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120 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY stimulating introduction and the documents he has chosen. It need not be surprising however if the contemporary quotations reflect little that is glamorous or optimistic about the founders of the Canadian community. The things our great-grandfathers thought about each other are somewhat different from the legend. The fron tiersman as viewed by the authorities, and even by his fellow-pioneers, comes in for some very harsh words. The despatches of the French governors about the lawlessness of the coureur,r de bois or the laziness of the Acadians find strong echoes through subsequent records, from the complaints of Cornwallis about the "poor idle worthless Vagabonds" who settled Nova Scotia to the diatribes of the Brit;'h Colonist against practically everyone in British Columbia. Yet it is interesting to compare, for example, the lurid pictures by travellers of life in the Yukon (where one English visitor made the discovery that poker "affords great facilities for rash speculation") with the official police report which reveals the comparative rarity of really major crimes. Possibly the sagest conclusion is that of a woman who went to Dawson during the gold-rush. "The genuine pioneer," wrote Mary Lee Davis, ~'has standards, decidedly. He has honour and he has virtue. He has a certain tough unformulated faith, but his standards are not the standards of home." OUR EURIPIDES THE GOLDEN' W. D. WOODHEAD Professor Grube has followed up his admirable volume, Plato's Thought, with a very thorough and scholarly study of Euripides, a book which should prove indispensable to all students of that great dramatist. The treatment of the subject is interesting. T,he first part consists of a general survey of the technique of Euripides, and deals with such controversial topics as the Prologues and Epilogues, the problem of relevance, and the place of the Chorus in the poet's drama. The second part contains detailed analyses and interpretations of the eighteen extant tragedies. This is a convenient arrangement, for the reader has the choice of reading first whichever part he pleases; and the process from the general to the particular is in the regular Greek tradition. 1TIte Drama of Euripides, by G. M. A. GRUBE. London, Methuen iTorollto, S. J. Reginald Saunders], $7.50. REVIEWS 121 What specially impresses the reviewer is the sanity of Professor Grube's treatment. He rightly protests against the numerous critics who affect tO,discover, in the speeches of a character or the lyrics of a chorus, the personal sentiments of the dramatist. This is a practice which dates from the times of the poet himself, for of old he was spoken of as a woman-hater. But it is interesting to note that the fiercest attacks upon the character of womankind are for the most part uttered by the women, not the men, in the tragedies. And again Professor Grube combats strongly and effectively the prevalent idea that Euripides was an atheist, I'a man who wrote plays with the specific intention to make men cease to believe in the gods." The monologue Prologues, which have aroused such criticism, are shown to be, in nearly every case, dramatically essential, only the first few verses being "stiff" formal, and frigid." And the Epilogues, in which divinities so frequently appear, are not, according to the writer, mere labour-saving devices adopted to "get the author out of difficulties of plot," but in each play in which they occur there is some definite relevarrce and dramatic justification. Of the Chorus, again, Professor Grube writes with penetration and understanding: and both in the introductory chapters and in the studies of the individual plays he makes it evident that, with very few exceptions, the choice of the choral body and the lyrics which they sing is relevant and indeed intimately connected with the dramatic story. In only two plays will he admit that the ties between the Chorus and chief character are missing. And he wisely points out that critics tend to "concentrate too much upon the choral odes, to the detriment of the other utterances of the chorus." It is perhaps inevitable, even today, that the fantastic but fascinating theories of Verrall should be...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 120-124
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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