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who perpetually physics himself for don't mean it, Guy, you know. If his personal health, but has not pluck your brains aren't worth more thanenough to make any defence against my thousands, I am much mistaken." people who choose to kick him.” "Well
, Riverdale,” said Guy Lut"Then you would take high trel, “ I'll say no more about that. I ground," said the Earl, “and declare knew beforehand, pretty well, what the importance of making the power you would say on these points; but of England felt."
the difference in age between us is "Most assuredly. Our insular po- rather more important." sition renders it more easy for us to “It is, Guy, it is,” said the Earl. evade our responsibilities; but such "The question is perplexing. Of evasion is as imprudent as it is dis- course the chances are that you'll honourable. I am quite sure you will die before her. But, on the other agree with me that the logical result hand, men like you and I, given to of non-interference is a coalition politics, busy in brain, have a habit against England.'
of long life. If you should live to be “You are right," replied Lord eighty, Vivian, at sixty, will be quite Riverdale. "Well, I suppose I must as old as you. Positively I don't see take office. 'Tis a bore-an unmiti- many objections." gated bore. Mind, you are pledged “I see a good many," said Guy. to be Under Secretary ; will the “ The two principal ones are, that the Riverdale people re-elect you?". lady whom I desire to marry is young
“I am not mach afraid," said Guy. enough to be my daughter; and will “And now, my lord, if you have made have fifty times my income. But up your mind what reply to send to there is another; I am a widower, town, I have something of greater with one daughter." importance to talk about.”
“The deuce," said the Earl. Greater importance !"
At this moment Vivian entered the “Yes," said Guy, in a quiet tone; Holy of Holies; and observed that “I have something to say, which you the bearer of despatches would miss must be kind enough to receive with- the last train, unless he received an out indignation. I may as well out immediate answer. So the Earl with it. I am in love. I want to scribbled a few lines to Lord Y., and marry : the lady is your daughter." Guy and Vivian looked at one an
The Earl leaned back in his chair, other somewhat significantly. without uttering a word, and took á At length the letter was finished long look at Luttrel. After a while and sent off. Then Lord Riverdale he said
turned to Vivian and said“Guy, my dear fellow, there never “Well, Witch, do you mean to were two creatures better suited to marry Guy?. He seems to fancy you each other than you and Vivian. might suit him." There's the difference in age, I "I'll marry him to oblige you, know"
papa,” said Lady Vivian, getting up " There's the difference in rank and dropping him a graceful courand wealth, iny lord,” interrupted tesy: Guy.
To oblige me?" retorted the Earl, "Pshaw! You have no right to emphatically. talk to me in that absurd way. You Ånd then the dinner bell rang.
THE ILIAD OF HOMER. Each successive effort to familiarize tected and the actions in which they by translation the epic of Homer took part. ---a poem which, from the imagina- Already, in this period of traditive power and beauties with which tional knowledge, the chiefs who had it abounds, is invested with a perensailed to the Trojan war had retreated nial interest is certain to be received into the magnifying mist-land of fable, by the literary world with welcome ; with the deities of Olympus. The and when remarkable for many ex chief event which had occurred in the celigncies like the present, with admi- existence of the Greeks as yet conration and applause. The authorship tinned, doubtless, a perpetual and of the great poems which continued prominent theme of song, in which, for so many ages the bibles of the on a diminishing basis of authentic Greek peoples, the source of their detail, an immense superstructure history, theology, and drama, remains had been raised by the imagination a standing cause in the Chancery of successive generations of the bards Court of criticism, in which Wolfand of the Greek nation. PresentlyMaller have well-nigh exhausted the about three ages after the destruction pleadings on either side. The histo- of Troy is the assigned time, but prorical dates of the period in which bability would indicate a much later Homer lived, and of the Siege of Troy period-occurred the great migration --the great pagan crusade of collective of the northern Greeks to the coasts Greece against Asia- still continues, of Asia, whither they carried their and will ever remain, a subject of traditions, and where the bards bespeculation. The most probable 80- came acquainted with many others lution with respect to the origin of connected with the siege, handed the works to which an Homeric pa- down both by the Greek-speaking ternity has been assigned, seems to people of the region fronting Thrace, be this :- After the return of the whose face and that of the Troal, He Greek peoples to the Peninsula, rodotus says, were identical-though after the destruction of the western- there must have been a large Asian most of the Babylonian satrapies, the intermixture --and by the Asian peoevents of the war constituted a staple ples of the south, among whom they theme for the chroniclersand bards of incolated. Here the bards, wbo long the respective races, whose function, subsequently remained an institution, like all others of the primitive ages, became pusmihly posseared of other was closely connected with existing traditions having an Asiatic colouring religious institutions. History was with respect to the characters and still embodied in song; and while in events of the war ; and these songs, the first instance the events and cha- which represented the siege, &c., racters of the campaign were narrated from the Trojan point of view, they ani drawn with the truth of traditiin, wred as materials for their compos. as in the case of the songs of the tro tions. In this form they were ad. badours of the middleaze, twith became dressed to the Greeks at festivals and subsequently invested with the margames, sung in the palaces of Greek vellous colours of imagination ; and chieftains, in glorification, however, while the singers of each rare sought to of the old heries of their people, and immortalize its special hero or leader, the great expedition against Troy already be«ome inythiral, a fueion of was the chief object. the theologie and poetie ideas took Many have doubted, in an age place, and the stories of the goals before the art of writing was known, were introduced into the hallada, to whether it was postble to transmit by illustrate and ennoble by their inter- memory only.poems running to so great ference the heroes they specially pro- a length as the “Iliad," **Odyssea,"
• " The flat of Homer, rendered into English verse by Edward Earl of Derby," 2 vol. London: Murray. 1864
and others. Even Homer, who ap- models, purity of inind being regarded peared ages after the immense Greek as a sine qua non for the exercise of ballad literature had grown into ex- their elevated and important profesistence, makes no mention of written sion. When qualified according to characters, except on one occasion, the judgment of their teachers, they and in a dubious expression, referring were allotted a portion of land, and to the letter Bellerophon carried from possessed many exclusive advantages, Proetus to the Lycian king. Such an such as indemnification from taxes, objection is rendered of no value, how- &c., being regarded the while as obever, when illustrated by what we jects of the highest honour and adknow of the druids and other primi- miration. Among the imaginative tive theocracies, whose entire body of Greek races who settled along the knowledge, poetic, moral, and phy- Asian coast-line, the position of the sical, was memorial. In such a state aoidai was possibly, in many respects, of society the cultivation of the reten- similar. Their business was to postive faculty among the theocratic class, sess a store of national traditions in with its three orders, constituted their verse, and extemporize themes suited only means of preserving the civiliza- to the life of the time, which they tion they had attained- the only sung at festivals, games, and in the protection against relapsing into bar- palaces of chiefs--subjects religious, barism, and remained in long later heroic, national, or social. From the and more enlightened epochs of anti- mass of such traditional material as quity the chief faculty cultivated existed among this order respecting in the system of education. In the the siege of Troy, Homer selected the time of flomer, who calls the Muses class of ballads relating to the greatdaughters of memory, the art of est of the mythical Greek chieftains, minstrelsy and rhapsody, represented Achilles, whose wrath, the subject one of the leading elements of exist- which informs the action of the“Iliad," ing civilization. The bard pursued constitutes its most dramatic elehis business, for such it was, by every ment, as it eventually produces, when means of study and research which consummated, the proximate cause emulation and genius suggested; and of the taking of Troy. Achilles has when he appeared, a vast ballad been said to be the only character in literature existed among the long con- the "Iliad” which is highly idealized, stituted body of the Ionian aoidai, and it is hence supposed to be a pure who somewhe resembled the Arabian creation of Homer's genius; but the and the southern and eastern story- leading idea on which the sublimity tellers, and improvisatori, who have of the character rests--namely, that, the natural gift of narrative talent though conscious of being predesand character delineation.
tined to death the moment Troy is When the poet or singer remains taken, he heroically advances to at once chronicler and historian of effect that object, was possibly the life of a family or people-theo- traditionized in the mythical songs gonist and national annalist - he previously composed in his celebraforms the most important person- tion. It is difficult to say in what state age in their primitive social state, social civilization existed in Ilomer's and doubtless a generic resemblance day, the savage traits which Achilles, existed between his position and the glorified model of Greek heroism, requirements in the early ages of displays, may have been preserved in thie Greek as of many other people. some of the old ballads; but from Thus we find that the qualifica- the general tenor of human nature, tions of a Celtic filé or poet in- as depicted in the "Iliad,” were very volved the knowledge of two hun- likely drawn, as we find them, to suit dred and fifty prime stories, or those a congenial audience. The subseembodying great events, such as de- quent tragedy of the Greeks indeed structions, battles, navigations, tra- showed that ferocity-nay, the utmost gedies, sieges, and so on; and two criminality of character-when painthundred secondary stories, referring ed in relation to the power of destiny, to social incidents, humorous or received universal admiration ; just as other. The poetic order were regu- did Macbeth, when the witch was an larly trained in schools, and their object of popular credence. As recharacters formed on the highest gards the story of Pisistratus being VOL. LXV.-NO. CCCLXXXVI.
the first who transferred to writing now the majesty of a sunset, mirrors the “Iliad" and “Olyssea," as col with truth the simplest werd delected, arranged, and modellert by pending from a rock,and now relecting Homer, it seems highly probable that the tumult of a wrathful sky, raisina in his age the poems already existed its terrible billows to heaven, sweis in manuscript.' The alphabet which in dark sympathy with the move('admus (the name merely means ments of the tempest. eastern, from the east, is said to have The aluence of good poetic transintroduced into Greece must have lations of the classic authors of anbeen in use in Asia ages before l'is- tiquity in Enish literature has long istratus, and utilized by the lonian been and still remains a theme of Homerid.e or order of bards who regretful comment. Many have been succeeded Homer.
procluced by eminent scholars, and by Though the balance of probability men of more or less patie power; is in favour of the supposition that yet there is hardly one which, save in the two great poems are not the pure purta, realizes an idea or conveys the conceptions of Homer, but a collec: efect of the ancient writer, from whom, tion of balla is referring to a special despite the talents and geuius ui event and to characters of a remote played in such renderinz, the air of periol, the greatness of his genius, antiquity has for the most part disapas manifested in his work, sutiers to pares. The reason of this is obviously diminution. Rude ballad poetry, that the object of translators has been judging from the collected specimels to modernize the ancients; and one of of many nations, wira originating at the chiefineans by which this injurious an early epoch and handed down by transformation has been wrought has tradition, though here and the re been a result of di parting from the evinring strong pow.1s of narrat, form of verse in which surb original charu terization, and touring of 11.- portry is written many times se ture, is, for the ment part, of very are noen something of the spiri, common material, whare interist is never the torm. historic more than poetic; and the Among those who have translated matter on which Homer brought his Homer into English three names have creative fruity to bear, compared hitherto štood pre-eminent - Chap with the poetry he produced, mat nian, Pope, and ('owper. The geniis likely offered a contrast riluilar to of the first was admirably suited to that existing between Shaheb sit 'n such a work. It was not in the highese “Lear" and the slide ton una trom desreecreative and bence befuleri in which he tsuk lisnatort Hover is truzdy: but, gifted with antrungsm always equal to his mulject--natural, pathetie imagination, and co-ordinat. simple, animated, v.goro'k, viimeing sense of music; several purnagea in As a delineator of clara ter he bas-el. lits work
indeed approach nearer to the dom been equaled, as a depi tor ofur. v.gour of Homer than any kulisequent tivn, never surped. Like Shahe attr-mpts have dil-playe; besides this, speare, has knowledge of avion while reflectina liis parayli abie (puacquaintance with human natur la thes, the fetunteen-kvilal metre he matter of imas native mtuition, and and pted te 5.17: kmetling of the his creative per exhalaten varied and mpetuous music of the Throughout his poem he cis.pays in Greek heroe hexametre. Pope': parts, the most avqusitive me demand of Heiner dways much ptic faculty moral an physily: in otl.14, in various parts, and is distin: usled a conception of the puble of the ay a tranatun by the finest taste majertie order, as itinu bi frin and musical art. Welly modern, the prime val tuam, vel ** of the lle: huwever, it is no sucre like the poetry brew mind, whese imas may be raid of tue old lunian than the "hay oli to have initiated all survedin, pawtryMan." ('owpar wrote his transition of the most cievated cast Perbag's, in beruie bank verse, and so evinced however, his greatest charın to mo- al gher taste in avoiding the abati dern traders is the trorptive amp 1 dity of rhyme; but though lus work is city of luta pen-suite au 1er tuh mure literal than that of his which reflects and har llius with forerunner, and al- unds with anievery objøet and form of baturr, like wated and vigorous roneeringita the occan, which, while embracing, ettect is injured Actation of Miltonic verse, with its classical tactical and prosodial structure, and structure and phraseology, to which deficientin polysyllables and particles, his ear was attuned ; and hence, can never attain; and the effect of though nearer the original than Pope, confining the flowing majesty of the is unlike the simple and powerful rhapsody within the limits of the poetry and sonorous minstrel verse English heroic verse might be illusof Homer. The defects in such trated by turning any superior and works are attributable to many suitable metre in which a poem was causes, the first and most obvious written into an inferior, say that of which is the writer's inferiority that of Tennyson's "Locklesly Hall"-of genius to the most imagina- were turned into ten-syllabled rhymed tive poet of Greece; secondly, the verse. mistake that in rendering his poetry
How weak is the effect produced familiar to English readers, it was by the monosyllabic endings of the necessary to modernize it; thirdly, lines in the English heroic hexameter and this is included in the secoul compared with the dactylo-spondaic category, the selection of a form of terminations of the Greek rhapsody, verse different from and inferior to the which seem specially shaped for acoriginal -a defect which, destroying companying the terminal vibrations one of the chief elements of verisimili- of the singer's harp. Few as yet tude, arose partly from example, but have attempted this form of verse in was doubtless chiefly attributable to English, whose difficulty is patent to the great and perhaps insuperable every experimentalizer; hardly any. differences existing between the re- one succeeded, except in couplets and spective languages. Chapman's Homer passages; while none have ambistands nearest to the old bard-nearer tioned to sustain the metre throughin parts as to the spirit, it siiperades out any long work except Longfellow, something of the metrical form, and in his “ Evangeline,” which would thus conveys somewhat of his antique have been more pleasing in many manner; Cowper's, at a greater dis- another metre. The Greek lyrics and tance, in the imitative dress of the choruses of the dramas, from their liauthor of " Paradise Lost;" whereas, neal limits, stand a much better chance inlike the aged rhapsodist, with of being accurately reflected in Engsnowy beard, and robes floating in the lish than the hexameter. Even in imi. wind, as with inspired gesture he tations of antique metres, when the strikes his harp to some theme of utmost accuracy has been preserved, as heroic inspiration, in Pope's we in Tennyson's fragment, " Boadicea," see Homer in the costume of Queen written in Galliambic verse, the mulAune's day, tastefully and affectedly tiplication of final combinative words picking his steps down Fleet-street, essential to the imitative harmony, with a Brummagen lyre under his arm. produces an exotic and disagreeable
Until the form of verse in which effect on the ear, and proves the alHomer wrote, or an approximation most insuperable difficulty in the thereto, is attempted, despite the con- way of reproducing the longer and geniality of the translator's powers, more impassioned order of antique we can never have in English, or any metres in our language, and the other language, a true representation hopelessness of sustaining them of the ancient poet; and possibly, ex- agreeably to any length in one whose cept in German, in which Vos's structure is logical, unlike the flexible, translation is the closest approxima- harmonious, and magnificent material tion, such a work can hardly be ex- afforded by the imaginative Greek and pected. The great difference between Latin. In such efforts the desire to rethe “Iliail” and any of our render- tain literality--the first essential of ings is this, and it is one which trans- translation - constitutes a constant lators appear never to have consi- impediment in reproducing the heroic dered-namely, that the one was com- hexameter. If long sustained, how posed to be sung, whereas the others stiff and monotonous would a literal were written to be read. The Greek version in this metre become : heroic hexameter of Homer's ballad “ The rage of the son of Peleus, Achilleus, epic possesses a flowing structural
sing, oh goddess, vigour, and various continuous music, Destruction-winged, which wasted th' which the English, different in syn- Achæans' woes multitudinous,