James Orr.

Chambers's new handy volume American encyclopaedia: being a ..., Volume 6 online

. (page 129 of 196)
Online LibraryJames OrrChambers's new handy volume American encyclopaedia: being a ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 129 of 196)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

better— talks of H. having

" Methodised wild Shakspeare into plan."
This enthusiasm has departed long aco. Still "Douglas" contains pnthcs, and
amid its florid declarantion tlicre may l>e foand not a few natural touchen, and it
Ib on account of these that it still haunts the stage in a shadowy kind of wuy.

HCKMELYN (Rnia miraletua or maeitlata), a species of Ray (q. v.), common on
the south coast of England, and nlentifnl In the London morki^t, bnt comparatively
rare on the east coast of Scotland. In form and appearnucc. It more nearly resem-
blpfl the thoni buck than the skate. On some parts of the British coast, the H. is
called Sand Ray. It is also known as the Spotted Ray.

HO'MER, the greatest nnme in the history of epic poetry, and who stands as
liish in that department ns Shakespeare does in the drama, has come down to us in
modern times unfortunately as little better than a name, and presents inatcrlaJs for
biot^mphy ss scanty as those which he offers for criticism are rich. Wo are not, liow-
ever, forced to go to snch lengths of doubt in his case as Aristotle did in the case of
Orphens^enyingthat such a man ever existed ; for though the Germans, since the
dnys of Heyne, Wolf, and Niebuhr, have indulged them-eivcs in every variety of
historical scepticism, and reduced H.. as well as Cadmus* and Hercules, to mere " sym-
bols." the more sober genius of British criticism, with which the moderate views
of the best later Oeriwans coincide, has prononnce<l an Almoi>t unanimous verdict in
favor of the historical reality of the author of the *' Iliad " and the '* Odyssey." Not
that any reliance Is to be placed on the detnils of the old Greek lives of H., which
are manifestly llctitions : bnt the internal evidence of the poems themselves leads to
the belief In an authorship such as agrees substantially with the kernel from which
these very ancient legendary traditions were developed. The central fact lu which
all these traditions agree Is, that the author of these poems was an Asiatic
Greek ; and though other places are named, the greatest amount of legen*
dnry evidence clearly points to Smyrna as the city which bad the honor of gi\ing
birth to the father of epic poetry. The dialect in which the '* Iliad " and " Odyssey "

Digitized by VjOOQ IC



are writteu— the Ionic— is the very rariety of Greek which was afterwards used
In the fumo region by Herodotiu, the father of History, and by Hippocrates, the
first and <n^ut«et of Greek pliysiciaDs; and the allnsioosto uatnral pheoomeua,
especially the frcqaeot mention of the strong uorth>west wind blowing from Thrace,
plainly indicate the west coast of Asia Minor as the familiar residence of the poet.
The chronology of the Homeric poems, botii as re2<>pecfs the great cenfnU event
which tbey celebrate— The Trojan war— and the age of the poc^ himself, is much
more doabtfnl ; bat it is quite certain tliat H. lived considerably before the recogni-
tion of a regularly received record of dates among the Greeks— that is, liefore tlie
year 7T6 B.O., the commencement of the calcalutiou by Olympiads. The date given
by Herodotus for the age of H.— 400 years before his own time, that is, abcni 850
B.C.— is probable enoogn ; but considering the entire want of any reliable founda-
tion for ctironology in those early times, we must not seek an accunicy in this mat-
ter beyond that which was attained by the Greeks themselves, and allow a free mar-t
gin of at least 800 years from the time of Solomon (1000 b.o.) downwards, during
which the singer of the •* Iliad ** and ** Odyssey " muy have flourished. To tlirow him
further back than the earliest of these dates would be Inconsistent at once with the
historical elcMueuts in the midst of which his poems move, and with tlie style of the
laiignai;e which he uses ; for this exhibits a luxurious freedom, a rich polish, and an
exquisite euphony, whicli removes it far from that roughness and clumsiness whidi
is wont to diaracterise languages in their earliest stage of literary developmenu
The ionic dialect used by H. is, in fact, a highly cultivated shoot of the old Hel-
lenic stock, and which was in the poet's bonds so perfect for the highest poetical
purposes as to have remained the model for the epic style daring the whole period
of the poetical literature of the Greekis.

In eudeavorin;; to form a correct estimate of the position of H. as a ooet, the
primary fact from which we must start is. that he was not the epic poet of a liter-
ary age— like Virgil amone the Romans, Tasso among the Italians, or Milton among
ourselves— but he was decidedly and characteristically an aoiao$. or vantireL, a
character well known to us from our own medieval literature, both in other shapes,
Aiul specially as it has been presented tons by the kindred gcnlas oC Sir Walter
Scott. That there is an essential and vital generic distinction between the popabr
minstrel of an age when books are either not known or little n;:*d, and tlie culti-
vated poet of an age wiiich rejoices in oil sorts of librarioh, and possesses a
special class of literary readers, admits no donbt. The conditions of the work
to be done being different, the work Itself cannot posi^Ibly be the same. It is
quite certain, however, tliat the ereat majority of tlie critics and translators of H.
in this country have not recognised this) distinction. The consequence is, tluit
they strike an entirely false note, and blow the seraphic trnmp oc Milton when
thev should be content to take a plain shepherd's pipe in their hands. These critics
and translators nre no doubt actuated by :he vciy noble desire of redeeming the
author of two such noble poems as the " Iliad •• and the ** Odyssey " from the vulgar
fellowship of wandering ministrels and ballad-mongers; but however high the
genius of H. unquestionably soared above tlie best of the medieval ballads to
which the English ear is accustomed, it Is unite certain both that the raatoriala
out of which his great poems were composed were nothing but such popular 1ml-
lads and tales as delighted our forefathers before the Invention of printing, and tiint
the spirit and tone of the Homeric epos is distinguished from that of tlie liter-
ary epos or epos of culture preclselv bv those characteristics which distinguish our
old ballads from the poetry of Wordsworth and Tennyson. Of modern poets,
the one who posssessed the greatest relationship to the genuine old miiiistrel
)}0.iU was Sir Waiter Scott; out even In his poetry, many peculiarities can lie

i)ointed out, which mark the literary writer of a later age, as distiogulslied from
lie popular singer of a people's boyhood and lusty yonUu In order to under-
stand if., therefore, we must look on him as the cnlminatioii of the minstrd
or ballad poetry. In the shape of the minstrel epos; a grand combination of popular,
ballad materials and ballad tone, elevated to the higliest pitch of which it Is capable,
with the architectural form and strnctaro of the epos. To the reooeultion of iliis troe
character of the Homeric poems, the present age has been led mainly by tlie adventur-
ous and suggestive criticism of tne celebrated scholar, Fnoderick Augustus Wolf. This
distinguished German, originally a professor in Halle, afterwards iu Berlin, pnbliabed

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


665 . ^"*'*'

in the year 1T95 the prelagomima to a new recension of the text of H., in which he

wlKMe eepurate existence the sharp-eyed critic can now easily nddnce satlefnctory
proof. MOW, this theoiy, commonly called, after its anthor, the WoUUui tlieory, and
which has foond, and still finds, not a few most iugenions {supportcFB in Germany,
contains an important element of troth, which has too often been sammarlly rejected,
along with tlie error which it promulgntea. It is not credible that poems pervaded by
sncli a wonderful unity of tone and plan as the *' Iliad/' manifestly also Inspired by a
genius of the highest order, should be resolvable into the mere patchwork of skilfol
compilers ; bat It is an important truth to announce that tho materials of H.'s poetry
were not inveuted by himself, but taken up froui the living traditions of the peopra
to whom he bek)nged, and that even in the grand unity to which his genius has sub-
jected them, their original popular tone and spirit is preserved in a fashion which
cbaractcristicaily dlstlugnishes them from ail epic poetry of the literary ages. There
can be no doubt that the merits of Wolf in this regard will soon be as nnlverfally
recognised in every other country as they have k)ng been in Oermanv ; but, in the
meantime, it is to be lamented that of those who have written most largely on the
subject, neither Cotouel Mure nor Mr Qlaietoue has been able to exhibit to
English readers the true golden mean in this matter l)etween the extravagance of
the ultra- WoMaus, and the falsetto of the anti-Wolflan critics and translators.
Among the Germans, Welcker. Nitsch, and K. O. M&Uer, ma^ be named as pre>
sentiiig the best models of jualcioas and well-balanced criticism in this slippery

The clmractcristics of H.'s poetry, as the cnlmlnation of ballad poetry and the
grand uuxiel of the minstrel epos, mav be expressed in a very few words. In the
first place, the materials are essentiallv national, and if not strictly historical in
every detail of decoration, grow, like all ballad poetry, out of the real life of the
people, and rest at least upon an honest historical sobstratdm. In this view, the
^Mliad'Ms asvalnable for the earliest history of the Hellenic race, as Herodotus
and Thncydides are for the later periods. But it is not for the Greeks alone that
H. possesses an important historfcjii value ; he is for all ages an important record of
the earliest stages of hnman society, second only to the oooks of Moses, and per-
haps some of the very oldest of tho Vedos. The first germs of almost all other arts
nud sciences afterwards cultivated hy the Greeks and Romans are to be found in
Homer. In tills view, he was to the Greeks themselves an eucyclopiedia of their
national culture ; and, as embodying the grand features of Ihclr polytheistic faith,
Ik; is also constantly quoted by tbe^ great writers with all the deference due to a

The poems of H., as a great human inheritance, have naturally been incorporated,
by translation, into all the langnngca of Europe. In Italian, the translations of
Cesarott! and Monti— in French, that of Moutbel— in German, that of Voss. ore the
most famous. In England, we have tried this great problem in the most various
stvles, and hove produced specimens of brilliant success in cerialn partial aspects.
The whole excellences of H. have not yet been exhibited in any one of the notable
Eufirlish translations, nor is such a combination perhaps possible. The grand flow,
rnpid march, and sonorous fulness of the original, are well given by Pope ; the rough
dramatic vigor of individual phrases and passages are best rendered by Chapman ;
while the unaffected tmthfnlness and easy, nnpretending grace, which so promi-
nently mark the great Smymean minstrel, appear most clearly in Cowper. Of tlie
recent attempts which have been made, and are making, to present H. m some new
aspect to English readers, it is premature to speak. We may mention the transla-
tions of Newman (W.'56), Worsley (1861^, Dean Alford (1861), Slmcox 08«5), Lord
Derby (18fi6), John Stuart Blackle (1866), Herschel (1866), Merlvale (18W), and W. C.
Bryant (1870-71).

Those who wish (o enter more minutely Into the various questions connected
with H. and the Homeric poems, may consult the works on Greek literature hv
Colonel Mure and K. O. Mtlller ; the special work on H. by Mr. Gladstone ; the arti-
cle ** Homer" in Dr. Smith's •* Dictionary of Ancient Biography ;" and the article
«« Homer" in the *' Encyclopeedia Brltanuica."

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


HOmciDAL MAITIA. Tbfo ft tb« mMomcmU mtnrtHkt of the Fren^.
There fe developed, onder certain morbid condltioos, a blind. Irrealetible teodeocy
to destroy life. It is iodepeodeot of batred, or any flpi>reciabie iucentlTe ; and even
acts in opposition to tlie TOneral disposittoo, the Interests, and the affections of the
perpetrator. Dr Otto of Copenhagen tans recorded a series of rootlreless murders.
Georget gives the case of M. N., who was silent and solitary, but rensonablef and
coufessod a desire to siied blood, and particolarly that of his mother itnd sister,
bj poniard. He deplored tlie dreodf nl tendency, for he loved them both tenderly. Yet
the fit returned, and he cried out: ** Mother, save thyself, or I will cut your throat I"
The victim selected is moi«t frequently a child, a wife, n benefactor, or nn object of
love and respect. Hoffbai&er, In Germany; Bsquirol, Marc, Foville, In France ; and
Conolly, in Brilain, have all demonstrated, and in criminal courts have testified to
the existence of this form of mental disease, and ground of irrcsponsibflity : bat
no recognition lias been obtained of the irresistible, mmiveless, homicldnl tendency
as a bar to trial or to punishment. The impulse, however, is manifested in a more
complicated form. It may originate in deinsiotis ; and the act which first reveals
tbe mental cnndliioii may be committed in supposed self-defence, or to secure tlie
solvation, or prevent tlie suffering of the individual destroyed. Such manifestations
may constitute the charocteiisiic symptoms of furious madness, wtiere I lie excHerl
maniac sacrifices all around, or all who resist his course, under the iDStlgation of the
predorainatiug passion, or of melancholia and despondeni^. There occur periods
when tlie tendency to shed blood become epidemic or imitative There is in many
natures an ill-defined satisfaction on hearing of slunghter, wars, and atrocities ; and
such details, or the Kl^ht of blood, are said to be suggestive of this tendency. Marc
states that six cases m infanticide followed immediately upon the publication of the
trial and history of Henriette Cornier, who cnt off the head of her child. The
puerperal condition, various hereditary tendencies, powerful moral imDre8s{on9,and
atmospherical inflnonces, are conceived to induce this tendency. Tne proximate
cause is generally found to consist in marked organic changos in the nervooa sys-
tem, such as are detectable in epilepsy ; or in the more insidious and obscure
structural alterations which are supposed to accompany perverted and depraved in-
stincts ; although homicidal mania may occur independently of either of these
pathcdoglcal conditions.

JBsqniroL "Des Maladies,** t II. p. 115; Marc, "De la'PoMe,'* Ac. t il. jk M; Yel-
lowlees, ** Homicidal Mania,** ^ Bdlnbnrgh Medical Journal," August 1959.

HCKMICIDE, a term used In English Law to denote the mere IcilUng of a human
being without implying tbe attendant criminal responsibility. It is used with the
morajtutifidbU^ to denote that the killing was done under lawful authority, as hang-
ing a man or killing a prisoner to prevent him escaping, or killing one to prevent an
atrocious crime being committed. ExeumbU hamMde moans killing in self-
defence, or in defence of a wife, child, parent, or servant, or property, or by "mere
- -'^ - "• ' ' • •■ ■ * • " ind 1

accident Fdonious Atnnitridtf includes murder of one'sself or another: and i,*^»»w-
BlattghUr Is killing without malice, but attended with negligence, hot blood, or in
some unlawful way. In Scotlaud, excusable homidde is generally called cmpable

HCVMILDON, BaUle of. In tbe autumn of 1403, a Scottish army of about ten
thousand men Invaded England, under tbe command of 8ir Mnrdach Stewart of
Kincleven, tlie eldest son of the Regent Albany, and of Archibald Earl of Dooglaa
Tliey advanced to the gates of Newcastle without opposition, and were returning to
Scotland laden with spoil, wbm they were encountered by an English force nnder
the Earl of Northuml)erland, his sou. Hotspur, and the exiled Earl of Marc*i or Dun-
bar. Tbe Scotch took up their position on Homildon Hill, near Wooler. On the
14tb September, Hotspur was advancing to charge them, when he was stopped by
the Earl of March, until the Engllah archers should do their work.. Their shafts
were poured with such effect that, in the words of a contemporary chroniclo', they
bristled in the dense ranlu of the Scottish army like quills upon a hedgehog. At
length a gallant luilght. Sir John Swinton, cried out : ** Brave fellow-countrymen I
what has I his day bewitched you that yt a stand here to be shot like deer in a park, in-
stead of proving your courage, as of old, by meeting your foemen hand to hand t Let
those who will, rush down with me, in tbe Lord's name, upon the enemy, and elttier

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


A (^7 Homicidal

^Ol Homily

Bave onr Hre« or fhll with honor.** At these wordh, Adam of Gordon, who was at
mortal fend with SwintOD, etpranc forward, and throwing hfmsctf ou his kneef>, bti-
soiight the honor of knighthood irom the warrior, whom he mnst now look npon as
the befft knl<rht in Britain. His request wns panted ; and the two knights, followed by
ahoni a hnndred retainers, rushed upon the English ranks. Ttiey were slain to a mnu,
bat not before lliey liad made 9ach slanghter, that the English captains were said to
have confessed, that If all the Scots iiad fonght as well, the day would hove hnd a
different ii^sue. As it was, the English hnd an easy victory, nnd the Sects were «t-
tcrly ronted. Their leaders were taken prisoners ; five of their best knights, witli
many of their liravest esquires, were slain ; and besides the numbers that were
killed on the field by the English arrows, about five hundred were drowned in at-
tempting to cross the Tweed.

H0MILE17CS, that particular branch of sacred rhetoric which regards the com-
position of the familiar discourses koown under the name of liomily. The earliest
writer on the subject of bomiletlcs Is St Augustine, whose book, **De Doctrjna
Christiana," is in some sense an adaptation of profane rbAorIc to sacred uses.
Babanus Manms and Isidore of Seville also Incidentally treat the snbiect ; but the
nearest approach to a systematic treatment of the subject In medieval literature is to
be found in Hnnlbert, ** De Eruditione Concionatorum.** St Carlo Borromeo's ** lu-
atructiones Pastoruni *' was a part of bis genenil sclieme for the improvement of
clerical education ; and in the ecclesiastical course, as well of Catholica as of Pro-
testanta, homiletics occupies an important place. Tiio bare enumeration of the
works of Scliott, Marlieineke, Theremin, Sailer. Olsliert, Brand. Laberenz, mny
shew the importance which is attached in both churches to this onmch of aacrecl

HOMILTA'RTITM, a collection of homilies for the use of pastors. Such collec-
tions wore ill n?e from n very early period. Mabillon mentions a very ancient Gal-
ilean liomiliarlum (*• Do Lit. Galilean."). The fifty homilies of Venerable Bedo,
too, were In fniniliar nse among the clergy in all parts of the We^t, and ^ve find Ih
the letters of the early medieval time, traces of a busy Intercliange of sermons,
original or otherwise, l>otween blc^hops and clergy, even in distant countries. The
supply, iiowever, was Imiwrfect and scanty, and ouo of the manr reformatorv meas-
ures of Charieinagno was a compiiation of homilies under the title of homiliarlnm,
which was made under liis direction by the deacon Paul Waruffried. It was com-
piled in the end of tlio 8th c, and contains homilies fur all the Sundavsand festi-
vals of the year. Many synods of that and subsequent periods directed the clergy
to translate those sermons for their flockfs and thu collect on coutiniird In nse for
this purpose down to tlie 16th century. It was printed at Speycr in 1482, and ajraiu
at Colo<:iic in 1557. A collection of homilies is also ascribed to Alcnin, but It seems
more likely to have bcni but a modification of the homlliarium of Wurncfried. A
collection of English homilies tnrucd into verse, that they might be more readily
remembered by the people, appears to have been com|)08cd about the middle of the
13tli cenfnr}-. This collection, affording a metrical sermon for every Sunday and
festival-dny in the year, exists in MS. ; and a portion of it has recently been edited
by Mr Smull, librarian to the university of Edmburgh.

HOMILIES OP THE CHUKCH OP ENGLAND; a coUcction of sermons, the
first part of wliich wa4 published in 1647, the first year of the reign of Edward VI.,
to Ih) read in tbe churches, partly in order to supply the defect of sermons, but
partly, alsu, to secure uniformity of doctrine, and toguord against the heterodoxies,
old and new, which at that time threatened the unco.iSoIidated church. The second
part was published in 1662, at the same time with the articles, under Blieabeth.
The 85th orticle declares that *Mhe Book of Homilies doth contain a godly and
wholesome doctrine, and necessary for these times.'* The titles are enumerated in
the article, and are twenty-one in number. The homilies are not now read in
churches; but there is no law to prevent their being so rend, and they are frequently
appealed to in controversies as to the doctrine of the Anglican Clinrch on the points
o( which they treat The precise degree of authority due to them is matter of

HOUILY (Gr. UrnnHia^ converse) primitively signiflea a diBCOurse held wlUi on

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


Homine AAg

Homa»opath7 ""^

or more Individnals, but in eccleeiaBtical nse it means a dinconrN held in the
chnrcb. aud addressed by the minister to the con^re^tion. The practice of ezpiaiu-
ing ill a popular form the lessons of Scripture read in the synugoknes, liad preyaUed
among the Jews, aud appears to have b^n adopted iu the Chnstian churches from
the earliest times. The disooarses employed for this purpose were of the most
simpio character ; but with the exception of one ascribed to liippolytns (q. v.)} y^
have no sample of this form of composition earlier than the homilies of Origeti in
ttie 3d centui7. Taking these as a type, the early Christian homily may l>e described
as a popular exposition of a portion of Scripture, accompauied by moral reflections
aud exhortations. It differs from the Beriuon ((Jr. logoa^ Lat. oratio) in eschewing
all oratorical display, and in foUowini; the order of tlie scriptural text or narrative,
instead of iMine tiirowo into the form of a rhetorical discourse or a didactic essay.
The schools of Alexandria and Antiocli appear to have been the great centres of
this class of sacred literature, and in the early centuries we find the names of Hippo-
lytns. Metrodorup, Clement of Alexandria, Dionysius, and Gregory Thanmaturgup,
as principallv distinguished. But it \^'as in the following centuries that the homily
received its iuH developmcut in the iiauda of the Oriental Fathers, Athauadits, the
two Qregories, of Nyssa and of Nazianznm, BaslL the two Cyrils, of Jemsalem and
of Alexandria, and above all, Chrysostom ; and in the West, of Ambrose, Augas-
tine, Peter Chrysologus, Leo, and Gregonr the Great. In later centuries. Venera-
ble Bede, the popes Sabinian, Leo II. and III., Adrian I., and the Spanish bisbopa
Isidore of Serilit;, and Ildefonsns, continued to use the horoiietic form: and even in
the modem church, many preachers have regarded It as the best medium of scrip-
tural instruction : and two different forms of homily are distinguLbhed, tlie higher
and the lower. The former follows the order of matter, rather than of any scrip-
tnrnl passages assumed to be expounded; the latter is a purely exegctical and
moral exposition of aome lesson from the liturgy, or of Bome other extract ttom
Holy Scripture.

It is right to add, however, that this strictly historical acceptation of the name
homily is by no means uniformly observed in modern use. The name liomily is
very frequently used, almost a* a synonym for sermon, aud signifies nothing more
titan a pudu, moral discoDrsc, without ornament or rhetorical pretension, but also
without any pretension of being moulded upon the ancient patristicai model.

HO'MINE REPLEGIA'NDO, an old writ in English law, meaning to bail a man
out of prison ; now disused.

HOM(EO'PATHY, from two Greek words signifying "similar suffering," is a
Bvstemof medicine introduced into practice about the close of last century, by a
German physician of the name of Ualinemauu (q. v.). It is founded upon the be-

Online LibraryJames OrrChambers's new handy volume American encyclopaedia: being a ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 129 of 196)