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rob it of its native lustre. There is, therefore, a liberty to be allowed for the expression ; neither is it necessary that words and lines should be confined to the measure of their original. The sense of an author, generally speaking, is to be sacred and inviolable. If the fancy of Ovid be luxuriant, it is his character to be fo; and if I retrench it, he is no longer Ovid. It will be replied, that he receives advantage by this lopping of his superfluous branches ; but I rejoin, that a translator has no such right. When a painter copies from the life, I suppose he has no privilege to alter features, and lineaments, under pretence that his picture will look better : perhaps the face, which he has drawn, would be more exact, if the eyes or nofe were altered ; but it is his bufinets to make it resemble the original. In two cases only there may a seeming difficulty arise ; that is, if the thought be notoriously trivial, or dishonest : but the same answer will serve for both, that then they ought not to be translated :
Defperes tractata nitefcere polle, relinquas. Thus I have ventured to give my opinion on this subject against the authority of two great men, but I hope without offence to either of their memories; for I both loved them living, and reverence them now they are dead. But, if, after what I have urged, it be thought by better judoes, that the praise of a translation confifts in adding new beauties to the piece, thereby to recompense the loss which it sustains by change of language, I shall be willing to be taught better, and to recant. In the mean time, it seems to me, that the true reason, why we have so few versions which are tolerable, is not from the too close pursuing of the author's sense, but because there are so few, who have all the talents, which are requisite for translation, and that there is so little praise, and so small encouragement, for fo considerable a part of learning.
E P I S T. XI.
Macareus and Canace, son and daughter to Æolus,
God of the Winds, loved each other incestuously : Canace was delivered of a son, and committed bim to ber nurse, to be secretly conveyed away. The infant crying out, by that means was discovered to Æolus, who, inraged at the wickedness of his children, commanded the babe to be exposed to wild beasts on the mountains: and witbal, sent a sword to Canace, with this message, That ber crimes would instruct ber how to use it. With this sword The flew berself: but before she died, the writ the following letter to her brother Macareus, who had taken sanctuary in the temple of Apollo.
F streaming blood my fatal letter stain,
Imagine, ere you read, the writer Nain;
O! were he present, that his eyes and hands! Might see, and urge, the death which he com
mands: Than all the raging winds more dreadful, he, Unmov’d, without a tear, my wounds would see. Jove justly plac'd him on a stormy throne, His people's temper is so like his own. The North and South, and each contending blast, Are underneath his wide dominion cast: Those he can rule; but his tempestuous mind Is, like his airy kingdom, unconfin’d. Ah! what avail my kindred Gods above, That in their number I can reckon Jove ! What help will all my heav'nly friends afford, When to my breast I lift the pointed sword? That hour, which join'd us, came before its time: In death we had been one without a crime. Why did thy flames beyond a brother's move? Why lov'd I thee with more than fifter's love? For I lov'd too; and knowing not my wound, A secret pleasure in thy kisses found: My cheeks no longer did their color boast, My food grew loathsome, and my strength I loft: Still ere I spoke, a sigh would stop my tongue; Short were my numbers, and my nights were
I knew not from my love these griefs did grow,
My throes came thicker, and my cries increas'd, Which with her hand the conscious nurse sup
press’d. To that unhappy fortune was I come, Pain urg'd my clamors, but fear kept me dumb. With inward struggling I restraind my cries, And drunk the tears that trickled from my eyes. Death was in sight, Lucina gave no aid; And even my dying had my guilt betray'd. Thou cam'ft, and in thy count'nance sate despair; Rent were thy garments all, and torn thy hair: Yet feigning comfort, which thou couldft not give, (Prest in thy arms, and whisp'ring me to live :) For both our sakes, (laidst thou) preserve thy life; Live, my dear fifter, and
dearer wife. Rais'd by that name,
I ftrove: Such pow'r have words, when spoke by those we
love. The babe, as if he heard what thou hadft sworn, With hafty joy fprung forward to be born. What helps it to have weather'd out one storm? Fear of our father does another form. High in his hall, rock'd in a chair of state, The king with his tempestuous council sate. Thro this large room our only passage lay, By which we could the new-born babe convey.