« IndietroContinua »
THE following version does not aim at pleasing the mere literary man. It was not undertaken with the ambitious expectation of being generally acceptable. It is addressed to the coursing public alone-to the amateurs of the leash; for whom the original was written, seventeen centuries ago, by their representative of old, a courser of Nicomedia in Asia Minor; and for whose amusement and instruction the same now assumes an English garb.
The general reader will find little in it to interest him. He will perhaps consider it altogether unworthy of his notice. The sportsman, fond of
the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction,
will read it with indifference, as treating of a branch of rural sport, not congenial to his taste; and wonder that an attempt should be made to bring under public notice so ancient a treatise on a subject of such partial interest. But the courser,
it is humbly conceived, the active patron of the κύνες Κελτικαὶ, proud of his greyhounds, that
are as swift
As breathed stags, aye fleeter than the roe,
will peruse it con amore, and find in its pages much that is entertaining and practically useful, and that utility enhanced in the department of annotation.
The literary courser, whose attention it more particularly solicits, will reap the additional benefit of the light which is thrown on Arrian's text by the ancient authors of Greece and Rome; and be ready to yield to the translator the humble merit of having collected in one point of view the classical elucidations of the Cynegeticus,' and the pertinent observations of writers of a later period.
Pro captu lectoris habent sua fata libelli!
The original manual is conversant with coursing, as practised in the age of Hadrian and the Antonini, at which period the Celtic hound was well known, and highly prized: but the annotations of the translator have a more extensive range, being selected from various Cynegetica in print and manuscript, from the first institution of coursing to the present time.?
1. The editors of the Greek libellus confine their remarks almost exclusively to critical annotations on the text. Indeed Holstein's edition has no notes; Blancard's, only a few marginal emendations; and Zeune's and Schneider's, very few parallel passages. Such classical citations, therefore, as are adduced by the translator, are for the most part of novel application.
2. The quotations from the Cynegeticus of Xenophon the elder refer to the chasepractices and kennel-discipline of Greece, antecedent to the institution of coursing.