« ZurückWeiter »
in the world.' It agitates either hemi- and whose performances, neverthesphere. In the sublime language of less, are monthly, weekly, daily and Milton, it perplexes monarchs with hourly, received with hesitation by fear of change. British statesmen, in the i bookseller—and with neglect by a word, whether we look to the east the book-buyer. Can these things be or to the west, to the north or to the new to any lady or gentleman who south, to India or to Persia, to Tur- has cast an observant glance upon the key, to Greece, to Naples, to Spain, course of affairs in the present crisis ? to Portugal, to Wirtemberg, to Mexi No-they are universally knownco, to Brazil, to Poyais, to Russia, to they are palpable-they are acknowFrance, or to ill-fated, unhappy, dis- ledged truths. And what is to be united Ireland,- whichever way we the consequence, if whenever Dr Soucast our eyes, I repeat it, we shall they publishes a quarto poem, and find that those persons in whom fate, nobody buys it, he is to apply to his fortune, or merit, have reposed the friend Mr Brougham to petition Parsway of the affairs of this great em- liament for redress? What is Parliapire, have, as the saying is, their ment to do ? Suppose Parliament buys hands full of business. England lost up one edition and makes a bonfire but the last year one of the first of of it, will not this munificence enher statesmen from excess of busi- courage the poet to put forth another Dess. The weight of business must quarto, equally bulky and equally annot be unnecessarily increased—the popular, in the Spring of the iminepublic burdens, too, must be dimi- diately succeeding year. What ? -Is nished. The tax on the carriage of the House of Commons to buy up stones coastways has been abolished this quarto too!-Is the British Parthat on barilla has been re-established. liament to buy up the opera omnia of But this is not all. Improvement must Platonist Taylor? - Are the public renot hesitate nor stumble in her majes. positories of this empire to be cramtic march. The spirit of Hume walks. med with Mr Macvey Napier's disEre long, as Mr Henry Cockburn sertation on the Scope and Tendency lately remarked to Lord Rosslynn, it of Bacon? Are the two Houses to take is to be hoped that this great man will in the supererogatory copies of the even thrust his hand into the pockets Edinburgh Review-and thereby make of the sinecurists of Scotland. And is up to its industrious compilers for that this a time for calling upon the legis- deficit of individual favour which belature of this mighty empire to em- gins to throw a shade of disgrace upbarrass themselves with the capacious- on the whole intellectual character of ness of canvas, the cost of casts, the the incomprehensible age in which we paucity of picture-purchasers, and the have had the misfortune to be born ? waste and desert baldness of white- Is the House of Lords to be compelled washed church-walls, destitute of gild- to sustain the sinking pinions of a ed frames, and resplendent with no certain member of their own noble rapture-raising representations of His eyry? Are they to pass a bill, declaram, Habakkuk, and Holofernes? The ring that “ Christian, or the Island," supposition is monstrous, and will cer- is as good a poem as “ The Bride of tainly receive no sanction either from Abydos," and inflicting the pains and therepresentatives of the British nation penalties of a high crime and misdein parliament assembled, or from the meanor upon all who took in the broDirector General.
chures of John Murray, and yet heApply the principle elsewhere, and sitate to take in the equally wellconsider for a moment what would be printed brochures of John Hunt? No the infallible result. Painters are not —De maximis non curat Prætor. We the only artists whose works fail at are a free people, we received the holy times to invest them with a lordly bequest of liberty from our forefaproportion of the perishable good thers, and we will hand it down unthings of this sublunary and imper- tarnished to our posterity. It is the fect world. There are poets-there sacred privilege of Britons to admire, are prosers too, who, in their own and therefore to purchase, just what opinion, bene meruerunt Reipublicæ, pictures, and what books, they choose. (far be it from us to assert that their That privilege is inborn and inalienopinion is wrong as to this matter,) able, and the minister who dares to
trench upon it, owes his head to the of the Scottish Regalia," --a performblock, and his name to the execration ance which, if Mr Cruikshank is to of the world.
admit any designs but his own, apI propose in my next Lecture to pur- pears almost worthy of being traps. sue this subject, and to direct the at- ferred to copper for the use of the tention of my hearers, 1st, to the me- “ Points of Humour."* rits of Julio Romano, as a caricatu- Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the rist ;-and, 2dly, to those of Mr Ged- honour to wish you, respectfully, a des, and, in particular, to his truly good evening! excellent caricature of the “ Discovery
• The “ Points of Humour" are to appear in occasional Numbers. No. I. contains about a dozen etchings, and 50 pages of very well written letter-press. The work is published by C. Baldwyn, Newgate Street, London, and the price, per Number, is only 8s., which is dog-cheap, as things go.
NEW POETICAL TRANSLATIONS-WIFFEN-ROSE-GOWER.*
No branch of literature seems to a long while encountered a volume have been cultivated during the sea- more entitled to the praise of ELEson that has just expired, with more GANCE. First of all, it is, as to exdistinguished success than that of poet- ternals, one of the most chaste and ical translation. So much, indeed, has beautiful specimens of typographical been done in this department, that art and embellishment that ever issued we find it quite inconsistent with our from the English press. And, what limits to draw the attention of our is of greater moment, the jewel is readers into the various meritorious quite worthy of the rich casket in works that have accumulated upon which it is placed. Mr Wiffen's own our table. We cannot, however, pera prose introduction is a model of that mit the month, which may be consi- species of composition, full, clear, yet dered as the last of the book-buying concise, and above all, entirely unafportion of the year, to pass away with fected. Of the poetical versions themout saying a few words concerning selves, we shall only say, that the Odles each of three publications, which we and Lyrical Pieces are much superior think more especially entitled to the to the Eclogues ; and that they are attention of the lovers of polite litera- so just because Garcilasso's originals, ture.
were in these cases more worthy of The first of these is a complete inspiring Mr Wiffen's muse. Our translation of the Poetical Works of translator is a perfect master of the Garcilasso De La Vega, by Mr J. H. language in which Garcilasso wrote; Wiffen. It is strange enough to find and he renders him into English with an English Quaker attempting to trans- the ease, the gracefulness, and the fuse the beauties of one of the most majestic flow, of an English poet. stately and chivalric of Castilian Garcilasso was, as almost all the bards. Mr Wiffen, however, has con- great Spanish geniuses have been, a trived to lay aside his drab suit, and soldier; he was noble, brave, courto wear the lofty plume and embroid- teous, amorous, the mirror of Castia ered mantle of the gallant Spaniard, lian honour and Castilian love; he as naturally as if he had never been died, after a life of enterprize, misforaccustomed to figure among humbler tune, and glory, at the early age of habiliments. We really have not for thirty; he is the Surrey, and more
* 1. The Works of Garcilaso de la Vega, surnamed the Prince of Castilian Poets, translated into English Verse; with a Critical and Historical Essay on Spanish Poetry, and a Life of the Author. By J. H. Wiffen. London ; Hurst, Robinson, and Co. 1823.
2. The Orlando Furioso, translated into English Verse, from the Italian of Ludovico Ariosto ; with Notes. By William Stewart Rose. London ; Murray. 1823.
3. Faust; a Drama. By Goethe. • And Schiller's Song of the Bell ; translated by Lord Francis Leveson Gower. London ; Murray. 1823. 1
than the Surrey of Spanish letters. Consults not now, it can but kiss , We should willingly allot many pages The ainorous lute's dissolving strings, to him and his worthy translator, Which murmur forth a thousand things but, for the present, we must confiue
Of banishment from bliss. ourselves to a couple of specimens.
The following Ode was addressed “ Through thee, my dearest friend and by Garcilasso to a young Neapolitan
best lady, (called the Flower of GNIDO, Grows harsh, importunate, and grave; from the quarter of the city of Naples Myself have been his port of rest in which she lived,) at the time when
From shipwreck on the yawning wave; a friend of the poet's was enamoured
Yet now so high his passions rave
Above lost reason's conquer'd laws, of her. Nothing, we apprehend, can
That not the traveller ere he slays be more perfectly elegant
The asp, its sting, as he niy face
So dreads, or so abhors. 1. * Had I the sweet resounding lyre,. “In snows on rocks, sweet Flower of Whose voice could in a moment chain
Gnide, The bowling wind's ungovern'd ire,
Thou wert not cradled, wert not born, And movement of the raging main,
She who has not a fault beside On savage hills the leopard rein,
Should ne'er be signalized for s corn; The lion's fiery soul entrance,
Else, tremble at the fate forlorn
The weeping Iphis from her gate,
Who, scoffing long, relenting late,
Else must our weeping strings presume My life in peril, dreading lest the die To celebrate in strains of woe,
Of that day's battle should be lost, dismay The justice of some signal blow,
Made the hot blood boil in my veins, until That strikes thee to the tomb."
Reclaim'd, it sank into as cold a chill. The next is valuable, not only for the great beauty of its language, (to " I stood spectator of their chivalry : which Wiffen does, on the whole, jus- Fighting in my defence, my Reason tired tice) but as presenting one of the most And faint from thousand wounds became, happy specimens of that particular and I, vein, which was produced by the mix Unconscious what the insidious thought inture of Italian ornament, with the spired, deep native sentiment of Castilian Was wishing my mail'd Advocate to quit passion.
The hopeless quarrel,-never in my life
Was what I wish'd fulfill'd with so much THE PROGRESS OF PASSION FOR HIS
For, kneeling down, at once she closed the LADY.
And to the Lady did her sword submit, " Once more from the dark ivies, my
Consenting she should have me tor her proud harp!
slave, I wish the sharpness of my ills to be
As victory urged, to slaughter or to save, Shown in thy sounds, as they have been
Whichever most might please. shown sharp
Then, then indeed, I felt my spirit rise, In their effects ; I must bewail to thee That such unreasonable conditions c'er The occasions of my grief, the world shall Had been agreed to; anger, shame, sar. know
prise, Wherefore I perish ; I at least will die At once possess'd me, fruitless as they were; Confess'd, not without shrift:
Then follow'd grief to know the treaty done, For by the tresses I am dragg'd along
And see my kingdom in the hands of one By an antagonist so wild and strong,.
Who gives me life and death each day, and That o'er sharp rocks and brambles, stain.
this ing so
Is the most moderate of her tyrannies. The pathway with my blood, it rushes by, Than the swift-footed winds themselves more swift;
“ Her eyes, whose lustre could irradiate And, to torment me for a longer space,
well It sometimes paces geritly over flowers, The raven night, and dim the mid-day sun, Sweet as the morning, when I lose all trace Changed me at once by some emphatic Of former pain, and rest luxurious hours; But brief the respite ! in this blissful case From what I was I gazed, and it was Soon as it sees me, with collected powers,
done. With a new wildness, with a fury new,
Too finish'd fascination ! glass'd in mine, It turns its rugged road to repursue.
The glory of her eye-balls did imprint
My sickening soul acquired another tint. * Not by my own neglect, into such harm The showers of tears I shed assisted more Fell I at first, 'twas destiny that bore,
This transformation ; broken up, I found, And gave me up to the tormenting charm, Was my past peace and freedom ; in the For both my reason and my judgment
Of my fond heart, an all-luxuriant ground, To guard me, as in bygone years they well The plant whereof I perish, struck its root Had guarded me in seasons of alarm; Deep as its head extended high, and dense But, when past perils they compared with
ey compared with As were its melancholy boughs ; the fruit those
Which it has been my wont to gather They saw advancing, neither could they thence,
Sour is a thousand times for one time Or what to make of such unusual foes,
sweet, How to engage with them, or how repel; But ever poisonous to the lips that eat. But stared to see the force with which they
caine, Till, spurr'd on by pure shame,
“ Now, flying from myself as from a curse, With a slow pace and with a timid eye, In search of her who shuns me as a foe, At length my reason issued on the way, I speed, which to one error adds a worse ; And more and more as the fleet foe drew And, in the midst of toil, fatigue, and woe, nigh,
Whilst the forged irons on my bound limbs The more did aggravating doubt display
Find myself singing as of old, but oh, But this one grief, and even the rising
Of dead joy, gliding by, is heeded not ;
The fury and the force of present pain. And the black night-shade, garlanding de.
spair, Hope in the distance shows me, as she flies, “In midst of all this agony and woe, Her fluttering garments and light step, but A shade of good descends my wounds to ne'er
heal; Her angel face,-tears rush into my eyes Surely, I fancy, my beloved foe At the delusion, nor can I forbear
Must feel some little part of what I feel. To call her false as the mirage that kills So insupportable a toil weighs down The thirsty pilgrim of the sandy waste, My weary soul, that, did I not create When he beholds far-off, 'twixt seeming Some strong deceit of power, to ease the hills,
weight, The stream he dies to taste ;
I must at once die—die without my crown With eager eye he marks its Jucid face, Of martyrdom, a register'd renown, And listens, fancying that he heard it roar, Untalk'd of by the world, unheard, unBut, when arrived in torment at the place, view'd ! Weeps to perceive it distant as before. And thus from my most miserable estate
I draw a gleam of good.
But soon my fate this train of things re. “ Of golden locks was the rich tissue wove,
For, if I cver from the storm find peace, Framed by my sympathy, wherein with
Peace nurtures fear, and fear my peace disshame
perses, My struggling Reason was entrapp'd, like
Swift as a rainbow arch'd o'er raging seas : Love
Thus from the flowers which for a space In the strong arms of Appetite, the fame
console, Whereof drew all Olympus to regard The Fire-God's capture ; but 'twere out
Springs up the serpent that devours my
soul. of place For me ihis capture to go gaze, debarr'd Of that whereby to contemplate the case.
“ ODE! if men, seeing thee, be seized with So circumstanced I find myself! the field
fright Of tournament is clear'd, the foe descried,
At the caprice, inconstancy, and shock Alarm'd I stand, without a spear or shield, Closed are the barriers, and escape denied.
? Of these conflicting fancies of my brain,
d. Say that the cause thereof-tormenting Who at my story is not terrified !
painWho could believe that I am fall'n so low,
Is stable, fixt, and changeless as a rock. That to the grief I hurry from, my pride
Say thou, that its fierce might
So storms my heart that it must yield, ere
long, A life of freedom, I caress my chain,
Even to a foe more terrible and strong ; And curse the hours and moments lately
To Him, from whom all cross themselves lent To freer thoughts,as mournfully mis-spent!
—to save; The power whose home is in the lonely
" This fancy is not always paramount,
These beautiful verses will, we For of a brain so wild the phantasies
trust, sufficiently recommend Mr Wif. Sleep not a moment ; Grief at times will fen to the notice of our readers. He mount
is engaged in a work of still greatThe throne of Slavery; and her sceptre er importance-a new translation of seize,
Tasso into English ottava rima, and So that my fancy shrinks as from its place, we confess that we look forward with To shun the torture of its frightful face,
the highest expectation to a JeruThere is no part in me but frenzied is,
salem executed by such a hand. InAnd wailid by me in turn ; on my wild
deed, Mr Wiffen has already pubtrack, Afresh protesting at the blind abyss,
lished a small specimen of his TasI turn affrighted back.
SO;-and there can be no doubt, Not urged by reason, not by judgment,
that, when his work is finished, he this
must find himself in possession of a Discretion of the mind is wholly lost; very enviable reputation. On com All is become a barrenness or blot, paring the fragment he hins print