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that for which I looked, At last I had recourse to his master, Spencer, the author of that immortal poem called the Fairy Queen; and there I met with that which I had been looking for so long in vain. Spencer had studied Virgil to as much advantage as Milton had done Homer; and amongst the rest of his excellencies had copied that. Looking farther into the Italian, I found Tasso had done the same ; nay more, that all the sonnets in that language, are on the turn of the first thought; which Mr. Walsh, in his late ingenious preface to his poems, has observed. In short, Virgil and Ovid are the two principal fountains of them in Latin poem. And the French at this day are so fond of them, that they judge them to be the first beauties. Delicat & bien tourné, are the highest commendations, which they bestow, on somewhat which they think a master-piece.
An example of the turn on words, amongst a thousand others, is that in the last book of Ovid's Metamorphoses :
Heu quantum scelus eft, in viscera, viscera condi! Congestoque avidum pinguescere corpore, corpus ; Alteriusque animantem animantis vivere lèio ! An example on the turn both of thoughts and words, is to be found in Catullus; in the complaint of Ariadne, when she was left by Theseus :
Jam jam nulla viro juranti femina credat ;
Si nisi quæ formâ poterit te digna videri,
Lastly, a turn which I cannot say is absolutely on words, for the thought turns with them, is in the Georgick of Virgil ; where Orpheus is to receive his wife from hell, on express condition not to look on her, till she was come on earth :
Cùm fubita incautum dementia cepit Amantem ;
I will not burden your lordship with more of them; for I write to a maiter, who understands them better than myself. But I may safely conclude them to be great beauties : I might descend also to the mechanic beauties of heroic verse; but we have yet no English prosodia, not so much as a tolerable dictionary, or a grammar; so that our language is in a manner barbarous; and what government will encourage any one, or more, who are capable of refining it, I know not : but nothing under a public expence can go through with it. And I rather fear a declination of the language, than hope an advancement of it in the present age.
I am still speaking to you, my lord: though, in all probability, you are already out of hearing. Nothing, which my meanness can produce, is worthy of this long attention. But I am come to the last petition of Abraham: if there be ten righteous lines, in this vast preface, spare it for their sake; and also spare the next city, because it is but a little one.
I would excuse the performance of this translation, if it were all my own; but the better, though not the greater part being the work of some gentlemen, who have succeeded very happily in their undertaking ; let their excellencies atone for my imperfections, and those of my fons. I have perused some of the satires, which are done by other hands; and they seem to me as perfect in their kind, as any thing I have seen in English verse. The common way which we have taken, is not a literal translation,
but a kind of paraphrase; or fomewhat which is yet more loose, betwixt a paraphrase and imitation. It was not possible for us, or any men, to have made it pleasant any other way. If rendering the exact fenfe of those aụthors, almost line for line, had been our business, Barten Holiday had done it already to our hands : and, by the help of his learned notes and illustrations, not only Juvenal and Persius, but what yet is more obscure, his own verses, might be understood:
But he wrote for fame, and wrote to scholars: we write only for the pleasure and entertainment of those gentlemen and ladies, who though they are not icholars, are not ignorant: persons of understanding and good sense; who not having been conversant in the original, or at least not having made Latin verse so much their business, as to be critics in it, would be glad to find, if the wit of our two great authors be answerable to their fame and reputation in the world. We have therefore endeavoured to give the public all the satisfaction we are able in this kind.
And if we are not altogether fo faithful to our author, as our predeceffors Holiday and Stapylton ; yet we may challenge to ourselves this praise, that we fhall be far more pleasing to our readers. We have followed our authors at greater distance, though not ftep by step, as they have done. For oftentimes they have gone so close, that they have trod on the heels of Juvenal and Perfius, and hurt them by their too near approach. A noble author would not be
purfued too close by a translator. We lose his spirit, when we think to take his body. The grosser part remains with us, but the soul is flown away, in some noble expression, or some delicate turn of words, or thought. Thus Holiday, who made this way his choice, seized the meaning of Juvenal; but the poetry has always scaped him.
They who will not grant me, that pleasure is one of the ends of poetry, but that it is only a means of
compaffing the only end, which is instruction ; must yet allow, that without the means of pleasure, the instruction is but a bare and dry philosophy; a crude preparation of morals, which we may have from Aristotle and Epictetus, with more profit than from any poet : neither Holiday nor Stapylton have imitated Juvenal, in the poetical part of him, his di&tion and his elocution. Nor had they been poets, as neither of them were ; yet in the way took, it was impossible for them to have succeeded in the poetick part.
The Engllish verse which we call heroick, confifts of no more than ten fyllables ; the Latin hexameter sometimes rises to seventeen; as for example, this verse in Virgil :
Pulverulenta putrem fonitu quatit ungula campum.
Here is the difference of no less than seven syllables in a line, betwixt the English and the Latin. Now the medium of these, is about fourteen fyllables ; because the dactyle is a more frequent foot in hex ameters than the spondee.
But Holiday, without confidering that he writ with the disadvantage of four fyllables less in every verse, endeavours to make one of his lines to comprehend the sense of one of Juvenal's. According to the falsity of the proposition was the success. He was forced to crowd his verse with ill-founding monofyllables, of which our barbarous language affords him a wild plenty : and by that means he arrived at his pedantic end, which was to make a literal translation: his verses have nothing of verse in them, but only the worst part of it, the rhyme; and that into the bargain, is far from good. But, which is more intolerable, by cramming his ill-chosen, and worse-sounding monofyllables so close together; the very sense which he endeavours to explain, is become more obscure than that of his author. So that Ho.
liday himself cannot be understood, without as large a commentary, as that which he makes on his two authors. For my own part, I can make a shift to find the meaning of Juvenal without his notes : but his translation is more difficult than his author. And I find beauties in the Latin to recompense my pains; but in Holiday and Stapylton, my ears, in the first place are mortally offended; and then their sense is so perplexed, that I return to the original, as the inore pleasing task, as well as the more easy.
This must be said for our translation, that if we give not the whole sense of Juvenal, yet we give the most confiderable part of it: we give it, in general, fo clearly, that few notes are sufficient to make us intelligible. We make our author at least appear in a poetick dress. We have actually made him more sounding, and more elegant, than he was before in English: and have endeavoured to make him speak that kind of English, which he would have spoken had he lived in England, and had written to this age. If sometimes any of us (and it is but feldom) make him express the customs and manners of our native country, rather than of Rome, it is either when there is some kind of analogy, betwixt their customs and ours; or when, to make him more easy to vulgar understandings, we give him those manners which are familiar to us. But I defend not this innovation, it is enough if I can excuse it. For to speak fincerely, the manners of nations and ages are not to be confounded : we should either make them English, or leave them Roman. If this can neither be defended, nor excused, let it be pardoned, at least, because it is acknowledged; and so much the more easily, as being a fault which is never committed without some pleasure to the reader.
Thus, my lord, having troubled you with a tedious visit, the best manners will be thewn in the least ceremony. I will flip away while your back 4