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translation of Philips's Cyder, B. i. 53. The sense is mistaken. “Nor from the sable ground,” &c., he translates as if it were sandy.
Nè t'impacciar d' arene.
This leads to another mistake,
“ The must of pallid hue,"
Il lor pallido volto,
as if it were the colour of the soil.
v. 159. “ Such heats,” to v. 167 are omitted.
v. 215. Thor and Woden he translates Giove and di Maja il Figlio.
“ And men have gather'd from the hawthorn's branch
Large medlars imitating regal crowns.”—v. 311.
Che più ! Cotanto ardisce arte insolente,
By endeavouring to raise this he has spoiled it :
“ The musk's surpassing worth, that earliest gives
Sure hopes of racy wine, and in its youth,
I scarcely understand this, as the translator appears not to have understood the original :
“Druids," v. 573, is rendered Driade.
The last two hundred lines are omitted ; and twenty-seven on a different subject substituted, in which he takes an opportunity of praising some cyder sent by Lord Somers to Henry Newton, British Envoy to the Duke of Tuscany.
Book II. At the beginning are again some verses substituted, not at all in Philips's manner :-v. 276. “As when," &c. This simile is maltreated by Magalotti, who makes a conceit and antithesis of it and again we have a great hiatus from v. 486 to the end. With some few exceptions the sense is caught pretty well in this translation: the diction is poetical, but when is this not the case in Italian verse? But there is here and there a conceit, and no writer has fewer than Philips. At the conclusion of this volume are printed some Canzonette, many of them very pretty. It is from the press of Andrea Bonducci. Firenze, 1752. Among the other translations from the English, is one of Waller's,-“Go, lovely rose,” &c., well done.
July 27. Finished Sir R. Clayton's translation of Tenhove's Memoirs of the Medici family, terminating with the tragical death of the Grand Duke Francis I. and his guilty wife Bianca Capella in 1587. There are many
omissions in this work. Among the great men in Leo the Tenth's time the names of Naugerio and Flaminio do not appear. The flippant manner of Gibbon seems to be imitated. I read it before in 1799, and find it interesting in spite of all defects.
Aug. Read Jortin's Life of Erasmus, two vols. 4to.
6. Began the Avarchide of Alamanni, and read canto i. This poem imitates the Iliad rather servilely in the form, though in the matter it is different.
To Sept. 16. Read the Plutus, Equites, Acharnenses, and Pax of Aristophanes in Brunck's edition.
To October 10. Read in Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Esprit des Journaux.
To December 5. Read the Thesmophoriazusæ of Aristophanes.
10. Read Le Ultime Lettere di Jacopo Orti; a tale, in letters after the manner of Werter; pathetic, though sometimes extravagant. There are palpable imitations in it of passages in Gray and Ossian.
29. Read the Ecclesiazusæ of Aristophanes. Many of the chorus's songs in this play are lost. The design of it is among the drollest of the plays. The ridicule seems to be levelled at Plato's Republic. Brunck does not explain enough the allusions to particular facts and customs in this or any of the plays.
The translation of Valerius Flaccus, which is mentioned as having been begun in this year, was never completed : but the following specimen was printed in the London Magazine for February 1822. It is worth preserving in order, as the translator observes, that it may encourage some of our young writers to supply the deficiency.
VALERIUS FLACCUS, B. i. I SING the bark that bore across the main, First open'd by her keel, the heroic train ; Herself prophetic. Heeding not the shocks Of justling mountains, or Cyanean rocks, Undauntedly she breasted Ocean's roar, And shaped her course to Scythian Phasis' shore ; The voyage ended, and her perils past, Destined to light the fields of heaven at last.
Apollo, aid the song ; if worthy thee I nurse thy much-loved laurel's sacred tree, And duly, with pure hands and rites divine, Tend the Cymæan Sybil's mystic shrine. And thou, great sire, obedient to whose prow Remoter seas have bade their billows flow, When Caledonia, by thy sail explored, Own’d 'midst her wintry depths a Roman lord, Indulgent listen ; snatch me from the crowd, Raise above earth and earth's polluting cloud ; And, while of long-past ages I rehearse The deeds illustrious, favouring, crown the verse. Thy own great acts thy offspring shall recite (His muse not fearless of so bold a flight), Idume vanquish’d, Solyma o'erthrown, And, 'midst her ruins, thy more warlike son, All black with dust, and, scattering torches round, Dash her last haughty turret to the ground. To thee the fane shall rise ; his duteous heed Shall dress the altar, bid the victim bleed ; When thou, translated to thy native skies, Downward shalt look on Rome with partial eyes. Not Helice for Greeks, a surer light, Or cynosure for Tyrians, gilds the night, Than thou from Sidon, or from Nile shalt guide Our home-bound sailor o'er the foamy tide. Now in thy genial smile let me rejoice, And fill the Latian cities with my voice,
Through many a year had Pelias held the reins, Unquestion’d sovereign o'er Hemonia's plains ; Stern now with age; the shuddering people's fear ; Of faith, distrustful ; and to crime, severe : His own dark jealousies, by heaven design'd, A fitting torment to his guilty mind. His each fair stream that to the Ionian sea Divides the fertile vales of Thessaly ; Black Hæmus his ; and Othrys, tipt with snow; And fields that wave beneath Olympus' brow. Yet all sufficed not. Chiefly Jason's worth, In his old bosom, gave suspicion birth ; His brother's son ; and, oracles affirm, His heir and ruin at no distant term. Alarm'd by dire portents and prodigies, New cause of dread the prince's fame supplies, And virtue, charmiless in a tyrant's eyes. The fatal day forecasting to prevent, On Jason's slaughter all his thoughts intent, The wily monarch weaves the subtle snares ; Spreads every toil ; each art of death prepares. No broils disturb the neighbouring nations' peace : No monsters stalk amidst the fields of Greece. Across Alcides' shoulders, grinning, flung, Harmless the spoils of Nemea's lion hung. Th’ Ætolian bull and Cretan rage no more ; Nor Lerna's serpent dips her jaws in gore. The land from plagues secured ; from perils, free ; The deep alone remain'd, and hazards of the sea. The royal youth he calls ; then smooths his brow While from his lips the words insidious flow : “A deed awaits thee, that exalts thy name Above thy great forefathers' martial fame. Hear me attentive, while the wrong I speak That bids our injured race for vengeance seek. Thou know'st how Phrixus, overwhelm’d with dread, The fury of his father Cretheus, fled ; Him fell Æetes, Scythian Colchis' lord, 'Mid the full bowls, and at the shuddering board, (Be veild, O sun, while I the fact record,)