« PreviousContinue »
July 13. Finished Dryden's translation of the Æneid, with Jane. Though there are many coarsenesses in this version, which are very unlike the original, yet they are less disgusting than the refinements of Pope in his translation of the Iliad. The numbers have more variety and are less cloying than those of Pope. The poem itself has but little interest, as a whole, when compared with either of the two poems of Homer, but there are passages more highly and beautifully wrought than in almost any other poet.
14. Continued Burnet to the end of book iii.
16. Read chap. viï. of the Adone ; and continued Burnet.
17. Read chap. ix. of the Adone; and continued Burnet.
18. Read chap. x. of the Adone; and continued Burnet to the end of book iv.
19. Finished canto x. of the Adone ; and continued Burnet.
21. Read canto xi. of the Adone; and continued Burnet.
22 and 23. Continued Burnet.
25. Read canto xii. of the Adone; and continued Burnet.
27. Continued Burnet.
28. Continued Burnet; and finished the Diatessaron of Dr. White, with Jane, reading the Greek and English together.
29. Finished Burnet. August 2. Read Castle Rackrent, by Maria Edge
worth. This little novel contains a faithful representation of the manners and language of the country people of Ireland. Began Mariana Starke's Travels in Italy from 1792 to 1798.
Aug. 3. Continued M. Starke's Travels, as far as the end of her account of the French campaign in Italy, from '94 to '98. It is written in an easy and perspicuous manner. The rest of the two volumes seems to be taken up with an enumeration of pictures and statues, and with directions for families travelling in that country. Began Travels through the United States of North America, the country of the Iroquois and Upper Canada in the years 1795, 96, and 97, with an authentic account of Lower Canada ; by the Duke de la Rochefoucault Liancourt.
4. Continued the Duke de la Rochefoucault's Travels.
6. Read the greatest part of Gray's Letters, which I have so often read before, with renewed pleasure.
7. Read great part of Hurd's Selections from Cowley's Works. The Vision on Cromwell's Government, at the beginning of the second volume, is admirable. had never read it before.
9. Continued the Duke of Rochefoucault's Travels.
10. Finished the Duke of Rochefoucault's Travels. I have skimmed hastily over these two quarto volumes. Of the agricultural remarks, which constitute the greater part of them, I am incompetent to judge. Though an emigrant, the author con
tinually displays the warmest predilection in favour
of France, and an inveterate jealousy of this couni try. It is consoling to observe that the Americans
in general still retain a congeniality of character with Englishmen, which seems naturally to attach them to our interest. I have found the account of Upper Canada, in the first volume, and the description of Philadelphia and New York, and the view of the American Constitution, at the end of the second, the most interesting parts of this work, which would be much better calculated both for amusement and instruction, if it was better methodised and more compressed.
Aug. 1l. Began canto xiii. of Marino's Adone.
14. Continued canto xiv. of the Adone. Continued Hurd's Cowley, to the end of vol. ii.
15. Finished canto xiv. of the Adone.
18. Read canto xviii. and began canto xix. of the Adone.
24. Read Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads, vol. ii. 28. Read the first volume of Wordsworth.
30. Read the Tempest, and Midsummer Night's Dream.
September 3. Finished the Two Gentlemen of Verona.
6. Read La Dot de Suzette, a new French novel.
Sept. 8. Began the fourth volume of Burns's Poems.
9. Finished the fourth volume of Burns's works. This volume consists of songs with the letters in which he sent them to his friend to be published in a musical work. They have a certain rustic beauty, perhaps not exceeded by similar compositions in our language. Began the third volume of his works.
10. Finished the third volume of Burns, which contains the poems published in his life-time with a few additions. Resumed Marino, and continued canto xix.
11. Continued Marino Read Johnson's Life of Savage.
14. Continued Marino. Began the Bible and Testament, with Jane, a second time.
16. Continued Marino; and Froissart, with Jane. 17. Finished Marino's Adone.
This poem, by which the taste, not only of Italy, but even of a great part of Europe, was at one time sensibly affected, is now fallen into greater neglect than it deserves. The end which it aims at, though that end be not a right one, is attained; and that luxiriance of ornament, which in an epic poem of a nobler stamp would be utterly misplaced, has a certain propriety and consistency, when considered in relation to the purpose of this poem, which seems to be only pleasure. Continued Froissart, with Jane.
18. Read the two Latin Epistles of Naugerius to
Cardinals Bembo and Sadoleti prefixed to his edition of Cicero's Orations; and continued Froissart, with Jane.
Sept. 19 to 24. Continued Froissart, with Jane.
October 12. Read the first and second books of Paradise Regained, with Jane.
29. Continued Cicero de Oratore. Resumed Froissart, with Jane.
28 and 29. Continued Cicero de Oratore; and Froissart, with Jane.
30. Continued Cicero de Oratore. Read the third book of Paradise Regained; and continued Froissart, with Jane.
31. Began the Edipus Coloneus of Sophocles ; and continued Froissart, with Jane.
November 2. Continued the Edipus Coloneus.
3. Finished the Edipus Coloneus; and continued Froissart, with Jane.
4. Began the Philoctetes. Finished Paradise Regained, and continued Froissart, with Jane.
5. Continued the Philoctetes; and Froissart, with Jane.
6. Finished the Philoctetes; and continued Froissart, with Jane.
7. Continued Froissart, with Jane. 9. Continued Froissart, with Jane.
11. Read an admirable Sermon by Doctor Parr on Education.
13. Read the first two books of Rowe's translation of Lucan.