« AnkstesnisTęsti »
our remarks by confessing that the predominant feeling of our mind, throughout this examination of Donnegan, has been disappointment,-disappointment, that with such materials before him, with such aids as Schneider and Passow might and ought to have been to him, he has not done more; or, rather, has done what he has done so imperfectly; that, setting out on the great principle of the absurdity of tracing the sense of one language through the medium of another into a third, he has been himself guilty of that very absurdity-guilty of translating from the German instead of the Greek, and thus making that the principal which ought to have been only an auxiliary, and hardly deigning to call in, even as auxiliaries, those who ought to have been principals.
The consequences are, what must be always the consequences of such an unnatural order of proceeding, inaccuracy, defectiveness, and superfluity. And the sum of all, that which has given the keenest edge to our disappointment, is, that the misfortune must be, we fear, in this case, nearly irremediable—that future editions must increase rather than diminish the evil, for they cannot amend the inherent defects, nor remove faults ingrafted in the very groundwork of this Greek-and-English lexicon. Instead of serving, as we had hoped when we first saw it announced for publication, as a foundation on which to raise a goodly structure of Greek-andEnglish lexicography, it is so innately unsound, that whatever is raised on it must partake largely of its faults. Nothing but its being completely remodelled, and managed on a different plan and in a different manner, will ever make it extensively or permanently useful.
Having thus given an account of the different lexicons placed at the head of our article, and pointed out the merits and defects of each, we must sum up the whole, and endeavour to attain the great object which we have all along kept in view, by giving an outline of such a Greek-and-English lexicon as we would wish to see undertaken, being fully convinced that unless one be formed on this or some very similar plan, it cannot but fail.
We should begin then by saying, that we prefer the alphabetical arrangement of words to the etymological one, where the derivatives are arranged under their primitives. The latter may be the more philosophical, but every one knows that it is most inconvenient, while the former is the only one calculated for general use, and may be so managed—(the roots and the primitives being, for instance, placed in larger characters than the derivatives) as to present almost all the advantages without any of the inconveniences of the former.
It should be an invariable rule in this commencement of a new line of lexicography, never to admit a meaning for which there is
not some good and undoubted authority, and to affix to each meaning the authority on which it rests, or the passage from which it is drawn: of course, the earliest or best author should be preferred. By setting out on this plan, and regularly adhering to it, we shall be laying the only sure foundation for avoiding errors and mistranslations at first; for discovering and correctiug them when made: and preventing that endless multiplication of meanings, many of them tautologous or false, which now deluge our dictionaries, and only go on increasing with every fresh edition. It would then be seen, at the first glance, what authority there is for any sense; and should the inquirer question the fidelity or skill of the lexicographer, he could satisfy his doubts by referring to the author himself. If it be said, that a lexicon formed on such a plan as this would be too cumbrous and too expensive for general use, we answer, that the plan proposed is the only one calculated for preventing a lexicon becoming too extensive, by excluding everything not absolutely necessary; and that from a work of this kind would be formed, very soon and very easily, abridged editions to suit younger students and all who are willing to rely on the judgment of others, while the greater work would remain for more advanced scholars who think and examine for themselves. Besides, this part of the plan might be so modified, with
very little or no injury to the work, or inconvenience to those who use it, that all apprehension of its too great bulk would vanish at once. For instance, in all common and useful meanings, where there can be no doubt, and where the author from whom the authority is taken is in every one's hands, as Homer, Xenophon, &c., a reference to the passage would be sufficient; in all unusual meanings, and where the author is not of every-day use, it would be better to give the example at length.
Every word should have its root attached to it, and, if possible, in such a way that both should be seen at the same glance; and if the quantity be marked, it will be a great additional convenience and advantage. The best general plan which we have seen for combining both these very desirable points is that of Passow. In his work, the root is added in curved brackets immediately after the word; and the quantity of the doubtful vowel or vowels is marked, wherever it is possible, over the word itself—as in Maltby's Thesaurus; but where this is prevented by the accent, it is added at the end of the article in square brackets, as thus :
’Addïos, é, , (a priv. and Sćios) not hostile, &c. [-] Where the derivation, being doubtful or disputed, is too long to be placed conveniently near the beginning of an article, Passow has, we think judiciously, reversed the respective situations of the root and quantity, thus :
has, * Observe, we say, 'whenever a word will admit of this.' We are aware that if we were to attempt to explain the senses of every word in any language by following universally and systematically the chronological order of its appearances in books, we should be frequently led into the most glaring absurdities. Numerous instances of this may be seen in the English Dictionary which forms part of the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, where this system is blindly followed, by a diligent, and, in many other respects, praiseworthy writer, in tracing the English language from the earliest writers down to the usage of the present day. In Greek, these absurdities might not be of such frequent occurrence, on account of the three great epochs which stand out so prominently in the history of that language, nor would they be so striking in a dead as in a living tongue; still it would be ridiculous to say that Homer always used every word found in his writings in the primitive or literal sense; and of course instances must often occur of words used figuratively, or in a secondary sense, by earlier writers, and by later authors in their simple or primitive one. In the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, we find, for instance, the first meaning of the word “embattled," taken from a line in Chaucer, who employs it as the epithet of a cock's conib-a meaning which common sense tells us is a metaphorical usage, and ought therefore to be preceded by the simple one, whether that be found in Havelok the Dane, or in The Spectator. Passow's whole lexicon is a striking and beautiful illustration of this rule, and of the limits within which it should be restricted.
Arákovos, o, 11, [-] a servant, &c.(The common derivation is dià and kóvis, one who goes in haste through the dust; compare éykovéw: or one who sleeps in the dust and ashes of the hearth, as the lowest hinds did (Odys. xi. 190): or, with a more general idea, one whose occupations necessarily lead him through dust and dirt. But Buttmann, in his Lexilogus, makes it very probable, on prosodiacal grounds, that an old verb, diákw, dińsw, whence also diwkw, lies at the root of this word, which verb had the meaning of, to run, hasten; and that drártopos is not a compound, but a derivation from the same root.)
We think if this outline were filled up according to the rules which we will now enumerate, a lexicon might in time be produced equal to our most sanguine expectations.
The rules, then, which we propose are these :
1st. To give, wherever, and as far as a word will admit of it, its different meanings in chronological order, tracing them from Homer, Hesiod, or the earliest author in which such word or meaning occurs.*
2d. Where there is no decisive change of meaning traceable in the different eras of the language, to give first the primitive or literal sense, whether in an earlier or later author, and then the derivative senses, tracing them from one to the other so as to mark as clearly as possible their connexion with the primitive and with each other.
3d. To notice whether a word has varied in its construction in different authors, or in different periods of the language.
4th. To mark where a word is a dialectic variety, and whether it is used principally by the epic poets, by the dramatic writers, or by the Attic prose authors.
5th. Those primitive forms of verbs, for which we have no positive authority in the remaining works of the elder Greek authors, but which are found perhaps in the lexicons of the grammarians; or of which there remain only some tenses now generally ranked as irregular under a later form, should be mentioned as such in their proper alphabetical places; and the tenses formed from them, though placed under the form in general use, might be always referred back to their original thema.
We are aware that, to form a lexicon on these rules, would be a work of time and labour, requiring most extensive and accurate learning, sound judgment, and unwearied perseverance; but at the same time we are quite convinced that these rules are not more than sufficient-that, with the numerous helps which a scholar has in the present day, they are not of greater difficulty than he may be fairly required to encounter--and that a lexicon, not founded on these or similar rules, must be in some point or other radically defective. We will give an instance or two of each of these rules, partly to exemplify our meaning, but still more to show how necessary they are, and how useful they may be made.
As an instance of the effect of the first of these rules we might point το άγαλμα, the Homeric sense of which is πάν εφ' ώ τις árádetai, any object of exultation, pride, or delight; its postHomeric and general Attic sense, the statue of any god or deified hero: nor was it ever applied to statues of men, until, by the flattery of the later Greeks, under the Byzantine emperors. In the same way we cannot obtain a clear knowledge of the different meanings of αγαπάω, and its more poetical form αγαπάζω, but by tracing it from the Homeric sense, "to show a person any act of favour, affection, or kindness,' down to its common Attic meaning, 'to be fond of inanimate things,' as thoūTOV, Xpruata, &c., and thence again to Lucian's frequent use of it for sexual love, špowin which sense it is not found except in writers of a very late Now, in putting this rule into practice, we shall observe that there are three great epochs in the language, through all or some of which the different meanings of a word can be frequently traced with more or less distinctness; viz. its infancy, its prime, and its decline :—its infancy in the heroic age of Homer, with whom we may join Hesiod-its prime, in the pure and classical times of Thucydides, Xenophon, and the great dramatists—and its decline, after the Macedonian conquest, and still later under the rising star of Roman greatness, when such writers as Polybius, Plutarch, and Lucian disfigured the elegant language of Plato and Sophocles by spurious expressions, foreign idioms, and new
fangled meanings. The greater number of instances, however,
Of the second rule, it may be hardly necessary to give an example; it will not, however, detain us long, and we will venture on one in
'A TOOTpop), 11, (à mootpéow) the turning anything from or away-as the averting of an evil, of an accusation, of a crime, &c., Eurip. Hippol. 1036. The turning of a horse short aside, Xen. de Equ. 9, 6. Vide "Αποτροπή.
2d, in a passive or middle sense, the turning oneself from one thing or place to another, as through fear, whence, a place of refuge or safety, like karapuy', Herodot. 8, 109; Xen. Anab. 2, 4, 11: Eurip. Med. 603. 'AT. owTnpias, Thucyd. 8, 75; or through want, as a resource, üdatos, Herodot. 2, 13; or, through dislike, whence aversion, defection, or revolt, Plut. Alcib. 14; or, simply, the being turned in a different direction, as the bend or turn of a road or river, ToŨ