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Why on thefe fhores are we with joy furvey'd
Bebold our deeds tranfcending our commands,
If any thing can be juftly objected to this tranflation, it is, perhaps, that in one or two places it is too diffused and defcriptive for that agitation in which it was spoken. In general, however, one may venture to affert, that it is warmed with the
fame ardor of poetry and heroiẩm that glows in the original; as those several thoughts, which Mr. Pope has intermixed of his own, naturally arise, out of the fentiments of his author, and are perfectly conformable to the character and circumftances of the fpeaker.
I SHALL close this review with Mr. Congreve; who has tranflated the petition of Priam to Achilles for the body of his fon Hector, together with the lamentations of Andromache, Hecuba, and Helen.
HOMER reprefents the unfortunate king of Troy, as entering unobferved into the tent of Achilles; and illuftrates the surprize which arose in that chief and his attendants, upon the first discovery of Priam, by the following fimile:
Ως δ' όταν ανδρ' ατη πυκινη λάβη, ος ενι παρα Φώλα κατακτείνας, αλλων εξικείο δήμον, Ανδρος ες άφνεις, θαμβος δ' έχει εισορωνίας Ως Αχιλευς θαμβησεν, ιδον Πρίαμον θεοειδέα. xxiv. 480.
Nothing can be more languid and inelegant than the manner in which Congreve, has rendered this paffage:
But as a wretch, who has a murder done,
Creates amazement in the lookers on :
But Pope has raised the fame thought with his ufual grace and spirit:
As when a wretch, who, confcious of his crime, Purfu'd for murder, flies his native clime, Just gains fome frontier, breathless, pale, amaz'd!
All gaze, all wonder: thus Achilles gaz'd. POPE.
The fpeech of Priam is wonderfully pathetic and affecting. He tells Achilles, that out of fifty fons, he had one only remaining; and of him he was now unhappily bereaved by his fword. He conjures him by his tenderness for his own father, to commiferate the moft wretched of parents; who, by an uncommon feverity of fate, was thus obliged to kifs thofe hands which were imbrued in the blood of his children:
το νυν ενεχ ικανω νηας Αχαιών, Λυσομενος παρα σειο, φέρω δ' απερείσι' αποινα. Αλλ' αιδεια θεός, Αχιλευ, αυτόν τ' ελεησον, Μνησαμενος σε παρος" εγω δ' ελεεινότερος περ, Ετλην δ', οι επω τις επιχθονιος βρολος άλλος, Άνδρος παιδοφόνοιο πολι τομα χειρ' ορεγεις. v. 501
THESE moving lines Mr. Congreve has debafed into the lowest and most unaffecting profe:
For his fake only I am hither come;
Of all mankind most wretched and forlorne,
Nothing could compenfate the trouble of laboring thro thefe heavy and tasteless rhimes, but the pleafure of being relieved at the end of them with a more lively profpect of poetry:
For him thro boftile camps I bent my way,
ACHILLES having at length consented to restore the dead body of Hector, Priam conducts it to his palace. It is there placed in funeral pomp, at the fame time that mournful dirges are fung over the corpse, intermingled with the lamentations of Andromache, Hecuba, and Helen: