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METAPHRASIS. This kind of exercise is all one with Paraphrasis, save it is out of verse either into prose, or into some other kind of metre; or else out of prose
which was Socrates' exercise and pastime (as Plato_reporteth) when he was * in prison, to translate Æsop's Fables into verse. Quintilian doth greatly praise + also this exercise ; but because Tully doth disallow it in young men, by mine opinion, it were not well to use it in grammar schools, even for the self same causes that be recited against Paraphrasis. And therefore, for the use and misuse of it, the same is to be thought that is spoken of Paraphrasis before. This was Sulpicius's exercise; and he gathering up thereby a poetical kind of talk, is justly named of Cicero, I grandis et tragicus orator : which, I think, is spoken, not for his praise, but for other men's warning, to eschew the like fault. Yet, never less, if our schoolmaster, for his own instruction, be desirous to see a perfect example hereof, I will recite one, which I think no man is so bold to say that he can amend it; and that is Chryses the priest's oration to the Greeks, in the beginning of Homer's Ilias, turned excel
* What he alludes to here, is in the beginning of Plato's Phædo. Περί γάρ τοι των ποιημάτων ών πεποίηκας, εντείνας τους του Αισώπου λόγους, και το εις τον Απόλλω προοίμιον, και άλλοι τινές με ήροντο ήδη, ατάρ και Ευηνός πρώην, ό, τι ποτέ διανοηθείς, επειδή δεύρο ήλθες, εποιήσας αυτά, πρότερον ουδέν πώποτε ποιήσας.
+ “Sed et illa ex Latinis conversio, multum et ipsa contulerit. Ac de carminibus quidem neminem credo dubitare, quo solo genere exercitationis dicitur usus esse Sulpicius. Nam et sublimis spiritus attollere orationem potest; et verba poeticâ libertate audaciora, præsumunt eandem propriè dicendi facultatem. Sed et ipsis sententiis adjicere licet oratorium robur, et omissa supplere, et effusa substringere.” Quint. lib. 10.
i “ Fuit enim Sulpicius vel maximè omnium, quos quidem audiverim, grandis, et, ut ita dicam, tragicus orator. Vox cùm magna, tum suavis et splendida : gestus et motus corporis ita venustus, ut tamen ad forum, non ad scenam institutus videretur. Incitata et volubilis, nec ea redundans tamen nec circumfluens oratio.” Cic. de claris Orat. p. 181.
From this character here given by Tully, Sulpicius seems to be called grandis et tragicu rather from his theatrical management of himself in his delivery, than from his style and method of expression. lently into prose by Socrates himself, and that advisedly and purposely for others to follow. And therefore he calleth this exercise * in the same place, Μίμησις, that is, Imitatio; which is most true: but in this book, for teachingsake, I will name it Metaphrasis, retaining the word that all teachers in this case do use.
-ο γάρ ήλθε θοάς επί νήας Αχαιών,
'Ατρείδαι τε, και άλλοι έυκνήμιδες Αχαιοί,
"Ενθ' άλλοι μεν πάντες επευφήμησαν 'Αχαιοί,
Μή σε, γέρον, κοίλησιν εγώ παρά νηυσι κιχείω,
“Ως έφατ', έδδεισεν δ' ο γέρων, και επείθετο μύθω.
Κλύθι μεν, 'Αργυρότοξ, ος Χρύσης αμφιβέβηκας,
Ουκούν τό γε ομοιούν εαυτόν άλλω, ή κατά φωνήν, ή κατά σχήμα, μιμείσθαί έστιν εκείνον η άν τις ομοιοί; Τί μήν; Εν δε τω τοιούτω (ως έoικεν) ούτός τε και οι άλλοι ποιηται διά μιμήσεως την διήγησιν ποιούνται. Πάνυ μεν ούν. Ει δέ γε μηδαμού εαυτόν αποκρύπτοιτο και ποιητής, πάσα αν αυτω άνευ μιμήσεως ή ποιήσίς τε και η διήγησις γεγονυΐα είη. Ρlato de Rep. lib. 3.
Socrates, in Plato's third book de Republica, saith thus : Φράσω δε άνευ μέτρου ου γαρ ειμι ποιητικός.
Ηλθεν ο Χρύσης της τε θυγατρός λύτρα φέρων, και ικέτης των Αχαιών, μάλιστα δε των βασιλέων και εύχετο εκείνοις μεν τους Θεούς δούναι ελόντας την Τροίαν, αυτούς δε σωθήναι, την δε θυγατέρα οι αυτώ λύσαι, δεξαμένους άποινα, και τον Θεόν αιδεσθέντας. Τοιαύτα δε ειπόντος αυτού, οι μεν άλλοι εσέβοντο και συνήνουν και δε Αγαμέμνων ηγρίαινεν, εντελλόμενος νύν τ' απιέναι, και αύθις μη ελθείν, μή αυτή το, τε σκήπτρον, και τα του Θεού στέμματα ουκ επαρκέσοι. πριν δε λυθήναι αυτού την θυγατέρα, εν "Αργει έφη γηράσεις μετά ού. απιέναι δε εκέλευε, και μη ερεθίζειν, ίνα σώς οίκαδε έλθοι. ο δε πρεσβύτης ακούσας, έδεισέ τε και απήει σιγή. αποχωρήσας δ' εκ του στρατοπέδου πολλά τα 'Απόλλωνι εύχετο, τάς τε επωνυμίας του Θεού ανακαλών, και υπομιμνήσκων και απαιτών, είτε πώποτε ή εν ναών οικοδομήσεσιν, ή εν ιερών θυσιαϊς κεχαρισμένον δωρήσαιτο, ών δή χάριν κατεύχετο τίσαι τους Αχαιούς τα α δάκρυα τους εκείνου βέλεσι. To compare
Homer and Plato together, two wonders of nature and art for wit and eloquence, is most pleasant and profitable for a man of ripe judgement. Plato's turning of Homer in this place doth not ride aloft in poetical terms, but goeth low and soft on foot, as prose and pedestris oratio should do. If Sulpicius had had † Plato's consideration in
* Plato himself, (if we may believe Longinus) as well as the rest of the Grecian writers, owes not a little to Homer, their common master; though he was so ungrateful as to forbid him his Republic.
Ου γαρ μόνος Ηρόδοτος “Ομηρικώτατος εγένετο. Στησίχορος έτι πρότερον, ό, τε Αρχίλοχος. πάντων δε τούτων μάλιστα ο Πλάτων από του “Ομηρικού εκείνου νάματος εις αυτόν μυρίας όσας παρατροπάς αποχετευσάμενος. Sect. 15.
+ Although in this instance, and mostly elsewhere, Plato flows along in a soft and gentle stream, χεύματι τινι άψοφητί ρέων, as Longinus speaks ; yet he has his sublimities too, and bold flights; and some passages there are to be found in his writings, not entirely clear of the same censure, which is by Tully cast upon Sulpicius. And this perhaps might be occasioned likewise by his passionate affection for the Muses and study of poetry in his youthful days. Who can read this sentence, and not be offended, which Longinus cites out of his ninth book de Republica ? Και ένεκα της τούτων πλεονεξίας λακτίζοντες, και κυρίττοντες αλλήλους σιδηρούς κέρασι, και όπλαϊς, αποκτιννύουσι δι' απληστίαν. For such harsh and metaphorical expressions as these, and for his poetical and figurative schemes (σχήμασί τε ποιητικούς εσχάτην προσβάλλουσιν αηδίαν), Plato is somewhat severely handled by Dionysius, in his letter to Cn. Pompey.
right using this exercise, he had not deserved the name of tragicus orator; who should rather have studied to express vim Demosthenis, than furorem poetæ, how good soever he was whom he did follow.
And therefore would I have our schoolmaster weigh well together Homer and Plato, and mark diligently these four points; what is kept, what is added, what is left out, what is changed either in choice of words or form of sentences. Which four points be the right tools, to handle like a workman this kind of work; as our scholar shall better understand, when he hath been a good while in the university : to which time and place I chiefly remit this kind of exercise.
And because I ever thought examples to be the best kind of teaching, I will recite a golden sentence out of that poet, which is next unto Homer, not only in time, but also in worthiness ; which hath been a pattern for many worthy wits to follow by this kind of Metaphrasis. But I'will content myself with four workmen, two in Greek and two in Latin, such as in both the tongues wiser and worthier cannot be looked for. Surely no stone set in gold by most cunning workmen, is indeed, if right account be made, more worthy the looking on, than this golden sentence, diversly wrought upon by such four excellent masters.
Hesiodus, 'Epy. rai 'Huép. ..
'Εν θυμω βάλλεται, ό δαύτ' αχρήίος ανήρ. Thus rudely turned into base English :
That man in wisdom passeth all,
To know the best who hath a head:
Who yields himself to wise men's read.
Sophocles in Antigone.
Φήμ’ έγωγε, πρεσβεύειν πολύ
Mark the wisdom of Sophocles in leaving out the last sentence, because it was not comely * for the son to use it to his father.
St. Basil in his Exhortation to Youth. Μέμνησθε έτου Ησιόδου, ός φησί "Αριστον μεν είναι τον παρ' εαυτου τα δέοντα ξυνορώντα. έσθλόν δε κακείνον, τον τοϊς παρ' ετέρων υποδειχθείσιν επόμενον τον δε προς ουδέτερον επιτήδειον, αχρείον είναι προς άπαντα.
M. Cicero pro A. Cluentio. “ Sapientissimum esse dicunt eum, cui quod opus sit, ipsi veniat in mentem : proxime accedere illum, qui alterius bene inventis obtemperet. In stultitia contra est. Minus enim stultus est is, cui nihil in mentem venit, quàm ille, qui quod stulte alteri venit in mentem, comprobat.'
Cicero doth not plainly express the last sentence, but doth invent it fitly for his purpose, to taunt the folly and simplicity in his adversary Actius, not weighing wisely the subtle doings of Chrysogonus and Stalenus.
Tit. Livius in Orat. Minucii, Lib. 22. “ Sæpe ego audivi, milites, eum primum esse virum, qui ipse consulat, quid in rem sit; secundum eum, qui bene inonenti obediat: qui nec ipse consulere, nec alteri parere scit, eum extremi esse ingenii.”
Now which of all these four, Sophocles, St. Basil, Cicero, or Livy, hath expressed Hesiod best, the judgement is as hard, as the workmanship of every one is most excellent in.
eed. Another example out of the Latin tongue also I will recite, for the worthiness of the workman thereof, and that is Horace; who hath so turned the beginning of Terence's Eunuchus, as doth work in me a pleasant admiration, as oft soever as I compare those two places together. And though every master, and every good scholar too, do know the places
* Hæmon speaks to his father Creon.
+ This is taken from the beginning of St. Basil's Discourse to the young students, directing them how to read the Grecian writers with advantage. Ει μεν ούν προθύμως δέχoισθε τα λεγόμενα, της δευτέρας των επαινουμένων έσεσθε παρ' Ησιόδω τάξεως. ει δε μή, εγώ μεν ουδέν αν είπoιμι δυσχερές: αυτοί δε με ανησθε των επών δηλονότι, εν οίς εκείνος φησί: "Αριστον, &c.