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press, under the care and revision of Demetrius Cretensis, a native Greek, eniployed by Cardinal Ximenes for the purpose of superintending its publication. And though that college of learned men, who assisted at its revisal, could have no foresight of the views of future critics; the labours of Mill, Bengel, Wetstein and Matthäi, have tended, to a degree surpassing credibility, to demonstrate the purity of its text ; and even Dr. Griesbach, where his decisions are not influenced by his favourite system of classification, affords it the most ample confirmation.
But it is not by the mere authority of names, however emi. nent or imposing, that the credit of the Complutensian Text is supported; for even against the sentence of the most distinguished critics, the integrity of its text admits of the fullest defence, as we have strikingly instanced in Matt. xv. 8. which is one of the most desperate cases. The basis on which it immovably rests is the testimony of the Greek MSS. confirmed by the concurrence of the most aptient Versions. The Complutensianeditors were merely possessed of a few copies, and were wholly unacquainted with the primitive Italic and Syriac translations ; this is stated by Dr. Griesbach, to detract from the merit of the primitive edition. The reader will be doubtless led to form a very different conclusion, when he is informed, that where the Complutensian Codex differs from the Received Text, it is alm most uniformly atteaded in its dissent by the great body of Greek MSS. and that its integrity is confirmed by the testimony of those antient and separate witnesses, the primitive Italic and Syriac Versions. Nay, although the editors of this text possessed not more than seven copies, yet in the immense multitude of MSS, which have been examined merely to ascertain the point, not seven have been found to invalidate its testimony. Of the strength of the grounds on which the integrity of this primitive edition is, absolutely demonstrable, we shall now lay an examplification before the readers, taken from the first ten chapters of the sacred canon. The following is a list of those texts of the Complutensian Codex, which are properly readings of the Greek Vulgate; of the three conspartments into which it is divided, the tirst exhibits those in which the primitive text agrees with the Received Text against Dr. Griesbach's edition ; the second and third those in which it differs from the Received Text, and agrees with Dr. Griesbach's edition. An asterisk is added to those readings of the Italic and Syriac which differ from the Complutensian Text; the testimony of those Versions not being added in the last instance, as it consists of differences which, as pro"perly belonging to the Greek, are not to be expected in a translation
13. ixatovlágx». Vulg.
ixatolápxy. Rec. 17. MC-TEẹoi. Vaulg.
á upótica. 25. Tixdagar. Vulg.
excroar. Rec. 28. poßerohe. Vulg.
OoBoSña. Rec. - émoulevóolwy. Vulg.
ámoalewórlws. Rec. Of this list of tests, the whole of which are sanctioned by the authority of Bengel, Wetstein, and Matthäi, and with the exception of the first seven, by that also of Dr. Griesbach, there are but two or at most three which are negatived by the concurrent testimony of the Italic and Syriac. Yet if we separate from these three, Matt. x. 10. which exhibits merely the difference between the singular and the plural forms, a difference which frequently could not be expressed in Syriac before the diacritical points were invented; the remaining two, Matt. iv. 10. vii. 2. while they furnish us with a proof that the Italic and Syriac have not been corrected by the Greek Vulgate, afford strong confirmation of the unadulterated integrity of those versions. The readings of those versions possess the very highest antiquity, as that of Matt. iv. 10. is supported by Irenæus, Tertullian, Origen expressly, Pseudo Ignatius expressly, Hilary, Jerome, &c.; and that of Ib. vii. 2. by St. Polycarp, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origeu in several places : they thus probably existed in the very copies from which those antient versions were made, or might have been adopted in them, on the authority of the fathers. Taking this circumstance into account, and as the Greek Vulgate is supported in the one place by Justin Martyr, Petrus Alexandrinus, Athanasius, Hilary, Ambrose, Chrysostome, &c. and in the other by S. Clemens Romanus, Origen, the dialogue against Marcion, Theodorit, &c., and as, when internally viewed, it is the preferable reading, the weight of evidence is clearly in
its favour. • While we hold “ the Church to be the witness and keeper of the word”, we can alone acknowledge any edition of the inspired text, as the authentic rule of faith and manners, on the body of testimony dispersed in those vouchers. And on this basis it stands immoveably sustained, independent of any theory · which may be devised for its defence or subversion. With the · reservation of this one point, from which we can never securely
recede, we may believe with M. Wetstein, that the few MSS. · which have been banded together against the Greek Vulgate, have · been corrupted from the Latin version; or bold with Mr. Nolan,
that they have been corrupted by the Egyptian and Palestine editions. While we cling to this fundamental principle, we way admit with M. Matthäi, that the text and versions which are thus
found to coincide, may have been directly corrupted by Latin . scribes, from the writings of Origev; or again hold with Mr.
in the other by nasius, Hilary, Ambrosestin Martyr, Petrus
ire hold“ the Cbue acknowledge and manners, on this
by the Europei principlich are thus
Nolan, that the peculiar readings in which they conspire, have arisen in the Gnostic controversies, have thus found a place in Clement and Origen's works, and have been thence tranferred, in the Thebaic monasteries and Cæsarean library, into the texts of Egypt and Palestine, from whence they were partially adopted in the Eastern and Western Versions. All these theories stand equally independent of the great principle, for which these writers in common contend ; that the genuine text of the New
Testament must be sought in the common testimony of the Greek Vulgate. And on this testimony, which, though it is a remote, is a direct transmission of the written evidence of Jn. spiration, through the intervention of the Church, we lay no claim to the spirit of prophecy in pronouncing, it shall stand im, movably tired, as on an adamantine rack, until time is lost ip eternity.
ART. VIII. Euripidis Alcestis. Ad fidem MSS Emendavit et
Annotationibus instruxit J. H. Monk, A.M. Coll. 8.8. T'rin. Socius et Græc. Litt. apud Cantab. Professor Regius. Svo. pp. 176. 6s. 6d. Cantabrigiæ, typis et sumptibus Academicis. 1816.
IT is with no ordinary pleasure that we see editions, such as these, of the most celebrated Greek Tragedies issuing from our English press. They do honour to our age, and to our nation, inasnyuch as they present readable, intelligible, and scholar-like copies of the finest productions of the human genius. The ignorant and silly fashion of book collecting has lung since debarred our younger students even from a chance view of the best egitions of the Greek and Roman Classics, and has immured them within the well-wired cases of the feeble amateur or the conceited cit. It is therefore now peculiarly incumbent upon the scholars and the critics of our day to mitigate the calamities thus incumbent on literature, by furnishing to those, who are both able and willing to read, such editions of the Classics, as shall contain, within a narrow and a cheap compass, all that the illdirected mania of the collector has secluded from their view. It is under these impressions that we congratulate the public upon the edition of the Alcestis now before us, as it presents to the reader all that is excellent iu previous editors, with the addition of much valuable matter from the learned Professor, under whose auspices it has been ushered into the world. .
There is no tragedy perhaps in the Greek language more abounding in passages of genuine and unaffected patbos, than the Alcestis. Could it be transfused into the English language, it would afford the most ample scope for the high and commanding powers of our British Melpomene. Could we for a moment inspire Miss O'Neil with the language of the Grecian Muse, it would be for the pleasure of beholding her overwhelming talent displayed in the heart-rending scenes of the Alcestis. As many of our readers (not being book collectors) may be de. sirous of acquainting themselves farther with a drama so peculiarly calculated to excite the finest feelings of the human heart, we shall present them with the following short sketch of its inci. dents, and the conduct of its plot. • The first personage to whom we are introduced is Apollo, who gives us, in the prologue, a short insight into the circumstances previous to the commencement of the drama. Jupiter had killed Æsculapius, the son of Apollo, with a pleurisy, for Bo the College of Physicians would interpret orégroidi fubahwa paoya. Apollo, in revenge, kills the Cyclopes, for which Jupiter sends him down on earth to expiate his crime by becoming slave to a mortal. His master, Admetus, so recommends himself to the god, that Apollo procures from the Fates a prolongation of life, provided he can procure any one else to die in his stead. All his friends and relations refuse to be his representative in the .shades below; bis wife, Alcestis, is the only one found who will consent to undergo death in his rooin. The second personage introduced is Death, who comes to claim his victim, and seems fearful lest Apollo should defraud him of the wife, as he had before of the husband. We profess that we cannot see any thing comic or absurd in the dialogue which ensues, concluding with the refusal of Death to prolong the life of his promised victim, por do we conceive that Euripides ever meant it to be so. The Chorus now enters, informing us that the hour of death approaches, and of the silence and desolation of all around. Soon after comes upon the stage one of the attendants of Alcestis, who relates at length the preparations of her mistress for her approaching dissolution. We know not the powers of the Gre. cian actors in varration, but we know that those of our owu are so miserably deficient, that all descriptive scenes fail in their hands, and verify the rule of Horace, that the mind is more effectually swayed by what is presented to the eye, than what passes through the ear. A more exquisite description of a young wife in the arms of death, cannot be wall imagined; and there is something in the rythm of the lambic so peculiarly calculated for narration, as to give the poet a very great advantage. The next act, if we may use an English term, brings both Aloestis and Admetus before our eyes ; their parting dialogue is one of the most pathetic scenes in any language. Every charge that a dying wife or mo. sher could give to her husband or her children, is here most beau