Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Ancient Curfews Revisited
Gulick either did not know or had temporarily forgotten the martial-law regulations in chap.10 of Aeneas Tacticus, three centuries before Athenion. See esp. 10.14-15.Professor Whitehead is the author of Aineias the Tactician, How to Survive under Siege: translated with introduction and commentary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990; 2nd ed. Bristol, 2001).
Some Latin Blunders
Nothing could he pleasanter than the hour passed at [John Barlow] Seale's lectures,—such was his kindness to all, particularly to those who wished to profit by them. When any ludicrous blunder occurred (which was not unfrequently the case), he joined in the laugh as heartily as any of us. One of his pupils, when construing a passage in Grotius, made a mistake, which set us all in a roar of laughter: the passage was this,—"Merite suspecta merx est, quae hâc lege obtruditur, ne inspici posset." The nature of the blunder will be understood by Seale's remark upon it: "I think, Sir, you have mistaken merx for meretrix!"Grotius actually wrote "Merito suspecta merx est, quae hac lege obtruditur, ne inspici posset." The quotation appears in his treatise De Veritate Religionis Christianae (Paris: Seb. Cramoisy, 1640), p. 198 (from book VI, discussing prohibitions against reading the Bible). The sentence means "Deservedly suspect is merchandise offered for sale with the restriction that it can't be inspected." Instead of translating merx as merchandise, Seale's student confused the word with meretrix (prostitute) and presumably translated the sentence somewhat as follows: "Deservedly suspect is a prostitute offered for sale with the restriction that she can't be inspected."
Gunning, Vol. II, p. 47:
I have previously mentioned that in consequence of ill health, the Regius Professor of Divinity was allowed, in 1787, to appoint Dr. Kipling, of St. John's, his deputy. Dr. Kipling was the Senior Wrangler of his year, and had published a treatise on optics, which was but little read and soon forgotten; he also edited Beza, and published a Latin preface so full of bad Latin, that he deemed it expedient to call in those copies that had been circulated in the University, that the work might be re-issued with an amended preface. A friend of mine was so much delighted with its blunders that he refused to part with his copy, saying that he considered it a literary curiosity, which in a few years would become extremely valuable. I could at one time quote a number of memorable expressions, but I can now only remember his using the word Paginibus which actually appeared in several copies of the amended preface.John Selby Watson (1804-1884), The Life of Richard Porson, M.A. Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge from 1792 to 1808 (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1861), p. 202:
There was also in the preface some bad Latinity, and Frend in consequence charged Kipling with "inability to speak or write a single sentence of pure Latin." One blunder was paginibus, on which somebody, perhaps Porson, made this epigram, in the style of the Epistolae obscurorum Virorum:Kipling should have written paginis, not paginibus. According to M.L. Clarke, Richard Porson: A Biographical Essay (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1937), p. 46, "As a result of an unfortunate dative or ablative form the deputy won the nickname of Dr Paginibus..." Kipling's other errors castigated in Porson's epigram are presumably omitto for omittam, and ullo for ulli, although I can't find anywhere on the Internet a copy of Codex Theodori Bezae Cantabrigiensis Evangelia et Apostolorum Acta complectens, quadratis literis Graeco-Latinus. Academia auspicante venerandae has vetustatis reliquias summa qua potuit fide adumbravit expressit edidit codicis historiam praefixit notasque adjecit Thomas Kipling, S.T.P., Coll. Div. Joan. nuper socius (Cantabrigiae: e prelo Academico impensis Academiae, 1793), 2 vols.
Paginibus nostris dicitis mihi menda quod insunt;The last two words in italics exemplify some of the Doctor's other inaccuracies. Kipling had "the paginibus sheet," as it was called, reprinted in the copies that had not been issued, but in a large number the blunder necessarily remained. The publication cost the University nearly two thousand pounds, and Kipling is supposed to have cleared at least six hundred guineas.
At non in recto vos puto esse, viri.
Nam, primum, jurat (cetera ut testimonia omitto)
Milnerus, quod sum doctus ego et sapiens.
Classicus haud es, aiunt. Quid si non sum? in sacrosanctâ
Non ullo tergum verto theologiâ.
Robert Forsyth Scott, ed., Admissions to the College of St. John the Evangelist in the University of Cambridge, Part III: July 1715-November 1767 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903), p. 699:
The opportunity of making things disagreeable to Kipling came when his edition of the Codex Bezae appeared. He was guilty of several mistakes in his introductory preface and there were many misprints in his text. His work was sharply criticised by Porson in the British Critic, iii. He was also fiercely and coarsely attacked by Thomas Edwards (of Clare Hall, LL.B. 1782, LL.D. 1787, and Fellow of Jesus College; sometime Vicar of Histon; who died at Huntingdon 30 March 1820), who published Remarks on Dr Kipling's Preface to Beza, Part i, 1793; Part ii, 1797. In this he disclaims any personal animosity to Dr Kipling, but displays extraordinary bitterness. Kipling is constantly referred to as 'our Promoter.' His slips in Latin are pointed out and his learning held up to ridicule. Edwards seems to have been the author of the expression 'a Kiplingism,' which afterwards passed into the slang of the University as the equivalent of an error in latinity.Gradus ad Cantabrigiam: or, A Dictionary of Terms, Academical and Colloquial, or Cant, which are used at the University of Cambridge (London: W.J. and J. Richardson, 1803), p. 81:
A KIPLINGISM; a blunder-BUS levelled at poor Priscian's head by the learned Dr. Kipling. The opposition wits at Cambridge have composed an epigram of Kiplingisms.—(Kiplingius loquitur.)Porson's epigram follows on p. 82 of the Gradus.
A Quotation Attributed to William Howard Taft
"No tendency is quite so strong in human nature," William Howard Taft observed, "as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people."Did Taft really say or write this? Conlin doesn't cite a source, and I can't find one.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I am Sheltered, I am Hidden
On a little grassy knoll,Related posts:
Beneath the huge Ben More,
Where the loch's clear amber waters
Lave the white and pebbly shore,
I have built a little dwelling,
Without or pomp or state,
In smallness quite excelling;
But oh! the peace is great.
From the hot and dusty tumult
Of the men that rule the land,
From the pageant of the Park,
And the rattle of the Strand;
From the weariness and worry
Of contention and debate,
I am sheltered, I am hidden;
And my peace is very great.
From the knocking and the ringing
Of the beggar and the bore,
When every man is bringing
Every business to my door;
From saying Yes, and saying No,
To seas of endless prate,
I am sheltered, I am hidden;
And my peace is very great.
From the doctrine and the dogma
Of each lofty-fancied fool,
Who would take the great Creator
(If Creator be) to school;
From the thousand maggots swarming
In each eager-witted pate,
I am sheltered, I am hidden;
And my peace is very great.
From the carping and the grumbling
Of the spiteful and the small,
Who, when mighty things are tumbling,
Love to see the mighty fall;
From the lust of hot reforming
In the Church and in the State,
I am sheltered, I am hidden;
And my peace is very great.
With a wife to share my pillow,
And a man to row my boat,
And a rod to lash the billow
And a friend to glass my thought;
With no great ambition swelling,
And no questions asked of Fate,
Pride leaves the little dwelling;
But my peace is very great.
Then fare-thee-well, the City's din,
The tumult and the throng,
For a moment and a moment
To myself I will belong;
In my lonely mountain dwelling
Disrobed of empty state,
In smallness quite excelling,
And in peace how very great!
- Watkyns' Wish
- Two Little Houses
- Klein aber Mein
- Oikos Philos, Oikos Aristos
- Small Houses
- More on Small Houses
- Parva Domus, Magna Quies
I pray to be delivered from narrowness, partiality, exaggeration, bigotry.
It is an Easy Thing
It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun
And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer
To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season
When the red blood is filld with wine & with the marrow of lambs
It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan
To see a god on every wind & a blessing on every blast
To hear sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, & the sickness that cuts off his children
While our olive & vine sing & laugh round our door & our children bring fruits & flowers
Then the groan & the dolor are quite forgotten & the slave grinding at the mill
And the captive in chains & the poor in the prison, & the soldier in the field
When the shatterd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity
Thus would I sing & thus rejoice, but it is not so with me!
Monday, December 09, 2013
The Earliest Record of a Curfew?
He also proclaimed that all should stay indoors after sunset,b and nobody might go out even with a lantern.The Greek:
b The earliest record of a curfew?
ἐκήρυσσέν τε δύντος ἡλίου πάντας οἰκουρεῖν καὶ μετὰ λυχνοφόρου μηδένα φοιτᾶν.
What is the Advantage of Locomotion?
"You will allow," said Mr. Foster, as soon as they were again in motion "that the wild man of the woods could not transport himself over two hundred miles of forest, with as much facility as one of these vehicles transports you and me through the heart of this cultivated country."Related posts:
"I am certain," said Mr. Escot, "that a wild man can travel an immense distance without fatigue; but what is the advantage of locomotion? The wild man is happy in one spot, and there he remains; the civilized man is wretched in every place he happens to be in, and then congratulates himself on being accommodated with a machine that will whirl him to another, where he will be just as miserable as ever."
Tips on Grooming
Do not let your nails project, and let them be free of dirt; nor let any hair be in the hollow of your nostrils.On untrimmed fingernails see Theophrastus, Characters 19.1-2 (tr. Jeffrey Rusten):
et nihil emineant et sint sine sordibus ungues,
inque cava nullus stet tibi nare pilus.
The squalid man is the sort who goes around in a leprous and encrusted state, with long fingernails...Herwerden conjectured μέλανας for μεγάλους (black nails, instead of overgrown ones).
ὁ δὲ δυσχερὴς τοιοῦτός τις, οἷος λέπραν ἔχων καὶ ἀλφὸν καὶ τοὺς ὄνυχας μεγάλους περιπατεῖν...
On nasal hair see W.M. Lindsay, ed., Sexti Pompei Festi De verborum significatu quae supersunt cum Pauli epitome (1913; rpt. Stuttgart: Teubner, 1997), p. 509, with apparatus:
Vibracae pili in naribus hominum, dicti quod his evulsis caput vibratur.My translation:
Vibraessae G I ut uid.: Vibresse (ex -isse ut uid.) R: Viprisse (-ae) M E: Vibrissae P: Vibrucae Gloss.: corr. Thewr., qui archetypi formam uibra ēe (i.e. uibra esse) ad uibrace revocat
Vibracae hairs in men's nostrils, so-called because the head shakes (vibratur) when they're plucked out.In Lewis and Short's Latin dictionary, the lemma is vibrissae, and zoologists have adopted the word in that form to refer to the whiskers of cats and other animals.
The explanation of Festus is odd; that of André Dacier (quod spiritu, qui per nares meat, vibrentur = because they vibrate with the breath that passes through the nostrils) makes more sense to me.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Sir Cussha Sweesong Twar
Jones went to an evening party and said there was a lady there who sang a song (as he at first thought) about an Indian potentate named Sir Cussha Sweesong Twar, but he discovered presently that the song was French ('Ce que je suis sans toi').
Roar Out "Claudius!"
When Air imprison'd labours for a Vent,Id., p 28:
That you shou'd belch, I give my free Consent:
Nor belch to Halves—but of the Clangor proud,
Like some substantial Burgo-master, belch aloud.
Check not the rising Belch, lest, hapless, you,
Experience, late, how many Ills ensue:
Perhaps the too, too long imprison'd Wind,
Which in the Stomach's Cavern lies confin'd,
May taint thee with some fatal, foul Disease;
And Pain and Anguish thy whole Body seize.
Or all thy Body o'er diffuse a Stench,
Rank as the Armpits of a red-hair'd Wench.
If Wind ascend, which with just Cause we dread,
Whims, Freaks, and Megrims dire affect the Head:
Or downwards, without legal Notice, come
Forth from the treach'rous Passage of the Bum,
A horrid Fume shall straight your Crime proclaim
To ev'ry Nose; nor aught conceal your Shame.
Wou'd you these Ills by prudent Care prevent,
Nor, like a Fox, be follow'd by the Scent?
Then give to ev'ry Belch a timely Vent.
If the digested Meals of YesterdayId., p 40:
Demand a Vent, 'tis troublesome to stay.
Of Breeches, Shoes, and Stocking take good Care;
And dread besides to taint the ambient Air:
Get up in haste—and answer in a Word,
Shou'd any ask your Business, 'tis a T—.
The Bowels now b'ing cramm'd with splendid Fare,Id., p. 50:
Far off be banish'd, that Intruder, Care.
The Stomach sickens when the Mind's unblest,
Nor in due Order can its Food digest;
From thence Diseases numberless arise,
O! shun all anxious Labour, and be wise.
Believe me, Sir! 'tis wholesomer by much,
To rest, when Dinner's ended, on the Couch;
Till Supper one continu'd Slumber take,
When Supper calls, 'tis Time enough to wake.
Unreprehended there, supine, you lie,
And many a fragrant *Bum-gut-shot let flie:
Tell each nice Critick, that you want the Art,
To curb, that active Principle—a Fart.
* Bumgutshot, a Word of Rabelais.
When Wind, that pains the Belly, wou'd repairRelated posts:
Forth from a narrow Gut to open Air,
Your Pris'ner, in what Way you please, dismiss;
What Nature bids, can never be amiss.
Whenever such Behaviour gives Offence,
This Answer vindicates your Innocence;
"From Wind, which long within the Belly* lies;
"Vertigo, Cholick, Spasm, and Dropsy rise.
"This Rule each learned Son of Galen gives,
"A Rule by which the Man of Manners lives.
Claudius, lest Sickness shou'd ensue, decreed,†
That all Men fart and belch in Time of Need;
His Edict serves to justify your Ways,
Nor only bare Forgiveness gains, but Praise.
* This Distich is a Quotation from the Schola Salernitana; to which Book I refer the Reader.
† This Edict of Claudius (here specified) is recorded by several Classick Authors: Wherefore it is no uncommon Thing with Fellows of Colleges, when they fart in Company, to strike their Paws upon the Table, and roar out CLAUDIUS.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
The city of Tarentum offers sacrifices of oxen and holds public banquets nearly every month. The mass of common people is always busy with parties and drinking-bouts. And the Tarentines have a saying of some such purport as this, that whereas the rest of the world, in their devotion to work and their preoccupation with various forms of industry, are always preparing to live, they themselves, with their parties and their pleasures, do not put off living, but live already.
ἡ πόλις ἡ τῶν Ταραντίνων σχεδὸν καθ᾽ ἕκαστον μῆνα βουθυτεῖ καὶ δημοσίας ἑστιάσεις ποιεῖται. τὸ δὲ τῶν ἰδιωτῶν πλῆθος αἰεὶ περὶ συνουσίας καὶ πότους ἐστί. λέγουσι δὲ καί τινα τοιοῦτον λόγον οἱ Ταραντῖνοι, τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους διὰ τὸ φιλοπονεῖσθαι καὶ περὶ τὰς ἐργασίας διατρίβειν παρασκευάζεσθαι ζῆν, αὐτοὺς δὲ διὰ τὰς συνουσίας καὶ τὰς ἡδονὰς οὐ μέλλειν, ἀλλ᾽ ἤδη βιῶναι.
I am More a Grecian than Ever
If I have been in practise less loyal to Greece than usual I am not without this apology, that in heart I am more a Grecian than ever. The vulgarity of America as depicted in Ashe's travels and shewn by all other communications from that country, and which in a great measure arises from ignorance of Classical Literature, is so disgusting that we shrink from it with horror and take refuge in the ruins of ancient taste and elegance.
[A] clever geographer might be able draw up a map that districted Maine by bean type. He might start by marking off southeast Maine as favoring the pea bean, farm-country Maine the soldier and the Jacob's cattle bean, lumber country the original Steuben yellow eye, the Bangor area the sulphur bean, and Down East (up the coast from Ellsworth) the marafax ... and go on from there.Id., p. 35:
You could, if you wished, assemble a book—a small one, to be sure, but a book even so—of Maine writers opining on the subject of cooking beans. Such narratives appear not only in the obvious places—Kenneth Roberts's Trending into Maine, Nathan S. Lowrey's folklore study, "Tales of the Northern Maine Woods: The History and Traditions of the Maine Guide"—but sometimes out of nowhere.Related post: Kenneth Roberts on Beans.
In The House That Jacob Built, John Gould (who swears by Jacob's cattle beans) interrupts his account of rebuilding the family house after the original burned to the ground to devote an entire chapter to the subject. Carroll F. Terrell, in Growing Up Kennebec, a funny, no-holds-barred narrative of a Maine boyhood in the twenties, stops the action to provide a step-by-step description of his mother's recipe (she prefers yellow eyes). Walter Howe pauses in his comic narrative, Frost You Say?, to explain his method (he leans toward Kentucky Wonders).
Friday, December 06, 2013
Quickly pass the social glass,
Hence with idle sorrow!
No delay—enjoy today,
Think not of tomorrow!
Life at best is but a span,
Let us taste it whilst we can;
Let us still with smiles confess,
All our aim is happiness!
Childish fears, and sighs and tears
Still to us are strangers;
Why destroy the bud of joy
With ideal dangers?
Let the song of pleasure swell;
Care with us shall never dwell;
Let us still with smiles confess,
All our aim is happiness!
O Cruel Death
1.The poem is a dialogue between Man and Death. Man speaks in stanzas 1-2, 7, Death in stanzas 3-6. Some notes for my own use follow.
O cruell deth paynfull and smert,
On the to thenke my hert is colde,
For why noman fro the may sterte,
Neither riche ne pore, nor yonge ne olde.
Thou sparest not for siluir nor golde, 5
But, in whome thou wilte thy marke set,
He shall departe withouten lette.
Why art thou so cruell to man
Of hym no man grisly to make,
His nose sharpe and his lippes wan, 10
His chekes pale and his tethe blake,
His handes and his fete to shake
And alle his body quake for colde
And returne hym ayene to molde?
"Like to a thinge vayne man is made, 15
His dayes passith, as a shadewe,
And, as a floure, fro hym they fade,"
Thus seith Dauid, that prophete true.
Seint Iames seith: "As a floure newe
By hete of sonne turneth to hay, 20
So mortall man shall passe away."
A thousand yere fro hym be past,
As yesterday, the whiche is gone.
In an ymage he passeth fast,
This worldes figure passeth anon: 25
It is right nought to trust vppon.
Therefore alwey you redy make,
For, when tyme is, I wille you take.
"What man shall leve and se no deth?
No man, truly," thus seith Dauid. 30
"Haue myende, my lyfe is but a breth,"
Thus seith Iob according herewith.
His daies, as of a messangere, beth.
"More swyfter my daies passeth and lyfe,
Than a webbe of a wever is cutte with knyfe." 35
I sende sekenesse you to a taste
And to meke you in euery place,
But, whenne that I come at the last,
I make an ende within shorte space.
I sette no lawe day in the case, 40
For, whenne that I sey: "Make an ende,"
Withouten delay ye shall hense wende.
Fro mortall deth Crist vs defende
And graunte vs alle by his grete grace,
Out of this worlde when we shall wende, 45
In heuen blisse to haue a place
And hym to see there face to face,
That was and is and ay shall be
Eternall god in persones thre.
2 On the to thenke my hert is colde: My heart is cold, to think on thee
3 fro the may sterte: from thee may escape (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. start, sense 6).
7 lette: let (noun), i.e. hindrance, delay
8 no man: something not human
14 ayene: again
15-16 Like to a thinge vayne man is made, / His dayes passith, as a shadewe: Psalm 144.4 (Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away).
19-21 As a floure newe / By hete of sonne turneth to hay, / So mortall man shall passe away: James 1.10-11 (But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways).
22-23 A thousand yere: Psalm 90.4 (For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night).
27 alwey you redy make: always be prepared
29 What man shall leve and se no deth?: Psalm 89.48 (What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?).
31 Haue myende, my lyfe is but a breth: Job 7.7 (Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath).
36 sekenesse: sickness
37 meke: make, but with what meaning?
40 lawe day: Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. law-day, sense 2, citing this verse: "A day appointed for the discharge of a bond, after which the debtor could not at common law be relieved from the forfeiture."
42 hense wende: go hence
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 9471, fol. 159
What Do You Read?
The doctor been and say I'm all right but wants me to only smoke ten cigarettes a day—and have bath in morning instead of night and do some physical jerks each morning. O bugger bugger bugger and rest half an hour before dinner and lunch and only drink two gingies a day—He is nice but it's always the same stuff. Doc: 'Are you worried about any things?' Am I worried me arse. Doctor: 'What do you read—let me see—let me look—The Nature of Belief—Shakespeare—Medieval Religion—I shouldn't trouble the mind with anything disturbing you know. What do you read for light literature?' Me: Well—well—eh—eh—well—you know that's the bugger of it—well, I like Alice in Wonderland if I want to have a good laugh.'Hat tip: Ian Jackson.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Praise of Dionysus
O Dionysus, dearest and wisest in the eyes of all men of sense, how kind art thou! Thou alone makest the humble to feel proud, and persuadest the scowler to laugh, the weak to be brave, the cowardly to be bold.Related post: Some Effects of Wine.
ὦ πᾶσι τοῖς φρονοῦσι προσφιλέστατε
Διόνυσε καὶ σοφώταθ᾽, ὡς ἡδύς τις εἶ·
ὃς τὸν ταπεινὸν μέγα φρονεῖν ποιεῖς μόνος,
τὸν τὰς ὀφρῦς αἴροντα συμπείθεις γελᾶν
τὸν τ᾽ ἀσθενῆ τολμᾶν τι, τὸν δειλὸν θρασύν.
Not Wise but Mad
Atte sumtyme mery, at sume tyme sadde;6 gone vs froo: gone from us
At sumtyme wele, at sumtyme woo;
At sumtyme sory, at sumtyme gladde;
At sumtyme frende, at sumtyme foo;
At sumtyme richesse and welthe is hadde, 5
At sumtyme it is gone vs froo;
Truly, he is not wyse, but madde,
That aftur worldly welthe will goo.
As medowe floures of swete odoures
Vadeth to erthe by theire nature, 10
Likewise richesse and grete honoures
Shall vade fro euery creature;
Therfore to suffre grete doloures
I holde it best to do oure cure
And to forsake castillis and toures, 15
So that of blisse we may be sure.
10, 12 Vadeth ... vade: Fadeth ... fade
15 castillis and toures: castles and towers