Imatges de pàgina
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acts in society with peculiar force, and is greatly strengthened by sympathy. What we feel together, we feel with double force, Each is affected by that sum of devout expression to which each contributes, but which no one fingly can supply. The flame fpreads from breast to breast; a divine enthusiasm is caught : the sacred ftillness of the day, with all the affairs of this world at a tand; the solemnities of public homage, with decorations suited to our feelings and to the place ; the living voice of the people, the animating swell of sacred mufic, the proftrations of deep humility, the exulting expressions of pious joy, all that is affecting in the warmth of zeal, or delightful in the beauty of ho. liness, conspire to touch, to raise, to subdue the heart, to form a taste, and to confirm a habit of devotion."

The moral advantages of religion are described in colours equally expressive ; but we shall only lay before our readers what occurs in the subsequent paragraph.

The religion of the gospel is a simple rule of life, suited to the real itare of human nature, to the capacity, the genius, the condition and neceflities of all mankind. It teaches us, that the universe is one great syitem, with God at its head ; that as chil. dren of the fame Father, as members of one great family, and related to all things in it, we should be plealed with whatever tends to the general good; and in the duty which we owe to the great fyltem, and its author, are comprehended all other duties arising from the relacions of human life, the duties of the tender husband, the faithful wife; the good parent, the dutiful child; the kind maiter, the diligent servant; the generous prince, the loyal subject; the affectionate friend, the friendly neighbour; the just dealer, the candid, the forgiving, the benevolent man. In this system the parts assigned us are all honourable, and by keep. ing to them, and acting them well, we become the friends of naa ture, co-operate with providence, and can only thus be happy.' Blessed with such a religion, we cannot be too thankful that we live in a land where, though not of the establihment, in which there are many ornaments, as of science, so of piety and virtue, we can worship God as our consciences, our habits, our ficuation may direct.'

In every part of this discourse, the author discovers an amiable moderation, respecting the different modes of relia gious opinions and discipline.

Prefixed to the sermon, is an occasional prayer, in which the purity of the author's language corresponds to the fablimity of his devotion,

E Jay on the Principles of Translation. Svo. 6s. Boards:

Cadell. 1791. TRanslation is a talk apparently easy to one acquainted

with both the languages required: it is indeed an easy talk to translate with moderate fidelity and skill, but few have attained the superior degree of excellence which gives the verfion the case, the frecdom, and the clegance of the original, while it copies, with a minute accuracy, the various thoughts, and preserves inviolate the peculiar manner. A perfect trans , lation in all these respects we have probably never seen; and, from the unaccommodating idioms of different languages, we can scarcely expect to see it, except in the unvarying phrases of mathematics and natural history. Where the mind expatiates into the regions of fancy and imagination, the peculiar hues which these beitow can seldom be copied without losing. their vivid brilliancy, or changing the delicacy of the shades. The didactic preceptors in this department have not been liberal in their instructions: the translator is considered as a pas tient drudge, whom it is disgraceful to allift or to notice. Our author, therefore, steps forward with some propriety, to examine the necessary requisites of a good version; and we can chearfully praise his judgment and taste in the conduct of this attempt: in many respects they are di played with great ada vantage, and would reflect great credit on the author, if he were known.

A translation, he tells us, should be a complete transcript of the ideas of the original work; the style and manner should be of the fame character with that of the original, and it should have the case of an original composition.

The first rule includes the knowledge of the language from which the work is derived, and that into which it is transfered. This, perhaps, as well as the other precepts under this head, are sufficiently obvious, and have been often repeated. They may seem to require no depth of judginent or extent of enquiry; and, indeed, on these we mean not to rest the au, thor's merit. In the ilutration of the rules, in the examples, and his opinions respecting the merit of each, his taste and knowledge are principally conspicuous. The translation of Polybius, by Folard, our author tells us is defective, from his imperfect knowledge of the Greek; and his defects have been pointed out by an able officer, and a good Grecian, M. Guila chardt, the Quintus Icilius probably of the great Frederick. D'Alembert has tranlated several passages of Tacitus, which we have had occafion to commend. In some of these, as the prea sent author shows, he has failed, not indeed from imperfectly understanding the language, but from his aiming too concisely to give the sense of a paisage, in even fewer words than the C. R. N. AR. (IV.) March, 1792.

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fententious historian. Yet the general merit of D'Alembert is allowed; and even Mr. Melmoth, to whom we think occafionally some partiality is shown, is convicted of a few errors of a similar kind.

A great difficulty occurs, respecting what should be the transator's conduct when a passage is obscure. If it is designedly so, the obscurity should undoubtedly be continued; if otherwise, the translator Mould decide as well as he can. In the beginning of the Annals, Tacitus had said Dictaturæ ad tempus sumebantur, which D'Alembert (we think properly) transated, On creoit au besoin des dictateurs passagers. We suspect the historian meant to express both ideas, and express ly employed the equivocal words, ' ad tempus, for this purpose. An English translator might have faid temporary dictators were occasionally appointed; the adjective pointing out the necesity of the appointment, and the limited time. Our author contends that the latter idea was meant, because neque decemviralis potestas ultra biennium valuit, follows. His general conduct shows that he meant not to be unfair in this argument; and indeed the whole sentence is transcribed in the work: but, in the same clause, the consular power of the military tribunes, occasionally admitted, is added. From the context we conclude that both meanings were intended. Ad tempus is used by different authors in both senses. We may particularly mention Quintilian and Cicero.--Accommodare se alicui ad tempus occurs in the oration for Cælius–Neque solum ad tempus maximam utilitatem attulifti sed etiam ad exemplum facti. Cic. Dolabellæ. For the other meaning we may also quote Cicero -- Non invitamentum, ad tempus sed perpetuæ virtutes est præmium. Cic. Planco. Thefe are, however, trivial inadvertencies of little importance: we were led to the discussion in defence only of D'Alembert. Perhaps we may add, that the remark on another part of the French academician's translation is a little hypercritical- Sine ira & Itudio quorum caufas procul habeo. The version, fans fiel 3 baffesse: mon caractere m'en eloigne & les tems m'en dispensent, is slightly amplified without any additional meaning in, serted. In English it would be without severity or meanness, for the cause of either can have no influence;' and these 'causes' D'Alembert, with wonderful perfpicuity and conciseness, has mentioned without severity or meanness: my character secures me from the one, and the æra renders the other unnecessary.'

Another very difficult question is discussed in the third chapter;-whether it is allowable to add to or retrench the ideas of the original. Though our author allows it should be done with caution, and that nothing but an idea necessarily connected with the original, or obviously redundant, should be

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acided or taken away, yet in the subsequent part, particularly in poetical composition, he admits too freely of additions.

• Rofcommon, after judiciously recommending to the transiator, firit to posless himself of the sense and meaning of his author, and then to imitate his manner and style, thus prescribes a general rule,

Your author always will the beat advise ;

Fall when he falls, and when he rises, rise. • Far from adopting the former part of this maxim, I conceive it to be the duty of a poetical translator, never to suffer his origin nal to fall. He must maintain with him a perpetual contest of genius; he must attend him in his highest Aights, and soar, if he can, beyond him: and when he perceives, at any time, a dimi. nution of his powers, when he sees a drooping wing, he must raise him on his own pinions.

It was a quaint remark of Denlam, and the peculiarity of the expression has probably contributed more to render it cura' rent than the juftness of the sentiment: he tells us, the ' fpirit of poetry is so volatile, that, in pouring it out of one language into another, it will all evaporate if a new spirit is not added in the transfusion. If examined critically, it will be found difficult fo to 'gauge' the spirit evaporated or added, as to ascer tain the identity of the work; nor can we say a priori, that expressions, on the whole, may not be as poetically rendered in one language as in another; for in one part the translator may gain what in another he may lose. But it is not this mathematical niceness that is the object of attention: an image may undoubte edly be heightened by a kindred circumstance in unison with the whole picture, if it does not destroy the consistency and like. ness; and a redundant or a ridiculous one may be taken away, or softened, within the same limits. The indulgence must be under the jurisdiction of a severe and accurate judgment; nor should we have engaged so particularly in this disquisition, if a Gngular example had not occurred in this Number of our Journal, we mean in the contrasted view of Mr. Pope's and Mr. Cowper's translation of Homer. These authors are the examples we could have wished : the one who polished every thing he touched, who adorned what was beautiful, and softened what was mean or ridiculous'; the other, keeping severely within the lines prescribed, copying the picture with a har accuracy, and preserving faithfully the outline in the most un. pleasing parts. Strictly speaking, each has failed in conveye ing a faithful copy: in one version the garb and ornaments are unsuitable to the figure; in the other, the likeness is unpleasa ing, because every harsh trait is exaggerated, and every dilagreeable image conveyed with a disgusting minutençís. Yet the reader will not long hesitate which to prefer. Our au.

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thor's doctrine, and the general feelings, will lead us to the first; but the poet and the critic, in this line of ornamental embellishment, go too far, not only in poetry but in prose.—Let us. attend to the rules and the examples of the latter.

Our author, tracing translation from the first servile interpreters of word for word, proceeds to mention that in May’s Lucan, and Sandys' Ovid, are the first dawns of a more liberal method of rendering one language into another, by corresponding idioms. Sandys, from whom Pope caught the first spark of poetical fire, has been too much neglected ; and we shall beg leave to copy the specimen of his version quoted in the volume before us:

? There's no Alcyone! 'none, none ! she died
Together with her Ceyx. Silent be
All sounds of comfort. These, these eyes did see
My shipwrack’t lord. I knew him ; and my hands

Thruft forth t’have held him : but no mortal bands
Could force his ftay. A ghoft! yet manifest, .
My husband's ghoft: which, Oh, but ill expressid

His forme and beautie, late divinely rare !
. ! Now pale and naked, with yet dropping haire:
L ' Here ftood the miserable! in this place :
" Here, here! (and fought his aerie steps to trace).

SANDYS' Ovid, b. Ib.
Nulla est Alcyone, nulla est, ait : occidit una
Cum Ceyce fuo ; folantia tollite verba :
Naufragus interiit ; vidi agnovique, manufque
Ad discedentem, cupiens retinere, tefendi.
Umbra fuit : sed et umbra tainen manifesta virique
Vera mei: non ille quidem, fi quæris, habebat
Asíuetos vultus, nec quo prius ore nitebat.'
Pallentem, rudumque, et adhuc humente capillo,
Infelix vidi: ftetit hoc miferabilis ipso,
Ecce loco : (et quærit veftigia fiqua superfint).

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METAM. I. 11, This translation is close; in some parts highly beautiful and peculiarly happy.--Dryden was the parent of a more licentious method of translating; for it is easier to amplify than to be concise, and more convenient to form a bulky than a smaller volume. His profe-translations are equally faulty in this rerpect; but, when our author mentioned his version of Lucian, or at least that published under his name, it is surprising that he overlooked Mr. Carr's translation of this witty freethinker of the Pagan world. The particular errors noted are chiefly those in which the frigid conceits of the Italian poets are interwoven with the more manly languages of Greece and Rome:

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