« PředchozíPokračovat »
Lincoln's Inn. From the inns of court we pass to Somerse House, where the Royal, and Antiquarian, and Geologica. Societies hold their (Temperance) symposia. It is a singular performance, perhaps of purposed quaintness, that of the Society of Antiquaries: it is not, we suppose, without a reason that by this learned body the editor of a book is preferred before the author, but we in our ignorance cannot divine why Selden's works should appear
under the name of Wilkins, nor Camden's Britannia under Gibson and Gough. But we must be gentle.
Besides the frequent solecisms which are found in alphabetical catalogues, arising from the compiler's misapprehension of the meaning of a title, such as the “Relatio felicis agonis' of certain martyrs being entered as a work by Felix Ago, various difficulties are caused by the fond fancies of authors in translating or euphonising their names. The more common of these may be found in the different biographical dictionaries, and a vast number in the works of Placcius, Barbier, Lancetti, and others.*
The real names of many writers are oftentimes unknown, even to those who may be tolerably well acquainted with their works nor, did the evil rest here, would its amount be great: it might not be always necessary to know an author's history in order to quote his works with advantage. But the second race of writers become, in their turn, authorities for others, who know neither the names nor the works of the original writers; it then becomes very difficult to trace up information to its source, a procedure of vital importance, to historical accuracy especially. When to this are added the crude attempts at explanation of an incompetent editor, it necessarily follows that every error is magnified into distortion. The case of Foxe, and the recent editors of his . Acts and Monuments,' forms an excellent illustration of what we have said. The masterly and merciless exposure of the inaccuracies of Foxe and the Cattleyisms' of his editor or editors, by Mr. Maitland, the Archbishop's librarian,t has given a fatal blow to the illfounded reputation of the Book of Martyrs.'
The variety of modes by which names are altered and disguised is great; those which sound harsh or too familiar in their vernacular form are often euphonised by being turned into well-sounding Greek : thus Melancthon, Capnio, Xylander, colampadius, Metastasio, represent Schwartzerd, Reuchlin, Holtzman, Hausschein, and Trapassi; Sophocardius is Wishart, or Wiseheart;
* Mr. Melzi, a distinguished bibliographer of Milan, and the possessor of a fine library, is engaged on an account of the anonymous literature of Italy; and Mr. Glover, Her Majesty's librarian, has large collections for a similar work on the anonymous and pseudonymous writers of England.
+ Twelve Letters on the New Edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs. By the Rev. S. R. Maitland. 8vo. Rivingtons.
and Hylacomylus, who first gave the name of AMERICA to the then newly-discovered continent, is only Martin Waldseemüller, a schoolmaster at the little town of Saint Dié, in the department of the Vosges. But one version does not always suffice: Giovanni Vittorio de' Rossi, Johannes Victorius de Rubeis, and Janus Nicius Erythræus, are all one and the same person, who writes under the three names. Sometimes a Latin form is taken, or an equivalent, it may be : thus Bevilacqua, or Drinkwater, is Abstemius, Bridgewater is Aquepontanus, Torquemada is Turrecremata, Smidt is Vulcanius, Leger Duchesne is Leodegarius à Quercu, or Quercetanus, and Vander Bycken is Torrentius. If without meaning, or almost incapable of being tortured into meaning, the cacophonous name is made to sound like Latin : Van der Does is Dousa, Roscoe is Roscius, Owen is Audoenus, and Wilson Volusenus.* In English a somewhat similar process is adopted in order to get rid of an objectionable name: for instance, Abraham is made Braham, Israel D'Israeli, Bernales Bernal-- and a total change of name is not unfrequently resorted to for the same purpose. A dissenting author of the name of Cloutt has taken the civil-and-religious-liberty' name of Russell; but alas ! in vain : for, having published under both names, lie will, in obedience to the eleventh of the ninety-one rules which we have quoted, be handed down to posterity under the copronymic Cloutt. The number of writers of one and the same name
* There is great good sense in the following remarks by Roscoe :-*Whoever is conversant with history must frequently have observed the difficulties which arise from the wanton alterations in the names of both persons and places by authors of different countries, and particularly by the French, who, without hesitation, accommodate everything to the genius of their own language. Hence the names of all the eminent men of Greece, of Rome, or of Italy, are melted down, and appear again in such a form as would not in all probability have been recognised by their proper owners : Dionysius is Denys, Titus Livius Tite Live, Horatius Horace, Petrarca Petrarque, and Pico of Mirandola Pic de Mirandole. As the literature wbich this country derived from Italy was first obtained through the medium of the French, our early authors followed them in this respect, and thereby sanctioned those innovations which the nature of our own language did not require. It is still more to be regretted that we are not uniform even in our abuse. The name of Horace is familiar to the English reader, but if he were told of the three Horaces, he would probably be at a loss to discover the persons meant, the authors of our country having commonly given them the appellation of the Horati. In the instance of such names as are familiar to our early literature, we adopt, with the French, the abbreviated appellation; but in latter times we usually employ proper national distinctions, and instead of Arioste, or Metastase, we write, without hesitation, Ariosto or Metastasio. This inconsistency is more sensibly felt when the abbreviated appellation of one scholar is contrasted with the national distinction of another, as when a letter is addressed by Petrarch to Coluccio Salutati, or by Politian to Ermolao Barbaro, or Baccio Ugolini. For the sake of uniformity, it is surely desirable that every writer should conform as much as possible to some general rule, which can only be found by a reference of every proper name to the standard of its proper country. This method would not avoid the incon ities before mentioned, but would be productive of positive advantages, as it would in general point out the nation of the person spoken of without the necessity of further indication. — Preface to Life of Leo X.
MAY 8. SEPTEMBER, 1843.
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.