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sentiment and knowledge. No one, whose character deserves respect, walks into the fields with a Catullus or Anacreon in his pocket; but the works of Horace are our friends and companions: “Delectant domi, mon impediunt foris; peregrinamtur, rusticantur.” Needs there any more be said to account for the constant supply of competitors for the Horatian wreath? A library, a good deal better furnished than the Radcliff, might be constructed out of the versions of Horace alone.* A cavilling critic somewhere remarks, “Horace we have none.” It might with far more justice be atfirmed, “Horace we have much.” That we have any one single and entire version of him, completely adequate in all respects, and realizing the ideal standard of what every man conceives a translation of Horace ought to be, it would not merely be too much to assert, but extravagant to suppose. In every translation, cven the most successful, there must be a falling off; there must be inequalities; there must be
moments of weariness, exhaustion, and inamition. The translator of Horace stands simply in the same predicament with every other; and this sort of hypercriticism tends to the conclusion, that not merely we do not possess Horace, but that we possess no ancient poet whatever. A greater number of odes, equally spirited, easy, and faithful, may be selected from Francis (especially including those furnished him by Dr. Dunkin), than any previous calculation could have counted upon. It is, moreover, practicable to compile out of our literature a variorum translation of the lyrics of Horace, characto rised by as high and various excellence as, perhaps, is within the grasp of human attainment. Cowley has too much stalianized the ode to Pyrrha ; but he has much of the sweetness and tenderly plaintive slow of the original. In the clear heaven of thy brow No smallest cloud appears,
is a beautiful development of the metaphor that was in the poet's mind. The odes of Dryden are master
* These are a few of them. We speak only of those which we have seen.
I. Art of Poetry, Epistles, and Satires Englished.
II. III. IV.
V. VI. VII.
By Thomas Drant. 1567.
Certain selected Odes Englished. By John Ashmore. 1621. -
VIII. Odes, Epodes, and Carmen Seculare; with a Translation of Dr. Bentley's Notes and Notes upon Notes. By several Hands. Lintot. 1713. IX. Odes of Horace. By Henry Coxwell, Gent. Oxford. 1718. X. Horace's Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry. Done into English by S. Dunster, DD. Prebendary of Sarum. 1719. XI. Odes and Satyrs. By the most eminent hands (Rochester, Roscommon, Cowley, Otway, Prior, Dryden, &c.) Tonson. 1730. XII. Odes, Epodes, and Carmen Seculare. By Mr. Wm. Oldisworth. 1737 (some
times spelt Oldsworth).
XIII. A Translation of the Odes and Epodes.
of Blandford School. 1737.
Attempted by T. Hare, AB. Master
XIV. Odes of Horace, disposed according to chronologic order. By P. Samadon, with an English Translation in poetic-prose, by Mathew Towers, LL.D. 1744. XV. Odes, Epodes, and Carmen Seculare, in English. By Joseph Davidson. 1746.
XVI. Poetical Translation of the works of Horace.
1750. XVII. Works of Horace in Prose. XVIII. Works of Horace.
with Imitations. 1767.
By the Rev. Philip Francis.
By Christopher Smart, A.M. 1702.
XIX. Translation of Horace's Epistle to the Pisos, with Notes. By George Colman.
pieces. The fastidiously undervalued
In the following stanza there is a very great resemblance to the manner of Dryden: iii. 29. Happy the mortal who can say, 'Tis well, for I have liv'd to-day. To-morrow let black clouds and storms arise, Or let the sun exert his beaming power, Nothing can interrupt my bliss, I seized and have enjoy'd my hour: The gods themselves, howe'er they smile or frown, Cannot recall what's past, for that is all my own. But it is high time to attend Mr. Wrangham. We remember the publication of a sermon, to which the worthy author had annexed an essay on the virtues of tar-water. In like manner, the literary lucubrations of Mr. Wrangham seem rather contrasted than consistent. He published, we believe, in 1816, a volume of sermons, and tacked on to them some of Virgil's Bucolics. “There is” nothing “in this more than natural:” since, in our country, no man is thought qualified for a degree in theology who is not an adept in Horace and Virgil. A political journalist, meaning to praise the clergy, spoke of them as men who liked their “ pint of port, and quoted Horace.” He might have said, “ translated.” Mr. Wrangham modestly observes, that if asked by the public the rather pozing question, (as we think it) “quid habes illius P”—he shall console himself with the reflection, that “in proportion as success is honourable, failure is venial.” But he does
not tell us why a respectable clerical gentleman cannot leave this world without translating Horace at all. ‘It is ominous to stumble at the threshold: but we feel curious to know what the Epodes have dome that they should not be allowed the place which they held, when we ourselves were at school, among the 1./ries of Horace? Before we got to the version itself, we were also a little staggered by the information that the translator had “adopted several of the Horatian inversions, and almost invariably preserved his lyrical implications of one stanza with another.” “If wrong,” he says, “he errs with scholars and poets: with Sherburn, and Holyday, and Sandys, and May: ” that is, with writers of remote date, a formal system and an obsolete style, who, with all their raciness of expression and truth of feeling, cramped their native vein and their native tongue, by an unnecessary and technical exactness. As to inversion, he that professes to deal in it professes to make the language walk upon its head. We were much afraid that Mr. Wrangham would give us English Sapphics and Alcaics: but so far from this, he appears to have been too busy with the collocation of words and distribution of commas to notice the numbers at all. If there is any one thing more than another that contributes to that delightful variety which we have remarked in Horace, it is the diversity of his measures. How can any writer entertain a hope of having conveyed to English readers a just impression of the lyrical genius of Horace, when he has “ done” the lyrics of Horace into the metre of Gay's Fables 2 It is quite useless to insist on the resource derived from the use of diversified metres, namely, the power of adapting the rhythmical expression to the peculiar character of the subject. Of this advantage, Mr. Wrangham has voluntarily deprived himself: he has put himself into a child's go-cart, and keeps trundling about with the conscious air of imagining himself in
the chariot described by Propertius,
-- a nie
Let Mr. Wrangham's version from Od. vii. b. 1, be compared with that of Francis.
Comrades, where fortune, kinder she
Bold let us follow through the foamy tides Where Fortune, better than a father,
guides; Avaunt despair! when Teucer calls to fame, The same your augur and your guide the Saule.
Francis. Again let us parallel, with a writer already quoted, the passage, b. 1, od. xxxv. With massive nails in front of thee Stalks terrible Necessity : Whose brazen hand vast wedges fill, And molten lead, and hook of steel: And Hope, and white-robed Faith are there, Still-clinging Faith—on earth too rare Wrangham. Where'er thou lead'st thy awful train, Necessity still stalks before, Whose brazen hand the hook and nails retain, The plummet and the wedge, the emblems of her power: Fidelity in white array, And eager Hope still guard thy way. - Oldsworth. We shall say nothing of the merits of the version; but looking to the metre alone, is it not obvious, that a writer, who doggedly confines himself to namby-pamby, must be left behind in the race by every versifier who expatiates in bold and unshackled numbers? Mr. Wrangham “ventures to claim some commendation for himself, on the score of his own fidelity: ” now this is a claim which we feel very strongly disposed to resist: of his fidelity to the grace and spirit of his author we shall say nothing; but restricting ourselves to the diction, we must observe, that in i. 23,
It feels its heart's fond purpose fail,
is not a translation of “corde tremit;" and that “ alarms of me your bosom seize,” can as little be said to represent the simple word “vitas.” In i. 5, “ qui nunc te fruitur credulus aurea " is expressed, Fond dupe, he hopes—so sweet that kiss t Thou'lt still be witching, still be his. For the “fontibus integris,” i. 26, we have only “ gushing springs; ” and for the “ frigus amabile ” of
Bandusia, we are put off with “cool fresh shade:” the “lymphae” also lose their losuacity, and are curtailed of their leaps, and we have only the “headlong waters that” dash “with sparkling flash.”
As a proof of our kindly disposition towards Mr. Wrangham, we shall neither quote his Ode to Pyrrha nor that to Chloe. In sober sadness, we have been rather puzzled in our choice ; but, after some search, we have decided on the Ode to the Memory of Quintilius, as something better versified, and, at all events, something better rhymed, than the generality. We must observe, however, that “ saddest song” for “liquidam vocem” is but a slovenly instance of fidelity; and that “ horrid wand" is, on the other hand, literal without being faithful: it does not convey the meaning to an English ear; horrida is used metonymically; the effect is put for the cause; the sense is, causing tremblings, tremorstriking.
ODE xxiv. 1.
When one so loved, so valued, dies,
Upon the whole, we feel ourselves compelled, however unwillingly, to refer this last of the third centenary of Horatian interpreters to a passage of his adopted poet:
Phoebus volenten—loqui increpuit lyra. In future, when we wish to call up recollections favourable to Mr. Wrangham's abilities, we shall think of his Translation of Milton's Defensio Secunda, and remember to forget his “Lyrics of Horace.”
In a Letter to B. F. Esq. at Sydney, New South Wales.
My dear F.—When I think how welcome the sight of a letter from the world where you were born must be to you in that strange one to which you have been transplanted, I feel some compunctious visitings at my long silence. But, indeed, it is no easy effort to set about a correspondence at our distance. The weary world of waters between us oppresses the imagination. It is difficult to conceive how a scrawl of mine should ever stretch across it. It is a sort of presumption to expect that one's thoughts should live so far. It is like writing for posterity; and reminds me of one of Mrs. Rowe's superscriptions, “Alcander to Strephon, in the shades.” Cowley’s PostAngel is no more than would be expedient in such an intercourse. One drops a pacquet at Lombard-street, and in twenty-four hours a friend in Cumberland gets it as fresh as if it came in ice. It is only like whispering through a long trumpet. But suppose a tube let down from the moon, with yourself at one end, and the man at the other; it would be some baulk to the spirit of conversation, if you knew that the dialogue exchanged with that interesting theosophist would take two or three revolutions of a higher luminary in its passage. Yet for aught I know, you may be some parasangs nigher that primitive idea—Plato's man—than we in England here have the honour to reckon ourselves.
Epistolary matter usually compriseth three topics; news, sentiment, and puns. In the latter, I include all non-serious subjects; or subjects serious in themselves, but treated after my fashion, non-seriously.--And first, for news. In them the most desirable circumstance, I suppose, is that they shall be true. But what security can I have that what I now send you for truth shall not before you get it unaccountably turn into a lie? For instance, our mutual friend P. is at this present writing— * Woo-in good health, and enjoys a fair share of worldly reputation. You are glad to hear it. This is natural and friendly. But at this pre
sent, reading—your Now—he may |. be in the Bench, or going to e hanged, which in reason ought to abate something of your transport (i.e. at hearing he was well, &c.), or at least considerably to modify it. I am going to the play this evening, to have a laugh with Joey Munden. You have no theatre, I think you told me, in your land of d-–d realities. You naturally lick your lips, and envy me my felicity. Think but a moment, and you will correct the hateful emotion. Why, it is Sunday morning with you, and 1823. This confusion of tenses, this grand solecism of two presents, is in a degree common to all postage. But if I sent you word to Bath or the Devises, that I was expecting the aforesaid treat this evening, though at the moment you received the intelligence my full feast of fun would be over, yet there would be for a day or two after, as you would well know, a smack, a relish left upon my mental palate, which would give rational encouragement to you to foster a portion at least of the disagreeable passion, which it was in part my intention to produce. But ten months hence your envy or your sympathy would be as useless as a lo. spent upon the dead. Not only does truth, in these long intervals, un-essence herself, but (what is harder) one cannot venture a crude fiction for the fear that it may ripen into a truth upon the voyage. What a wild improbable banter I put upon you some three years since—of Will Weatherall having married a servant-maid " I remember gravely consulting you how we were to receive her—for Will's wife was in no case to be rejected ; and your no less serious repiication in the matter; how tenderly you advised an abstemious introduction of literary topics before the lady, with a caution not to be too forward in bringing on the carpet matters more within the sphere of her intelligence; your deliberate judgment, or rather wise suspension of sentence, how far jacks, and Spits, and mops, could with propriety be introduced as subjects; whether the con
scious avoiding of all such matters in discourse would not have a worse look than the taking of them casually in our way; in what manner we should carry ourselves to our maid Becky, Mrs. William Weatherall being by; whether we should show more delicacy, and a truer sense of respect for Will's wife, by treating Becky with our customary chiding before her, or by an unusual deferential civility paid to Becky as to a person of great worth, but thrown by the caprice of fate into a humble station. There were difficulties, I remember, on both sides, which you did me the favour to state with the precision of a lawyer, united to the tenderness of a friend. I laughed in my sleeve at your solemn pleadings, when lo! while I was valuing myself upon this flam put upon you in New South Wales, the devil in England, jealous possibly of any liechildren not his own, or working after my copy, has actually instigated our friend (not three days since) to the commission of a matrimony, which I had only conjured up for your diversion. William Weatherall has married Mrs. Cotterel's maid. But to take it in its truest sense, you will see, my dear F., that news from me must become history to you ; which I neither profess to write, nor indeed care much for reading. No person, under a diviner, can with any prospect of veracity conduct a correspondence at such an arm's length. Two prophets, indeed, might thus interchange intelligence with effect; the epoch of the writer (Habbakuk) falling in with the true present time of the receiver (Daniel); but then we are no prophets.
Then as to sentiment. It fares little better with that. This kind of dish, above all, requires to be served up hot; or sent off in water-plates, that your friend may have it almost as warm as yourself. If it have time to cool, it is the most tasteless of all cold meats. I have often smiled at a conceit of the late Lord C. It seems that travelling somewhere about Geneva, he came to some pretty green spot, or nook, where a willow, or something, hung so fantastically and invitingly over a stream—was it?— or a rock 2–no matter—but the stilmess and the repose, after a weary journey ’tis likely, in a languid mo
ment of his Lordship's hot restless life, so took his fancy, that he could imagine no place so proper, in the event of his death, to lay his bones in. This was all very natural and excusable as a sentiment, and shows his character in a very pleasing light. But when from a passing sentiment it came to be an act; and when, by a positive testamentary disposal, his remains were actually carried all that way from England; who was there, some desperate sentimentalists excepted, that did not ask the question, Why could not his Lordship have found a spot as solitary, a nook as romantic, a tree as green and pendent, with a stream as emblematic to his purpose, in Surry, in Dorset, or in Devon P Conceive the sentiment hoarded up, freighted, entered at the Custom House (startling the tidewaiters with the novelty), hoisted into a ship. Conceive it pawed about and limi: between the rude jests of tarpaulin ruffians—a thing of its delicate texture—the salt bilge wetting it till it became as vapid as a damaged lustring. Suppose it in material danger (mariners have some superstition about oo::) of being tossed over in a fresh gale to some propitiatory shark (spirit of Saint Gothard, save us from a quietus so foreign to the deviser's purpose !) but it has happily evaded a fishy consummation. Trace it then to its lucky landing—at Lyons shall we say *—I have not the map before me —jostled upon four men's shoulders —baiting at this town—stopping to refresh at t'other village—waiting a passport here, a licence there; the sanction of the magistracy in this district, the concurrence of the ecclesiastics in that canton; till at length it arrives at its destination, tired out and jaded, from a brisk sentiment, into a feature of silly pride or tawdry senseless affectation. How few sentiments, my dear F., I am afraid we can set down, in the sailor's phrase, as quite sea-worthy. Lastly, as to the agreeable levities, which, though contemptible in bulk, are the twinkling corpuscula which should irradiate a right friendly epistle —your puns and small jests are, I apprehend, extremely circumscribed in their sphere of action. They are so far from a capacity of being packed up and sent loid sea, they will