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Stephen was in perfon, attacked it on every fide, with all the alacrity that a certain expectation of victory could inspire. Yet, as all those of whom it was composed were veteran foldiers, and animated by the prefence and example of their king, they did the utmost, that, in fuch circumftances, courage and discipline could perform, facing about every way, and maintaining the clofeness of their order unbroken, though (to ufe the expreffion of an hiftorian who lived in thofe times) they were invefted and befieged like a caftle. The form of the battle now bore a great resemblance to that of Haftings. The king's phalanx, like that of Harold, was affaulted at once by horse and foot, but remained invincible for fome time; till the earl of Chefter dismounting, and ordering all his cavalry likewife to difmount, broke in, by the weight and ftrength of those heavy armed troops, and pressed hard upon the king, who bravely defended himself in the midst of his enemies, and ftruck the earl fuch a blow upon the crest of his helmet, that he overthrew him to the ground deprived of his fenfes. Nor would he, though all about him were flain or made prisoners, turn his back or ceafe from fighting, till, with the number and violence of his strokes, his battle-ax broke in his hands, and after that his sword also: upon which William de Kahames, a knight of great strength, feizing him by the creft of his helmet, and more coming up to affift in taking him,' he was forced to yield himself prisoner; but to no other than his coufin, the earl of Glocefter, would he deign, even in that extremity to furrender. Some contemporary writers add, that, before he was taken, he had been wounded in the head and knocked down by a ftone. Certain it is that greater perfonal valour never was shewn in any action, than by him on that day; but as a commander he may be blameable, for not having charged the forces of the enemy while they were pafling the ford; and for giving them time, when they had paffed it, to form, without molestation, He alfo feems to have erred in leaving the cavalry posted on his flanks too weak in numbers to contend with that of the emprefs, by having difinounted fo many of his beft horsemen, in order to ftrengthen his body of infantry; not well confidering, that the defeat of his wings would inevitably occafion that of his center. The precedent fet him at Cuton-Moor was improperly followed; because, as the Scotch had few horsemen, it might not there be fo neceffary to oppose any to them: but, as the earl of Glocefter was strong in cavalry, Stephen should have kept his, which at first was fuperior, equal at least to the earl's: efpecially being to engage in an open plain. It must however be owned, that both his wings behaved fo ill, as to give us sufficient reason to impute their defeat rather to their fear than their weakness. Yet they
confifted of men renowned for courage; which made fome of the contemporary writers fuppofe, that their flight was occafioned by treachery. But, as after this time they continued to ferve the king faithfully, it may be better accounted for by those fudden terrors, which sometimes feize even the best troops, when they are greatly outnumbered. Certainly nothing contributed more to the gaining of the battle, than the good dif pofition made by the earl of Glocefter, especially in his placing of the auxiliary Welch; and the prudent condu&t of those who led his wings, in reftraining their foldiers from pursuing the horse they had beaten, till they had completed the victory by the entire defeat of the enemy's foot.'
[To be continued. ]
II. The Idylliums of Theocritus. Tranflated from the Greek, with Notes Critical and Explanatory by Francis Fawkes, M. A. 8vo. Pr. 6s. Robinfon and Roberts.
ASTORAL poetry is a reprefentation of rural life, adorned with all the graces it is capable of receiving. All that happens in the country is not worthy of a place in the Eclogue. Nothing fhould be admitted but what is calculated to please and affect. Its bufinefs is to defcribe the loves, the fports, the complaints, the contefts, and all the little adventures of fhepherds. The language therefore ought to be plain and unaffected; the imagery taken from the most agreeable objects in the country. Yet fhepherds may fometimes difcourfe on more fublime fubjects, provided they retain their proper character, which is fimplicity.
The writer who is here exhibited in an English drefs, is the first and greatest of the paftoral poets. He flourished at Syracufe about 270 years before the birth of Chrift; and afterwards at the court of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the great encourager of the sciences, and the patron of learned men.
As a paftoral writer he had feveral advantages, He lived in the moft fertile country in the world, and under the moft fe-rene sky. The sweetness of the climate naturally furnished him with the most agreeable images, and enabled him to take his defcriptions from real life. The language in which he wrote is exquifitely sweet and harmonious; and the Doric dialect has a beauty, and propriety in this fpecies of compofition, which is inimitable.
In his Idyllia he has painted nature genuine and graceful. We find in them a variety of paffages from which may be VOL. XXIV. July, 1767.
formed the finest characters in paftoral. Some of them might have been more delicate; but in moft there is a sweetness, ease, and fimplicity, to which none of his fucceffors have attained.
Nothing can be more difficult than to transfufe his genuine graces into a foreign language. In this attempt the m ft careful tranflator will be frequently induced to facrifice fimplicity for the fake of the measure.
The following paffages in the original are plain and artless; but too much amplified in Mr. Fawkes's tranflation.
Πολλαι οι παρ ποσσι βοές, πολλοί δε τε ταύροι,
Moan'd at his feet, and melted into tears;
Ev'n bulls loud bellowing wail'd the fhepherd fwain.'Ενδον τ', εικε μόνον το καλον ςομα του εφιλασα. Id. ii. I fhould have deem'd it no ignoble bliss,
The roses of your balmy lips to kiss.
This language is more fuitable to the character of a petitmaitre in the prefent age, than that of a fimple fhepherd in the days of Theocritus.
A goatherd declares his paffion for Amaryllis, laments her cruelty, commends her charms, folicits her favours, and diftracted at the thoughts of not obtaining them, threatens to drown himself:
Ταν βαιτων αποδυς εις κύματα τηνα αλευμαι,
This declaration is expreffed with seriousness and fimplicity; but the following version has an air of affectation, and feems to represent the goatherd in jest.
I'll doff my goat-skin, fince I needs must die,
Headlong I'll plunge into the foamy deep;
Theocritus, when he represents Polyphemus in love with Galatea, fays,
Καθεζόμενος δ' επί πέτρας
Υψηλας, ες ποντον όρων, αείδε τοιαυτα.
Mr. Fawkes embellishes the defcription in this manner:
Rough pointed rock, that overlook'd the deep,
In this verfion the language is poetical; but not as it is in the original, fimplex munditis.
The firft Idyllium is extremely beautiful, and may be confidered as the pattern and standard of the old bucolic poems; we shall therefore present it to the reader in the tranflation of Mr. Fawkes.
Thyrfis. Sweet are the whispers of yon vocal pine,
Goatherd. Sweeter thy song, O fhepherd, than the rill
That rolls its mufic down the rocky hill:
Thyrfis. Wilt thou on this declivity repose,
Goatherd. I dare not, dare not, fhepherd, grant your boon,
When tir'd with hunting, ftretch'd in fleep along,
But well you know Love's pains, which Daphnis rues,
A deep two-handled Cup, whose brim is crown'd
Dread Fate, alas! may foon demand your breath,
Thyrfis. Begin, ye Nine, that sweetly wont to play,
Begin, ye Mufes, the bucolic lay.
"Sicilian Swain, and this is Thyrfis' fong:"
Thyrfis my name, to Ætna I belong,
Where were ye, Nymphs, in what fequefter'd grove?
Where were ye, Nymphs, when Daphnis pin'd with love?