Abbildungen der Seite

If we allow for a few trifling faults, and some peculiarities in the translation, the candid reader must grant that it is worthy of the original.-Mr. Stockdale's account of it, and of the energy of English poetry, the reader will peruse with pleasure.

• I have endeavoured in this translation, to express the senti. ments of Tasso as he would have done had he been an Eng. lishman, without a servile regard to his words : nay, in some places, I have added sentiments and lines of my own; a li. berty, which, I think, may be allowed in translating works of imagination, and amusement, though it is unpardonable in transfusing history and severer truth from one language into another. I have not, however, suppressed any part of the original; and where I have made additions to it, I thought the translation would have been flat without them. The Italian lan. guage is so liquid and flowing, so poetical an organ of sentiment, that an Italian line, which is good poetry, will lose a great part of its beauty, when translated into an English verse, however easy and harmonious. In such a case, an English translator must have recourse, if he can, to that vigour of thought which is so peculiar to his nation. England hath produced the greatest poets in Europe, not because our language, though a very noble one, is better adapted to poetry than any other; but because we have had sublimer geniuses than any people in the world. I am far from arrogating any excellence to myself: indeed it was not necessary in translating Amyntas. I have ouly endeavoured, where it was requisite, to tread in the steps of my countrymen.'

The translator has not confined himself to blank verfe ; hę has often very happily varied his measure, especially in the chorusles, which are extremely animated and poetical.-Wę shall give our readers that which is addressed to Love, at the end of the second act.

I. Say, love, what master shows thy art,

That sweet improver of mankind,
Which warms with sentiment the heart,

With information stores the mind ?
II Whence does the foul, disdaining earth,

To Æther wing its ardent way;
Who gives the bold expressions birth,

That all its images convey ?
DIT. 'Tis not to Greece's learned soil

The world this happy culture owes ;
Which not from Aristotle's toil,
Nor yet from Plato's fancy flows,

IV. Apollo

IV. Apollo, and the tuneful Nine,

Attempt the envied song in vain;
Their numbers are not so divine,

As is the lover's tender strain.
V. Scholastic art, the Muse's lyre,

In vain their privileges boast,
The lover breathes a purer fire ;

He sings the best who feels the most.
VI. No power above, and none below,

But thou, O love ! can thee express ;
To thee thy sentiments we owe;

To thee we owe their glowing dress.
YII. Thou canst refine the simple breast,

And to a poet raise a swain ;
His humble soul, by thee impressed,

Assumes a warm, exalted strain.
VIII. His manners take a nobler turn; ...

His inspiration we descry;
Upon his cheek we see it burn,

And speak, in lightning, from his eye.
IX. With such a new, ideal store

Thy dictates fill the rustic mind;
Such oratory shepherds pour,

They leave a Cicero far behind.
X. Nay, such nice heights thy powers can reach,

With thee such varied rhetoric dwells,
That even the struggling, broken speech

The modelled period far excels.
XI. Thy filence oft, in striking pause,

The lover's great ideas paints;
Sublime conception is its cause ;

The mind expands, but language faints,
XII. Free, uncompressed, the thought appears,

Which words would aukwardly controul ;
And nature holds our eyes, and ears;

We seem to hear, and see the soul.
XIII. The lettered youth let Plato's page

With generous sentiment inspire ;
I'm better taught than by a sage,

And catch a more ethereal fire.
XIV. A nobler, and a speedier aid

My virtue hath from Cælia's eyes;
By them more happy I am made;

And as I'm happy, am I wise.

[ocr errors]

XV. Let the mistaken world suppose

That nature in old Homer reigns; .
Or, still more blindly think the Rows

In Virgil's cold, and laboured ftrains.
XVI. I carve my love upon a tree;

Scholars consult its faithful rind :
Throw books away, for there you'll see

A livelier capy of the mind.' Where there is so much merit in a performance, it would be deemed inconsistent with candor to dwell upon trifting faults ; but the nature of this work requires we fould point out what we think is really blameable, and which, at the same ume, can be very easily amended.

Mr. Stockdale now and then departs from that fimplicity of language, which distinguishes so peculiarly the pastoral manners. We think the word announce, which is properly a French word, (though originally from the Latin) and but lately brought into use, by no means fit for the mouth of a shepherdess.--Volition is liable to the fame censure as announce. Though the measure of a verse demands contraction, Mr. Stockdale gives every word at full length, and leaves it to the reader's sense of harmony to make the necessary abbreviation.

To give finoothness to his versification, he ventures at what fome will call a peculiarity, if not an affectation. The geni. tive case is not, as usual in other writers, contracted.

• Love hath reclaimed me to my fexis joy.' Sometimes, but very seldom indeed, the sense is lamed by an improper epithet, and the ear hurt by too near a repetition of the same sound.

• Nay such nice beights thy power can reach.'

X. A General View of Ancient History, Chronology, and Geogra.

graphy, containing, 1. Two Historical and Cbronological Charts, wherein the four great Monarchies, with ihe chief Heads of the Grecian and Roman Hiftories, are represented in one View. 2. A geographical Description of Egypt, Asia, Greece, Italy, and Gaul. 3. A Comperidium of antiint Hifiory, corresponding to the Charts, and including the principal Occurrences from the Establish. ment of the Assyrian Monarchy to the End of the Roman Starr,

By Thomas Stackhouse, A. 11. 410. Pr. 45, 6d. Dodsley. The highest praise is due to fuch authors as have de

voted their studies to facilitate the instruction of youth, whole weak capacities would for ever wander in the labyrinth

of erudition, if judicious compilers did not lend a clue to condu&t their footsteps to the temple of Science. The work before us may be justly considered in the light of a clue of this nature, which seems very well calculated to guide and direct the inquiries of those, who attach themselves to the study of ancient history. As the various branches of this delightful part of literature are scattered through a multitude of authors, some of whom have given opposite and contradictory accounts, the utility of this performance is the more confpicuous, fince it may ferve as a compass to direct those who fail in the vast ocean of ancient history, and bring them fafely to the wished for port of useful knowledge.

Our author's plan was drawn up, as he fays, for the im. provement of some young persons of distinction, whom he attended and instructed, at well in these as in other branches of learning. His aim was to sketch, as it were, the outlines of hiftory, and present them in a chronological succefsion to the learner's view, on such a comprehensive plan as might enable him, by seeing the order and connexion of all the parts, to attain a clear and distinct idea of the whole ; and thus be properly prepared to read ancient history with pleasure and ad. vantage.

To this compendium of hišory he prefixes two chronological tables; the former of which he calls a Synopsis of the four great Monarchies; the latter, a Synopsis of the Grecian and Roman States. Beginning with the firit monarchy, he gives a brief account of the Assyrian empire, which was found. ed by Nimrod, and ended at the death of Sardanapolus. The empire was then divided into three several kingdoms, viz. the Affyrian, Babylonian, and Median ; of each of which he gives a fuccina idea, and points out the connexion between sacred and profane hiftory, till upon the death of Cyaxares, Cyrus trandated the empire to the Persians, and became sole monarch of the East. From thence he proceeds to sacred hiftory, and lays before the reader the succession of the kings of Israel and Judah, from Saul down to Zedekiah, in whose time. the city of Jerusalem was razed to the ground, the temple re. duced to ashes, and the king carried captive to Babylon with his people, in the year before Christ 588. He next goes on to the Persian empire, and enumerates all the sovereigns that reigned over it, from Cyrus by whom it was founded, down to Darius Codomannus, who was defeated by Alexander the Great, in three pitched battles, and bafely Nain by Beffus, ge. neral of the Bactrians,

Then comes on the third monarchy, called the Grecian, or Macedonian, founded by Alexander the Great, in 330, before


Christ. This prince dying without issue, his captains, after facrificing his whole family to their ambition, divided his dominions among them. The chief kingdoms, to which this division gave rise, were Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, and Macedon; the most powerful of these were Egypt and Syria. Our author here gives a complete list of the kings of Egypt, from Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, by whom that kingdom was founded, down to Ptolemy junior, who murdered Pompey the Great, and was himself drowned in the sea-engagement against Cæsar ; after which his sister Cleopatra reigned over that kingdom alone, and lived with M. Antony, till Augustus Cæfar made Egypt a Roman province, about thirty years before Christ. After these, he enumerates the kings of Syria and Babylon, from Seleucus Nicator, the founder of the kinga dom of Syria, down to Antiochus Afiaticus, who, having reigned four years in some part of the country, by the permillion of Lucullus, was stript of his dominions by Pompey, when Syria was reduced to the form of a Roman province, fixty.four years before Christ. Then follows an account of the kings of Asia Minor, Antigonus surnamed the Cyclop, and bis son and successor Demetrius ; to which he adds, the succession of the kings of Pergamus, from Phileterus the eunuch, the foun. der of this kingdom, to Attalus Philometer, the son of Eumenes, who leaving his goods to the Romans, they claimed and took possession of his kingdom, as a part of them, and after some resistance from Aristonicus, reduced it to a province, which they called the Proper Alia. The last division among Alexander's captains was that of Macedonia, of whose kings our author gives an exact lift from Philip Aridæus, down to Perfeus, who, by refusing to observe the conditions imposed upon his father Philip, brought upon himself the resentment and army of the Romans, under the command of the consul Æmilius, by whom Perseus was defeated, taken and carried to Rome, to grace the consul's triumph ; this event put an end to the kingdom of Macedon, and reduced it to a Roman province.

To the foregoing account of the three monarchies, is subjoined a compendium of the Grecian history, which begins wich the kingdom of Sicyon, founded by Ægialeus above 2000 years before Christ, and which lasted about a thousand years. Then follows the kingdom of Argos and Mycena, which continued, till the Heraclidæ, or descendants of Hercules, having seized Peloponnesus, changed the form of government at Lacedemon, and erected a new kingdom under two kings, Procles and Eurysthenes, the fons of Aristodemus. Here follows an uninterrupted list of the kings of Lacedemon,


« ZurückWeiter »