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in English. But if the Hebrew psalms are read with tolerable attention to the accents, or even to the simple general rule of laying the stress on the final syllable, it will be perceived, that, if not capable, in general, of being scanned by the rules of Latin prosody, they yet have a sonorous dignity, and a rhythmical flow.
But let us look a little closer at this subject, and, for a specimen, take the earliest we can find in the Bible. Lamech, the antediluvian bigamist and man-slayer, appears to have been — alas that it should be sol— the first poet. His composition, which may be read in English in Gen. iv. 23, stands as follows in Hebrew; its sounds being expressed as simply as possible in English letters:
" Atháh ve Zilláh, shemáyan kolí
Neshé Lámech, háëtzénpah imrathi,
Ve Lámech shivyím veshivyá.” The first thing noticeable about this ancient production is, that four out of the six lines rhyme. The fifth and sixth lines would rhyme also, but for the slight sound of the unaccented syllable in in Kain. The rhythmical flow of the verse is scarce less obvious.
The next passage to which we turn is Josh. x. 12. The speech of Joshua is a line of poetry :
“Shemesh, be-Givyón dóm, ve-yaréah be-yémek Ayalón.” Altering the last accent, this becomes a regular hexameter: “Shemesh, be- | Givyon | dom ve ya | reah be- 1 yemek A | yalon.”
The sense and measure may be thus expressed in English:“Sun, upon Gibeon stand, and the moon in the vale of Ajálon.”
This agrees with the reference, in the next verse, to the “ Book of Jasher," in proving to us that we are not reading history, but a poetic legend.
Of measure nearly similar is the first part of Isaiah's parable of the vineyard (Isa. v.). We give the first line, with a translation in the same measure :
" Ashíra ná lethithí shirath' dothí lecharmó." “I'll sing a song to my love, a lovely song of his vines.” We add a few instances of measure and rhyme from the Psalms. Psalm viii. 5 (4th in the English Bible):
“ Mah enósh, chi thizcherénnu ?
Uben A'dam, chi thiphkedénou?” Psalm lxxxv. 11 (10th in the English Bible) :
“ Hésed ve-eméth niphgáshu,
Zédek ve-shalóin nasháku." Psalm cái. 5:–
“ Lireóth be-tóváth behirécha,
Lísmoah be-simháth goyécha,
Léhithhallél im náhelothécha.” The sacred name which we pronounce Jehovah was probably a dissyllable, having the sound " Yahveh.”
There are critical reasons for this opinion, quite independent of the doctrinal theory advanced some time since, which made the name an argument for the divinity of Christ. The name is solemnly introduced in Exod. iii. 15; and there, evidently, should be read “ Yahveh," "He is," answering to “Ebyeh," “I am," in the fourteenth verse. In that, God speaks of himself in the first person ; in the fifteenth, he directs what Moses should say of him in the third person. With this pronunciation, the 113th Psalm becomes nearly a regular trochaic:
“Hálelu avthé Yahvéh!
Yal' hashamáim chevothó,” &c.
Turning to the Book of Proverbs, we find, in regard to measure and rhyme, what might be expected from the nature of that species of composition. The proverbs of other nations are sometimes in prose, sometimes in verse. It is natural, then, that, among those which Solomon composed or collected, both descriptions should occur. In the first chapter, the eighth and ninth verses are as follows:
“Shemá béni, musár avícha,
Ve-yanakím legargrothécha." The rhyme here is grammatical, formed by applying the same suffix "cha,” “thy," to the successive clauses. In Prov. xiv. 4 is a rhyme of another kind; the vowels that form it being different in the Hebrew, though we cannot express their difference with English letters :
“Be-áin álaphim evús bór;
Be-rav tévuvoth bechóa shór." A similar instance is in xxii. 1. For other instances of rhyme which cannot be explained as merely resulting from suffixes, the second chapter of Proverbs alone affords several, in the 2d, 3d, 6th, 11th, 16th, and 17th verses. The first chapter of Proverbs contains eleven rhymes; the second and third, nine each; the twenty-third and thirty-first chapters, eight each; and other parts of the book in various proportion, The rhyme is accompanied by a correspondence between the rhyming lines, in regard to the number and cadence of the syllables.
We will not add further illustrations of a subject not generally interesting. We trust, however, that, at a time when there is some disposition to undervalue theological learning, the labor is not in vain that has been spent in presenting the example of our venerable Hebrew scholar, and in showing, that, after all his researches and those of others," there remaineth yet," in this region of literature, as in Canaan after the conquests of Joshua, “very much land to be possessed."
ART. IV. - MASSIMO D'AZEGLIO AND THE UNITY OF
Ettore Fieramosca ossía la Disfida di Barletta. Di Massimo D'AZE
GLIO. Firenze: Felix Le Monnier, 1850.— Ettore Fieramosca; or, The Challenge of Barletta. The Struggles
The Struggles of an Italian against Foreign Invaders and Foreign Protectors. By Massimo D'Aze
Boston: Phillips, Sampson, & Co., 1859. Niccoló de' Lapi; ovvero, I Palleschi e I Piagnoni. Massimo
D'AzEGLIO. Parigi: Baudry, Libreria Europea. 2 vols. 1841.Florence Betrayed; or, The Last Days of the Republic. Translated, from the Italian of Massimo D'Azeglio, by a LADY. Boston:
William V. Spencer, 1856. L'Italie de 1847 à 1865. Correspondance Politique de Massimo
D'Azeglio. Accompagnée d'une Introduction et de Notes. Par EUGENE RENDU, Inspecteur-Général de l'Instruction Publique, Correspondant de l'Académie Royale des Sciences de Turin, etc. Deuxième Edition. Paris : Libraire Académique, Didier et Cie., Libraires-Editeurs.
" L’unione degli Italiani ! voi mi fate ridere," wrote Macchiavelli to Vettori, three centuries ago; and it was a sneer worthy of so astute a diplomat. For, though the reckless discord of the Italian cities, fomented by the intrigues of foreign courts, and finally made permanent by the armies of northern invaders, might well lead a superficial observer to doubt the possibility of reconciling the warring elements that have so long made a shipwreck of the nationality of Italy, yet a comprehensive study of the tendencies of Italian history will never fail to confirm the sagacious prediction of Napoleon at St. Helena, that the unity of manners and language and literature must, at a future more or less remote, end in bringing the inhabitants of Italy under one government.
Gioberti ascribes the origin of this fatal spirit of division to the Guelf and Ghibelline factions, which arose at the close of the eleventh century, when the famous quarrel between
the priesthood and the empire began with Henry IV. and Gregory VII. Anxious to preserve the benefits of the two great achievements of their age, - the liberty of the municipalities and the unity of the Church, — the Guelfs aimed at making Italy a confederacy of free cities, presided over by the Pope; while the Ghibellines, represented in former times by Dante and Macchiavelli and Sarpi, and in later times by Alfieri and Leopardi, with a view to separate the priesthood from the empire, - that is, to sever the connection between Church and State,- were eager to confer the crown of Italy upon a lay prince; and, as a suitable one was not to be found at home, they were ready to lay it at the feet of the German emperor.
The discord, however, thus organized by the Guelfs and the Ghibellines, had really a more remote origin. It sprang from the dream of antiquity, never once relinquished in the Middle Age, and still dominant in Italy,- the dream of a universal monarchy on the one hand, and a universal republic on the other. For nowhere more than in Italy have the ideas of the past entered into the life of the present; nowhere is history more the property of the general mind. The peasant still worships in Nero the presiding genius of his horse; the monks of Assisi still cherish the ambition of Gregory VII.; the memories of the Crusades and of the wars against the Turks have come down, in many hearts in Venice, bright as the Byzantine gold of St. Mark's. For it is the people who have done all in Italy: it was commerce that gave her liberty; it was industrial skill that gave her wealth ; it was her artists, plebeian and republican, from Giotto to Michael Angelo, that gave her fame; it was her sailors who revealed a new world to mankind; it was her popes, sons of the people likewise, who, up to the twelfth century, gave unity to the modern civilization and peace to a turbulent world. And thus it is now, that, from one end of the peninsula to the other, every true Italian will rally, if he can, around the tricolor: for all factions alike, absolutist or radical, revere in the red, white, and green the symbol of national regeneration; while all factions alike find their only common inspiration in the war-cry of Garibaldi, “ Fuori i barbari !"