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Were dear, and who alike watch'd over both,
Achilles has now lost all desire- festly thinking not of her Person, all power to speak--and he late so which was there, but of Wisdom, of insultingly, and scornfully, and sa- which she was Goddess-and this vagely, and fiercely, and ferociously open expression of Homer's hideloquent, is dumb. “Ses Quéto. Ilndelari den meaning, is as bad as can be, and do á xos yévet'. Homer then in four brings out marringly the lesson which lines says, that the heart of Achilles the great moral bard doubted not all deliberated - to kill Atrides, or to
the world would read for itself.subdue his own rage. The words he Otherwise the translation has the uses are strong as strong may be, merit of much vigour. and direct as his alternate purposes
Dryden's version is, of course, also of slaughter or silence. Let them be vigorous; but it is not literal, but 80, therefore, in all translation. Old licentious; and he wilfully violates Chapman deserves to have his grave throughout both the style and the disturbed for having said “ his heart spirit of Homer. The hero sourly bristled his bosom,” which either smiled,” is in itself good, but not in means nothing, or that the hair there. the original; and one hates to see on bristled, which is mean and mi- heightenings of the expression of any serable falsehood of the chest of the strong passion beyond the aim of the youth who excelled all living in he- mind that depicted it. roic beauty. “ Stood vext,” is per
" And, justled by two tides of equal sway, haps good—to them who remember
Stood for a while suspended in his way,' Shakspeare's“ still vexed Bermuthes." “ This discursive part,” is coldly conceived and inaccurately no doubt, gives the right meaning, expressed, as are the two, indeed but is too formal and philosophical the six lines, which follow-a sorry for the occasion. What follows on sort of declamation, in which the to the Apparition of Pallas, is forceful plainest statement is perverted and and rather grim-which is good falsified, and fire made mere smoke. but there is a dignity in the original The rest is sweeping and sonorous; -in the verbs, especially--which has but thirteen lines of Greek into forsaken Chapman's eyesight. Mi- twenty-one of English, is a dliution nerva, sent by Juno, the protectress that must be severely condemned. of both heroes alike, comes from Pope's translation is very fine. It heaven, and takes Achilles by his flows freely, and has few faults, exyellow hair, who, astounded, turns cept that it is somewhat too figurahis head, and by her stern eyes re- tive. cognises the Goddess. Now when Chapman says that Athenia “ shined “ Now fired by wrath, and now by reaabout his temples," he is mani- son cool'd,"
is an antithesis not to be found even at this time of day, few feel, though there is something like-it- and fewer know, what is the power in Homer.
of blank verse—and of blank verse “ This whispers soft, his vengeance to
Cowper was a great master. control,
Pallas has vanished away into the And calm the rising tempest of his soul,” mansion of Ægis-armed Jove, and sounds like commonplace to our ears
Achilles is left again to struggle with now—though it is likewise common
his own great heart. The awe of sense. “ A soft whisper" did not that sudden celestial visit yet lies suit the ear of Achilles--at least, not upon him, and his sword is chained from cool reason, though assuredly in the scabbard. But though he will from warm Briseis—and
obey the mandate, he feels free in his
obedience still to fling scorn and wrath " A sable cloud conceal'd her from the
into the face of the King. Enough rest,"
that he slays him not where he stands, is not in Homer; for Homer never
but yet allows him life. · Juno herspoke nonsense; and nonsense it self," nor Jove either, shall wrong would have been to have said that a
him out of another--and a lasting sable cloud was present on this oc
revenge. Nay, Minerva's self-the casion.
Goddess of Wisdom—had given him Sotheby's translation, we may the privilege to shoot through Agasafely say, is admirable. It has but memnon's heart the arrows of disdain one line more than the original- swift as those of death—and foreand loses little either of the style told that the day is doomed, when or sense of Homer.
his great loss will be far greatlier re“ Swelled his high heart, and thrilled in paid. every vein,"
Such, we may believe, was his
mood; and Homer says, ere the is a line, the construction of which wrath of Achilles again bursts forth, Pope was too fond of, and its latter half is weak and futile ; and the last sinasiòns d' itxūros átagançois trucsu line of all,
'Ατρειδην προσέειπε, και ούπω λήγε χόλοίο: “ As from her eyes the living lightning
This is introduction enough-and in flew,"
the usual style of Homer. But it
does not satisfy Dryden ; and he is a sorry substitute in its meretricious glitter, for
chooses to tell us how Achilles look
ed and felt, contrary to the positive δεινώ δε οι 'όσσι φάανθεν·
assertion of Homer. But with these blemishes-which
“ At her departure, his disdain return'd; to some people may not The fire she fanned with greater fury blemishes at all, but beauties, the
burn'd; translation is such as probably to Rumbling within, till thus it found a surpass the power of any other of
vent"our living Poets. Even more admirable is the trans- fanned the fire-that would have
Homer does not say that Minerva lation by Cowper. It is almost as indeed been a work of supererogation, literal as translation can be; and we
and a Milesian fulfilment of the mando not scruple to say that it is fault- date of Juno. “Rumbling within,” is less. “ Stood drawing forth his falchion huge ; ling his breast.”
in the vein of old Chapman's “ bristwhen lo! Down sent by Juno, to whom both alike
Pope saw the simple words, and Were dear, and who alike watched over
felt their power-and therefore says, both,
sufficiently wellPallas descended".
“ Nor yet the rage his boiling heart foris perfectly Homeric.
sook, we to indulge ourselves in criticism, Which thus redoubling on Atrides broke," we should find ourselvesre-transcri. bing the whole passage. Cowper is
Cowper writes, bald-Cowper is dull-Cowper is ! But though from violence, yet not from tamo! So drivel the dunces-but
Abstain'd Achilles', but with bitter taunts sage, or in any other in the Iliad of Opprobrious, bis antagonist reproach’d;" Odyssey ? All the translators-exwhich is stiff and formal--as if writ- cept Pope perhaps—have failed; so ten by a Quaker.
difficult must it be to do apparently Sotheby says,
a very easy thing. But Achilles
speaks—and we cry “ hear! hear! “ But Peleus' son again, with gather'd ire, hear !” though he is sadly out of Hurl'd on the monarch words of living order--and others may cry
“ chair! fire.”
chair! chair !” The son of Thetis He did so.
His words were of excelled in a reply. Had Lord "Jiving fire.” Just as from Minerva's Brougham “ the accomplishment of eyes living lightning” few. But verse, we think he would give the why should Mr Sotheby say what closing speech of Achilles with chaHomer did not-either in this pas racteristic power.
" () monster! mix'd of insolence and fear,
By this I swear, when bleeding Greece again
SOTHEBY. “ Swoln drunkard ! dog in eye, but hind in heart, Who ne'er in war sustain'st a warrior's part, Nor join'st our ambush ; for alike thy fear In war and ambush views destruction near. More safe, 'mid Græcia's ranks th' inglorious toil, To grasp some murmurer's unprotected spoil. Plunderer of slaves-slaves void of soul as senseOr Greece had witness'd now thy last offence. Yet-by this sceptre, which, untimely reft From its bare trunk upon the mountain left, Bark'd by the steel, and of its foliage shorn, Nor bark nor foliage shall again adorn, But borne by powerful chiefs of high command, Guardians of law, and judges of the land : Be witness thou, by this tremendous test I ratify my word, and steel my breast, The day shall come, when Greece, in dread alarm, Shall lean for succour on Pelides' arm: Then, while beneath fierce Hector's murderous blade Thy warriors bleed, and claim in vain thy aid, Rage shall consume thy heart, that madd’ning pride, Dishonouring me, thy bravest chief defied."
Dryden has made some bits– It is not in such pompous terms that but also many misses-Achilles at hero speaks of hero-especially when once gives vent to a matchless burst soul-inflamed; nor is it thus that of the concentrated essence of scorn. Homer makes Achilles speak of Hec
tor. No purple shores--no mounOlvo@agis, xuvos Öppar" ixwv, xqadin tains of the dead-simply δ' ελάφοιο:
εύτ' αν πολλοί υφ' “Εκτοξος ανδροDrunkard, Dog-eye, Deer-heart!
Cowper, as usual, keeps close to “ Arms are the trade of each Plebeian
Homer. And, after all, of a Great soul"
Poet the most literal version must is a pure interpolation and most be the best
. Better to lose some unlike the direct charge against the thing -- than to get much that king by Achilles. Nothing can be has no business there-which may
be not only idle, but false to the
truth-mingling styles and spirits “ To peel the chiefs, the people to devour," that “ own antipathy”-that will
with difficulty be brought to coalesce, isin itself good, and we suppose it im- and that cannot be amalgamated. possible to translate adequately the "O, charged with wine” is not words « Δημοβόρος βασιλεύς. A fine Olvoagès, for it restricts his accusation flow of versification perhaps redeems to that hour-but Achilles calls Agathis version-but at its close we feel memnon a drunkard—a wine-swiller how feeble, even in Dryden, is the -or beer-barrel. Had Achilles beproud prophecy of Achilles, who in
lieved him drunk then, we scarcely Homer concludes with calling him- think he would have honoured him self what all the world knew he was, by such prolonged and repeated Adögisor 'Ayatūv, an avowal of the con- dresses to the Throne. With that sciousness of his own worth most exception, his abuse of Agamemnon suitable and sublime.
is well rendered--and it is Homeric. Pope almost entirely succeeds It is dangerous to Cowper to read where Dryden utterly fails. In the his translation immediately after first burst, he ought not, however, to Dryden's and Pope's. There is a have let escape him OivoBugis, which richness in their diction, and a prois ill supplied by the whole line, fusion of harmonious sounds overthough it be a strong one,
flowing the page, which, along with “ O monster! mixed of insolence and
the rhymes, fills the ear with a music fear."
that wafts on the mind, and makes
reading something like flying-apleaThat strong line, indeed, does not sure accompanied with a sense, as it contain within it Olvofæpès--but the were,of
our own easy-working power, dog and deer. The line naming these Meanwhile, we too often feel and animals is perfect.
think vaguely and obscurely-or Achilles becomes rather too much perhaps not at all—and, as for seeof the rhetorician in Pope's hands; ing, we can scarcely be said somebut he declaims with great energy, times to see any thing; for we eiand we shall not play the captious ther trust to our ears, on which occritic on his oration. We must ob- casions people shut their eyes, or ject, however, to two lines, which, we behold men and things floating doubtless, Pope thought a mighty away by us, like clouds on the air, improvement on Homer,
or bubbles on a stream. But Cowper “When flush'd with slaughter, Hector
strives to set before us Homer's comes to spread
Iliad in its simplicity—and it is often The purpled shore with mountains of the most simple when it is most sublime, dead."
--and under no delusion, or igno