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Such is the outline of the present work. A consideration, which disposed the author, to employ himself in the present translation, may also induce some readers, to bestow a little time, on the perusal. This undertaking was commenced, in a season of gloom and turbulence, amidst a variety of alarming phantasms, and fearful apprehensions. The dismal prospect, has in some measure cleared up; yet still the horizon of social sympathy is contracting itself; and blackening into clouds, and heavy darkness. Happy is he, who can find. within his closet a temporary retreat, from the tumult, and the sorrows of the busy crowd; and lose himself in literary amusements, and unambitious cares. This is an innocent and moral resource, which does not banish feeling, or unfit the mind for exertion; it is a resource, which is not a satire, on the individual, who adopts it; or an insult, on the sufferings, and the apprehensions, of the many who suffer around him. The Muses come, like divine comforters, to the restless couch of pain, privation, and despondency.-Not with the obtrusive declamation of a vain philosophy; not, with the stale professions of consolation, which ever fail of their end; but with soothing variations from painful and immediate cares, with welcome abstractions from importunate and besieging thoughts, with innocent resources, and alleviating arts, that insensibly steal us from ourselves. Hard indeed it is, to obtain that respite. The unpleasing sense of what we are, and what we may be, will still recur. The patriotic feelings, that remind us we have a country, become sources of fear. All the dear surrounding pledges, which to the moral man, in times of perfect serenity, are sources of the most pure and virtuous delight, in times of doubt and dismay, are armed with ponyards, to stab the feeling heart. But I know, that I shall too frequently have occasion to request the indulgence of my reader.-Let me not trespass on his patience, unnecessarily, and at the very threshold, by a querulous display of the feelings and forebodings of an individual. Many cannot understand me, and those who can, feel too much already.' Vol. i. P. xxxiii.

Mr. Preston admits that he has been in some degree paraphrastic and redundant in his version; and our readers will give him credit for the assertion, when they are told, that, while the original poem consists of less than six thousand lines, he has swelled out his own translation to nearly nine thousand, although the English Iambic verse, when dextrously managed, will contain very nearly as many ideas as the Greek hexameter; and, in a variety of exercises which we have seen written to ascertain the fact, has been made to run line for line, through several pages, without the omission of a single epithet, or turn of expression. Upon the exact length of the translated poem, however, we cannot be quite certain, without the trouble of reckoning the individual lines for ourselves-a trouble which we are by no means disposed to take; for never surely has there been a work published since the invention of printing so replete with numerical blunders. In book i, at the distance of ten lines alone from that marked 750, we are carried to 830; and

this error in calculation is suffered to continue to the end of the book, without correction. In the advance of the work, we have observed many misprints of a similar kind, of which some are rectified, and some are not, in the succeeding numerals.

The version, however, being avowedly paraphrastic, it is im possible to institute any thing like a verbal comparison between it and the original: the translator's object is to follow his prototype in spirit, rather than in words; and it is in general only by reading passage with passage, and page with page, that we can calculate the merit of which he is possessed. The following description of two of the companions of Jason is equally elegant and animated.

Calais and Zetes, the wing'd brothers came,
Offspring of Boreas, by a mortal dame.
Amid her equals, as the beauteous maid,
Erectheus' daughter, Orithyia play'd,
The stormy god beheld with wild desire;
Far from her native land and weeping sire,
Far from her lov'd Cecropia's sunny hills,
Flow'rs of Hymettus, cool Ilyssus' rills,
The shrieking maid the tyrant lover bore,
To Thracian wilds, where winds eternal roar,
Where drifted snows o'erwhelm the distant plains,
And winter scowls, and desolation reigns,
Where rifted rocks, in frightful crags arise,
And foggy damps involve th' inclement skies.
Around his bride impervious clouds he spread,
And mists and vapours were their nuptial bed.
An airy pinion from each heel display'd
O'er their light footsteps cast a plumy shade,
Sky-tinctur'd pinions, wond'rous to behold
Transparent plumage all bedropt with gold;
And on their shoulders mantling broad behind
Their raven tresses wanton'd with the wind.'

Vol. i. p. 13.

The verb beheld, in the fifth line of this extract, requires an object after it, of which it is strangely curtailed. The supply might be given, by rendering the third line thus:

'Her 'mid her equals, as the beauteous maid,' &c.

The last six lines, however, are truly excellent; and, notwithstanding the highly elaborate and very harmonious fluency of the original, need not shrink from a comparison.

Τω μὲν ETT' ακροτατοισι ποδων ἑκάτερθεν ερεμνάς
Σειον αειρομένω πτερυγας, μεγα θαμβος ιδέσθαι,
Χρυσείαις Φιλιδεσσι διαυγέας· αμφι δε νωτοις
Κραατος εξ ὑπατριο και αυχένος ενθα και ενθα
Κυανεαι δονεοντο μετά ανοιησιν έθειραι.

The sailing of the Argo (the first vessel, according to tradition, that ever dared the dangers of the sea), from the shores

of Iolcus-the gods looking down from heaven, with astonishment, upon the glorious spectacle-the thronging of the maids of Iolcus upon mount Pelion, to take a final farewell of the undaunted adventurers-and the distant presentation of the young Achilles to his father Peleus, who was one of the Argonauts, by the centaur Chiron and his wife, to whose care the infant was entrusted-are thus finely conceived, and ably translated. We have never heard till now, however, of manning oars, as in line six of the extract, although we have often been told of manning a ship, its decks, and its sails.

With radiant eyes the glorious dawn advanc'd,
And o'er the crags of lofty Pelion glanc'd.
In the smooth swell propitious breezes lave
Their sportive wings, and gently curl the wave.
Then, Tiphys rousing calls along the shores
"Embark, my gallant friends, and man your oars."
-Loud as he calls, the winding shores resound.
The gulph of Pagasa rebellows round:
But speech portentous soon impell'd the crowd,
The vessel spoke with human voice endow'd;
For Pallas had enclos'd within its frame,
The vocal wood, that from Dodona came.
The heroes spring on board, and crouding find
The stations at their oars by lot assign'd.
Train'd to the task they lay their arms aside,
And all prepare to sweep the sounding tide.
Anceus occupied the central post,
Alcides near him, in himself an host.
The dread of monsters, and misfortune's aid,
His mighty club was near the hero laid.
The lab'ring keel confest the god-like freight,
And deeper plung'd, and groan'd beneath his weight.
The cables now within the ship they drew,
And o'er the waves their last libations threw.
The shores retire in mist, the hills recede.
Then, o'er his native roof, and parent mead,
An eager parting look as Jason gave

He swell'd the breeze with sighs, with tears he swell'd the


The nervous rowers, like some youthful choir,
That dance in cadence round the mystic fire,
(In Delphi, and Ortygia the divine,"
And where thy silver streams, Ismenús, shine,
Their nimble feet, in cadence, to the sound
Of lyre and voices, lightly beat the ground;)
While Orpheus thro' the vocal strings explores
The soul of music, ply th' harmonious oars.
At ev'ry stroke, in foam the brine arose.
The hoarse wave murmurs, as the vessel goes.
As rising on their oars, the vigorous throng
Plough the dark waves, the vessel shoots along,

Their polish'd arms repel the dazzling beam,
And o'er the waters dart a fiery gleam.
Behind the ship an hoary track succeeds,
As pathways whiten thro' the verdant meads.
That signal day, from all th' abodes on high,
The blest immortals cast a wond'ring eye;
And saw the vessel, with her god-like crew,
Thro' paths untried the glorious course pursue.

'On Pelion's heights, and ev'ry summit stood
Th' assembled nymphs of mountain, dale, and wood.
They gaz'd entranc'd-amazement and delight
Possesst their souls, at the stupendous sight,
The fabric of Itonian Pallas' hand

Mov'd o'er the deep, by that heroic band.
And he, whom Phillira to Saturn bore,"
From steepy mountains seeks the sounding shore,
Where the white breakers o'er the pebbles rave,
Amid the foam advancing through the wave,
With hands uprais'd, he hail'd the parting train,
"Safe may ye sail, and safe your homes regain."
Near him his consort Chariclo appears,

The young Achilles in her arms she bears.
And holds him forward, as the vessel flies

With one last look to glad a father's eyes.' Vol. i. r. 25.


We have said, that, when love and beauty become the theme of the poet's song, he appears to peculiar advantage, and his numbers flow with an almost unrivaled sweetness of melody, as well as luxuriance of imagination. The following is the introduction of his hero to Hypsipyle, the young and captivating queen of Lemnos, termed, by the translator, the royal maid, notwithstanding her prior marriage.

Now, Jason seeks the city, beaming bright,
As that resplendent star, that darts his light,
At close of day, the messenger of Love.
With throbbing breast the virgin sees him move,
Blest harbinger of Hymen's nuptial blaze,
To gild the bridal roof, with festive rays.
Like her own blushes sweet she sees him rise,
With happiest auguries to glad her eyes,
To tell her that the youth shall soon appear,
Hope of her heart, yet object of her fear,
Whom stern Necessity too long detains,
Indignant of delay, on distant plains,
Lord of her wishes, for whose longing arms,
Parental care reserves her virgin charms.-
Thus Jason mov'd, like a celestial light,
To joyful crowds so welcome and so bright.
Tumultuous at the city gates they throng,
With downcast eyes the hero moves along.
Eager delight among the crowd prevail'd,
And cries of joy the graceful stranger hail'd,
He reach'd the palace of the royal maid,
The folding gates th' attendants wide display'd.

The gates with skill the builder had dispos'd;
And polish'd bolts the pervious passage clos'd.
Swift through the porch her guest Iphinoë led,
And plac'd him, where a splendid couch was spread.
Full opposite was set the youthful queen,
Her glowing cheeks, and her disorder'd mien,
Betray'd th' emotions of her throbbing breast.
With soothing speech the stranger she addrest.' Vol. i. P. 37.

This passage is happily translated throughout: but there is a beauty of versification in the opening of the original, which is perhaps not possible to be transfused.

Βή δ' ίμεναι προτι αστυ, φαεινῳ αστερι ισος,
̔Ο͵ ῥα τε νηγατεῃσιν εεργόμεναι καλυβῃσιν
Νύμφαι θηησαντο δόμων ὑπεραντελλοντα,
Και σφισι κυανεοιο δι' ηερος ομματα θέλγει,
Καλον ερευθόμενος· γάνυται δε τε ηϊθεσια
Παρθενος ἱμείρουσα μετ' αλλοδαποισιν εοντος
Ανδρασιν, ᾧ και μιν μνηστην κομέοισι τοκηες, &c.

The exquisite and well-known picture of night, in book iii,

743, of the original, is thus rendered by Mr. Preston.

Now, Night o'er earth her ample veil display'd;
And sailors, from the deep, the stars survey'd,
Orion, and the greater Bear; that guide
The nightly path of vessels, thro' the tide.
Sleep on the weary trav'lers' senses crept.
Ev'n in the tow'r the careful warder slept.
Subdued by rest the mother ceas'd to mourn
Her darling infants, clos'd within their urn.
The busy hum of crouded streets was still;
And still the watch-dog's larum loud and shrill.
The queen of darkness trod her awful round;
Her ears untroubled, by a vagrant sound.-
Medea's couch refus'd the soft controul;
For love and Jason agoniz'd her soul.

Vol. i. r. 149.

As a specimen of the powers of the Grecian bard in the sublime and terrible, we select the following description of the apparition of Hecate. In the original, it commences at book iii,

V. 1200.

'As o'er the flames the mix'd libation falls,
On Brimo Hecaté the votary calls.-
"Tremendous pow'r, assist my future toil.".
With backward steps he slowly trod the soil.
From deep recesses, awful pow'r, she heard;
And rising, at the potent call appear'd.
Envenom'd snakes with oaken boughs entwin'd,
Terrific wreath, her awful temples bind.
A mighty glare of torches flamed around;
And dogs of hell were heard, with piercing sound.

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