In brief, your aid obtained for me overnight the hearing I had vainly sought for a long while; and of such thaumaturgy my appreciation will never be, I trust, inadequate. I therefore grasp at the first chance to express this appreciation in—as I have said,—a form which seems not quite inept.
Dumbarton Grange December, 1920.
Of The Mulberry Grove the following editions have been collated:
(1) The editio princeps of Mansard 1475. An excellent edition, having, says Garnier, “nearly all the authority of an MS.” This edition served as the basis of all subsequent editions up to that of Tribebos, 1553, which then took the lead up to the time of Buelg, who judiciously reverted to that of Mansard.
(2) Buelg, in 4 vols. Strasburg. 1786-89. And in 2 vols. Strasburg. 1786. Both editions containing the Dirghic text with a Latin version, and the scholia and indices.
(3) Musgrave, concerning whose edition Garnier is of opinion that, though it appeared later, yet it had been made use of by Buelg. 2 vols. Oxon. 1800. Reprinted, 3 vols. Oxon. 1809-10.
(4) Vanderhoffen, with scholia, notes, and indices. 7 vols. London. 1807-25. His notes reprinted separately. Leipsic. 1824.
Saevius Nicanor Marci libertus negabit
“She went to the tailor’s
To buy him a coat;
When she came back
He was riding the goat.”
Saevius Nicanor, one of the earliest of the Grammarians, says Suetonius, first acquired fame and reputation by his teaching; and, besides, made commentaries, the greater part of which, however, were said to have been borrowed. He also wrote a satire, in which he informs us that he was a free man, and had a double cognomen.
It is reported that in consequence of some aspersion attached to the character of his writing, he retired into Sardinia, and, says Oriphyles, devoted the remainder of his days to the composition of sardonic literature.
[Footnote 1: Ackermann reads “Sardinian.” It is not certain whether the adjective employed is [Greek: sardanios] or [Greek: sardanikos]. I suspect that Oriphyles here makes an intentional play upon the words.]
He is quoted by Macrobius, whereas divers references to Nicanor in La Haulte Histoire de Jurgen would seem to show that this writer was viewed with considerable esteem in mediaeval times. Latterly his work has been virtually unknown.
Robert Burton, for the rest, cites Saevius Nicanor in the 1620 edition of The Anatomy of Melancholy (this passage was subsequently remodeled) in terms which have the unintended merit of conveying a very fair notion of the old Grammarian’s literary ethics:—