April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JOHN STUART BLACKIE; 16 April 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490416-TC-JSB-01; CL 24: 23-24


16 April 1849

You are engaged on ‘Æschylus,’ they tell me—which, beyond doubt, is a good book to try.1 A Body of Greek Literature (small rigorously selected body), Body of Greek Dramatists first of all, is what the world now emphatically demands of the Scholar-Guild, which it has kept up this long time “regardless of expense,” and I must say with intrinsically and somewhat astonishing result hitherto! For what we wanted was not learned battlement about Greek Heroes and Myths, but wise speech, melodious by its depth and truth about British Heroes and Facts;—good Heavens! it is strange that men ever could have forgotten this! However, we do expect now, as I say, a kind of real Heathen Greek Bible (or set of select small books we can read) from our expensive Professors of Classicality,—terribly expensive if we compute all they have cost us!—and for this object I think they will never get a better model than the Divine Hebrew Bible, and the singularly successful method hit upon for “translating” this—for carrying this over to us and making it ours.2