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The following passage, which is four lines off from that last quoted from Mr. Sotheby, we think infinitely superior to any

other version. It is the repulse of Chryses by Agamemnon.

*“Ne'er may I more, aged priest, amid our fleet,
Thee, lingering now, or here returning, meet ;
Lest thou in vain extend thy golden rod
And sacred fillet of thy guardian god.
I will not free thy daughter from my arms,
Till

age o'ershadow her diminish'd charms.
Ere then, far off, thy child beneath my roof
At Argos shares my couch and weaves my woof.
Depart: nor longer here my rage excite-

Away: so best thy safety find in flight." -pp. 2, 3. Pope has altogether departed from the text in his translation of the original of these lines. He makes Agamemnon command the priest to fly from the “plains," and not from the ships, as Homer wrote it. “Lingering now,” and “here returning,” in the above are quite literal, and could not be amended, in our opinion. The celebrated passage, describing the retirement of the priest, is thus rendered by Mr. Sotheby:

* He spake—the father shudder'd and obey'd : Then lone along the sounding sea-shore stray'd ; In silence went, till, wrung from deep despair,

Burst on Apollo's ear his votary's prayer.'-p.3. The contrast, which in Homer has such a prodigious effect, between the silence of Chryses and the roar of the billows, is lost in Mr. Sotheby's version. "Maynwaring renders it thus:

By the loud shore in silent passion strayed ;' But Tickell, more elaborately,

Silent he pass'd amid the deafening roar

Of tumbling billows on the lonely shore.? We looked with fear and trembling to the descent of Apollo in Mr. Sotheby's specimens, because it was next to impossible for him to avoid attempting the very difficult grace of making the sound an echo to the sense. The

passage is as follows:
Thus Chryses pray'd : his prayer Apollo heard,
And heavenly vengeance kindled at the word.
He, from Olympus' brow, in fury bore
His bow and quiver's death-denouncing store.
The arrows, rattling round his viewless fight,
Clang'd, as the god descended dark as night.
Then Phoebus stay'd, and from the fleet apart
Launch'd on the host the inevitable dart,
And ever as he wing'd the shaft below,

Dire was the twanging of the silver bow.'—pp. 3, 4. This passage, in our apprehension, is quite as good as the original. The picture it gives us is fully as bold and impressive

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as that which we receive from Homer. Pope has entirely sunk under it, and Cowper is most elaborately erroneous, failing both to furnish the idea or the manner of Homer in the lines which describe the twanging of the bow. Mr. Sotheby uses the words "dark as night.” In the original, it is “like unto the night," and we doubt if it be not the attribute of a gradual imperceptible progress, and not that of darkness, which the night possesses, that Homer really meant. The description of the effects of the plague is exceedingly faithful in the translation, and no less spirited, but there is one line in the following couplet to which we would draw the writer's attention.

So Juno will'd, who mourn'd, untimely slain,

The Grecians dying on the tainted plain.” It is distinctly declared in those lines that Juno mourned the Grecians, first untimely slain, and next as they were dying. This is a figure for which Mr. Sotheby must confess that he was indebted to the sister country: Perhaps, in the spirit of that kingdom, he would have us interpret "slain,”

slain,” as the people of Ireland do "kilt,” which certainly describes a state totally unconnected with moribund symptoms. Clear, however, we are that Juno lamented the dying Grecians örı på Orhokorras, and not after they were slain, The translator goes on :

• The council met, and 'mid the public woes,

First from his seat Achilles stern uprose.' There is no fault which Mr. Sotheby ought to be more vigilant in avoiding, than one of which we have an instance in the first of these two lines, where Achilles is made to rise amidst "the public woes”—there being a physical action combined here with a mere imaginary personification. Achilles actually rose-that is a fact cognizable by our senses; but when we say he rose " amid the public woes," we dismiss the senses, and we appeal to the fancy. All rhetoricians, we believe, are loud against such incongruous alliances. Another example, of the same kind, occurs in one of Achilles' replies to Agamemnon:

“Thou, wrought of lucre, insolence and pride.' Perhaps Mr. Sotheby means that 'lucre should be taken for the passion of which it is the object, but we doubt very much if poetic license will go so far--at all events, the line is clumsy, and can scarcely be injured by any change.

Is there not an error in the auxiliary verb in the second of these lines?

And learn from him what hetacombs unpaid,

On Greece such vengeance of the God has laid :'
Describing Calchas, the translator has this couplet : :

• He, all the past, the present, future knew,
All came at will, and rose before his view."

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We should say that

He all the present, past, and future knew, would be better, and quite as near to the original. With respect to all came at will,' it might, perhaps, appear hypercriticism in us to say that this is a wrong application of the homely words "came at will,” because a close examination will, we think, convince Mr. Sotheby that the volition, in this saying, is imputed to that which comes, and not to the object which it comes to; so that in this case the words of the translation are equivalent to this-the past, present, and future, came at their will, whereas he meant that they came at the will of Calchas.

The next two lines are unwarranted by Homer, whilst the qualifications described by eippovew are altogether omitted. Pope has given the following paraphrase of this word :

• The venerable sage Thus spoke the prudence and the fears of age.' The speech of Calchas in reply to Achilles is, we acknowledge, a very difficult passage for a translator to do justice to. Mr. Sotheby renders it thus :

«“Thou bidd'st me say, Pelides, Jove-belov'd,
Whence Phoebus rages, why to vengeance mov'd:
Thus urg'd, I speak : thou too, if death impend,
Swear that thy prowess Calchas shall defend.
He, who o'er all holds rule, whom all obey,
Will with revengeful wrath the offence repay.
Who strives with kings their sov'reignty shall know,
And fall beneath the greatness of their foe.
Not,-if they curb their rage the present day, —
E'er unconsummated it dies away.

Say, wilt thou shield me?”?--p. 5. The objection we have to this version is, that it is very obscure, and that one who knew nothing of Homer, except through Mr. Sotheby, would have no suspicion of the nature of the offence which Calchas was asking Achilles to protect him in committing. Neither does the periphrastic allusion to Agamemnon unite, so happily as in the original, the distance of respect, with the truth of identification, Let us proceed to Achilles' answer.

Peleus' son replied,
“ Pour out thy prescient soul, in me confide:
None, by that god, who, list'ning to thy pray'r,
Grants that thy voice to Greece the fates declare,
While yet I live, yet view the light of day,
Shall on thy head a hand unhallow'd lay:
Not if thou name the king, who proudly boasts

His pow'r alone surpasses all our hosts.
This is but a very ill substitute for the original, which is a per-
fect master-piece of art, so far as these two speeches are concerned.
Calchas was afraid to speak his mind, lest Agamemnon should

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p. 5, 6.

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resent what he was going to say; and in asking the protection of Achilles against that resentment, Calchas takes care to point to Agamemnon in a circuitous manner, as thus: “I think that personage will be enraged who rules over the Argives, and whom the Achæans obey." Now, in his answer, Achilles takes care to fix the allusion beyond all possibility of misunderstanding, for he says,

Not one of all the Greeks together shall lay a heavy hand upon thee, not even should you say Agamemnon.'

What can be more true to nature ? the timid prophet made, as we should say, a parliamentary allusion to the object of his fears; the brave Achilles boldly pronounces his name. Both Pope and Mr. Sotheby sink this stroke of art, but Cowper retains it.

We must pause here, satisfied that we have submitted enough of these specimens to justify the anticipation in which we indulge, that Mr. Sotheby is the man to supply a suitable version of Homer's works to the literature of this country. We have made no selection from his verses, but cited them as they arose, feeling that this was the most impartial and by far the fairest course towards the public and the translator. Fidelity being the great desideratum in all translations of Homer which deserve the name, and no version that we have seen possessing that quality in so eminent a degree as the one before us, we do sincerely hope that Mr. Sotheby will not allow his imagination or his ingenuity to separate him from the text of his great original. The task before him is a noble one, and its execution, successfully accomplished, will be repaid with a duration of fame, which the reflected light of Homer is sure to confer on even the humblest satellite that moves within his luminous orbit.

We have to mention that the Parting of Hector and Andromache" is given, and also the “Shield of Achilles.” They are both rendered with great spirit and beauty.

ART. VII.-Catalogue of the Sixty-second Exhibition of the Royal

Academy. 4to. pp. 51. London: Clowes. 1830. WE have lately had occasion more than once to remonstrate against the daily and weekly style of puffing new books, which disgraces the press of this Metropolis, and threatens to reduce the character of our current literature below the contempt of every man of common sense in the country. It gratifies us to find this subject, so important in a national point of view, taken up by another journal of considerable authority in literary matters. We are sure that it will require but little combined exertion from a few sound critics, in their different spheres, to put an end to a nuisance, of which the reading part of the community has long had reason to complain.

It is not, however, in literature alone that a vicious and indiscriminating style of criticism prevails; it extends also to the fine årts,-to music, painting, sculpture, to the sciences, and indeed to

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every thing that can be brought within the reach of its influence. A person who, perhaps, never saw a good picture in his life, and knows no more of the elements necessary to constitute such a work than he does of the Chinese language, is dispatched to the Royal Academy to report upon the new exhibition the very day it is opened. He wanders through the different rooms, casts what must necessarily be but an imperfect glance at the twelve or thirteen hundred paintings which they contain, and, with his eyes dazzled, his judgment confused, and ignorant of the principles by which he should be guided, he selects those works which have great names appended to them, copies their description from the catalogue, strings a few sentences of praise or censure, just as his loose ideas furnish him with matter, and having repeated this process three or four days successively, he winds up the whole with a summary decision, which he pronounces with an air of the most complacent authority. Of one picture he speaks as "very clever, and very entertaining;” in another, he discovers " great depth and richness of tone,” which, perhaps, is only remarkable for its gaudiness; a third he thinks to be "powerfully painted,” because it looks more like a sculptured bust than a portrait on canvas; and thus he goes the round of the rooms, discovering “sweet and pearly tones," (pearly tones !!) “ remarkably fine whole-lengths,”'“ usual skill

6 and taste," " excellent specimens," "admirable likenesses," "mas

" terly pictures,” “ charming pictures of beauty, grace, and amiable sentiment,”—from all of which phrases we learn just as much concerning the merits of the exhibition, as we should do from the ringing of the postman's bell.

Now we beg leave to say, that there is nothing in this style of writing, on such a subject, which excites our surprise. The report must be made, for something must be said in the columns of the press with respect to the Academy. The artists expect it, the public like it, because they are prone to be guided in every thing, like children learning to walk. We say that we are not in the least astonished to find real ignorance veiled in so many beautiful phrases; as it may, and does, often happen, that the critic who reports upon the Academy in the morning, may in the evening be desired to pronounce judgment upon a new opera, a new tragedy, or a new ballet; that whether he is to report a speech in Parliament, a case from the law courts or police offices, a coroner's inquest, or a row in the street, he must produce his copy within a given time. To him every art must unlock its secrets, for there is hardly any exhibition in this huge metropolis, whether it be connected with dancing, singing, or fiddling,-pugilism, politics, or the pulpit,—the court, the camp, the kitchen, or the colosseum, which does not occasionally demand his attention, and await his fiat.

The mere mistakes of such critics it would be unpardonable in us to detail. The sands in the hour-glass frequently reversed would not equal them in number. We have often and often been

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