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as beauties. I speak of his compound epithets, and of his repetitions*. Many of the former cannot be done literally into English without destroying the purity of our language. I believe such should be retained as flide eafily of themselves into an English compound, without violence to the ear or to the received rules of compofition; as well as thofe which have received a fanction from the authority of our best Poets, and are become familiar through their ufe of them; fuch as the cloud-compelling Jove, etc. As for the reft, whenever any can be as fully and fignificantly exprelt in a fingle word as in a compounded one, the course to be taken is obvious.

Some that cannot be so turned as to preserve their full image by one or two words, may have justice done them by circumlocution; as the epithet vooíquos to a mountain, would appear little or ridiculous tranflated literally leaf-fhaking, but affords a majestic idea in the periphrafis : The lofty mountain shakes his waving woods. Others that admit of differing fignifications, may receive an advantage by a judicious variation, according to the occafions on which they are introduced. For example, the epithet of Apollo, ixnbinos, or far-fhooting, is capable of two explications; one literal in refpect of the darts and bow, the enfign of that God; the other allegorical with regard

* Of which there is a judicious defence in the Epiftolæ Homerice of Klotzius, p. 145, and in a Differtation of Schulzius.


regard to the rays of the fun therefore in fuch places where Apollo is reprefented as a God in perfon, I would ufe the former interpretation; and where the effects of the fun are defcribed, I would make choice of the latter. Upon the whole, it will be neceffary to avoid that perpetual repetition of the fame epithets which we find in Homer, and which, though it might be accommodated (as has been already shewn) to the ear of those times, is by no means fo to ours but one may wait for opportunities of placing them, where they derive an additional beauty from the occafions on which they are employed; and in doing this properly, a tranflator may at once shew his fancy and his judgment.

As for Homer's Repetitions*, we may divide them into three forts: of whole narrations and fpeeches, of fingle fentences, and of one verfe or hemiftich. I hope it is not impoffible to have fuch a regard to these, as neither to lofe fo known a mark of the author on the one hand, nor to offend the reader too much on the other. The repetition is not ungraceful in those fpeeches where the dignity of the speaker renders

Which are abfurdly cenfured by Rapin; to whom Clarke anfwers; "at verò erant hæc omnino fimpliciffimè & fine ornatű dicenda, ut raptim, ac velut in tranfitû, legendi, percurrentur." I recollect only one note in Clarke but what contains fenfe and judgment; and that is a note in the taste of those of Warburton, which we have ventured so often to cenfure. It is on the 49th line of Book 1, on the found of Apollo's Bow ftring. "Peftis fcilicet ingruentis, primus rumor terribilis." WARTON

renders it a fort of infolence to alter his words; as in the meffages from Gods to men, or from higher powers to inferiors in concerns of state, or where the ceremonial of religion feems to require it, in the folemn forms of prayers, oaths, or the like. In other cafes, I believe the best rule is to be guided by the nearnefs, or distance, at which the repetitions are placed in the original when they follow too close, one may vary the expreffion, but it is a queftion whether a professed tranflator be authorised to omit any: if they be tedious, the author is to answer for it.

It only remains to speak of the Verfification. Homer (as has been faid) is perpetually applying the found to the fenfe, and varying it on every new fubject. This is indeed one of the most exquifite beauties of poetry, and attainable by very few: I know only of Homer eminent for it in the Greek, and Virgil in Latin. I am fenfible it is what may fometimes happen by chance, when a writer is warm, and fully poffeffed of his image: however, it may be reasonably believed they defigned this, in whofe verfe it fo manifeftly appears in a fuperior degree to all others. Few readers have the ear to be judges of it; but those who have, will fee I have endeavoured at this beauty.

Upon the whole, I must confefs myself utterly incapable of doing justice to Homer. I attempt him in no other hope, but that which one may entertain without much vanity, of giving a more tolerable copy of him than any entire tranflation in verfe has yet




done. We have only thofe of Chapman, Hobbes, and Ogilby. Chapman has taken * the advantage of an immeasurable length of verfe, notwithstanding which, there is fcarce any paraphrase more loose and rambling than his. He has frequent interpolations of four or fix lines, and I remember one in the thirteenth Book of the Odyffey, verfe 312. where he has spun twenty verfes out of two. He is often miftaken in so bold a manner, that one might think he deviated on purpose, if he did not in other places of his notes infist so much upon verbal trifles. He appears to have had a strong affectation of extracting


• In the Hiftory of English Poetry, vol. 3. p. 441, an account is given of Chapman's Homer; from which our Author condefcended to borrow, and to read with attention, as appears from my copy of this Work, which once belonged to Pope, and in which he has noted many of Chapman's improper interpolations, extending fometimes to ten and twelve lines. But there was a Tranflation of Homer, little known, by an Arthur Hall, 1581, which Hall copied from a French Translation of Hugue's Sald, Abbé of St. Cheron, 1555. This Sald had eventually the power of misleading Pope. For in Book 3. v. 386, it is faid,

Ερηί δε μέν εικύια,

which Sald tranflates,

C'eft de Grea la bonne chambrien,

mistaking Grea for a proper name; which Hall follows, p. 57. In Grea's forme, the good handmaid ;

followed again by Chapman,

She tooke on her the shape

Of beldam Grea ;—

after whom comes Pope in his firft Edition, 1715, v. 476.

In Græa's form

Grea her favourite maid.


new meanings out of his Author, infomuch as to promife in his rhyming preface, a poem of the mysteries he has revealed in Homer: and perhaps he endeavoured to restrain the obvious fense to this end. His expreffion is involved in fuftian, a fault for which he was remarkable in his original writings, as in the tragedy of Buffy d'Amboife, etc. In a word, the nature of the man may account for his whole performance; for he appears from his preface and remarks to have been one of an arrogant turn, and an enthusiast in poetry. His own boast of having finished half the Iliad in less than fifteen weeks, shews with what negligence his verfion was performed. But that which is to be allowed him, and which very much contributed to cover his defects, is a daring fiery spirit that animates his tranflation, which is fomething like what one might imagine Homer himfelf would have writ before he arrived at years of difcretion.


Hobbes has given us a correct explanation of the fense in general, but for particulars and circumstances he continually lops them, and often omits the moft beautiful.


Though this tranflation of Hobbes, made in the eighty-feventh year of his age, be fo contemptible and tedious, yet his profe, for precifion, terfeness, and elegance, is fome of the best in our language. And when we read his fine critical Letter to Davenant, on his Gondibert, we are furprised at his bad verfes. With his principles, religious or political, I have nothing to do at present. A very curious Letter of Waller to Hobbes, highly commending the Levia than,

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