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prostitution of Messalina is turned with admirable ingenuity and delicacy, but not “ too tame neither.”
In justice to Juvenal, we must observe that, when he is indelicate, and uses gross expressions, he is not, like other writers, wanton in his obscenity, but mentions the acts and employs the terms with such evident indignation and hatred, that the reader, however otherwise disposed, peruses them in the original with feelings of surprise, of terror, and detestation,
After the just tribute which we have paid to Mr. M. we must be allowed to say that though we agree to his softening and even omitting parts, yet there are some cases in which no licence was required, or ought to have been'used. As for instance, in this satire, v. 159, he should not have translated
Et vetus indulget senibus clementia porcis,
Nor feed on swine- P. 72. since such a version deprives us of all the wit of the author : and the same might be said, in a less degree, of
--facies tua computat annos, turned thus : Thy person is an antidote to love,
P. 74. But these defects are, in their nature, and in their number, of very little importance, and we gladly avert our thoughts from such imperfections, to perform the far more agreeable part of our office, which calls upon us to recommend this translation as the work of a man of taste, a scholar, and a poet.
The volume is printed with remarkable neatness, and is, considering all its merits, the cheapest book that has come before us for some time. Independent of the errors noticed at the end, which belong not either to the printer or Mr. Marsh, but to a person who officiated as his editor in town, there are various trifles in the printing, which an editor of more judgment and less pedantry would not have indulged in, A Supplement to an Examination of the Strictures of the Critical
Reviewers on the Translation of Juvenal. By 11. Gifford, Esq. Hatchard. 4to. 1804.
We travelled once with Mr. Gifford through his version of the poet of Aquinum, and so well pleased were we with the journey, that we thought it our duty to support him in the “examination," which feelings, irritated by palpable injustice, afterwards compelled him to, publish; but we are, in a great measure, obliged to desert him in the “supplement,” to that “examination.” The merit of the former work, to which this is an appendix, was, independent of the able and convincing refutation which it contained, distinguished for various excellencies of both mind and matter; the prominent feature, or rather let us say the whole body, of the present pamphlet is formed, we may safely affirm, of a greater number of insulting terms and degrading epithets, than ever were before heaped together in the same space. If, not content with the superiority in argument and in truth, Mr. Gifford was resolved to shew the Critical Reviewer of his Juvenal that he could also far excel him in abuse, he has succeeded admirably, but not so as to deserve any praise from gentlemen or scholars. In such a contest victory is defeat, and triumph is disgrace. With the great, and not more great than due, respect which we entertain for Mr. G.'s genius and learning, we cannot but wish that this supplement had been spared. We address ourselves to Mr. Gifford:
Συ δε μεγαλητορα θυμον Iσχειν εν στηθεσσι, φιλοφροσυνη γαρ αμεινων. Animum vincere, iracundiam cohibere, victoriam temperare; hæc qui faciat, non ego eum cum summis viris comparo; sed simillimum Deo judico. Cicero pro M. Marcello. Familiar Epistles to Frederick J-s, Esq, on the present State of
the Irish Stage, 2nd Edit. Barlow. Dublin. 12mo. pp. 129. 1804.
This little work, which we have only seen in the present edition, is not without merit, but the whole mass, taken collectively, will by many be thought to possess a plentiful leaven of severity and abuse. Much of the satire is, we doubt not, of the most wholesome nature, according to the state of the Irish stage, and we quarrel not with its publication; but there is much also which we powerfully and potently disbelieve, and“ hold it not good that it be so set down.” Most of the characters that figure in these six epistles, are so entirely unknown out of Ireland, that it will be difficult to give an Englishman any idea of our satirist's aptness of description, his pleasantry, and ingenuity. We shall however select such parts as we think in the greatest degree likely to afford the reader a taste of his quality.
The following is certainly a humorous and lively picture, but of the truth of these, or of any other verses that we may quote, we profess to give no opinion,
Next W-11-ms comes the rude and rough,
P. 62, S. Introducing a Mr. F-1-m, who is, it seems, the acting manager, the poet thus jocosely sports with him:
Cheer up! nor look so plaguy sour,
P. 83. Of our actors who occasionally migrate to Hibernia, the author of these Epistles says but little. At p. 119 however, he wittily observes of them that they
are birds of
prey, as well as passage.” And at p. 55, our Roscius and his sister meet with his reproof, for their exertions in the sock:
Young Mirabel I by Kemble play'd,
# Vidi ego civis
Retorta tergo brachia. But the friends of freedom will rejoice to hear that Mr. W. at the instigation of this passage, has of late given his elbows more liberty, than those unhappy captives hitherto enjoyed.
+ Hom. II. 3. v. 222.
1 I have had the misfortune to see this exhibition : truly it was, as Shakspeara says, “ most tragical mirth."
$ I have heard of a lady who wept plentifully throughout the whole of “ As you | like it,” from an unhappy opinion that Rosalind was Jane Shore. I am glad to reJate the anecdote, that so much good tears should not go for nothing.
It is here merely just to observe, that he is not insensible to Mr. Kemble's great tragic powers:
In the preparation to exorcise the fiend Censure, we find the most pleasing lines in the whole work, and with them we shall terminate our extracts. After consigning to the “ burning cauldron's blaze” almost all the productions of our modern play writers, he thus proceeds:
Next gather in a chrystal bowl
Tis done the solemn rites are paid
The verse, generally speaking, has no pretensions to poetry, and without the assistance of “ Dublin” in the title page, we could have guessed its country. she plays ill
you Lady Teazle.
praise you, pronounced with the delicate brogue of their author- Taizle and taize you, would have proved sufficiently indicative,
In what we have cited, and in our remarks, we have treated the satirist with such lenity and favour, as he will do well in future to imitate, in canvassing the merits of his fellow creatures. It has been our endeavour to place his efforts in the light, as we do not think his pretended motive unworthy of support—it has hitherto been his more easy task, to cast all the brighter parts of men's characters in the shade, and to emblazon none but the darkened side. The Irish stage is, doubtless, not without its ornaments, nor is the author of these Epistles devoid of talent-but we are nevertheless convinced, that we shall do no injury to either, in wishing them both a speedy reformation. The Thespiad, a Poem, in Answer to the Author of six familiar
Epistles, addressed to F. Jones, Esq. Patentee of the Theatre
Muse more for his recreation than with a view to literary fame." Happy are they that expect nothing, for they shall not be disap- ] pointed! If, in this fight of satires, the question were put to us, which occurs in one of our modern comedies : “ Who suffers ?" We should reply, without hesitation, first, he who pays his thirty pence for the Thespiad; and, secondly, poor Jones ! both from the fumiliar epistles and this poem, although one is written by his enemy and the other by his friend. And now comes a second interrogatory, “How has Mr. Jones deserved all this mischief?” Why, by the simple process, as we learn at p. 5, of faring sumptuously every day, and never once inviting the author of the Six Familiar Epistles to dip his whiskers in his soup, and by cramming the writer of the Thespiad with all the luxuries of his table. Thus, by starving and by stuffing, he gets one knight of the quill to attack, and another to defend him; and by which he suffers most is far too nice a point for us to decide.
A very few quotations will suffice to give some idea of the verse, the rhymes, contractions, and learning of this writer, one of the “friends and beaux esprits,” of luckless “ Teddy Jones.”
“ Tho' Stu’art's not great, and less than little Bland,
She's no small fav’rite in Hibernia's land.” p. 20. « But not like Siddons, farces low to fix on,
And change Melpom'ene to Petruchio's vixen." p. 23. At p. 5, we have “Covent-Garden,” to rhyme with “farthing," of course to be read farden.
Of his learning too little cannot be said, and we should not have ventured a word on so miserable a subject, but, for a curious scrap of Irish Italian which occurs at p. 3. We shall give it literatim :
Cha tha affeso non ta pardono mai. Every body sees that there is something wrong in this, and so did the full-fed friend of “ Teddy Jones," who, finding it necessary to have an errata, sets it all right with a page 3, note, for cha read chi.” That the present writer should now,
of his poem, take his stand near the author of the “ Familiar Epistles," is a matter which meets with our entire approbation :
“ Near him we place thee in poetic soil,
As artists place the diamond near the foil.