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but, after struggling through the first book, he relinquished the undertaking in despair. Creech, however, had more perseverance, and has given us an entire version, but so little has he preserved of the dignity, of the sublimity, and descriptive powers of the poet, that it is impossible to form any idea of the beautiful original from his coarse, and ill-executed copy. Some couplets which have merit, might be selected from the volume, and a few passages which attempt the delineation of rural ease and happiness, but take it as a whole, it is utterly deficient in one of the most striking characteristics of the Roman, grandeur and felicity of expression. Dryden has rather paraphrased than traslated, and though in the small portion he has favoured us with, his versification be, as usual, spirited and easy, it wants the majesty and solemn colouring of Lucretius; and towards the conclusion of the fourth book he is more licentious, broad and open, than the text, faulty as it undoubtedly is, in this respect, will warrant. Toward the middle of the last century, a version in prose was published, together with the original, and with plates, engraved by Guernier: it is evident that an attempt of this kind can have few pre
tensions to any other merit than that which arises from a literal adherence to the sense of the original; in this view, it appears not to be deficient, and, as Lucretius, from the nature of his subject, is, occasionally, intricate, may have its use.
These being the only efforts hitherto made. to clothe in a British dress the first, perhaps, of Roman Poets, a translation, which to elegance and energy of diction, should add the charms of versification, and a fidelity as well with regard to the manner, as matter of the poet, has become a desideratum in english literature, and I feel peculiar pleasure in being able to inform the literary world that a version, which appears to me, as far as I am able to estimate its merits, fully capable of supplying the deficiency, is in preparation for the public. Mr. Good, of London,* has, for some years, devoted his leisure hours to this elaborate undertaking, and, if friendship hath not biassed my judgment, with the happiest success. my readers, however, may be enabled to form an opinion for themselves, I shall place before
* Caroline Place, Guildford Street.
them some extracts from the different books, accompanied by the original, and as these have not been selected from any preference discoverable in their translation, they may be considered as a fair specimen of the whole.
The Sacrifice of Iphigenia is a picture of high rank in the gallery of the poet, and demands our notice. Lucretius, after celebrating the genius of Epicurus whose doctrine first put to flight the terrors of superstition, thus proceeds:
Illud in his rebus vereor, ne forte rearis
Deducta 'st, non ut, solenni more sacrorum
Lib. i. l. 81.
Nor deem the truths Philosophy reveals
And sought in vain protection. She survey'd
Forc'd from her suppliant posture, straight she saw
The lines in Italics, both in the original and translation, are equally pathetic and strong.
Some of the most pleasing passages in Lucretius are those in which he commemorates his poetical and philosophical predecessors; the two ensuing extracts have immortalized Ennius and Empedocles: they are written with all the enthusiasm of admiration, and glow with warmth and beauty. I cannot forbear too, expressing a high sense of the merits of the version which is given con amore, with a felicity, indeed, that leaves little to wish for.
Ignoratur enim quæ sit natura animaï,