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They have something venerable, and as I may say oracular, in that unadorned gravity and shortness with which they are delivered: a grace which would be utterly lost by endeavouring to give them what we call a more ingenious (that is, a more modern) turn in the paraphrase.

Perhaps the mixture of some Græcisms and old words after the manner of Milton, if done without too much affectation, might not have an ill effect in a version of this particular work, which most of any other seems to require a venerable antique cast. But certainly the use of modern terms of war and government, such as platoon, campaign, junto, or the like (into which some of his translators have fallen) cannot be allowable; those only excepted, without which it is impossible to treat the subjects in any living language.

There are two peculiarities in Homer's diction which are a sort of marks, or mules, by which every common eye distinguishes him at first sight: those who are not his greatest admirers look upon them as defects, and those who are seem pleased with them as beauties. I speak of his compound epithets, and of his repetitions. Many of the former cannot be done literally into English without destroying the purity of our language. I believe such should be retained as slide easily of themselves into an English compound, without violence to the ear or to the received rules of composition; as well as those which have received a sanction from the authority of our best poets, and are become familiar through their use of them ; such as the cloud-compelling Jove, &c. As for the rest, whenever any can be as fully and significantly exprest in a single word as in a compound one, the course to be taken is obvious.

Some, that cannot be so turned as to preserve their full image by one or two words, may have justice done them by circumlocutiou ; as the epithet sivoriquados to a mountain, would appear little or ridiculous translated literally “ leaf-shaking,” but affords a majestic idea in the periphrasis: The lofty mountain shakes his waving woods.” Others that admit of differing significations, may receive an advantage by a judicious variation according to the occasions on which they are introduced. For example, the epithet of Apollo, ixnßonos, or “far-shooting” is capable of two explications; one literal, in respect to the darts med bow, the ensigns of that god; the other allegorical, with regard to the rays of the Sun: therefore, in such places where Apollo is represented as a god in person, I would use the former interpretation ; and where the effects of the Sun are described, I would make choice of the latter. Upon the whole, it will be necessary to avoid that perpetual repetition of the same epithets which we find in Homer; and which, though it might be accommodated (as has been already shown) to the car of those times, is by no means so to ours : but one may wait for opportunities of placing them, where they derive an additional beauty from the occasions on which they are employed ; and in doing this properly, a translator may at once show bis fancy and his judgment.

As for Homer's repetitions, we may divide them into three sorts; of whole narrations and speeches, of single sentences, and of one verse or hemistich. I hope it is not impossible to have such a regard to these, as neither to lose so known a mark of the author on the one hand, nor to offend the reader too much on the other. The repetition is not ungraceful in those speeches where the dignity of the speaker renders it a sort of insolence to alter his words; as in the messages from gods to men, or from higher powers to inferiors in concerns of state, or where the ceremonial of religion seems to require it, in the solemn forms of prayers, oaths, or the like. In other cases, I believe, the best rule is, to be guided by the nearness, or distance, at which the repetitions are placed in the original: when they follow too close, one may vary the expression ; but it is a question whether a professed translator be authorised to ornit any : if they be tedious, the author is to answer for it.

It only reinains to speak of the versification. Iloiner (as has been said) is perpetually applying the sound to the sense, and varying it on every new subject. This is indeed one of the inost exquisite beauties of poetry, and attainable by very few : I know only of Homer eminent for it in the Greek, and Virgil in Latin. I am sensible it is what may sometimes happen by chance, when a writer is warm and fully possest of his image : however it may be reasonably believed they designed this, in whose verse it so manifestly appears in a superior degree to all others. Few readers have the ear to be judges of it; but those who have, will see Ipare endeavoured at this beauty.

lipon the whole, I must confess myself utterly incapable of doing justice to Homer. I attempt him in no other hope but that which one may entertain without much vanity, of giving a more tolerable copy of him, than any entire translation in verse has yet done. We have only those of Chapman, Hobbes, and Ogilby. Chapman has taken the advantage of an inmeasurable length of perse, notwithstanding which, there is searce any paraphrase more loose and rainbling than his. He has frequent interpolations of four or six lines, and I remember one in the thirteenth book of the Odysses, ver. 312, where he has spın twenty verses out of two. He is often mistaken in so bold a manner tħat one might think he des iated on purpose, if he did not in other places of his notes insist so much upon rerbal trifles. He appears to have had a strong affectation of extracting acw branings out of his author, insomuch as to promise, in his rhyming preface, a poem of the mysteries he had revealed in Homer: and perhaps he endeavoured to strain the obvious sense to this end. His expression is involved in fastian, a fault for which he was remarkable in his original writings, as in the tragedy of Bussy d'Amboise, &c. In a word, the nature of the man may account for his whole performance : for he appears from his preface and remarks to have been of an arrogant turn, and an enthusiast in poetry. His own boast of having finished half the Iliad in less than fifteen weeks, shows with what negligence his version was performed. But that which is to be allowed him, and which very much contributed to cover his defects, is a daring fiery spirit that animates his translation, which is something like what one might imagine Homer himself would have writ before he arrived at years of discretion.

Hobues has given us a correct explanation of the sense in general; but for particulars and circumstances he continually lops them, and omits the most beautiful. As for its being estecmed a close translation, I doubt not many have been led into that errour by the shortness of it, which proceeds not from his following the original line by line, but from the contractions abovementioned. He sometimes omits whole similies and sentences, and is now and then guilty of mistakes, into which no writer of his learning could hate fallen, but through carelessness. His poetry, as well as Ogilby's, is too mean for criticisin.

It is a great loss to the poetical world that Mr. Dryden did not live to translate the Iliad. He has left is only the first book, and a small part of the sixth; in which if he has in some places not truly interpreted the sense, or preserved the antiquities, it ought to be excused on account of the laste he was oblized to write in. He seems to have had too much regard to Chapman, whose words he sometimes espies, and has unhappily followed him in passages where he wanders from the original. However, had he translated the whole work, I would no more have attempted Homer after him than Virgil, his version of whom (notwithstanding some hunian errours) is the most noble and spirited translation ! know in any language. But the fate of great geniuses is like that of great ministers: though they are confessedly the first in the common-wealth of letters, they must be envied and caluminated only for being at the fiead of it.

That which in my opinion onght to be the endeavour of any one who translates Homer, is above all things to keep alive that spirit and fire which makes his chief character: in particular places, where the sense can bear any doubt, to follow the strongest and most poetical, as most agreeing with that character; to copy bim in all the variations of his style, and the different modulations of bis numbers ; to preserve, in the more active or descriptive parts, a warmth and elevation; in the more sedate or Darrative, a plainness and solemnity; in the speeches, a fulness and perspicuity; in the sentences, a shortness and gravity: not to neglect even the little figures and turns on the words, nor sometimes the very cast of the periods ; neither to omit nor confound any rites or customs of antiquity ; perhaps too he ought to include the whole in a shorter compass, than has hitherto been done by any translator who has tolerably preserved either the sense or poetry. What I would farther recommend to him, is to study bis author rather from his own text, than from any commentaries, how learned soever, or whatever figure they may make in the estination of the world; to consider him attentively in comparison with Virgil above all the ancients, and with Milton above all the moderns. Next these, the archbishop of Cambray's Telemachus may give him the truest idea of the spirit' and turn of our author, and Bossu's admirable treatise of the Epic Poem the justest notion of his design and conduct. But after all, with *hatever judgment and study a man may procced, or with whatever happiness he may perform euch & work, be must hope to please but a few; those only who have at once a taste of poetry, and compeient learning. For to satisfy such as want either, is not in the nature of this undertaking ; since a mere modern wit can like nothing that is not modern, and a pedant nothing that is not Greek.

What I have done is subunitted to the public, from whose opinions I am prepared to learn ; though I fear no judges so little as our best pouts, who are most sensible of the weight of this task. As for the worst, whatever they shall please to say, they may give me some concern as they are unhappy men, but none as they are malignant writers. I was guided in this translation by judgments very different from theirs, and by persons for whom they can have no kindness, if an old observation be true, that the strongest antipathy in the world is that of fools to men of wit. Mr. Addison was the first wbose advice determined me to undertake this task, who was pleased to write to me upon that occasion in such terms as I cannot repeat without vanity. I was obliged to sir Richard Steele for a very early recommendation of my undertaking to the public. Dr. Swift promoted my interest with that warmth with which he always serves his friend. The humanity and frankness of sy Samuel Garth are what I beser knew wanting on any occasion. I must also acknowlerige, with infinite pleasure, the many friendly offices, as well as sincere criticisms of Mr. Congreve, who had led me the way in translating some parts of Homer; as I wish for the sake of the world he had prevented me the rest. I must add the names of Mr. Rowe and Dr. Parnell, though I shall take a farther opportunity of doing justice to the last, whose good-nature (to give it a great panegyric) is no less extensive than his learning. The favour of these gentlemen is not entirely undeserved by one who bears tbein so true an affection. But what can I say of the honour so many of the great hare done me, while the first names of the age appear as my subscribers, and the most distinguished patrons and ornaments of learning as my chief encouragers? Among these it is a particular pleasure to me to find, that my highest obligations are to such who have done most honour to the name of poet; that his grace the duke of Buckingham was not displeased I should undertake the author to whom he has given in his excellent essay) so complete a praise:

Read Ilomer once and you can read no more;
For all books else appear so mean, and poor.
Verse will seem prose: but still persist to read,

And Horner will be all the books you need. That the earl of Halifax was one of the first to favour me, of whom it is hard to say whether the advancement of the polite arts is more owing to his generosity or his example. That such a genius as my lord Bolingbroke, not more distinguished in the great scenes of business, than in all the useful and entertaining parts of learning, has not refused to be the critic of these sheets, and the patron of their writer. And that so excellent an imitator of Homer as the noble author of the tragedy of Heroic Love, has continued his partiality to me, from my writing pastorals, to my attempting the Iliad. I cannot derry myself the pride of confessing, that I have had the advantage not only of their advice for the conduct in general, but their correction of several particulars of this translation.

I could say a great deal of the pleasure of being distinguished by the carl of Carnarvon : but it is almost absurd to particularize any one generous action in a person whose whole life is a continued series ot' them. Mr. Stanhope, the preserit secretary of state, will pardon my desire of having it known that he was pleased to promote this affair. The particular zeal of Mr. Harcourt (the son of the late lord chancellor) gave me a proof how much I am honoured in a share of his friendship. I must attribute to the same motive that of several others of my friends, to whom all acknowledgments are rendered unnecessary by the privileges of a familiar correspondence: and I am satisfied I can no way better oblige men of their turn, than by my silencc.

In short, I have found more patrons than ever Homer wanted. He would have thought himself happy to have met the same favour at Athens, that has been shown me by its learned rival, the university of Oxford. If my anthor had the wits of after-ages for bis defenders, his translator has had the beauties of the present for his advocates; a pleasure too great to be changed for any fame in reversion. And I can hardly enry him those pompous honours he received after death, when I reficct on the enjoyment of so many agrecable obligations, and easy friendships, which make the satisfaction of life. This distinction is the more to be acknowledged, as it is shown to one whose pen has never gratified the prejudices of particular parties, or the vanities of particular men. Whatever the success may prove, I shall never repent of an undertaking in which I lave experienced the candour and friendship of so many persons of merit; and in which I hope to pass some of those years of youth, that are generally lost in a circle of follics, after a manner neither wholly unuseful to others, nor disagreeable to myself.

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IN TWENTY-FOUR BOOKS,

BOOK I.

HOMER'S ILIAD,

Whose limbs, unbury'd on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore;
Since great Achilles and Atrides strove, (of Jove.
Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will

Declare, O Muse! in what ill-fated hour,
Sprung the fierce strife, from what offended power?

Latona's son a dire contagion spread,
THE ARGUMENT.

And heap'd the camp with mountains of the dead; THE CONTENTIOX OF ACHILLES AND AGAMEMNOY.

The king of men his reverend priest defy'd,

And for the king's offence the people dy'd. In the war of Troy, the Greeks, having sacked

For Chryses sought with costly gifts to gain some of the neighbouring towns, and taken from His captive daughter from the victor's chain. thence two beautiful captives, Chryseis and Suppliant the venerable father stands, Briseis, allotted the first to Agamemnon, and Apollo's awful ensigns grace bis hands : the last to Achilles. Chryses, the father of By these he begs; and, lowly bending down, Corystis, apd priest of Apollo, comes to the Extends the sceptre and the laurel crown. Grecian camp to ransom her; with which the He sued to all, but chief implor'd for grace action of the poem opens, in the tenth year The brother kings of Atreus' royal race. of the siege. The priest being refused, and “ Ye kings and warriors ! may your vows be insolently dismissed by Agamemnon, entreats

crown'd, for vengeance from his god, who inflicts a And Troy's proud walls lie level with the ground: pestilence on the Greeks. Achilles calls a May Jove restore you, when your toils are o'er, council, and encourages Chalcas to declare the safe to the pleasures of your native shore. cause of it, who attributes it to the refusal of But, oh! relieve a wretched parent's pain, Chryseis. The king being obliged to send back and give Chryseis to these arms again; his captive, enters into a furious contest with

If merev fail, yet let my presents move, Achilles, which Nestor pacifes; however, as he and dread avenging Pho-bus, son of Jove." bad the absolute command of the army, he The Grecks in shouts their joint assent declare, Seizes on Briseis in revenge. Achilles, in dis- The priest to reverence, and release the fair. content, withdraws himself and his forces from Not so Atrides : he with kingly pride, the rest of the Greeks; and complaining to Repuls'd the sacred sire, and thus reply'd: Thetis, she supplicates Jupiter to render them

“ Hence, on thy life, and ny these hostile plains, sensible of the wrong done to her son, by giving Nor ask, presumptuous, what the king detains ! sictory to the Trojans. Jupiter granting her Hence, with thy laurel crown, and golden rad, soit ineenses Juno, between whom the debate Nor trust too far those ensigns of thy god. rons high, till they are reconciled by the address Mine is thy daughter, priest, and shall remain ; of Valcan.

And prayers, and tears, and bribes, shall plead in The time of two and twenty days is taken up in

vain; this book : nine during the plague, one in the Till time shall rifle every youthful grace, council and quarrel of the princes, and twelve And age dismiss her from my cold embrace, for Jupiter's stay with the Ethiopians, at whose In daily labours of the loom employ'd, return Thetis prefers her petition. The scene Or dooin'd to deck the bed she once enjoy'd. les in the Grecian camp, then changes to Hence then, to Argos shall the maid retire, Chrysa, and lastly to Olympus.

Far from her native soil, and weeping sire."

The trembling priest along the shore return'd,

And in the anguish of a father mourn'd. Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring Disconsolate, not daring to complain, Of woes unnumber'd, heavenly goddess sing! Silent he wander'd by the sounding main : Tint wrath which hurld to Pluto's gloomy reign Till safe at distance, to bis god he prays, The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain ; The god who darts around the world his rays.

“ O Smintheus ! sprung from fair Latona's line, Nor will the god's awaken'd fury cease, Thou guardian power of Cilla the divine,

But plagues shall spread, and funeral fires increase, Thou source of light! whom Tenedos adores, Till the great king, without a ransom paid, And whose bright presence gilds thy Chrysa's To her own Chrysa send the black-ey'd maid. shores :

Perhaps, with added sacrifice and prayer, If e'er with wreaths I hung thy sacred fane, The priest may pardon, and the god may spare.” Or fed the flames with fat of oxer: slain;

The prophet spoke; when, with a gloomy frown, God of the silver bow ! thy shafts employ,

The monarch started from his shining throne; Avenge thy servant, and the Greeks destroy." Black choler fill'd his breast that boil'd with ire, Thus Chryses pray'd: the favouring power at

And from his eye-balls fash'd the living fire. And from Olympus lofty tops descends. (tends, “ Augur accurst! denouncing mischief still, Bent was his bow, the Grecian hearts to wound; Prophet of plagues, for ever boding ill! Fierce as he mov'd, his silver shafts resound; Still must that tongue some wounding message Breathing revenge, a sudden night he spread,

bring, And gloomy darkness rollid about his head. And still thy priestly pride provoke thy king ? The feet in view, he twang'd his deadly bow, For this are Phæbus' oracles explor'd, And hissing fly the feather'd fates below.

To teach the Greeks to inurmur at their lord ? On mules and dogs th' infection first began;

For this with falsehoods is my honour stain'd, And last, the vengeful arrows fix'd in man. Is Heaven offended, and a priest profan'd ; For nine long nights through all the dusky air Because my prize, my beauteous maid, I hold, The pyres thick-flaming shot a disinal glare. And heavenly charms prefer to proffer'd gold? But ere the tenth revolving day was run,

A maid, unmatch'd in manners as in face, Inspir'd by Juno, Thetis' god-like son

Skill'd in each art, and crown'd with every grace. Conven'd to council all the Grecian train;

Not half so dear were Clytæmnestra's charms, For much the goddess mourn'd her heroes slain. When first her blooming beauties blest my arms.

Th’assembly seated, rising o'er the rest, Yet, if the gods demand her, let her sail; Achilles thus the king of men addrest :

Our cares are only for the public weal: " Why leave we not the fatal Trojan shore, Let me be deem'd the hateful cause of all, And measure back the seas we crost before? And suffer, rather than my people fall. The plague destroying whom the sword would The prize, the beauteous prize, I will resign, 'Tis time to save the few remains of war. (spare, So dearly valued, and so justly mine. But let some prophet, or seme sacred sage, But since, for common good, I yield the fair, Explore the cause of great Apollo's rage;

My private loss let grateful Greece repair ; Or learn the wasteful vengeance to remove,

Nor unrewarded let your prince complain, By mystic dreams, for dreams descend from Jore. That he alone has fought and bled in vain." If broken vows this heavy curse have laid,

“ Insatiate king,” Achilles thus replies, Let altars smoke, and hecatombs be paid,

“ Fond of the power, but fonder of the prize! So Heaven aton'd shall dying Greece restore,

Would'st thou the Greeks their lawful prey should And Phæbus dart his burning shafts no more."

yield, He said, and sat : when Chalcas thus reply'd : The due reward of many a well-fought field ? Chalcas the wise, the Grecian priest and guide, The spoils of cities raz'd, and warriours slain, That sacred seer, whose comprehensive view We share with justice, as with toil we gain: The past, the present, and the future, knew : But to resume whate'er thy avarice craves Uprising slow, the venerable sage

(That trick of tyrants) may be borne by slaves. Thus spoke the prudence and the fears of age : Yet if our chief for plunder only fight,

“ Belov'd of Jove, Achilles ! would'st thou know The spoils of Ilion shall thy loss requite, Why angry Phæbus bends his fatal bow?

Whene'er by Jove's decree our conquering powers First give thy faith, and plight a prince's word Shall humble to the dust her lofty towers." Of sure protection, by thy power and sword. Then thus the king. “ Shall I my prize resign For I must speak what wisdom would conceal, With tame content, and thou possest of thine? And truths, invidious to the great, reveal.

Great as thou art, and like a god in fight, Bold is the task, when subjects, grown too wise, Think not to rob me of a soldier's right. Instruct a monarch where his errour lies;

At thy demand shall I restore the maid? For though we deem the short-liv'd fury past, First let the just equivalent be paid; 'Tis sure, the mighty will revenge at last.” Such as a king might ask; and let it be

To whom Pelides. “ From thy inmost soul A treasure worthy her, and worthy me. Speak what thou know'st, and speak without con- Or grant me this, or with a monarch's claim, trol.

This hand shall seize some other captive dame ; Er'n by that god I swear, who rules the day, The mighty Ajax shall his prize resign, To whom thy hands the vows of Greece conyey, Ulysses' spoils, or ev'n thy own, be ruine. And whose blest oracies thy lips declare;

The man who suffers, loudly may complain; Long as Achilles breathes this vital air,

And rage he may, but he shall rage in vain. No daring Greek of ali the numerous band

But this when time requires-It now remains Against his priest shall lift an impious hand : We lanch a bark to plough the watery plains, Not av'n the chief by whom our hosts are lid, And waft the sacritice to Chrysa's shores, The king of kings, shall touch that sacred head. With chosen pilots, and with labouring oars.

Encourag'd thus, the blaineless man replies; Soon shall the fair the sable ship ascend, " Nor vows unpaid, nor slighted sacrifice, And some deputed prince the charge attend : But he, our chief, provok'd the raging pest, This Creta's king, or Ajax shall fulfil, Apollo's vengeance for his injur'd priest;

Or wise Ulysses sce perform'd our will;

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