thing apocryphal antecedent to Philip of Valois in the fourteenth century, or, we may say, Froissart !*
I beg to remark that the designation of Père Provencal should be Père Provincial, the local or national head of the Jesuits, the duration of whose office, as in other religious communities, was four years. This Superior, at the date of Hardouin's involuntary retractation, the 27th December, 1708, was Michael Le Tellier, who shortly after succeeded the famous Père La Chaise as the Confessor of Louis XIV. He had, many years previously, (1678,) been chosen by Huet and Bossuet to comment Quintus Curtius, "in usum Delphini," and the edition is one of the most valued of the collection. Another of
Hardouin's edition of Pliny (1685, 5 vols. 4to., and 1723, 3 vols. folio,) is the highest in estimation, of the whole collection of Classics, in usum Delphini, which, in the aggregate, by no means satisfies the laborious Germans. Even of Hardouin, Drakenborgius, the very learned editor of Livy, Silius Italicus, &c., says, "Abi et auctor sis, ut his hominibus (Doujato et Harduino,) editionem Livii et Plinii in usum Delphini committat Rex Christianissimus." (Ad Livii lib ii, cap. 10.) For the origin of these editions, see the Huetiana, page 92, where the first conception is ascribed to the Duc de Montausier, the Dauphin's Governor, who entrusted the arrangement to Bossuet and Huet. In the same volume, page 195, will be found the curious calculation to prove that the entire Iliad, consisting of 15,185 verses, could, if written on fine vellum with a crow's quill, be contained in a walnut-shell! A few pages transcribed by Huet verified the fact.
the subscribers to Hardouin's recantation, was the historian Father Daniel, whose answer to the "Lettres Provinciales," under the title of "Entretiens de Cléandre et d'Eudoxe," (1694, 12mo.,) deserves more attention, as often observed, than it has received. His history of France, on the other hand, enjoyed, for some time, a higher reputation than it was entitled to, its principal merit consisting in military details, little to be expected from a priest, though the Chevalier Folard had a high opinion of this Jesuit's "Histoire de la Milice Française," 1721, 2 vols., 4to. The portion of his French history embracing the reign of "le Grand Henri," is, it must be acknowledged, deeply impregnated with the prejudices of his Order against that sovereign, the lustre of whose memory, though not unclouded, has always struck me as still more resplendent in traditional than historic fame and popularity.
Some part of our eccentric Jesuit's epitaph, I perceive, is omitted-I give it here in full, and it well bears repetition.
The epitaph proposed for the learned Jesuit was thus expressed:
"In expectatione Judicii
Natione Gallus, Religione Romanus,
Orbis literati portentum:
Venerandæ antiquitatis cultor et destructor,
Somnia et inaudita commenta vigilans edidit,
Scepticum pie egit.
Credulitate puer, audacia juvenis, deliriis senex,
Verbo dicam, hîc jacet Harduinus."
This ingenious composition was long attributed to Dr.