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beggars, the omission of the following evidence of its success would be unpardonable.
* “ To induce mankind to engage in any enterprise it is
necessary, first, to show that success will be attended with “real advantage ; and secondly, that it may be done with“ out much difficulty. The rewards, attendant upon acts of “ benevolence, have so often been described, and celebrated " in every country and in every language, that it would be
presurn ption in me to suppose I could add any thing new
upon a subject, already discussed by the greatest masters of “ rhetoric, and embellished with all the irresistible charms « of eloquence; but as examples of success are sometimes “ more efficacious in stimulating mankind to action, than " the most splendid reasoning and admonitions, it is upon my
fortable, happy, and useful, by the economical arrangements, practised in · Germany, with much less expense, than is now requisite to support a lingering and wretched existence.
The number of poor people of all classes, who are generally supported by taxing the inhabitants, is small in the inland town. These improvements cannot be so advantageously adopted on so small a scale, as one for each town to support its owa poor ; but, if several towns 'would unite their several poor rates, they would be able to form an extensive manufactory. Perhaps no method would be more feasible and useful, than for each courty, or some more limited district, as circumstances may require, to form a house of industry, which should, after deducting the expenses of its own maintenance, furnish the market with the products of useful labor. In the present state of the poor their support becomes a tax upon the honest and industrious citizens.
The proper object of the internal police of a country is lessening the expenses of the unprofitable class of people, and increasing the amount of the useful labor of the industrious. We should introduce such alterations for the relief of the poor and helpless, as will, with the least expense, afford the most comfort, and tend most to make them happy. We should never in. quire how much we can allow for charitable purposes, but how the sums, we do give, as taxes, or voluntary contributions, may be applied to the best advantage. It is often the case, that a poor man, by some fictitious tale of distress, extorts a sum of money from persons passing in the street, which is expended in the next tavern or dram shop, to purchase a few hours of intoxication, and seldom is it applied to purchase nourishing food or comfortable clothing. Alms bestowed in this manner, so far from assisting the really helpless, only encourage the idle and insolent. If the common feelings of humanity are not sufficiently powerful to induce men to introduce such improvement, it is now time, that the same economy and prudence, with which tve watch our.private concerns, were adopted in our public institutions.
* Count Rumford's Essays, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, in clusive of chap. 7, Essay I. Published at London 1796.
success, in the enterprise of which I have undertaken to
give an account, that my hopes of engaging others to fol“low such an example are chiefly founded ; and hence it “ is, that I so often return to that part of my subject, and “ insist with so much perseverance on the pleasure, which 6. this success afforded me. I am aware, that I expose my“ self to being suspected of ostentation particularly by those, “ who are not able to enter fully into my situation and feel
ings; but neither this, nor any other consideration shall prevent me from treating the subject in such a manner, as may appear best adapted to rendet my labors of public utility."
Why should I not mention even the marks of affectionate regard and respect, which I received from the poor peo
ple, for whose happiness I interested myself, and the testimo" nies of the public esteem, with which I was honored? Will “ it be reckoned vanity, if I mention the concern, which the “poor of Munich expressed in so affecting a manner, when “I was dangerously ill ? That they went publicly in a body “in procession to the cathedral church, where they had di“ vine service performed, and put up public prayers for my
recovery ? That four years afterward on hearing, that I
was again dangerously ill at Naples, they of their own ac“cord set apart an hour each evening, after they had finish“ed their work in the military work house, to pray for me ?”
“ Will it be thought improper to mention the affecting reception, I met with from them at my first visit to the military work house upon my return to Munich last sum
mer, after an absence of fifteen months ; a scene, which “ drew tears from all, who were present ? And must I re“ fuse myself the satisfaction of describing the fête, I gave “ them in return in the English garden, at which 1800 poor
people of all ages, and above 30,000 of the inhabitants of “ Munich assisted ? And all this pleasure I must forego,
merely that I may not be thought vain and ostentatious ? “ Be it so then; but I would just beg leave to call the read« er's attention to my feelings upon the occasion, and then “Ict him ask himself, if any earthly reward can possibly be “supposed greater, any enjoyments more complete, than ” those, I received. Let him figure to himself, if he can, “my situation ; sick in bed, worn out by intense applicaŞtion, and dying, as every body thought, a martyr in the “ cause, to which I had devoted myself ; let him imagine, I “say, my feelings upon hearing the confused noise of the
prayers of a multitude of people, who were passing by in “the streets, upon being told, that it was the poor of Mu“ nich, many hundred in nuinber, who were going in proces“sion to the church to put up public prayers for me. . Pub“ lic prayers for me! For a private person ! A stranger !
A protestant ! I believe it is the first instance of the kind, " that ever happened ; and I dare venture to affirm, that no
proof could well be stronger, than this, that the measures,
adopted for making these poor people happy, were really “ successful ; and let it be remembered, that this fact is şs what I am most anxious to make appear IN THE CLEAREST AND MOST SATISFACTORY MANNER."
(To be continued.)
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ACQUIRING THE
So much zeal has lately been displayed by opposite
writers in magnifying the respective merits of literature and science, and so much of their controversy has been directed to the study of the learned languages in particular, that, it is presumed, the subject cannot now be very attractive. It has been contended on the one side, that a taste for the bellesletres can be acquired only by a familiar acquaintance with ancient originals; while on the other Greek and Roman authors are reproached for infusing into the christian the mythology and corruption of the pagan. But however this disputation may terminate, still it is true, that whatever in the classics can give pleasure to taste and refinement in writing must be derived from the originals themselves and not from translations. Ancient authors, like modern foreigners, must speak to us in their own language, or they cannot talk with ease and elegance ; and we must be masters of that language, or we cannot feel the spirit of their discourse. Poetry and oratory receive a totally different tone, and impress with different sentiments according to the different dialect, in which they are written.
The genius of the ancients was adapted, and in a manner assimilated to the language, in which it was first displayed.
The flowers, originally sown in classic ground, fade and die, when transplanted to a different soil. Yes, there is scarcely a characteristic beauty either of Virgil, or Horace, which has been translated. The most, we can pretend to, is to paraphrase. What in the original is concise, we spoil by our diffuseness.
Where from the peculiar structure of ancient languages the sound seems an echo to the sense, we are obliged to substitute English, where both the sound and the echo are lost. In short a strange language can bear no kindred to sentiment and feeling, which were originally designed to be communicated in a different one. There cannot be that adaptation of expression and that perspicuity of style in translations, which are apparent in originals. And are there not obvious reasons for the fact ? Is it not natural, that an author, who thinks for himself, who revolves the whole circle of his ideas, and conveys only such, as are the most happy, should express those ideas with force, proportional to their vivacity? We think in words, and whatever we conceive clearly, we express without: obscurity ; whatever we conceive methodically, we express without confusion; and whatever we feel with warmth, we express without frigidity. An original author, like Homer, or Virgil, must have felt his employment to be that of men
tal creation ; he must have felt unusual animation, when he raised in his mind images, which delighted him by their beauty and novelty ; he must have felt the liveliest pleasure, when he gathered flowers in the luxuriance of his imagination, never before unfolded to the view of the world; he must have felt that enthusiasm, which has been emphatically called the inspiration of poetry. And would not a writer of this description express his own vivid conceptions in language more happy and appropriate, than could a mere translator? The business of a translator is labor. His part is not to range the field of imagination, and to indulge in freedom of expression. His effort is first to discover the meaning of his author, and then laboriously to examine what phrase in his own language is best adapted to express it. It
It may be answered, that there are instances of translations exceeding their originals. Wherever this has 0ccurred, either the work was not worthy of a translation, or the talents of the translator merited a higher employment. But these observations do not extend to the classics, and therefore a knowledge of the learned languages is not less apparent. Did Dryden improve upon Virgil ? In his preface he says, that his translation, when compared with his author, is so inferior, that it amounts almost to a libel ; and that his only consolation is the contrast, which it still bears to other attempts of the same kind. Pope merits the praise of translating beautifully, not justly. He certainly does not
hold a mirror up to” Homer. Instead of heroic simplicity, he has substituted modern refinement ; instead of grandeur, he has substituted beauty. His Agamemnon at the head of the combined army might be mistaken for William III ; and Ulysses bears not a very distant resemblance to the duke of Marlborough.
Whether the ancients are to be viewed in the dress, with which they have clothed themselves, or in one, which modern fashion has prescribed for them, is a question of fancy and taste. It is not enough to say, we can get all the information in the Æneis by reading a translation ; for all the in