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and the translator is disloyal to his original. We think that Mr. Mitchell has egregiously offended in this particular. Nor did Mr. Cumberland, in his excellent translation of “ The Clouds," play the metrical tricks exhibited by Mr. Mitchell, in the vain imagination of representing the unimitated and inimitable measures of the comic master in namby-pamby verse, and singing rhyme. Nor did he treat his readers with centos from Shakspeare, and other poets familiar to our ears; a practice against which we strongly protest, and for this reason :-we are willing to flatter ourselves that we are reading Aristophanes, when we read the plays translated by Mr. Mitchell; but the illusion vanishes, when we find that Shakspeare and other of our elder poets have supplied any portion of his dialogue. Memory whispers where the translator, stole his spoils; and the whole has a clumsy and patch-work appearance. Moreover, most of the passages which Mr. Mitchell by means of this larceny has taken from our great bard, are parts as it were of a consecrated edifice. The abstraction of them from their hallowed precincts is a sort of profanation. It is the dilapidation of Shakspeare to furnish brick and cement to other writers. Now, that we may not appear unjustly querulous, we will subjoin a few instances out of many in which this has been done : “ Double, double, toil and trouble.” Acharn. 37. “ Damned be he that first cries hold.” Ibid. 48. Looped and windowed raggedness.”.
All pomp and circumstance of glorious war.” Ibid. 74. « Oh for a muse of fire.” Ibid. 90. And in the Knights, p. 218,
66 All these to hear Did the grave council seriously incline." Nor is it Shakspeare only on whom contributions are levied. Hudibras pays his share:
do ribs of cold iron
My heart, man, inviron.”
“ Or had practised oldest vices newest kind of ways." Even Lord Foppington supplies his celebrated exclamation, “Stap my vitals."
Mr. Mitchell is frequently pleased to change the figure of the poet; an arbitrary and lawless procedure in our opinion, unless there exists an absolute necessity for it. Thus in the Acharnians, Dicæopolis sums up his plagues, and contrasts them with his pleasurable sensations. Talking of the former,
« Α' δ' ωδωνησθην ψαμμoκoσιγαργαρα »
a figure, of which the literal meaning is, that his afflictions equalled in number a mountain of sand. Mr. Mitchell paraphrastically substitutes a metaphor and a simile :
“ But for my plagues, they come in whole battalions,
In numbers numberless, like ocean's waves." With these exceptions, and others upon which we are unwilling to dilate, we gladly bear our testimony to the general spirit which characterizes these translations, and to the skill and versatility with which the chorusses and parabases are rendered. We are not indeed much enamoured of such metres as “ Double, double, toil and trouble, quickly step and change
Inquisition or petition must arrest the shameless man.” But the sum of our opinions upon Mr. Mitchell's work is this; that they are only fragments of translations; scenes and dialoges being sometimes omitted, and supplied by a prose narration, often much longer than the passages that are not translated, in which Mr. Mitchell kindly undertakes the office of interlocutor, and, like Mr. Bayes," insinuates the plot into the boxes; " that his notes are valuable elucidations of his author, and that some of the scenes are rendered with great felicity of execution. We shall conclude this article with a few extracts as specimens.
In the Acharnians, there is a paraphrastic but elegant transfusion into English verse of the hymn to Phales, beginning Φαλης, εταιρε βακχεια, with which we would willingly have treated our readers, were not the mysteries of the god somewhat too much revealed, in spite of the skill with which the grossness of the original is avoided. We insert the following translation of the exquisite Invocation to Peace, in the Acharnians, which the poet put into the mouth of Dicæopolis, the chorus having already invoked the God of War:
Dic. “ Maid, whate'er thy appellation,
T'RUCE, or ReconCILIATION,
Him that's drawn by painter's hand
Once more begins her lamp to fill.” (P. 113-115.)
“ Oft I'm by the women told,” &c.
"With reverence to your worships, 'tis our fate
t transang treated nat 100 Ossness slation
You love an obolas; pray take these three-
Art. III.—The Life of Voltaire, with interesting Particulars
respecting his Death, and Anecdotes and Characters of his contemporaries. By Frank Hall Standish, Esq. 8vo. pp. 393. Andrews. London, 1821.
This is a panegyric on Voltaire, in which just so much of his wickedness is exhibited as was necessary to give some verisimilitude to the portrait; while most of the dark lines are softened off, and the whole is coloured with the glowing tints of philanthropy, philosophy, and lofty independence of character. "A few examples of the author's own sentiments will be sufficient to show our readers how capable he is of doing justice to his hero.
Of the frequent obscenity of the volume we give no example; the biographer of Voltaire ought to be allowed some latitude in this respect, or his book would not be worthy of its subject. Mr. Standish's impurity has, however, the superadded merit of not being always necessary to his narrative; it is often gratuitoushe appears anxious to prove how well he has succeeded, not as a mere imitator or servile copyist, but in imbibing the true spirit of the author of " La Pucelle,” whom Rousseau himself could not tolerate within the limits of his republic, “because his plays corrupted the manners of the people.'
The following are Mr. Standish's mature ideas on the subject of love, friendship, marriage, and the female character. We quote some of the least licentious passages: , ,
" A matrimonial alliance is generally formed for mutual convenience: the pure passion of love is debased by that of interest ; but sincere friendship is a reciprocal interchange of benefits unmixed with any sordid consideration of advantage or requital.” (P.93.)
“ There are few women, of any temperament, who are not addicted to some vice, or to some pleasure. Though the Marquise du Châtelet loved celebrity and literature by profession, these were, even with her, secondary passions to intrigue and gambling. The former rendered her unfaithful to her husband, and afterwards to her lover; and the latter disturbed their mutual peace by embarrassing their fortune. No woman, however, united the power of pursuing dissipation and study at the same time, with so much success; and beholders saw with astonishment the commentatrix of Newton, after leaving a cardtable, instruct, and converse with the learned and the gay. Her attachment to Voltaire added to the happiness of his life; and, though she occasionally provoked his jealousy, he loved her the better when it passed away; for, if any thing real, or which exists in this world, can at all approach to the representations of poetical love, or imaginary affection, it is a connexion of this nature, unmixed with interest, and unfettered by restraint.” (P. 163, 164.)
For a specimen of this writer's view of Divine Providence we give the following passage :
“ Voltaire having been ordered by the king to select for him a public lecturer, recommended the Abbé de Prades. This is the same Abbé, who, being desirous of taking the title of doctor in theology, maintained, with the greatest intrepidity, at a full meeting in the Sorbonne, at Paris, the following doctrines: • That our soul is nothing more than an igneous fluid, after the opinion of the old fathers ; that Moses is the most impudent of all historians, after some more learned men; and, lastly, that the miracles of Jesus Christ resembled those of Esculapius upon his own authority. This boldness in the promulgation of what were judged to be such detestable principles, gained the Abbé a.grcat reputation over all Europe, and a small fortune at Berlin. Fre
h of his risimilioftened