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in the full chorus of praise. In every other place it would be an offence to be near them, without thewing in his attitudes and deportmeat the conscious marks of inferiority; here only he sees the proftrations of the rich as low as his, and hears them both addressed together in the majefic fimplicity of a language that knows no adulation. Here the poor man learns shar, in spite of the distinctions of rank, and the apparent inferiority of his condition, all the true goods of life, all that men dare petition for when in the prefence of their Maker-a found mind, a healthful body, and daily bread, lie within the scope of his own hopes and endeavours; and that in the large inheritance to come, his expectations are no less ample than theirs. He rises from his knees, and feels himself a man. He learns philosophy without its pride, and a spirit of kiberty without its turbulence. Every time social worship is celebrated, is includes a virtual declaration of the rights of man.'
Many other judicious observations are added, particularly respecting the good effects that may be expected from the attendance of men of learning and refinement on public worship; and on the improvements which are desirable in the present methods of conducting public services.
Mrs. B. compliments the Diffenters, we suppose not without some authority from experience, on their openness to conviction, and on their readiness to profit by every sober and liberal remark which may assist them to improve their religious addresles. She advises them to give their places of worship a more cheerful and a more democratic form; to allow the people to have a considerable share in the performance of the fervice, by the intermixing of their voices; to introduce a more systematic method of teaching, in which a connected series of instruction may be delivered on natural and revealed religion, and on moral duties, without regard to the custom of prefixing a text of scripture to every discourse; and to join to religious information some instruction in the laws of our country:
Several of these hints appear to merit attention. There will be no reason to regret Mr. Wakefield's attack on public worthip, if the result be, not an abolition of the practice, but its correction and improvement.
ART. XIV. The Iliad and Odyles of Homer, translated into English
Blank Verse. By W. Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. 4to. 2 Vols. 21. 125. 60. Boards. Johnson. 1791. He attention of the public has been fixed on the volumes
before us by many and various causes. The venerable name of the original writer, a name endeared to us by the enthusiasm of our youthful studies, and sanctified by the homage of countless generations; the splendid success of Mr. Pope,
whose version, though obnoxious to criticism, seemed to defy competition; and the poetical reputation of Mr. Cowper, who, instead of thrinking from the contest, boldly challenged the prize ;-all these circumstances have induced us to peruse this translation with avidity, and to reconsider some parts of it with no common share of attention.
Our remarks, however, will be the less numerous, because a few specimens, impartially selected, will enable both the Greek scholar and the English reader to appreciate its general character.
Mr. Cowper's own words will best explain his design, and what he conceives to be the peculiar excellence of his work:
• That he (Mr. Pope) has sometimes altogether suppressed the sense of his author, and has not seldom intermingled his own ideas with it, is a remark which, on this occasion, nothing but necessity fhould have excoried from me. But we differ sometimes so widely in our matter, that unless this remark, invidious as it seems, be premised, I know not how to obviate a suspicion, on the one hand, of careless overlight, or of factitious embellishment on the other. Oa this head, therefore, the English reader is to be admonished, that the matter found in me, whether be like it or not, is found also in Homer, and that the matter not found in me, how much foever be may admire it, is found ooly in Mr. Pope. I have omitted nothing; I have invented nothing.
• There is indisputably a wide difference between the case of an original writer in shime anů a translator. In an original work the author is free ; if the rhime be of difficult asiainment, and he can. not find it in one direction, he is at liberty to seek it in another; the matter that will not accommoda:e itself to his occasions he may discard, adopting such as will. But in a tranflation no such option is allowable; the sense of the author is required, and we do not for render it willingly even to the plea of neceffity. Fidelity is indeed the very effence of trarflation, and the term itself implies it, For which reason, if we suppress the sense of our original, and force into its place our own, we may call our work an imitation, if we please, or perhaps a paraphrase, but it is no longer the fame author only in a different dress, and therefore it is not tranfla110o.
* My chief boast is that I have adhered closely to my original, convinced that every departure from him wund be punished with the forfeiture of some grace or beauty for which I could subditute no equivalent. The epithets that would consent to an English form I have preserved as epithecs; others that would not, I have melted into the context. There are none, I believe, which I have not translated in one way or other, though the reader will not find them repeated fo often as most of them are in Homer, for a reason that need not be mentioned.
• Few persons of any confideration are introduced either in the Iliad or Odyffey by their own name only, but their patronymic is 4
givea given allo. To this ceremonial I have generally attended, because it is a circumstance of my author's manner.
• Homer never allots less than a whole line to the introduction of a speaker. No, not even when the speech itself is no longer than the line that leads it. A practice to which, since he never departs from it, he must have been determined by some cogent rea-, fon. He probably deemed it a forn ality necessary to the majesty of his narration. In this article, therefore, I have scrupulously adhered to my pattern, considering these introductory lines as heralds in a procefsion; important persons, because employed to usher in pere fons more important than themselves.
. It has been my point everywhere to be as little verbose as porsible, though, at the same time, my constant determination not to facrifice my author's full meaning to an affected brevity.
• In the affair of style, I have endeavoured neither to creep nor to bluster, for no author is so likely to betray his translator into boch, these faults, as Homer, though himself never guilty of either. I have cautiously avoided all terms of new invention, with an abund. ance of which, persons of more ingenuity than judgment have not enriched our language, but incumbered it. I have also everywhere used an unabbreviated fullness of phrase as most suited to the nature of the work, and, above all, have studied perfpicuity, not only because verse is good for little that wants it, but because Homer is the moft perspicuous of all poets.'
What are the natural and indefeasible rights of a translator ; how far they are either contracted or extended by the established laws of criticism; beyond what point poetical fidelity becomes really treason against the majesty of the original, and reformation may be styled loyalty; are questions of nice and hazardous difcuffion. We suspect, however, that Mr. C. dirclaims some of the necessary privileges of his fraternity, and that, by contending so strongly for the doctrine of passive and unlimited obedience to his author, he attempts to mutilaté a charter of very ancient date.
Would Mri c. himself, or any other poet who merits the praise of foreign nations and diftant pofterity, subject his own writings to a translation conducted on such principles ? Would he not rather entrust them to men of kindred genius, and cultivated taste,-men who, transplanting no flower that would perish by removal, but foftening only what is harsh, and adding nothing that is incongruous, would transfuie the energy, the spirit, the general character, and the colour, of his poem, into their vernacular language? This we have never seen atchieved by the advocates for literal translation, even when suffered to expatiate in blank verse, an advantage of which Mr. Cowper has judiciously availed himself. As the vehicle of a translation of Homer, the Milconic versification is, in our opinion, superior to that of Mr. Pope; not only because it renders fidelity more easy, but
because its pauses are more varied, its march is more stately, and its general effect is more in unison with that of the Greek Hexameter. If Mr. C. has employed it with less success than we expected, his failure may be ascribed to that quixotical spirit, which has impelled him to engage in a contest in which victory affords few laurels, and ridicule exasperates defeat.
To the general praise of fidelity, Mr. Cowper is eminently intitled. Instances, however, occur, not infrequently, (and how could it be otherwise?) in which he has offended against the rigorous law that he professes to have imposed on himself; sometimes by mistaking the meaning of his author, at others by adding what is not to be found in the original Greek, or by omitting what really does exist there.
The giant ftrength of Homer is sometimes represented by the feebleness of a pigmy:-bis translator at one time foars into bombaft, and at another, finks into vulgarity. In many instances, he happily exemplifies the coincidence of the Greek and English idioms : but, in others, bis violent attempts to reconcile them render his language affected and uncouth. The English reader is so disgusted by the frequent use of terms long since grown obsolete, or by the application of words in common use to express meanings very different from these which custom has affixed to them; and his ear is often offend. ed by an unusual, and therefore unwarrantable, transpofition of words, sometimes adopted in imitation of a similar arrangement in the Greek, and not infrequently, it should reem, from the mere love of quaint and unprecedented inversions. These observations, we truft, will be fully confirmed and il. lustrated by the following examples:
Δεξαι; εγω δ ίππων αποβήσομαι, οφρα μαχομαι.
ίπποι. . Verf. 265. · The lah take thou, and the resplendent reins,
While I alight for battle, or thyself
Receive them, and the steeds shall be my care.' One person only is mentioned Ouds dedecoviz, Diomede, 1b. 68ι. Βη δε δια προμαχων κεκορυθμειος αιθοπι χαλκω. Verf. 8o8,
radiant to the van he fiew.' vi. 55. Ω πεπον, ο Μενέλας, τη δι συ κηδε κι αυτως
οφρα και οι:
Γ.υσι: ότι οι παραιοι είχαμε είναι.
Our patrimonial amity and love.'
« who with smooth oars,
- Jove high-enthron'd Hath not fulfillid the truce.' 15. 321. Νωτοισιν δ' Αιανία διηνεκεεσσι γεραιρεν,
Ηρως Ατρειδης ευρωκρειων Αγαμεμνων. Vers. 381.
to whom the hero-king, Wide ruling, Agamemnon, gave the chine
Perpetual In his note, Mr. C. observes, " The word is here used in the Latin sense of it. Virgil, describing the entertainment given by Evander to the Trojans, says that he regaled them,
Perpetui tergo bovis et luftralibus extis.' This line of Virgil is quoted by Clarke in his note on the original paflage; and on this authority, Mr. Cowper translates the words vwtown DINVEXEETCI, wherever they occur, perpetual chine :--but, surely, neither the authority of Homer nor. of Virgil are sufficient to warrant this use of perpetual in English. The mere English reader, indeed, is much obliged to Mr. C. for the information contained in the latter part of his note, viz, that it means the whole;' fince, without this information, he must have been totally at a loss to conjecture what meaning he ought to affix to the word, or whether it had any meaning
xi. 661. B.Barico de xy Eufuzu..os Xata je por cisa. Verl. 797. ' Eurypylus is foot into ibe thigh.' Ib. 749. Και νυ κεν Ακλοριωνε Μολιoνε παιδ αλαπαξα,
Ει μη σφω: πατηρ ευρωκρείων Ενοιχθων
Εκ πολεμε εσαωσε, καλυψας περι πολλη.
Of A&or, but the fou'reign of the deep,
And navel pierced him.'
Iliad, Book v. verse 16 of the original, 18 of Mr. C.'s tranflation, repost
is render'd dismiss d - his long-shadow'd spear dismiss'd.' Mr. C. has tranflated the word more happily, vii. 295. • kurld his long-shadow'd spear.'