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might be expected from an academi. are ones where it seems extremely cal exercise. The following is not probable, &c." In one or two in. a well constructed sentence: “ The stances Mr. Cunningham is guilty method which he pursued then was of grammatical error, as, e.g., where based, not on a theory as to how he says
“the truth or falsehood of discoveries might be made, but the others depend, &c.” Faults of from consideration of the way in this sort, which might be overlooked which they had been made.” Else- in a popular work, are out of place where we find this inelegancy: in a degree thesis. “The passages pointed out below
The Odes of Horace literally translated in Metro. By Arthur Way, M.A. Henry S. King & Co.-In an ably written introduction Mr. Way addresses those who, like himself, are engaged in classical tuition, and dilates upon the difficulty of making boys appreciate the excellence of Horace's poetry, or even believe that he is a poet at all. He thinks this arises in a great measure from the practice of requiring them to translate his verse into prose, which is at the best a poor copy of the original, and is often so bald and uncouth as to be hardly intelligible. Hence he suggests that they should be encouraged and assisted to translate in poetical language, and with a rhythmical movement corresponding in some degree to that of the original, though without any attempt to reproduce the same metres. As a specimen of what may be done in this way he has published the present translation of the Odes, which, it will be seen, differs from most others in being intended to serve a strictly practical purpose.
We are inclined to think the causes of the difficulty which Mr. Way regrets, lie deeper than he seems to suppose. At the age when boys are set to read and learn Horace they cannot have sufficient maturity of mind and acquaintance with general literature to perceive the exquisite felicity of phrase and finish of composition for which Horace is preeminent. It is scarcely reasonable to expect that they can duly appreciate the poet's good sense or beauty of expression, until a later period of their studies. They must first see more of life, and acquire some familiarity with the best poets in their own and other languages.
Meanwhile they must obtain a thorough mastery of the language in which Horace wrote, the forms and meaning of words and phrases, the laws of syntax, and the structure of his various metres, which necessarily involves toilsome work calculated to render him anything but a favourite with them. They must go through the process of translating word for word-mentally, if not aloud or in writing—with literal accuracy, even though it be impossible to do this in pure flowing English. This is universally admitted. The only question is whether they should be expected, not merely to get a correct idea of Horace's meaning, but also to give an adequate representation of it in their own language. It is allowed on all hands that the charm of poetry consists very
much in the form of expression, which cannot be altered at all without loss of effect. This applies with especial force to Horace's Odes, which would never have been preserved so long and admired so highly for the thought alone. Granting that an accurate grammatical knowledge of Horace is not all
that may be desired, is it not all that can reasonably be expected of boys ?
Considering how many older and wiser heads than theirs have failed in the attempt to produce satisfactory renderings of Horace in English verse, we think their time might be more profitably employed otherwise than in such work. Let them, by all means, as Mr. Way suggests, be taught to avoid prosaic expressions, and translate as poetically as is consistent with strict accuracy, but we see no virtue in the little artifices of style which Mr. Way seems to value so highly and practises so freely. “Such, for instance, are those slight inversions of order by which the verb or objective case commences the sentence, or the adjective follows the noun, or verbal forms in eth are employed." They are allowable enough to meet the exigencies of verse, but not otherwise desirable.
The following is Mr. Way's version of Æquam memento :
“Remember thou to keep in time of hardship
From overweening exultation
In wealth, O Dellius, who must die
Hast, there reclining, cheered thyself
With inner brand of wine Falernian.
Why doth the fleeting water struggle
To flutter down its winding channel ?
While fortune yet permits, and life,
And black threads of the Sisters Three.
Thou shalt forsake, and of thy riches
High-piled thy heir shall take possession.
Or poor, and of the meanest house,
Thou victim of unpitying Orcus.
Or later to leap forth and place us
Mr. Way would hardly maintain that as an English poetical composition this has any great beauty. Whatever excellence it has must consist in its being a faithful rendering of the original, which he professes to have " literally translated.” That it is so for the most part, we are quite willing to admit, but we maintain that he has completely altered, and not at all improved, Horace's meaning in the first stanza. What Horace says is simply this : Keep your mind undisturbed in adversity, and also for not less) under restraint in prosperity. To translate non secus temperatam by " which else cannot be chastened," introduces a foreign idea and quite spoils the sense. Again, the third stanza is utterly at variance with the ordinary reading of the original, which is a relative clause beginning with “where,” not an interrogative one. Nothing can well be more absurd than to ask why the pine and poplar love to link a hospitable shade, and why the water struggles to go down its winding channel. Surely Mr. Way does not require to be told that amare often means, not to love, but to be wont, like the corresponding word in Greek. He does his scholarship no credit by elsewhere favouring the derivation of dirus from de iri, and translating it by “vengeful."
Mr. Way is more successful in his rendering of Solvitur diris hiems, which runs thus,
“Keen winter is melting away with the welcome change of spring and the west
wind, And the rollers are drawing the dry keels seaward ; Nor now does the flock find joy in the byre, nor yet the hind by the ingle,
And with hoary rime are the meadows whitened ;
And twined with the Nymphs the lovely Graces,
Sets the Cyclops' massy forges a-blazing;
Or the flower that the soil unfettered produces ;
With a lamb, if he asks, or a kid, if he chooseth.
And castles of princes. O favoured Sestius
Soon night and the bugbear ghosts will be on thee,
sped thee, No sceptre of wine with the dice shalt thou win thee, Nor Lycid the dainty wilt thou be adoring, for whom the youths are aflame
All, and soon will the maidens be kindling."
Even here, though Mr. Way gives the sense of the original with close fidelity, he fails to reproduce its finished beauty. What he says of ordinary translation is not inapplicable to his own: “Horace's sportive fancy and winsome charm, and melody that rang clear as a silver bell, are all spoilt, and we are on disenchanted ground." It is hard to believe that, by reading or writing such versions as this, boys, who have hit erto looked upon Horace as a bore, will suddenly wake up to discern beauties in him hitherto undiscovered, and make him the constant companion of their thoughts.
In the course of his Introduction Mr. Way throws out the following suggestion as to the translation of Homer :
“I am not sure that, after all the various attempts at reproducing in English verse the spirit of this stately poet, we might not find that the nearest approach to success is to be found in this direction-a literal version in flowing, rapid metres, changing, if need be, sometimes, as the tone of the poet changes ; now with the breathless flight of dactyls or fast-gliding undulations of anapests, now with the concentrated energy of long trochaic lines, and anon with the calmer stateliness of iambics. Very likely the labour of such an undertaking would not fall short of that involved in executing some, perhaps any, of the numerous poetical versions already in existence. The work would need a masterhand, a man with wealth of diction and fertility in word-handling scarce inferior to any poet; but I cannot think our noble English tongue, the language of Shakspeare, and Milton, and Tennyson, so poor in descriptive power, so meagra in picturesque vocabulary, as to be unable to represent, as closely as one need wish, the thoughts of those far-renowned bards of ancient song.'
We fail to see the necessity or advantage of the change of metre which Mr. Way proposes. He is right enough in thinking that to be a successful translator one must have, in addition to the requisite scholarship, something of the true poet's imaginative powers, command of language, and ear for melody. Provided these qualifications are discernible in a translation, the metre adopted is a point of comparatively little consequence; and if they are wanting, the most cunningly devised variety of measure will be of no avail, Mr. Way's specimen translations of two or three passages certainly have the merit of being literal, nor are they without other recommendations ; but they do not appear to gain anything by the varieties of metre, unless it be that greater accuracy is thus secured.
The Regent. A Play, in Five Acts and Epilogue. By J. M. CHANSON. S. Tinsley, London, 1876.-Murray, the half-brother of Mary Queen of Scots, is the Regent of whom this play treats. The time comprised within the livo acts extends from between the murders of Rizzio and Darnley to Mary's confinement in Lochleven. The epilogue, consisting of three short scenes, represents the arrest of Lethington and the death of Murray. Thus, unlike most epilogues, it is an essential part of the play, forming, in fact, a sixth short act. This is an innovation rather than improvement upon the usual practice. The author seems to have felt it necessary to include the hero's death within the limits of the play, and yet not to have had material enough for an act. At any rate, an epilogue of such length and such a nature is a fault in construction.
Though the time embraced within the limits of the play is short, it includes some stirring events, such as Darnley's murder, Mary's marriage with Bothwell, the armed conference at Carberry, and Mary's surrender, abdication, and confinement in Lochleven. In these events the foremost men of the age are more or less concerned. To combine these materials in such a way as to produce an effective picture of the past is the task which Mr. Chanson has undertaken and performed with a fair degree of success on the whole.
Generally speaking, he follows the history of the time very closely. We have noticed one or two deviations in points of detail. Thus he represents Darnley as stabbed by assassins in the house, but he is generally supposed to have been overtaken in a garden to which
he had escaped, and there strangled with his page. Again, Mr. Chanson makes Bothwell escape, at Mary's suggestion, on the flight of his followers from a charge of the enemy. The fact was, however, that Mary, at the conference with Kirkcaldy of Grange, in which she surrendered herself, stipulated that Bothwell should be allowed to go to Dunbar. Once more, Murray is here represented as requiring Mary, on pain of death, to sign a declaration that she had of her own free will executed the deed of her abdication, which is hardly consistent with the fact that such a declaration formed part of that deed. Murray's interview with Mary on this subject at Lochleven, appears thus in these pages
This thy sheet anchor gone-But-hold, hold, heart!
Ay, wherefore should you frown?
MORAY. I muse me, Madam, of your hardihood;
MORAY. Ay, foul. O wretched thing-thy husband's blood!