Imatges de pàgina
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one of these, strange to tell! occurs in Mr. Pope's translation of the Iliad.

The second rule, which relates to the assimilation of style and manner, is illustrated with much taste and judgment. The deficient, or too concise interpreters, and those who substitute the vulgar cant of the ftreets for the humour of the Roman authors, among whom Echard holds a conspicuous place, are adduced. We wish rather to copy the remarks on the more elegant versions. The translations of Mr. Vincent Bourne are very justly and properly praised: they are indeed exquisitely beautiful, and highly polished; nor can we object to any thing; but that an additional sentiment is sometimes introduced.' It is done generally with caution and propriety: it is commended also by the critic, on whose judgment and taste we have some confidence; but it seems, we speak it: with diffidence, to 'de tract from the fidelity to be expected in a translation. The duke de Nivernois' translation of Horace and Lydia is almost a perfect one in the freer style: we think it not sufficiently known, and shall consequently transcribe it. Horace. Plus heureux qu'un monarque au faite des grandeurs,

J'ai vu mes jours dignes d'envie,
Tranquiles, ils couloient au gré de nos ardeurs : &

Vous m'aimiez, charmante Lydie. Lydie. Que mes jours étoient beaux,' quand des soins les plus

doux
Vous payiez ma famme sincére !
Venus me regardoit avec des yeux jaloux ;

Chloé n'avoit pas sçu vous plaire.
Horace. Par son luth, par sa voix, organe des amours,

Cholé seule me paroit belle :
Si le Destin jaloux veut épargner ses jours,

Je donnerai les miens pour elle.
* Lydie. Le jeune Calaïs, plus beau que les amours,

Plait seul á mon ame ravie :
• Si le Destin jaloux veut épargner ses jours,

; Je donnerai deux fois ma vie.
4 Horare. Quoi, fi mes premiers feux, ranimant leur ardeur,

Ecouffoient une amour fatale ; . Si, perdant pour jamais tous ses droits sur mon coeur,

Cholé vous laissoit sans rivaleLydie. Calaïs est charmant: mais je n'aime que vous, .'

Ingrat, mon coeur vous justifie; . Heureuse également en des liens si doux, .

. : . De perdre ou de passer la vie.' It is not, we have said, a close translation ; and our author

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thinks thinks the concluding stanza wants the happy petulance of the original: perhaps it is a greater objection that the sentiment is, altered. In the original, no juftification is necessary : love, almighty love, overturns every argument, without waiting for reason to justify her conduct. Mr. Cumberland's translations of the fragments of the comic poets, the critic praises with great propriety and justice; but, as he wishes to know where they are to be found, he will allow us to add, that many occur in the Cambridge edition of the Poetæ Minores. All are not in that collection, but there are fome passages of singular merit not noticed by the author of the Observer.

The rule, respecting the imitation of style, must be limited, our author tells us, by the genius of the language. The Latin admits of a brevity which cannot be successfully imitated in English: the French is, he thinks, more advantageous in this respect. We shall quote one example.

• Pliny to Minutianus, Lib. 3. Ep. 9. says, towards the end of his letter : Temerè dixi-Succurrit quod præterieram, et quidem però: fed quanquam prepofterè reddetur. Facit hoc Homerus, mulia que illius exemplo. Ef alioqui per decorum : a me tamen non ideo forta It is no doubt possible to translate this passage into English which a conciseness almoft equal to the original. But in this experiment we must sacrifice all its ease and spirit. " I have said this salhly-al recollect an omiffion - somewhat too late indeed. It Mall now be fupplied, though a little preposteroully. Homer does this : and many after his example. Besides, it is not unbecoming; but this is not my reason.” Let us mark how Mr. Mel. moch, by a happy amplification, has preserved the spirit and ease, though sacrificing the brevity of the original. " But upon re, collecting, I find that I must recall that last word; for I perceive, a little too late indeed, that I have omitted a material circumstance. However, I will mention it here, though something out of its place. In this, I have the authority of Homer, and several other great names, to keep me in countenance ; and the critics will tell you this irregular manner has its beauties; but, upon my word, it is a beauty I had out at all in my view.”

These remarks are, in general, just; but we may ask whether Mr. Melmoth, in this translation, has not sacrificed the abrupt hasty manner of Pliny in his more elegant flowing verfion? The same error seems to pervade the whole of Mr. Melmoth's attempt: manner is sacrificed to elegance, and idiom to ease.

The inversions of the Greek and Latin are inconsistent with the English, and consequently limit the rule. The inverted construction of Mr. Gordon's Tacitus; and Mr. Viacpherson's

Homes, Homer, are mentioned, and the latter is styled ' a work otherwise valuable, as containing a most perfect transfusion of the sense of his author.' In our review of it we had occasion to form a very different opinion. The English is also incapable of nu merous ellipses admisible in the Greek and Latin; but all these defects are probably coinpensated by other advantages, and, with care, conciseness, in an Englich version, may be very 'compatible with elegance.

The question, whether a poem may be translated into prose, is discussed very judiciously. If it be only melody of language, an uniform measure, and regular return that is required, these are not incompatible with prose; but poetical images, the nobly daring language of the poet, is unsuitable to prose, because not usually connected with it. Fenelon is juftly praised for only giving his language a degree of elevation consistent with a highly polished profaic composition.

The third rule is, that a translation should have all the case of original composition. Mr. Melmoth has succeeded in the familiarity of the epistolary style ; but, as we have said, he fucceeds by facrificing manner. The old translators of Lucian have carried this familiarity to a faulty extreme.

• When we consider those restraints within which a translator finds himself necessarily confined, with regard to the sentiments and manner of his original, it will soon appear that this last re. quifite includes the most difficult part of his talk. To one who. walks in trammels, it is not easy to exhibit an air of grace and freedom. It is difficuli, even for a capital painter, to preserve ia a copy of a picture all the ease and spirit of the original ; yet the painter employs precisely the same colours, and has no other care than faithfully to imitate the touch and manner of the picture that is before him : if the original is easy and graceful, the copy will have the same qualities, in proportion as the imitation is just and perfect. The translator's taik is very different: he uses not the same colours with the original, but is required to give his picture the same force and effe&t. He is not allowed to copy the touches of the original, yet is required, by touches of his own, to produce a perfect resemblance. The more he studies a scrupulous imitation, the less his copy will reflect the ease and spia rit of the original. How then Mall a tran Dator accomplish this difficult union of ease with fidelity? To use a bold expresion, he must adopt the very soul of his author, which must fjeak through his own organs."

These rules are easily given, but perhaps never to be followed, except where a similarity of genius renders this adoption caly; and, to employ an ealtern allusion, when the foul can

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be

be transmitted, and animate tlre clay-cold body. Poetry must be allowed a little liberty on account of the rigid severity of modern metre; and this is the secret cause of the loss of the. vital spirit, and the necessary transfusion of some additional fire: the tyrant must be obeyed. Instances of excellence are adduced from fome translations of Horace's Odes by Lowth, Hughes, and Dryden; but we recollect translations of Dryden from Horace superior to those now quoted. That part of the 29th ode of the third book, which begins 'cui licet in diem dixiffe vixi,' and, indeed, the whole is rendered with an energy and poetic fire, scarcely inferior to what Horace has displayed in the original. Our author quotes the stanza which begins 'fortuna fævo læta negotio,' as well as that which immediately follows.

In the chapter on the version of idiomatic phrases, some happy instances are quoted from Cotton's translation of Mon, · taigne and from Echard; though the last author affords nore numerous instances of faults in this respect. Translations of the names of streets, &c. very often have a ludicrous effect; and indeed proper names of every kind should not be translated. The point of an epigram is almost in every instance blunt ed, sometimes totally destroyed, in a new language. Some of the poems styled epigrams by the Greeks have been translated with astonishing elegance, and many are fully equal to the originals. Among the idiomatical authors Don Quixote is mentioned, and Motteux’s'translation preferred to Smollett's.. It contains certainly many happy transfusions of idiom, though it offends the more elegant taste, and the nicer ear. Smollett, it is said, we believe without reason, copied almost wholly from Jarvis, whose language he also corrected and polished.

Voltaire's translations are treated very properly, but these afford no new renark's. We fhall preserve the little fpace that remains for some specimens of a French translation of Hudibras, a work that was supposed impracticable. We have been almoft led to fufpect that this pretended translation is one of the piæ fraudes, and that, in reality, no more has been tranl. lated than what appears. After a very diligent enquiry among the admirers of French literature, we have been able to discover no such version of this truly English poet. - The palfage which begins, So learned Taliacotius froin, &c.' is thus rendered. - 7 Ainsi Talicot d'une fesse

Savoit tailler avec addresse
Nez tous neufs, qui ne risquoient rien
Tant que le cul fe portoit bien;

Mais

Mais si le cul perdoit la vie,

Le nez tomboit par sympathie.'
Again, For his religion it was fit, &c.'

· Sa réligion au genie
Et sçavoir étoit assortie ;
Il étoit franc Presbyterien,
Et de fa fecte le foutien,
Secte, qui justement se vante
D'être l'Eglise militante ;
Qui de fa foi vous rend raison
Par la bouche de son canon,
Dont le boulet et feu terrible
Montre bien qu'elle est infallible, .
Et la doctrine prouve à tous

Orthodoxe, à force de coups.'
.: For Hudibras wore but one spur, &c.'

• Car Hudibras avec raison Ne se chaufsoit qu'un éperon, Ayant preuve démonstrative

Qu'un coté marchant, l'autre arrive.'
: We shall add only one more passage, ‘For he by geometric
{cale, &c.

* En geometre raffiné
Un pot de bierre il eut jauge ;
Par tangente et sinus sur l'heure
Trouvé le poids de pain ou beurre,
Et par algebre eut dit aussi

A quelle heure il sonne midi.' On the whole, this work may, perhaps, be most advantageously confidered as a specimen of a more extensive one. It certainly may be more full, more varied, and in fome instances probably more correct: yet it deserves no flight commendation; and the author might, without disgrace, have added his name.

Right's of Man. Part the Second. Combining Principle and

Practice. By T. Paine. 8vo. 35. Jordan. 1792. JF we had thought it possible that the virulence of party, the

disappointment of soaring ambition, or the rage of innovation could, for a moment, have contributed to bestow a tempotary celebrity on ignorance and absurdity, blended with the low yulgarity of colloquial errors, and boldly depending on insigni

nificance

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