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informed upon such points, we should not have to lament 'some blots in his exquisite oriental eclogues; he would have liardly applied to any hour, as an appropriate pleasure,

"What time 'tis sweet o'er fields of rice to stray,' but would have been sensible that to wade through a rice-field is a most laborious and wearisome occupation, at whatever period of the day, and even when enlivened by the rising of a snipe at the distance of every thirty yards.

To these points of knowledge must also be added an acquaintance with the history, the families and the geography of the countries described, or the poet may, like Hoole, translate i Viscontei colubri (meaning the snakes in the armorial bearing of the Viscontis) · Calabrian earls,' or render reume, the kingdom, (meaning the kingdom of Naples,) by Rheims' of Champagne, in a passage where there is no question but of Italian wars.

There is also another qualification which we conceive necessary for the discharge of a duty incidental to translation—we mean that of commentatorship-for which, taste, a certain portion of scholarship, and very various information are all absolutely necessary. This is more especially true of the translator of the Italian poets, because there are none who have borrowed more largely from their predecessors, and there are none whose works have been so miserably edited at home. It is surely an interesting labour to trace out the quarries (some of them disused and overgrown with 'weeds) from which these mighty architects have drawn their materials; nor less so to, compare the fabrics they have constructed with the models from which they have worked. Ariosto is, for instance, considered as the most inventive and original of poets; yet, strip him of all which he has collected in a thousand parts, and made his own by skilful appropriation, and what will remain to him! He takes a story out of a fabliau, varies it, adds dramatis persona from Apuleius, supplies them with sentiments from Ovid, and here and there intersperses his own beautiful stanzas with verses tolti da peso, as the Italians phrase it, (that is, taken bodily,) out of Dante and Petrarch. He does, in short, what every good poet, whose operations we have been able to trace, has done; and it is a most curious point to ascertain what is that quality which we call invention, and to prove how almost entirely made up of borrowed parts is that which may be designated original, as a whole. It is true that Tasso has ranged less widely in pursuit of materials than Ariosto, but he has dipt as deeply in the pure wells both of classical and of ancient Italian poetry: Such instances of borrowing as he and other real poets afford, possess other value, when judiciously selected, besides that arising from the mere question of what is their own and what is another's;

as,

as, for example, when the same idea takes a distinct colouring from the character of the borrower.. Thus Petrarch makes his mistress say to him in a vision

* Non sperar più di vedermi in terra mai.' Ariosto has almost copied this verse, which he has also put into the mouth of Angelica seen by Orlando in a dream, but has inserted a warmer expression than suited the Platonic feelings of his predecessor; the alteration is

* Non sperar più di gioirne in terra mai.' In the same manner the distinct characters of Dante, Petrarch and Tasso are marked by an essential difference in a passage, otherwise unimportant, which is to be found in all three. Ugo Foscolo observes, in his essay on Petrarch,

• The conflict of opposite purposes thrills in the heart of Petrarch, and battles in the brain of Dante.

“ Chè si e no nel cor dentro mi suona."- Petrarch.

“ Chè si e no nel capo mi tenzona."-Dante, Tasso has expressed it (continues Foscolo) with that dignity from which he never departs,

“ In gran tempesta di pensieri ondeggia;" yet not only does this betray an imitation of the

magno curarum fluctuat æstu” of Virgil, but Tasso, by dreading the energy of the idiom si e no, lost (as he does too often) the graceful effect produced by ennobling a vulgar phrase.'--Essays on Petrarch.

We cite this passage, not only because it illustrates admirably our general notions of commentatorship, but because it is more especially appropriate to the immediate object of this review. As such we earnestly recommend it to the attention of Mr. Wiffen. An ordinary translator, nay most of our best artists, would probably, if engaged in a version of these poets, have rendered these „passages in the same way. Yet how distinctively illustrative is each variety of the moral or poetical character of its author !

Unfortunately the reader will seek in vain in Mr. Wiffen's book for the critical notices, which we consider as indispensable in a work like the translation of the Gerusalemme. of Tasso's imitations of ancient or modern poets are brought to light; no difficulties are explained, and, we have only six short notes appended to nine long cantos!

In reviewing the execution of the poetical part of Mr. Wiffen's task, we regretted that he did not adopt Tasso's own stanza in preference to that of Spenser. As an additional cause for such regret, we will give the three first of some dedicatory stanzas, written in Tasso's own metre, and addressed to the Duchess of Bedford, VOL. XXXIV. NO. LXVII.

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informed upon such points, we should not have to lament 'some blots in his exquisite oriental eclogues; he would have hardly applied to any hour, as an appropriate pleasure,

• What time 'tis sweet o'er fields of rice to stray,' but would have been sensible that to wade through a rice-field is a most laborious and wearisome occupation, at whatever period of the day, and even when enlivened by the rising of a snipe at the distance of every thirty yards.

To these points of knowledge must also be added an acquaintance with the history, the families and the geography of the countries described, or the poet may, like Hoole, translate i Viscontei colubri (meaning the snakes in the armorial bearing of the Viscontis) · Calabrian earls,' or render reame, the kingdom, (meaning the kingdom of Naples,) by · Rheims' of Champagne, in a passage where there is no question but of Italian wars.

There is also another qualification which we conceive necessary for the discharge of a duty incidental to translation-we mean that of commentatorship-for which, taste, a certain portion of scholarship, and very various information are all absolutely necessary. This is more especially true of the translator of the Italian poets, because there are none who have borrowed more largely from their predecessors, and there are none whose works have been so miserably edited at home. It is surely an interesting labour to trace out the quarries (some of them disused and overgrown with weeds) from which these mighty architects have drawn their materials; nor less so to, compare the fabrics they have constructed with the models from which they have worked. Ariosto is, for instance, considered as the most inventive and original of poets; yet, strip him of all which he has collected in a thousand parts, and made his own by skilful appropriation, and what will remain to him! He takes a story out of a fabliau, varies it, adds dramatis persona from Apuleius, supplies them with sentiments from Ovid, and here and there intersperses his own beautiful stanzas with verses tolti da peso, as the Italians phrase it, (that is, taken bodily,) out of Dante and Petrarch. He does, in short, what every good poet, whose operations we have been able to trace, has done; and it is a most curious point to ascertain what is that quality which we call invention, and to prove how almost entirely made up of borrowed parts is that which may be designated original, as a whole. It is true that Tasso has ranged less widely in pursuit of materials than Ariosto, but he has dipt as deeply in the pure wells both of classical and of ancient Italian poetry: Such instances of borrowing as he and other real poets afford, possess other value, when judiciously selected, besides that arising from the mere question of what is their own and what is another's;

as,

as, for example, when the same idea takes a distinct colouring from the character of the borrower.. Thus Petrarch makes his mistress say to him in a vision

• Non sperar più di vedermi in terra mai.' Ariosto has almost copied this verse, which he has also put into the mouth of Angelica seen by Orlando in a dream, but has inserted a warmer expression than suited the Platonic feelings of his predecessor; the alteration is

* Non sperar più di gioirne in terra mai.' In the same manner the distinct characters of Dante, Petrarch and Tasso are marked by an essential difference in a passage, otherwise unimportant, which is to be found in all three. Ugo Foscolo observes, in his essay on Petrarch,

'The conflict of opposite purposes thrills in the heart of Petrarch, and battles in the brain of Dante.

“ Chè si e no nel cor dentro mi suona." - Petrarch.

“ Chè si e no nel capo mi tenzona." -Dante. Tasso has expressed it (continues Foscolo) with that dignity from which he never departs,

In gran tempesta di pensieri ondeggia;" yet not only does this betray an imitation of the

magno curarum fluctuat æstu". of Virgil, but Tasso, by dreading the energy of the idiom si e no, lost (as he does too often) the graceful effect produced by ennobling a vulgar phrase.'- Essays on Petrarch.

We cite this passage, not only because it illustrates admirably our general notions of commentatorship, but because it is more especially appropriate to the immediate object of this review. As such we earnestly recommend it to the attention of Mr. Wiffen. An ordinary translator, nay most of our best artists, would probably, if engaged in a version of these poets, have rendered these passages in the same way. Yet how distinctively illustrative is each variety of the moral or poetical character of its author!

Unfortunately the reader will seek in vain in Mr. Wiffen's book for the critical notices, which we consider as indispensable in a work like the translation of the Gerusalemme. None of Tasso's imitations of ancient or modern poets are brought to light; no difficulties are explained, and, we have only six short notes appended to nine long cantos !

In reviewing the execution of the poetical part of Mr. Wiffen's task, we regretted that he did not adopt Tasso's own stanza in preference to that of Spenser. As an additional cause for such regret, we will give the three first of some dedicatory stanzas, written in Tasso's own metre, and addressed to the Duchess of Bedford, VOL. XXXIV. NO. LXVII.

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which will show how successful Mr. Wiffen is in the mechanical
structure of the ottava rima..

1.
• Years have flown o'er since first my soul aspired

In song the sacred missal to repeat,
Which sainted Tasso writ with pen inspired
Told is one rosary, and the task compleat:
And now, 'twixt hope and fear, with toil untired,
I cast the ambrosial relique at thy feet ;
Not without faith that in thy goodness thou
Wilt deign one smile to my accomplished vow.

II.
• Not in din dungeons to the clank of chains,

Like sad Torquato's, have the hours been spent
Given to song; but in bright halls, where reigns
Uncumbered Freedoni — with a mind unbent
By walks in woods, green dells, and pastoral plains,
To sound, far-off, of village merriment;
Albeit, perchance, some springs where I'asso drew
His sweetest tones, håve touched my spirit too.

III.
O that as happier constellations bless

My studious life, my verses too could boast
Some happier graces (should I wish for less ?)
To atone for charms unseized and splendours lost!
No! tlie bright rainbow marks the child's caress,
Who can but sorrow, as his fancy's crossed,
That e'er so beautiful a thing should rise

To elude his grasp, yet so enchant his eyes.'
These istanzas prove Mr. Wiffen's capability of well versifying
Tasso, and yet more, of modernizing Fairfax; he has caught
much of the Italian variety of rhythm, and avoided all the vulgar
seductions of abrupt elision and smooth monotony of cadence.

Having thius returned from the incidental to the more immediate duties of a translator, it is but just to observe in conclusion that the exercise of these in the faithful mode in which we conceive they should be exercised, is especially difficult in rendering from the Greek, or from the Italian. To confine ourselves to the latter: it is a language so harmonious in itsell, and possessed of so exquisite a prosody, that every thing may be simply related in its verse with dignity and effect; whereas the comparative poverty of sounds in our own tongue has led our poets and orators to the use of a figurative, and sometimes even to an unnatural, style of phraseology, which is the most opposed to that of Italian poetry. To attempt therefore to give the tint of the original is not always possible; but it is surely better to give no colouring at all than to give a false one; and we acquiesce

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