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the scriptures, which declares the earth immovable, and that Joshua arrested the sun, and the evidence of our senses ? Besides how was it possible not to fall, if we were obliged to have our head undermost during the night ? The prelate answered at length and learnedly to all these questions, vindicated the holy scriptures, showed the laws of gravitation, opposed himself to the imposture of our senses, and finished by advising the monks not to disturb the ashes of Copernicus, so long time cold, and to sleep as tranquilly, as they always had before.
His answer made, he reiterated his excuses ; and I told him, that, having been sent into Italy by the king of France in search of medals, that were wanting to his cabinet, of which I had the care, that I added to this duty that of knowing those, who were most distinguished among the learned. He took off his cap, redoubled his politeness, coughed a long time, and asked my permission to present to me the Signora Maria Laura, his ancient friend, whose virtue equalled her knowledge and talents ; who knew the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew ; played on the lyre, like Orpheus ; designed and painted, like Apelles; and embroidered as well, as the daughters of Mingas. This eulogium was not finished, when the Signora Maria Laura appeared ; she might have been between sixty and sixty five ; he between sixty five
In the course of the conversation he assured me, that he was descended from the Chevalier Bayard, and that he was a Frenchman not only by birth, but still more by inclination. He then complained of the manner, in which the labors of Herculaneum were conducted, of the negligence of the minin isters in regard to the manuscripts, of the jealousy, excited against him by the honorable treatment, he received of the king. I do not know by what accident I cited the Count de Caylus ; immediately he cried, what! do you know M. bad government. It furnishes little else to the king of Naples, than a yearly convoy of the most abandoned ruffians for the gallies of Naples, The king's authority is little more than nominal. T.
Vol. II. No. In с
de Caylus ? He is my good friend. Listen, Signora Laura, this M. de Caylus is one of the greatest lords in France, one of the most learned men in the world ; it is he, who presided in all the academies of Paris, who protects all the arts; he knows every thing, writes upon every thing, his works are the admiration of all Europe. And then, immediately addressing himself to me, he said to me in French, what has the Caylus done ? I have never seen any thing from him. And without waiting for my answer he rang, and had a large box of papers brought to him; it was the collection of his Latin poetry. He proposed to me to hear a morsel of it. I should be enchanted, said I, but, Monsignor, you cough a
He answered, that he would sacrifice every thing to the pleasure of procuring me some amusement ; and with that view he chose a piece, entitled an anatomical description of the brain. Besides that I was ignorant of the subject, the Italians pronounce the Latin in a way, so different from ours, that the charm of his verses did not reach me. Madam Laura, who perceived it, interrupted him near the hundredth verse, and, having represented to him, that so fine a subject ought to be méditated upon to be thoroughly felt ; she proposed to him to read his Fountain of Trevi.t Madam is right, said he ; you came from Rome, you have more than once admired this beautiful fountain ; I was there, when it was discovered, the estro poetico took possession of me, and I diffused it in great quantities through the following poem.
It was in vain I told him, Monsignor, you cough a great deal ; it was necessary to hear him. Here is the plan of this little poem.
The poet runs to the new fountain ; he perceives at a distance Neptune, who strikes with his trident the rocks, that are heaped at his feet, and the impetuous torrents spout forth. He approaches the basin, in which the assembled waters present to him a ravishing spectacle, that of the Naiads, who are sporting on the surface; he limself mixes in their play ; an unknown power in giving him a celestial figure had lavished upon him all the attractions, which shone in his new companions. It may be easily conceived, that a hand, capable of painting the imperceptible fibres of the brain, could apply the richest colors to more real beauties; indeed he had spared nothing to describe with a scrupulous exactness the happy changes, he experienced. He dwelt with pleasure upon the lightness of movements, the justness of proporțions, the roundness of forms, and the mildness of countenance.
* The ridicule of this is greatly increased in the original by giving the bad, Italian pronunciation. “ Qu'a-t-il fait le Caylous ? Ie n'ai jamais rien vou « de loui.” T.
+ 'The fountain of Trevi is the most magnificent of any in Rome ; it pours forth a vast quantity of water from a number of orifices, and is decom rated with a profusion of statues, &c. T:
While he presented me this picture, debased by a rapid reading and pronunciation, which was foreign to my ear, I compared the actual state of this ancient water nymph with his appearance now ; his hooked chin, furnished with a thick beard, his cheeks, hanging and interspersed with yellow spots, his eyes, profoundly sunk in their orbits, the wrinkles, folded in many ways over his forehead, altogether struck me so much, that when he had finished, after some compliments I said to the author, I cannot however dissimulate, that, since your metamorphosis, you are a little changed. Madam Laura agreed to it ; and, thinking from this trifling jest I was much amused, one moment more, said he, you have geen me, as a Nereid, I will now show myself to you, as a Bacchant ; and then, drawing from his inexhaustible case a dithyrambic of a frightful size, and collecting his forces, he thundered out the sacred song ; but the warmth, with which he declaimed, caused at the very beginning so violent a return of his cough, that Madam Laura, alarmed, joined her prayers to mine to engage him to defer the remainder to another day. He consented, though with regret, and I escaped very quick, resolved never to trouble him again.
(To be continued.)
REMARKS ON ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF
THE ROMAN POETS,
THERE is no poetical production of antiquity, concerning which there has been a greater diversity of opinion, than the Pharsalia of Lucan. It is a work, which has excited much praise and much censure. Some have thought it was not entitled to the appellation of an epic poem. Quintilian ranks the author rather among orators, than po
The Pharsalia has at times been a favorite of the French scholar, though it is almost the only classic, which has not been edited " in usum Delphini.” The high sentiments of liberty, which it breathes, are sufficient to account for the omission. On all hands it is agreed, that the poem is very unequal. As an apology for this inequality, it should be considered, that it was written rapidly, and left unfinished. Lucan wrote after the middle of the first century. He was not educated at the court of Augustus. The splendor of the Augustan era had passed, and it could not be expected that he should discover the polish and melody of Virgil.
Had Lucan lived longer, he would probably have curtailed his episodes, smoothed his verses, and given a more perfect, historic poem. The brilliant exploits of Cæsar and Pompey would have been less frequently interrupted by a confusion of extraneous character and unconnected incia dents.
There have been two translations of Lucan into English poetry. The version of Thomas Mayf was published early
* Lucanus ardens, et concitatus, et sententiis clarissimus, et, ut dicam quod sentio, magis oratoribus quàm poetis annumerandus, Quint. a Rol. 8vo, p. 293.
+ Lucan died at 27 years of age under the sentence of Nero, and had core rected only the three first books of his poem. Crusius, lives Rom. poets.
May translated likewise the Georgics of Virgil. This was overlooked in our first number. It occasions us however but little regret:
in the seventh century, and arrived only to a second edition. It was encouraged by the panegyric of Ben Johnson. But the notes of May are so un harmonious, that they offend modern ears, and we are left to wonder, how they could ever be tolerated. The Pharsalia of Lucan was continued by May in a supplement of seven books, which he published both in Latin and English. For his industry in this production, and for his labor in translation, he deserves some commendation. Poetical translation at the period, in which he lived, was almost a new art, and his efforts might tend to inspire future attempts of the same kind more successful, and in the result more gratifying to the learned.
The version of Lucan's. Pharsalia by Rowe is a work of more merit, than has generally been apprehended. It has defects, but they are not all defects in translation, Some of them are to be attributed to his author. His poetry is for the most part smooth and animated, conveys the sense of the original, and does not often fall below it in spirit and dignity.*
Rowe was very happy in copying the portraits of Pompey and Cæsar, drawn in the first book of the Pharsalia.
* Nec coïêre pares ; alter vergentibus annis
Dedidicit jam pace ducem ; famæque petitor
“ Amidst the poisy praises of the pit.” Rowe, * The version of Lucan is one of the greatest productions of English poets ry; for there is perhaps none, that so completely exhibits the genius and spirit of the original, Johnson. Life of Rowe.