« PreviousContinue »
its political consequences; and mersh, both of Grays-Inn, and of the leading incidents are importo the Ten Tragedies of Seneca, ant, but not sufficiently intricate by different hands. The antient to awaken our curiosity, and hold drama was by these means introus in suspence. Nothing is per- duced and laid open to our anplexed and nothing unravelled. cestors, and it must be confessed The opposition of interests is such that many parts of their translaas does not affect our nicer feel
tions, if we may judge from the ings. In the plot of a play, our quotations Mr. Warton has given pleasure arises in proportion as us, appear to have considerable our expectation is excited. merit. Besides the antient drama,
Yet it must be granted, that the almost all the classical poets whe. language of Gor DOBU C has great ther Greek or Roman were tranpurity and perspicuity; and that slated into our language during it is entirely free from that tumid this reign. The verfions of Hophraseology, which does not seem mer, Mufæus, Virgil, Horace, to have taken place till play.writ- Ovid, and Martial, appeared in ing had become a trade, and our English before ihe year 1580; poets found it their interest to
these, says our author, 6. while captivate the multitude 'by the they contributed to familiarize false sublime, and by those ex- the ideas of the antient poets to aggerated imageries and pedantic English readers, improved our metaphors, which are the chief language and versification ; and blemishes of the scenes of Shake. that in a general view they ought spear, and which are at this day to be considered as valuable and mistaken for his capital beauties important accessions to the stock by too many readers. Here also of our poetical literature. These we perceive another and a strong were the classics of Shakespear.” reason why this play was never From amongst the various expopular."
tracts Mr. Warton has given us of This tragedy coming out of the translations in question, we the hands of a man of such repul- beg leave to lay before our reader tation and abilities as Lord Buck. the following one from the transhurst, was immediately followed formation of Athamas and Ino by English translations of the Jo- in the fourth book of Ovid, by cafta of Euripedes, by George Arthur Golding. Gascoign and Francis Kilwen
“ The furious fiend Tisiphone, doth cloth her out of hand,
(a) A torch. The word is used by Milton.
The funne withdrewe him : Athamas and eke his wife were cast
any wound: it was the minde that felt the cruell stinges. A poylon made in fyrup-wise, she also with her brings, The filthy fome of Cerberus, the casting of the snake Echidna, bred among the fennes, about the Stygian lake. Defire of gadding forth abroad, Forgetfullness of minde, Delight in mischiefe, Woodneffe (), Tears, and Purpose whole in
clinde To cruell murther : all the which, she did together grinde. And mingling them with new-shed blood, she boyled them in brasse, And stird them with a hemlock stalke. Now while that Athamas And Ino stood, and quakt for feare, this poyson ranke and fell She turned into both their brests, and made their hearts to swell. Then whilking often round about her head, her balefull brand, She made it soone, by gathering winde, to kindle in her hand. Thus, as it were in tryumph-wise, accomplishing her heft, To duskie Pluto's emptie realme, she gets her home to rest, And putteth off the fnarled snakes that girded-in her brest."
The loves of Hero and Leander observes) was admirably qualified ascribed to Musæus, and the first for what Mr. Mafon, with a hapbook of Lucan, were translated by py and judicious propriety, calls Christopher Marlowe, the con- PURE POETRY, will appear
from temporary of Shakespear, and a the following passage of his fora dramatic poet of great reputation. gotten tragedy of EDWARD THE He was also the author of many SECOND, written in the year beautiful sonnets, and of that re- 1590, and first printed in 1598. markable one called the Passionate The highest entertainments, then Shepherd to his Live, which ap- in fashion, are contrived for the pears in the Merry Wives of gratification of the infatụated EdWindsor.
ward, by his profligate minion, “ That Marlowe (our author Piers Gaveston.
I must haue wanton poets, pleasant wits,
May drawe the plyant king which way I please.
The Iliad of Homer was tran- lar objection, perhaps not totally lated by George Chapman to groundless, that he consulted the wards the latter end of this reign, prose Latin version more than the Mr. Warton's account of this Greek original. He says, sensi. poet is as follows.
bly enough, “ it is the part of “ In the Preface, he declares “ euery knowing and iudicious that the last twelve books were “ interpreter, not to follow the translated in fifteen weeks: yet 6 number and order of words, but with the advice of his learned and o the materiall things themselues, valued friends, Master Robert 6 and sentences to weigh diliHews (6), and Master Harriots. gently; and to clothe and a. It is certain that the whole per- 66 dorne them with words, and formance betrays the negligence
6 such a stile and forme of ora. of hafte. He pays his acknow- 6 tion, as are most apt for the ledgements to his 6 most ancient, “ language into which they are “ learned, and right noble friend, 65 conuerted.” The danger lies, “ Master Richard Stapilton (c), in too lavish an application of this 46 the first most desertful mouer sort of cloathing, that it may not 66 in the frame of our Homer.” disguise what it should only adorn. He endeavours to obviate a popu- I do not say that this is Chapman's
(a) That is, acting the part of Diana.
) This Robert Hues, or Hus, was a scholar, a good geographier and mathematician, and published a Tract in Latin on the Globes, Lond. 1593, 8vo. With other pieces in that way. There was allo a Robert Hughes who wrote a Dictionary of the Erglish and Perfic. See Wood, ATH. Oxon.i. 571. Hist. ANTIQUIT. UNIV. Oxon. Lib. ii. p. 288. b.
(c) Already mentioned as the publisher of a pretical miscellany in 1593. Supr. p. 401. “ The spirituall poems or hynnes of R. S.”are entered to ]. Bulbic, Oft. 17, 1595. REGISTR. STATION.C.fol. 3. b.
fault; but he has by no means re- published the Odyllea, which he presented the dignity or the fim- dedicated to Carr Earlof Somerset. plicity of Homer. He is sometimes In addition to the antient authors paraphrastic and redundant, but of Greece and Rome, translations more frequently retrenches or im- of most of the Italian poets into poverishes what he could not feel English took place towards the and express. In the mean time, close of this century. Ariosto, he labours with the inconvenience the tales of Boccafe, Bandello, and ofan aukward, in harmonious, and of other Italian authors, were unheroic measure, imposed by translated into our language, and custom, but disgustful to modern became the foundation of many
Yet he is not always with of the works of Shakespear, Dryout strength or spirit. He has en- den and others. Whatever could riched our language with many enrich, or furnish with matter compound epithets, so much in our future poets, was now showthe manner of Homer, such as ered down upon them with unthe silver.footed Thetis, the silver- common exuberance. Our lantbroned. Juno, the triple-featbered guage was considerably improved, helme, the bigh-walled Thebes, the beauties of antient literature the faire-haired boy, the filver were studied and copied with sucflowing floods, the hugely peopled cess, the works of the modern towns, the Grecians navy-bound, classics, if I may so call them, the strong-winged lance, and many were laid open to our ancestorset in more which might be collected. medium proferuntur, and finally our Dryden reports,that Waller never poetry was arrived at that point, could read Chapman's
Homerwith- when she had neither contracted out a degree of transport. Pope the severity of age, nor was fo is of opinion, that Chapman co- much a child as to be pleased moit vers his defects «
by a daring with what was most strange and " fiery spirit that animates his unnatural. “ translation, which is fomething As a considerable part of the “ like what one might imagine last section of this volume, con6 Homer himself to have writtaining a general view and cha« before he arrived to years of racter of the poetry of Queen Eli
discretion." But his fire is zabeth's age, is inserted in antoo frequently darkened, by that other part of our Register for this fort of fuftian which now disfio year*, we shall not touch upon it gured the diction of our tragedy.” here.
Chapman also, in the year 1614,
* See p. 141. of this last parto
May drawe the plyant king which way I please.
Shall bathe him in a spring: and there hard by,
The Iliad of Homer was tran- lar objection, perhaps not totally lated by George Chapman to- groundless, that he consulted the wards the latter end of this reign, prose Latin version more than the Mr. Warton's account of this Greek original. He says, sensipoet is as follows.
bly enough, « it is the part of " In the Preface, he declares
euery knowing and iudicious that the last twelve books were “ interpreter, not to follow the translated in fifteen weeks: yet 6 number and order of words, but with the advice of his learned and the materiall things themselues, valued friends, Master Robert 6 and sentences to weigh diliHews (b), and Master Harriots. “ gently; and to clothe and a. It is certain that the whole per- 6 dorne them with words, and formance betrays the negligence 6 such a stile and forme of ora. of bafte. He pays his acknow- « tion, as are most apt for the ledgements to his most ancient," language into which they are " learned, and right noble friend, « conuerted.” The danger lies, • Master Richard Stapilton (c), in too lavish an application of this 66 the first most desertful mouer sort of clothing, that it may not “ in the frame of our Homer.” disguise what it should only adorn. He endeavours to obviate a popu. I do not say that this is Chapman's
(a) That is, acling the part of Diana.
(6) This Robert Hues, or Hisus, was a scholar, a good geographier and mathematician, and published a Tract in Latin on the Globes, Lond. 1593, 8vo. With other pieces in that way. There was allo a Robert Hughes who wrote a Dictionary of the English and Perfic. See Wood, ATH. Oxon.i. 571. Hist. ANTIQUIT. UNIV. OXON. Lib. ii. p. 288. b.
(c) Already mentioned as the publisher of a poetical miscellany in 1593. Supr. p. 401. “ The spirituall poems or hy.nnes of R. S.” are entered to ]. Busbie, Oft. 17, 1595. REGISTR. STATION.C. fol. 3. b.