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smith would no more come to him for a paragraph than he would to be fed with a pap-spoon.

And it is curious to observe, after all, how and in what place Johnson has said his good word for our translator. It is at the end of the “Life of Waller,” and amounts to this coy prophecy,—that Fairfax's work, “after Mr Hoole's translation, will not soon be reprinted.”

Mr Hoole, indeed, with superfluous ingenuity, has contrived to let us know, by other means than his translation, how totally unfit he was for the task. He came to it with an ignorance of all real poetry, that of his own country not excepted. After telling us that “ Fairfax's version is in stanzas that cannot be read with pleasure by the generality of those who have a taste for English poetry,”—that it is “irksome in such a degree as to surmount curiosity, and more than counterbalance all the beauty of expression and sentiment to be found in that work,”—and that, as a proof of all this, “ it appears scarcely to have been read at all,”—he adds, “ I do not flatter myself that I have excelled Fairfax, except in my measure and versification, and even of these the principal recommendation is, that they are modern, and better adapted to the ear of all readers of English poetry, except of the very few who have acquired a taste for the phrases and cadences of those times, when our verse, if not our language, was in its rudiments :” that is to say, at the close of our very greatest age both in poetry and prose.

So little did Mr Hoole know what he was about, either in poetry or the versification of it, that while in the course of his translation he was elaborately doing or undoing something now and then, in order to mingle a little of Dryden with Pope, he forgot, or was not aware, that Dryden himself professed to have learnt part of his versification from Fairfax.

It is not a pleasant task to dwell upon the demerits of anybody. We will just give a comparative specimen or two of the

old and modern version of Tasso, and then take our leave of Mr Hoole, to indulge ourselves with a few more words upon Fairfax and translation.

Edward Fairfax led a life which a brother poet might envy. He was of a distinguished family, the same as that of Fairfax the Parliament General; and having an estate of his own, and the greater estates of leisure and genius, he passed the whole of his days at a seat in the Forest of Knaresborough, in the bosom of his family, and in the cultivation of poetry. He appears to have had all, and more than a poet wants,-tranquillity, a fortune beyond competence, books, rural scenes, and an age that could understand him. He flourished just at the close of that golden period, that height and strong summer-time of our poetry, when language, wisdom, and imagination were alike at their noblest, and thoughts were poured forth as profusely as words have been since. He was inclined to the music of verse; and the age was full of music, of every species ;—he was of a romantic and most probably superstitious turn of mind ;* and popular superstitions were still more in favour than during the preceding era; - he had perhaps something of the indolence of a man of fortune; and in the course of his Italian luxuries he met with a poet whose tendencies were like his own, and who was great enough to render the task of translation honourable as well as delightful

He accordingly produced a version of Tasso, which we do not say is equal to the original, or at all exempt from errors which a future translator (always provided he is a poet too) may avoid ; but which we nevertheless do not hesitate to pronounce the completest translation, and most like its original, of any we have ever seen. We will open our extracts with that famous blast of the truinpet, which has been so echoed in all countries,

* He wrote a treatise on Demonology, which was founded on occurrences in his own family," and is still somewhere in MS. If King James knew this, it must have been an additional incitement to his patronage of the Jerusalem, the second edition of which was printed at his desire.

and which Voltaire quotes to show what the Italian language can do ir the way of grandeur.

Chiama gli abitator de l'ombre eterno

Il ranco suon de la tartarea tromba,
Treman le spaziose atre caverne,
E l'aer cieco a quel romor rimbomba :
Nè si stridendo mai da le superne
Regioni del cielo il folgor piomba :
Nè si scossa gia mai trema la terra,
Quando i vapori in sen gravida serra.”

-Lib. iv., st. 30

This is certainly nothing like the "tinsel” which Boileau ventured to talk about; but Mr Hoole would have made it so if he could. This is his translation. He begins with making the trumpet convene the devils. It is Pluto at home, -or sending a court circular :

“ The trumpet now, with hoarse resounding breath,

Convenes the spirits in the shades of death;
The hollow caverns tremble at the sound;
The air re-echoes to the noise around;
Not louder terrors shake the distant pole,
When through the skies the rattling thunders roll;
Not greater tremors heave the labouring earth,
When vapours, pent within, contend for birth.

-HOOLE, Book iv., V. 17.

Fairfax, though he translates the concluding couplet rather from Virgil than Tasso, lets loose a spirit worthy of both poets. Observe the fine taste with which he has managed to preserve the double rhymes, that make the orignal so resounding :

The drearie trumpet blew a dreadful blast,

And rombled through the lands and kingdomes under,
Through wastness wide it roar'd, and hollowes vast,
And filld the deepe with horror, feare, and wonder;
Not halfe so dreadful noise the tempests cast,
That fall from skies with stormes of haile and thunder :

Nor half so loud the whistling winds doe sing,
Broke from the earthen prisons of their king."

-FAIRFAX, Book iv., st. 3.

We must not, however, take up our room with the original

Italian. The next passage we shall quote is a celebrated one also, of a different description,--that of the angel descending on Mount Lebanon ;—but it is all the same to Mr Hoole :

“Refulgent rays his beauteous locks unfold ;

White are his nimble wings, and edged with gold :
With these through winds and clouds he cuts his way,
Flies o'er the land, and skims along the sea.
Thus stood the angelic power prepared for flight,
Then instant darted from th' empyreal height;
Direct to Lebanon his course he bent,
There closed his plumes, and made his first descent."

-Hoole, Book i., v. 107.

This closing couplet is a sad misrepresentation of the original, where the angel is described, on his first touch of the mountain, as balancing himself on his wings. When Mr Hoole takes leave of his author, it is for want of strength to accompany him; when Fairfax does it, it is to lead you into some beautiful corner of his own fancy. It is thus he renders the passagem

“ Of silver wings he tooke a shining paire,

Fringed with gold, unwearied, nimble, swift ;
With these he parts the windes, the clouds, the aire,
And over seas and earth himselfe doth lift ;
Thus clad he cut the spheares and circles faire,
And the pure skies with sacred feathers clift.

On Libanon at first his foot he set,
And shooke his wings with roarie May-dewes wet."

-FAIRFAX, Book i., st. 14.

The most striking part of the beautiful choral stanza describing the chanting of the army is totally omitted in Hoole's version. We suppose he thought the remainder sufficient, and so, indeed, his reader will think:

So pass

the tuneful band with cadence sweet,
The hollow vales the lengthen'd notes repeat ;
The winding caverns and the mountains high
A thousand echoes to the sounds reply.”

-Hoole, Book xi., v. 77.
“ Hither the armies went, and chanted shrill,

That all the deepe and hollow dalcs resound ;

From hollow mounts and caves on every hill
A thousand echoes also sung around;
It seem'd some quire (that sung with art and skill)
Dwelt on those savage dennes and shadie ground;

For oft resounded from the banks they heare
The name of Christ and of His mother deare."

-FAIRFAX, Book xi., st. 11.

Another specimen of Mr Hoole, and we have done with him.
It is his close of the bird's song in book the sixteenth :-

He ceased ; th' approving choir with joy renew
Their rapturous music, and their loves pursue.
Again in pairs the cooing turtles bill,
The feather'd nations take their amorous fill,
The oak, the chaster laurel seems to yield
And all the leafy tenants of the field.
The earth and streams one soul appears to move,

All seem impregnate with the seeds of love." Here is not the faintest resemblance of the intense though airy voluptuousness of the original. The conclusion, in particular, is no more like it, than a nursery-man's ledger is like the scent of his roses.

But now hear Fairfax-
“He ceased; and as approoving all he spoke,
The quire of birds their heavenly tunes renew ;
The turtles sigh’d, and sighs with kisses broke;
The fowles to shades unseene, by paires, withdrew;
It seem'd the laurel chaste and stubborne oak,
And all the gentle trees on earth that grew,

It seem'd the land, the sea, and heaven above,
All breath'd out fancy sweet, and sigh'd out love."

-FAIRFAX, Book xvi., st. 26. This is even superior, we think, to the original. It is the quinta pars nectaris, and makes the senses swim aside on their own faintness. It is like the perfection of a crystal summer's day, made a little languid with noon, and seeming to have a sparkling and airy consciousness about it that vents itself in odorous whispers.

The reader will observe in the foregoing specimens of Hoole, how a bad translator takes refuge from the real feelings of his author in vagueness and cant phrases. As he has no feeling of

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