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upon the subjects treated, and free from exaggeration aod
parade of learning. He acknowledges himself indebted in
some measure to the Manual published under the authority
of Coneress ; to the two first numbers of <^The Silk*Cul*
turist," by Dr. Felix Pascalis, of New York ; to the work of
Mr. Vernon, and that, of M. D'Homergue and Mr. Dupoa*
oeau ; and to a pamphlet by Gideon B. Smith, Esq., of Bal-
timore. But besides the use made of these authors by their
permission, and with good judgment, his work gives, in evory
thing essential, the results of his own experience ; and what*
ever he has borrowed from others is adapted to our climata
and to the circumstances of the culture oi silk among us ; be*
ing thus made, not ooly intelligible, but practically useful.

The First Part of Mr. Cobb's " Manual " treats of the
Mulberry Tree, for the leaves of which, as food for the silk-
worm, there appears to be no good substitute. He carries ua
through the whole process of preparing and sowing the seed^
and rearing and fostering the tree. Besides the different
species of the mulberry tree which have beesi often describe
ed, including the white, mulberry tree, (commonly cultivated
for the sake of silk-worms,) he gives an accoimt of the Chi-
nese mulberry. It was introduced into France (we are not
told in what year^ by M. S. Perrottet, a member of the Lin-
naean Society of Paris, who was employed by the French gov-
ernment as a travelling botanist. He brought with him from the
Asiatic regions a very rare and extensive collection of plants,
among which was one which he called Moras Muhicaulis,
for the first time ascertained to be the Moms alba Sinensis ;
the real Chinese mulberry. This information b taken from
the second number of the " Silk-Culturist," published by
Dr. Pascalis of New York, and was communicated to the
Doctor in a letter from Havre. The tree has been intro*
duced into this country, and promises to supersede all others
of the same class. (Cobb's Manual, pp. 21, 22, 23.^

Mr. Cobb, in the Second Part of his " Manual, gives in
sixteen pages, and in a clear and brief manner, the necessary
directions in regard to the ** Rearing of Silk-Worms," n

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1880.] Cobb— (Miure of Silk. ^87

subject which we have anticipated, so far as the extent which
we have prescribed to ourselves for its consideration admits,
in speaking of the work of M. D'Homergue and Mr. Dupon-

In the Third Part, Mr. Cobb treats of "Reeling and
Manufacturing Silk." In regard to the reeling of the silk, a
desideratum so much insisted upon by M. D'Homergue, the
prospect is brightening. Mr. Cobb gives an account of his
recent visit to the nursery and filature of Mr. Duponceau. The
filature was established under the direction of M. D'Ho-

" Ten reels are employed, each of which is worked by two
women under the superintendence of Mr. D'Homergue. The
reels of this filature are made chiefly on the model of the Pied-
mootese reel, somewhat simplified by Mr. D'Homergue. He
put one of these reels in operation in my presence, and it ap-
peared to work very easily. The silk reeled at that time I
have preserved as a specimen, and have since been informed
by an intelligent merchant of New York, that it would bring
seven dollars a pound in France. I was also shown several
parcels of sewing-silk, manufactured by Mr. D'Homergue from
the refuse cocoons.*' p. 45, note,

Mr. Cobb describes his own practice in preparing the
cocoons, and reeling from them the silk. He acknowledges
that " the reeling of silk requires skill, practice, and experi-
ence. But let not those who undertake it be readily dis-
couraged ; perseverance and attention for a short season will
enable them to become expert at the business, although
their first elfforts may seem discouraging." Mr. Cobb's reel
is similar to the Piedmontese, with improvements of his own,
more neatly finished, as he tells us, than any that he has
seen in this country ; and he can furnish it to others for
twenty-five dollars. He has never yet been able in his
family to reel a pound in a day. The silk, when reeled upon
Mr. Cobb's machine, sells for four dollars and a half a pound,
and some at a higher price. It commands in this condition
as hi^h a price as the Connecticut sewing-silk, which loses
half Its weight in the preparation, besides the labor super-
added to the reeled or raw silk. Mr. Cobb, without any
precise details, informs us that be has been able, with the
assistance of one man, to turn his raw silk to a profitable
account in the manufacture of fringes^ cords, furniture-bind-

VOL. I. NO. III. 31

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5238 FU¥$ Greek Orammar and Bx^ercises. [tifftrch^

ings, &c. But on the subject of silk manufactures there is
little or nothing for remark at present in this country, and
we do not presume to prophesy concerning it ; but, as in
many other things the mechanical genius and enterprise of
our country have outrun all foresight and prognostication, so
in this, no advances which may be made will greatly call
forth our wonder or surprise. And it may be that Mr. Cobb
is not too sanguine in his predictions contained in the follow-
ing paragraph.

** We in America are not obliged to pursue the same course
that is followed in Europe. The ingenuity and intelligence of
our community will soon arrange a reeling apparatus by the
family fire-side ; and that part of the year which cannot be em-
ployed in rearing the worms, will be advantageously improved
in reeling the cocoons to any given pattern or degree of fineness ;
nor is there any more difficulty in it than in the manafttctore
of straw, and many other employments which have engaged the
attention of our females. The time is probably not far distant,
when America will excel Europe in her silk manufactures, as
much as she now does in her cotton." pp. 48, 49.

But we have not time to speculate upon what is pro-
spective ; and for the sake of brevity we have avoided going
into the historical accounts pertaining to our subject, and the
statistical views which can be gathered from the works be-
fore us, and from the Manual prepared by the act of Cod-

Art. XII. — 1. A Grammar of the Greek Language, By
Benjamin Franklin Fisk. Second Edition. Boston.
Hilliard, Gray, Little, & Wilkins. 1831. 12mo. pp.

2. Greek Exercises ^ containing the Substance of the Greek
Syntax, illustrated by Passages from the Best Greek
Authors^ to be written out from the Words given in
their Simplest Form, By Benjamin Franklin Fisk.
Hilliard, Gray, Little, & Wilkins. 1831. 12mo. pp.

The fact that Mr. Fisk's Greek Grammar has gone into a
second edition shows that his.learned labors begin to be well
understood among us. It is a work which amply sustains
the reputation of the author, who was known before its pub-

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leSAi] Fiik^t Greek Qravmar ^nd J^ermet, ^

licatioD, among his personal acquaintances, to have devoti^d
himself with no common ardor, and in the loftiest spirit of
scholarship, to the cultivation of classical learning. This
Grammar does great honor to Mr. Fisk, and reflects much
credit upon the literature of the country. We hope he will
reap an abundant reward for his assiduous toils, not only
in the shape of praise, but in the more substantial result of
an extensive sale. Having expressed in general terms our
approbation of the work,we proceed to a more detailed state-
ment of its claims to public attention.

In a Preface, which shows that Mr. Fisk understands thq
art of writing English, as well as the science of Greek Gram-
mar, he says, that '^ with a labor to be appreciated by those
only who are conversant with such studies (to say nothing of
extraneous impediments of no ordinary character) he collect-
ed and perused every work which seemed likely to afford
any thing of service to his undertaking." The materials thus
coUectea have been well digested, and the results of the
author's personal investigations have been stated clearly and
forcibly. For very good reasons, the modern arrangement
of Nouns^ in three declensions, has been adopted in prefer-
ence to the ten declensions of the elder grammarians. The
simplicity of this plan is undoubtedly a strong argument in
its lavor. Ip its general principles it embraces nouns of all
descriptions ; and in its detail, tne rules of contraction enable
the learner to arrange In a simple scheme all that class of
nouns, which formed Jive out of the ten declensions in the old
avstem. But to obviate objections and to meet the wishes of
those who prefer the old method, a table of the <^ Ten Declen-
sions " is^annexed. The list of words belonging to the third
declension, with the formation of their genitives, is copious,
and useful to the beginner. It is desirable that the forms of
a language which are to be first learned, should be as simple
as the nature of the language will permit. Though nothing
essential to an accurate and comprehensive view should be
sacrificed to the plausible claims of simplicity, yet, if both can
be united, a judicious teacher will never hesitate to sacrifice
an old and complicated, to a new and simple system. Such
are evidently the old and new systems of the Declensions.

The Chapters on Adjectives and Pronouns do not differ
from the corresponding parts of other elementary gram-
QWa, except in their superior deepness q{ expression and ar-

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340 FuVs Oreek Orammar and Exercise$4 [STarcb,

rangeraent. They display throughout those marks of scholar-
like labor, which must ever give the chief value to works
of this description.

The nature and power of the Greek verb in all its modes
and voices are surrounded with many nice and difficult points.
No grammar, perhaps, can do more than furnish a few du-
bious and uncertain lights, to the path of the scholar, through
the mazes of this most intricate subject. Certain it is, that
no modem language can express one half of the slightly dif-
fering, almost commingling shades of meaning, that are con-
veyed to the mind by the versatile formation of the Greek
verb. The linguist, who has cultivated an accurate knowl-
edge of Greek, by long and intense study of the original
authors, assisted by the helps furnished by the learned works
of modern scholars, feels the simplicity and incomparable
clearness with which an idea, a description, or an action is
presented by the verb, with articles, prepositions, and other
particles, varied through the almost endless forms of parti-
ciples, tenses, voices, and modes, which present the idea, not
nakedly, but in all its bearings, and yet with perfect distinct-
ness, in reference to all the circumstances by which it may
be encompassed ; and at the same time, he feels his utter
inability of presenting it as a whole, in any modern toneue,
without enveloping it in profound obscurity. Grammarians
have, however, endeavoured to explain these varieties, as
well as they could. Their statements have been founded on
examples, which, in most cases, have been contradicted by
other examples, equally, if not more numerous. This is not
owing to the fault of the writers, but to the extent and diffi-
culty of the subject. Mr. Fisk has followed tH% popular
notion, in his arrangement of the verb ; and upon some points
we would, without calling in question his learn mg and abilities,
express our dissent from his opinions. The first of these
points is the Middle Voice, The common opinion of the
import of this form, we believe to be, in most cases, destitute
of foundation. Mr. Fisk's definition is : " The Middle Voice
expresses an action that is reflected upon the agent, as
tvnioftai, I strike myself; " and this agrees with the definition
commonly given. But the usage of the language proves that
this reflective sense is merely imaginary. In the few words
which are adduced as examples, it requires often some little
ingenuity and circumlocution to give them a reflective sense^

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1882.] ' FUVs Greek Chammar and Hcercises. Ml

while the true meaning of the words may be expressed in a
much more simple and direct form. The tenses which pass
nnder the name of the Middle Voice, almost always bear an
active or neuter signification, sometimes varying from that of
the active form, and sometimes not. The first and second
Aorist Middle, are the most frequently used, but, in ninety-
nine cases out of a hundred, have nothing like a reciprocal
sense. In the divisions under the general definition, Mr.
Fisk says, " 1. The middle voice signifies what we do to
ourselves, and is equivalent to the action joined to the cor-
responding reflective pronoun ; as Xovw, I wash another, but
Xovofjiai the same as Xovoa ifiavxov, I wash my self ^^^ be. Now
the fact is, that the reciprocal translation in this and many
other instances, though it apparently expresses the idea,
does not express it exactly ; Xovta means I wash any thing, and
XcffSofjuu, middle, / bathe, or / take a bath, not necessarily
I wash myself. For example, in Book viii. of the Odyssey,
verse 449, we have

Avxodiov f Sga fiiv jafdrj Xovaaa&ai Sroiysy,
" Immediately then the housekeeper ordered him to bathe,"

which might have been very well rendered to wash himself
had not the poet, a few lines further on, entered into some
details of the process of bathing, such as

Top d^ ind ovv dfnaal Xovaav, xal x(f^aav IXalt^,
" And iclien the servants had washed him, and anointed him
with oil"

From which it appears that although Ulysses was directed
to bathe (Xovaaa^ai)y yet he did not wash himself but servants
performed the operation for him (dfjKoal Xovaav). We are
inclined to think that in all cases it would be more accurate
to translate the word in the same manner. Again, ^^ ijXtupar
avtov, they anointed him ; but f}XdtffarTo the same as ^Xtiyfor
iavtovg, they anointed themselves.^' This is a case in point,
and a strong one, yet even in regard to this word, usage is
not uniform, as in Iliad xiv. 175.


*' With this she having anointed her beautiful person " &c.

Again : " andx^iVf anoaxuvt to restrain, amx^&a^, anoozio&ai,
to restrain ofie's self to refrain.^' This distinction is not re-
cognised, by the usage of the best writers. For example,
in Xenopbon's Memorabilia, Lib. x. Cap. ii. ^ 37, we have

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t4» jn»k'$ Qruk Qrmmwr tmd Extr^w. QCMcb,

'' But it will behove you to refrain from these ; **

the Terb being in the middle form. 'And in Cap. ii. ^ 63,

Jlp ixtivog nartnv av-d-Qmntav nXHarov aniixtv'
" From which he most of all men refrained ; "

the verb being in the active form, but with precisely the
aame meanine. . Examples might be multiplied, but it is un-
necessary. We will mention only one or two more. Rem. 2.
^^ ^^a irdvMiVf to put a breastplate on another ; ^9^nm Mit^
^ffi, to put a breastplate on one^s self^^ But this distinction
does not bold, for we find in Iliad, v. 736,

*H di z^TWp* ivdvaa Jiog, dtc
** And she, having put on (i. e. put on herself) the tunic of
Jove,** &e.

the verb being active. And in Iliad, xix. 371,

jBvreQOP av &to(fijxa ntgl axf^&iaoinf t^vvw*
** In the next place, he put on his breastplate around his

In the latter example, the verb is ivdvpa, and not MvnJ'hui
both are from the same theme and have the same meaning*
Again, '^ qwlatrnv, to watch any one, to observe ; 9iUarTca^or»
to observe any thing to one*s advantage in order to avoid it.
This distinction is general but not uniform, for we have in
Euripides, Medea, 320, 321,

J\jpfl yitQ i^i&Vfiog, mg d* avT«»g av^g,
^Pqww ifvlaaanv, ^ aitonrjXog <fo<p6g,
^* JFV>r a sharp-tempered woman, as well as man,
Is easier to guard against than a silent, cunning one.**

Here the active verb ^liaguv bears the meaning usually
civen to the middle form. Again, ^^ «/ JJav&sa ^v^axa inot^aaio,
ranthea caused a breastplate to be made^' But we have in
Iliad, V. 735,

*0v ^ avtfi noniaaro nal xafu jfc^/r.

*' Which she made and wroughi with her own hands,**

Thus it seems, that the middle signification belongs to but
few words, that it often requires a forced interpretation in
those few, and that many examples occur which have plainly
« ^flferent meaning.

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1888.] FisVs Greek Chrmmar und JEo6ereise$. i^_4S4i

We differ from Mr. Fisk also, in regard to the propriety
of restoring the second perfect and the second pluperfect^ to
their former station in the Middle Voice. The only argument
in favor of it is, that this arrangement preserves *^ the sym*^
metry which has hitherto existed in the three voices." In
the first place, this symmetry is a mere fancy of grammarians;
there is not a single verb in the Greek language which has
all the tenses and voices attributed to the Greek verb. In
the next place, it has been demonstrated by Buttmaon and
other late German grammarians, that these tenses never have
a middle signification ; and the principle of their formation is
strictly analogous to the active. Even if the few middle
tenses are permitted to constitute a separate voice, there is
no sufiScient reason for adding to them other tenses, which
by universal acknowledgment have no claim to be so con-
sidered, except that of" symmetry."

The other parts of speech are treated with good judgment,
in the remaining portion of the Etymology. In all our school
grammars, the subject of Syntax has been set forth in a very
unsatisfactory and imperfect shape. The Rules have been
too technical, and of course uninteliipble to beginners.
There is doubtless an insuperable difficulty in drawing up a
system of Greek Syntax, which shall at once be sufficiently
comprehensive to embrace an adequate view of the varied
and flexible constructions of the language, and sufficiently
simple to answer the purpose of an elementary school-book.
It is a department that requires an ample discussion and
many volumes to exhaust it. The most that can be done is
to sdect the more obvious principles, and embody them in
intelligible rules, illustrated by pertinent examples, leaving
the student to perfect his knowledge by studying the authors
and consulting the voluminous and philosophical writings,
particularly of German philologists, at his leisure. This
object Mr. Fisk has successfully accomplished. His arrange-
ment is excellent ; his rules are neatly and intelligibly ex-
pressed, and his examples are happily selected from an
extensive range of personal studies. The Prosody is drawn
up with creat care, and is believed, as the author remarks id
the Preface, to be "as full and satisfactory as the limits
allowable to its relative importance will admit of its being
made." Copious tables of the Dialects have been taken
from the "Gloucester Greek Grammar." We are glad lo

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fi44 FUk^s Greek Grammar and Exercises. [Marcfa^

find that the quantity of the penultimate in doubtful cases, is
uniformly marked. If this is properly attended to by teach-
ers and scholars, it will do away that barbarous disregard of
correct pronunciation, which is next to .universal among us.

On the whole, considering the difficulty and extent of the
subject, we must say that Mr. Fisk has been uncommonly
successful. The few points, with regard to which we think
him in the wrong, are of no great practical importance, and
detract but little from the value of his work. It cannot be
expected, nor is it possible, that a language which grew up
so freely and luxuriantly as the Greek, which existed classi-
cal and pure twenty centuries, which is as varied as the face
of nature, and as profound as the mind and heart of man,
which advanced with the advance of intellect, from the de-
scription of the external, to the description of the internal
world, and is more than adequate to both, — it is impossible,
we say, that such a language should be reduced to its ele-
ments, and thoroughly analysed, in a single treatise. The
dialect of Homer, which has been absurdly represented by
many grammarians, and is still absurdly represented by many
teachers, as a jargon made up of half a dozen provincial
forms, is found by learned scholars quite enough of itself,
for copious volumes of elaborate grammatical discussion.
The work before us, is, however, worthy of being exten-
sively adopted. We cordially recommend it to those who wish
to begin their Greek studies, with a simple and intelligible
statement of the principles which form the ground- work of
that ancient and most interesting language.

The " Exercises," compiled by the same author, ought
to be used in connexion with the Grammar. They are
selected from the best Greek authors, and arranged in refer-
ence to the Grammar. We rejoice to welcome a book so
happily adapted to the wants of our classical schools. The
writing of Greek is indispensable to the attainment of even a
tolerable knowledge of the language. Numerous idiomatic
expressions, the nice shades of difference between the tenses,
and even the orthography, require the exercise of writing to fix
them in the memory. Nulla dies sine lined should be the
motto of the ingenuous youth who aspires to a manly com-
mand over the polished languages of antiquity. This unpre-
tending little volume is well worthy the attention of teachers.
By using it, the progress of the scholar will be rendered at

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1832.] WheatmU ERstory of the Northmen. S45

the same time easy and agreeable, and bis knowledge definite
and sure. Mr. Fisk deserves the thanks of the friends of
good education for his important and valuable labors.

Art. XIII. — History of the Northmen, or the Danes and
Normans, from the Earliest Times to the Conquest of
England by William of Normandy. By Henrt Whea-
TON, Honorary Member of the Scandinavian and Ice-
landic Literary Societies at Copenhagen. Philadelphia.
Carey & Lea. 1831. 8vo. pp. 367.

The design of this work is thus expressed in the Preface :

*' In the following attempt to illustrate the early annals of
the North, it has been the writer's aim to seize the principal
points in the progress of society and manners in this remote
period, which have been either entirely passed orer or barely
glanced at by the national historians of France and England,
but which throw a strong and clear light upon the affairs of
Europe during the middle ages, and illustrate the formation of
the great monarchies now constituting some of its leading

When we look back upon the various incursions of na-
tions from the East and the North to the more civilized
regions of the southwest of Europe, from the first invasion of
the Cimbri and Teutones, about a century before Christ, to
the successive irruptions of German and Slavonian tribes
during the middle ages, successively destroying and estab-
lishing mighty empires, and thus by degrees changing and
renovating the world, — the wonderful exploits of the Scandi-
navians' form as it were the last act in this great drama of
universal history. The Goths, the Vandals, the Huns, and
all the diverse tribes which under various names invaded,
subdued, and desolated France, Spain, and Italy, pressed on
by land to wrest the riches of the ancient world from their
efiTeminate possessors. The Scandinavians, the Northmen,
were the children of the sea, those of whom the Ynlinga-
Saga says, " They are rightly named Sea-Kings, who never
seek shelter under a roof, and never drain their drinking-horn
at a cottage fire." They came from the coasts of Norway
and Denmark to infest and subdue those kingdoms which the
conquerors of the Roman Empire had erected on its ruins.

VOL. I. NO. III. 83

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246 Wheaian's History of the Northmen. [March,

Even before they discovered Iceland, Greenland, and perhaps
North America, they pressed forward to the South of Europe,
led on by the love oi adventure, strife, and conquest, with-
out chart or compass, in their frail canoes, at whose sight
Charlemagne, when, from the windows of his palace at Nar-
bonne, he saw them hovering on the bosom of the Mediter-
ranean, shed prophetic tears over the impending fate of his
kingdom. Thus, when we view the invasion oi the North-
men which ended in the overthrow of the old, and the foun-
dation of the new English monarchy, in connexion with the
preceding migrations of tribes and nations, which like the
rush of " many waters " overwhelmed the South and the
West of Europe, and changed the face of the ancient world,
the maritime invasion of the Northmen appears as the last

Online LibraryJoseph Lyon MillerAmerican monthly review → online text (page 26 of 54)