ページの画像
PDF
ePub

the van

huis toe en betres subactisbridge

Ode from Gallus, by Cotton.-Martial, b. 8, ep. 77, by B. Jon. son.--Tarquin and Lucretia from Ovid, by Creech, &c. with some French translations from the Classics, by Du Perron, &c.

The second department is called (what else indeed should the first be called ?) Miscellaneous Translations. Mr. W. begins with some copies of verses, which are nameless: except that he laconically places at the head of each, “ From the Greek;" and that, in his Advertisement, there is a general reference to the Anthologia. We have also, an ode translated from Lope de Vega, into English; another from Petrarch, into Latin verse; another from Luis de Leon, into Greek sapphics; another with this vague title again, “ From the French," into English; another from the Italian, into English ; and another from the French, into Greek again.

We can, however, derive little knowledge from this Babylonish transmutation of tongues, except that Mr. W. understands something of Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, French, and English. Our readers may perhaps accept his youth as some apology for the vanity which this spruce little polyglot publication betrays; as his ample share both of industry and classical learning may be admitted on better ground. By a Greek Sapphic Ode, entitled, Melite Britannis subacta, which is here reprinted, he gained the annual prize at Cambridge, in 1801. The 'success of this ode in such a contest speaks its praise.

We extract, for the sake of our learned readers, the following just tribute to the memory of a very valuable literåry character, date of Trinity College, Cambridge, who died on his travels in Greece. Mr. Wrangham paid him a very tender poetical remembrance, in his prize poem intitled Palestine. We consider Mr. Walpole's Elegiacs as no contemptible specimen of modern Greek composition; though possessing no great elevation of thought or sentiment..

INSCRIBENDUM TUMULO,
| JOHANNIS TWEDDELL,

IN TEMPLO THESEI

APUD ATHENAS SEPULTI.
ΕΥΔΕΙΣ εν φθιμένοισι μάτην Σοφίης αρέδρέψας

"Avbsa, xai oi veny Moộo'lqinýta mátny.
'Αλλά μόνον το γε σώμα το γήινον αμφικαλύπτει

Τύμβος οδε ψυχήν ουρανός αιπώς έχει.
Ημιν δ' ου σε φίλοι φίλον ως, κατά δάκρυ χέοντες

Μνάμα φιλοφροσύνας χλωρόν, οδυρόμεθα,
Ηδύ γ’ όμως και τερπνόν έχεις τούτ' έστιν, 'Αθηνων

Ως σι Βρεταννος έων κείσεαι εν σπoδιή. p. 144

The following is a free“ translation” of it:

To be inscribed on the Tomb of John Tweddell, who lies buried at Athens. in the Temple of Theseus.

Thou sleepest among the dead. In vain, therefore, didst thou cull the flowers of wisdom ; and thou wast beloved by the Muse in vain. This tomb, however, only holds thine earthly part; thy soul has taken her flight to the skies. We thy friends cannot help lamenting thy loss, since thou wert so dear to us, us we water with our tears the fresh remembrance of thy friendship ; Yet it affords some melancholy consolation, that thou, being a Briton, . sleepest in the classic dust of Athens.

We have still to mention an “ Appendix,” containing a scrap of Greek, from Menander; another of Spanish, from a translation of Tasso's Aminta; Mr. Southey's English translation of the Ode by Luis de Leon, which we have already noticed, as translated into Greek by Mr. W.

We are not disposed to detract from Mr. W.'s merit as a versifier, or as a scholar; but we can neither discern the utility, admit the propriety, nor vindicate the morality, of this heterogeneous collection. Nothing is truly valuable merely because it is scarce. To rescue from obscurity original English poems of past centuries, might be commendable : but to reprint obsolete English translations from classic authors, seems to us the most useless of all literary occupations. Neither are the subjects of these versions, or of those which Mr. W. has added from his own pen, such as can properly recommend them to general attention. On the contrary, we should have wished most of them to have been expunged from school editions of the original authors, rather than to have been brought into common notice by translation into our own language. Instead of such selections as these, or any others from ancient or modern classic writers, we should be glad to see collections of their works, purged from those impurities which render the perusal of them either disgusting or seductive,

Art XI. Comicorum Graecorum Fragmenta quædam. Curavit, et notas addidit Robertus Walpole, A. B. Trin. College, Cant. Veneunt apnd

J. Mawman, Londini. pp. 116. 8vo. Prịce 5s. 6d. 1805. W e know that the famous Dr. Bentley intended to collect all

the fragments of the Greek poets, and to publish them with notes and emendations: and as we know too how well he was qualified for the task, the lovers of classical antiquity will lament the cause, whatever it was, that prevented him from executing his intention. He, however, as well as the great Grotius, Morell, and Hartley, did inuch in this way, though unquestion

ably,

ably, they have left much more for others to do, and whoever accomplishes the task will confer great obligations on the literary world.

The editor of this collection seems enamoured of any thing scarce, or what, perhaps, has only the reputation of being so. His “ Scarce Translations” are very properly, therefore, succeeded by these still more scarce originals. But we see many reasons for giving a better welcome to this compilation than we thought it our duty to give to the other. What, likewise, we confess, has some weight with us on this occasion, is, to learn that Professor Porson, a member of the same society, was consulted before the publication.

The classical reader is here regaled with a slight taste of the wine of antiquity; drawn, alas! from the broken and almost exhausted cisterns of Cratinus, Eupolis, Plato, Pherecrates, Antiphanes, Anaxandrides, Aristophon, Epicrates, Eubulus, Phenicidas, Timocles, Menander, ET ID GENUS OMNE. Athenæus, of course, has been a valued repository for preserving so many names, (in spite of the loss of their works, almost in toto) from the abyss of oblivion. It may be true, that an epigram without wit, or a chorus without meaning, may be idolized, by a profound philologist, almost as much as the works of Homer or Virgil. Nevertheless, we do not mean to depreciate Mr. W's present labours. The collection may be useful in some hands, and will certainly be thought curious by all capable judges.

Between the original “ Fragments," at the beginning, and the notes at the end, of this volume, are inserted translations from most of the former, partly in Latin, taken from the “ Excerpta" of Grotius, and partly in English, from some valuable papers in Mr. Cumberland's “ Observer.” But we were surprised and disappointed, to find, that the regular series of translations, in the order of the Fragments was not complete ; contrary to the author's intimation in his Latin introduction. There are several pieces to be found in the Latin of Grotius, (for what reason inserted here, we know not) which Mr. W. has not included in his collection from the originals : and there are some things in that collection which have no translations either in English or Latin. .

We select the following fragments of Menander and Philemon, with the nervous iinitations of them by Mr.Cumberland, for their sentimental excellence.

ΜΕΝΑΝΔΡΟΥ.

Sos

[ocr errors]

και δε μη σεαυτού, της Τύχης δε πάντ' έχεις,
Ti år Odovoins, ú Táteg, TOÚTWY Tové;
αυτή γάρ άλλων τυχόν αναξίω τις
παρελομένη σου πάντα προσθήσει πάλιν.
διόπερ εγώ σε φημι δείν όσον χρόνον
ει' κύριος χρήσθαι σε γενναίως, πάτες,
αυτόν επικουρείν πάσιν, ευπόρους ποιείν,
ως άν δύνη πλείστους, δια σαυτού τούτο γας,
αθάνατόν έστι, κάν ποτε πταίσας τύχης,

ixiley Kara Tàurò Toũro To TA.v. p. 33.
Weak is the vanity that boasts of riches,
For they are fleeting things : were they not such,
Could they be yours to all succeeding time,
'Twere wise to let none share in the possession ;' .
But if whate'er you have is held of fortune,
And not of right inherent, why, my father,
Why with such niggard jealousy engross
What the next hour may ravish from your grasp,.
And cast into some worthless favourite's lap ? - .
Snatch then the swift occasion while 'tis yours,
Put this unstable boon to noble uses ;
Foster the wants of men, impart your wealth,
And purchase friends : 'twill be more lasting treasure,

And, when misfortune comes, your best resource. P. 74. The notes are neither very copious, nor very profound: and they are chiefly derived from former commentators, Reiske, Taylor, Bentley, &c. There are others marked P. which are assigned to Prof. Porson. We suppose these latter to have been chiefly hinted at in the communication which Mr. W. handsomely acknowledges to have had with that far-famed Greek luminary.

In the editor's monitum respecting errata, which, as the finishing touch to his performance, we might at least expect to be altogether mendis purgata, we are somewhat surprised to have occasion to correct his corrections. Trifling as the mistaké certainly is, he prints xquirútecor instead of xwpiráregor. Nor has he here, by any means, pointed out all the misprints of the Greek, especially. He pleads his being absent from the press.

To dismiss Mr. W. from our tribunal, we highly approve of the design of his present performance, with few exceptions : but we do not approve of the growing evil of unnecessarily multiplying books, and giving us authors by piecemeal. We wish the editor, whose qualifications for the task are promising, with the friendly aid of the Professor, would seriously meditate a complete collection of these Greek Comic Fragments.

Art. XII. The History of Egypt, from the earliest Accounts of that

Country, till the Expulsion of the French from Alexandria, in the year 1801. By James Wilson, D. D. Minister of Falkirk. 8vo. 3 vols. pp. about 1400. Price 11. 45. Constable, Edinburgh ; Longman

and Co. London. of the numerous and singular events to which the French re

volution gave birth, the invasion of Egypt was not the least remarkable. Though it is probable that the scheme may have lain among the secrets of state, in the cabinet of the Bourbons, yet none but such an æra of desperate adventures was likely to witness the execution of it. By the expedition of Buonaparte, all the ancient misfortune of this singular country was revived; the mental distance at which it seemed to have been placed, vanished, and Europe pressed to see its battles fought in “ the land of Ham," and to witness new “ wonders in the fields of Zoan." Thus all the active energies of generosity were called into vigorous exercise, to procure the knowledge of every particular relative to a spot, rendered interesting by its natural singularities, by the most ancient records of history, sacred and profane, by its long predicted servitude to strangers, and by the consequence to which it has at length arrived, as the Thermopylæ of the East, where genius and valour arrested the progress of invasion, which would have cut the sinews of our wealth, and thus would have annihilated the importance of Britain and the liberties of the world.

To gratify this reasonable curiosity, Dr. W. steps forth, attended with the advantages of a propitious subject, but accompanied by the peril of remaining without excuse, should he fail to secure the public interest and applause. He has, indeed, làboured commendably to draw from the best sources; and if we cannot award to him the praise of throwing new light on the subject, yet he has collected his materials with diligence and care, and has disposed them with some taste and judgment. We chiefly remonstrate against being led so frequently and so far from the object of research, to follow the fortunes of the Seleucidæ, the progress of the crusades, and the protean forins of the French revolution. . To have been detained longer in the land of Egypt would have been to us no hard bondage.

Instead of an enquiry into the origin of the names, both of Egypt and of its far-famed river, together with some industrious researches concerning the source of the Nile, which the extent and promise of the work gave us a right to expect; we have only a slight intimation of the confidence which Dr. W. places in the veracity of his.countryman, Bruce,

Egypt reaches from about the 31. 22' to the 23. 45' of north latitude, and Grand Cairo, its present capital, is in 31° 16' of longitude east from Greenwich. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean sea; on the east by the isthinus of Suez and the Arabian Gulf; on the south by

« 前へ次へ »