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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

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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
Impia te rationis inire elementa, viamque
Endogredi sceleris: Quod contra, sæpius olim
Religio peperit scelerosa atque impia facta,
Aulide quo pacto Triviaï virginis aram
Iphianassaï turparunt sanguine fæde
Ductores Danaûm, delecti, prima virorum.
Cui simul infula virgineos circumdata comptus
Ex utraque pari malarum parte profusa 'st,
Et mæstum simul ante aras adstare parentem
Sensit, et hunc propter ferrum celare ministros;
Aspectuque suo lacrymas effundere civeis;
Muta metu terram genibus summissa petebat;
Nec miseræ prodesse in tali tempore quibat,
Quod patrio princeps donârat nomine regem.
Nam sublata virûm manibus tremabundaque ad aras


Deducta 'st, non ut, solenni more sacrorum
Perfecto, posset claro comitari Hymenæo:
Sed casta inceste nubendi tempore in ipso
Hostia concideret mactatu mæsta parentis,
Exitus ut classi felix, faustusque daretur
Tantum Religio potuit suadere malorum.

Lib. i. l. 81.

Nor deem the truths Philosophy reveals
Corrupt the mind, or prompt to impious deeds.
No: Superstition may, and nought so soon,
But Wisdom never. Superstition 'twas
Urg'd the fell Grecian chiefs with virgin blood
To stain the virgin altar:—barb'rous deed,
And fatal to their laurels! Aulis saw,
For there Diana reigns, th' unholy rite.
Around she look'd, the pride of Grecian maids,
The lovely Iphigenia,—round she look'd,
The sacred fillet o'er her tresses tied,

And sought in vain protection. She survey'd
Near her her weeping sire, a band of priests
Repentant half, and hiding the keen steel;
And crowds of citizens and damsels pale
Fixt in each tragic attitude of woe.
Dumb with alarm, with supplicating knee,
And lifted eye, she sought compassion still,
Fruitless and unavailing!—Vain her youth,
Her innocence and beauty: vain the boast
Of regal birth; and vain that first herself
Lisp'd the dear name of father, eldest born.

Forc'd from her suppliant posture, straight she saw
The altar full prepar'd: not there to blend
Connubial vows, and light the bridal torch;
But at the moment, when mature in charms,
While Hymen call'd aloud, to fall, e'en then,
A father's victim, and the price to pay
Of Grecian navies' favour'd thus with gales.—
Such are the crimes that Superstition prompts!

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,
Nata sit, an, contra, nascentibus insinuetur,
Et simul intereat nobiscum morte dirempta,
An tenebras Orci visat, vastasque lacunas,
An pecudes alias divinitus insinuet se,

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