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those in Horace's Art of Poetry, without that tnetho> dical regularity which would have been requisite in a prose writer. They are some of them uncommon, but such as the reader must assent to when he sees them explained with that ease and perspicuity in which they are delivered. As for those which are the most known and the most received, they are placed in so beautiful a light, and illustrated with such apt allusions, that they have in them all the graces of novelty; and make the reader, who was before acquainted with them, still more convinced of their truth and solidity. And here give me leave to mention what Monsienr Boileau has so well en* larged upon in the preface to his works; that wit and fine writing doth not consist so much in advancing things that are new, as in giving things that are known an agreeable turn. It is impossible for us, who live in the latter ages of the world, to make observations in criticism,, morality, or any art or science, which have not been touched upon by others; we have little else left us, but to represent the common sense of mankind in more strong, more beautiful, or more uncommon lights. If a reader examines Horace's Art of Poetry, he will find but few precepts in it which he may not meet with in Aristotle, and which were not commonly known by all the poets of the Augustan age. His way of expressing, and applying them, not his invention of them, is what we are chiefly to admire.

'Longinus, in his reflections, has given us the same kind of sublime. which he observes in the several passages that occasioned them: I cannot but take notice that our English author has, after the same manner, exemplified several of the precepts in the very precepts themselves *.' He then produces some instances of a particular beauty in the numbers, and concludes with saying, that * there are three poems in our tongue of the same nature, and

• Spectator, No. 253.

each a masterpiece in its kind; the Essay on Translated Verse; the Essay on the Art of Poetry; and the Essay on Crincism.'

Of Windsor Forest, positive is the jndgement of the affirmative i i •/ \

Mr. John Dennis,

That it is a wretched rhapsody, impndently writ in emulation of the Cooper's Hill of sir John Denham: the anthor of it is obscure, is ambignous, is affected, is temerarious, is barbarous*!

But the anthor of the Dispensary!,

• - Dr. Garth, u , in the prrface to his poem of Claremont, differs from this opinion: ' Those who have seen these two excellent poems of Cooper's Hill and Windsor Fojest, the one written by sir John Denham, the other hy Mr. Pope, will show a great deal of candour if they approve of this.'

Of the Epistle to Eloisa, we are told by the obscure writer of a poem called Sawney, * That becanse Prior's Henry and Emma charmed the finest tastes, our anthor writ his Eloisa in opposition to St; but forgot innocence and virtue: if you' take away her tender thoughts, and her fierce desires, all'the rest is of no value.' In which, methinks, his jndgement resembleth that of a French tailor on a villa and garden by the Thames: * All this is very fine; but take away the river, and it is good for nothing.' *

But very contrary herennto* was the opinion of

I

Mr. Prior himself, saying in his Alma

* Letter to B. B. at the end of the Remarks on Pope's Homer, J717. t Printed 17S8, p. 12. J Alma, Cant. 2.

O-Abelard! ill-fated youth, Thy tale will justify this truth: But well I weet, thy cruel wrong Adorus a nobler poet's song: Dan Pope, for thy misfortune griev'd, With kind concern and skill has weav'd A silken web; and ne'er shall fade Its colours; gently has he laid The mantle o'er thy sad distress, And Venus shall the texture bless, &c. Come we now to his translation of the Iliad, celebrated by numerous pens, yet shall it suffice to mention the indefatigable

Sir Richard Blackmore, Knt. who (though otherwise a severe censurer of our anthor) yet styleth this a 'landable translation*.' That ready writer,

Mr. Oldmixon,

in his forementioned Essay, frequently commend* the same. And the painful

Mr. Lewis Theobald thus extols itt, 'The spirit of Homer breathes all through this translation.—I am in doubt whether I should most admire the justness to the original, or the force and beanty of the language, or the sounding variety of the numbers: but when I find all these meet, It puts me it* mind of what the poet says of one of his heroes, that he alone raised and flung with ease a weighty stone, that two common men could not lift from tlie ground; just so, one single person has performed in this translation, what I once despaired to have seen done by the force of

• In his Essays, vol. i. printed for E. Curll. t Censor, vol. ii. n. 33.

several masterly hands.' Indeed the sirme gentleman appears to have changed his sentiments iii his Essay on the Art of Sin kins in Reputation (printed in Mist's Journal, March 30, 17-8), where lie says thus : ' In order to sink in reputation, let him take it into his head to descend into Homer {let the . world wonder, as it will, how the devil h* got there^ and pretend to do him into English, so his version denote his neglect of the manner how.' Strange variation! We are told in

i. Mist's Journal, June 8.

* That this translation of the Iliad was riot in all respects conformable to the fine taste of his friend Mr. Addison; insomuch that he'Ttaiployed a younger muse in an undertaking of this kind, yrlHoh lie suiiervised hinuelf.' Whether Mr. Addison did find it conformable to his taste, or not, best appears from bis own tcafirribny the year following its publication, in these words:

Mr. Addison's Freeholder, No* 40*

When I consider myself as a British freeholder, I um in a particular manner pleased'with the labours of those who have improved our language with the translations of old Greek and Latin anthors.—We have already, most of their historians- in our oao tongue, and, what is more for the honour of our language, it has been tanght to express with elegance the greatest of their poets in each nation. The illiterate among our own countrymen may learn to jndge from Dry den's Virgil, of the most perfect epic performance. And those parts of Homer which have been published already by Mr. Pope, give us reason to think that the Iliad will appear in English with as little disadvantage to that immortal peem.*

As to the rest tiiere is a slight mistake, for this younger muse was an elder: nor was the gentleman £wno is a friend of our anthor) erriployed by Mr. Addison to translate it after him, since he saith himself that he did it before*. Contrariwise, that Mr. Addison engaged our anthor in this work appeareth by declaration thereof in the preface to the Iliad, printed some time before his death, and by his own letters of October 26, and November 2, 1713, where he declares it is his opinion that no other person was equal to it.

Next comes his Shakespeare on the stage: * Let him (quoth one whom I take to be

Mr. Theobald, Mists Journal, June s, 1728)

publish such an anthor as he has least stndied, and forget to discharge even the dull duty of an editor. In this project let him lend the bookseller his name (for a competent sum of money) to promote the ere* dit of an exorbitant subscription.' Gentle reader, be pleased to cast thine eye on the proposal below qnoted, and on what follows (some months after the former assertion ) in the same Journalist of. June 3. 'The bookseller proposed the book by subscription, and raised some thousand of pounds for. the same: I believe the gentleman did not share In the profits of this extravagant subscription.' * After the Iliad, he undertook (saitli

Mist's Journal, June 8, 1728)

the sequel of that work, the Odyssey; and having secured the success by a numerous subscription, he employed some underlings to perform what, according to his proposals, should come from his own hands.' To which heavy charge we can in truth oppose nothing but the words of

Mr. Pope's Proposal for the Odyssey (printed by J. Watts, Jan. 10,1724.)

• Vid. Pref. to Mr.Tickell'a translation of the first book of thclliad, 4to.

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