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could favour us with a much better; but it shows the English reader the difficult task Mr. C- has imposed upon himself: and he will feel that whatever elegance and occasional strength the translator of Pindar has wrought into his version, it will afford him very little idea of the original as thus described.
Pope caught the very spirit of the illustrious Theban in the following lines :
“ Four swans sustain a car of silver bright,
With heads advanced and pinions stretch'd for flight ;
And all appear’d irregularly great." Of Mr. Cary's work we, in conclusion, remark, that it does not at all detract from his well-earned reputation as a correct, harmonious versifier. As a translator he decidedly stands high; but Pindar-this is not Pindar. Yet if it be intended to assist the student in his researches into the original, it is invaluable; but for the unlearned reader it does not convey the information necessary to enable him to understand a single Olympic. The Indicator and the Companion ; a Miscellany for the Field and
the Fireside. By Leigh Hunt. 2 vols. We welcome, at this cheerful season, these well-known friends of other days. We had long lost sight of them, for we entertained them one by one as they were introduced to us at certain intervals, or rather, they entertained us, and departed: we confess, with shame, we did not think to inquire after them. But they have now come upon us all at once, and we are delighted with their improved appearance: they talk as eloquently and as pleasantly as ever, and we shall certainly keep up their acquaintance during the Christmas holidays; and as we know where to find them, and they are always at home, we shall pay them frequent visits. The “ Indicator and the Companion" were a series of papers originally published in weekly numbers; they have been long out of print, and repeated calls having demanded their republication, the author has here made a selection, comprising the greater portion of the articles, omitting several, for reasons which he has assigned." Mr. Hunt concludes his modest advertisement in his usual spirit of kindness and good-will. He tells us, and we believe him, that"
—“ Both the works were written with the same view of inculcating a love of nature and of imagination, and of furnishing a sample of the enjoyment which they afford; and he cannot give a better proof of that enjoyment, as far as he was capable of it, than by stating that both were written during times of great trouble with him, and both helped him to see much of that fair play between his own anxieties and his natural cheerfulness, of which an indestructible belief in the good and the beautiful has rendered him, perhaps, not undeserving." As a specimen, and because it bears directly on the subject of the preceding notice, we transcribe the following:
“A WORD ON TRANSLATION FROM THE Poets. “ Intelligent men of no scholarship, on reading Horace, Theocritus, and other poets, through the medium of translation, bave often wondered how those writers obtained their glory, and they well might. The translations are no more like the original than a walking-stick is like a flowering bough. It is the same with the versions of Euripides, of Æschylus, of Sophocles, of Petrarch, of Boileau, and in many respects of Homer. Perhaps we could not give the reader a more brief yet com
plete specimen of the way in which bad translations are made, than by selecting a well-known passage from Shakspeare, and turning it into the commonplace kind of poetry that Aourished so widely among us till of late years. Take the passage, for instance, where the lovers in the Merchant of Venice' seat themselves on a bank by moonlight:
“ How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Become the touches of sweet harmony." Now a foreign translator, of the ordinary kind, would dilute and take all taste and freshness out of this draught of poetry, in a style somewhat like the fol. lowing:
“ With what a charm the moon serene and bright
Lends on the bank its soft reflected light!
To harmony impart divinest pow'r.” Eugene Aram-No. XXXIV. of the Standard Novels. That this series has now reached its thirty-fourth volume is sufficient evidence of its popularity, and, with one exception, (“ The Hunchback" of the clever, brilliant, but gross, and profane, Victor Hugo,) it, in every instance, deserves success. We have now before us Eugene Aram,” with a portion of a Tragedy by the same extraordinary writer.
Perhaps there never was a greater triumph of genius than that Mr. Bulwer has achieved in this novel. The story was common and well known. Mr. Hood had published a poem, and a beautiful one, on the subject; upon its announcement “ everybody said" if Mr. Bulwer does not invent a new catastrophe, “ the book will be a failure ;" but everybody was wrong. Mr. Bulwer retained the sad story with all its unfortunate circumstances, and yet gave to the world his most interestin if not his best production. There is no other living author who could have done as much: his triumph was complete. People read “ Eugene Aram,"—first, because of the author's fashion, and, above all, to see how he managed the difficulty, -afterwards, because of the feeling, the wisdom, and the fascination of its exciting pages. There may be more philosophy in the “ Disowned" and “ Devereux," more “fashion" in “ Pelham," more (we wish he had never written it) earthly diablerie in “ Paul Clifford," but nothing in the novelist's calendar can surpass the devotedness of Madeline,--the knowledge of human nature wrought out in the sweet character of Ellinor,-or the manly dignity that, if we regard it in a moral point of view, sheds too purified a halo over the crimes of the wretched, but magnificent murderer. The quiet humour of the sapient Bunting is not surpassed by any description in ancient or modern literature ; it is perfect in its way,- cut out of mortality with a sharp, keen instrument, whose utility can only be known to the most perfect mental anatomist.
But perhaps the feeling, of all others, that at times almost overpowers the reader, is the dread that Walter will discover in Clarke, the murdered man, his own father: how truly do we hope that this may not be the case ! Despite all our admiration_for the persevering youth, we pray that he may be disappointed. The Tragedy, only published in this edition, as far as it is carried, presents no new feature apart from the novel, for which our meed of praise is all too small.
We wish it finished. If Young had not left the stage, his acting would have honoured both himself and it, as the Scholar; and the other characters, as far as we can judge at present, would not be difficult to sustain. The stage has almost the claim of an adopted child on Mr. Bulwer, for it must never be forgotten that his strenuous efforts have done more on behalf of dramatic authors, than was ever before effected in the house of which he is so distinguished a member.
Stories of the Study. By John Galt, Esq. 3 vols. When we reviewed, in the October Number of the “ New Monthly," " Mr. Galt's Autobiography," we expressed our apprehension, knowing the then precarious state of his health, that that would be the last work with which the world would be favoured from his pen. Mr. Galt himself shared the same apprehension at the time. We rejoice to find that both his and our fears were groundless. Here is another work by the author of the “ Annals of the Parish,”—a work extending to three goodly volumes. We welcome it no less for Mr. Galt's own sake, proving, as it does, that, amid the violent and repeated shocks his physical constitution has sustained, his intellectual faculties remain unimpaired, -than as a valuable addition to our already ample stores of light literature.
As the title implies, the work does not like the generality of publications of a similar class, consist of one connected story, but of a number of tales of a very dissimilar kind. The principal stories are, “ The Lutherans," “ The Dean of Guild," “ The Craniologists," “ Bailie Daidles' Jaunt to Greece," The Greenwich Pensioner," “ The Stage Coach,"
“ The Seamstress," “ The English Groom,” and “ The Deluge."
The first tale,-namely, “ The Lutherans,"—-occupies as much space as all the others put together. It extends to a volume and a half. We wish it had been compressed into much narrower compass. It would have told with far better effect had it only possessed half its present fair proportions. Notwithstanding its length, however, it is a tale of much merit. The interest of the reader is wonderfully kept up until the dénouement bursts upon him. It abounds with graphic descriptions : that of the scenery in the vicinity of the cavern in which Ambrose, the hermit, secludes himself from the world, is charming. We were much struck with many of the moral aphorisms which Mr. Galt, as if unconsciously, drops every now and then in the course of his story. These show that he possesses the reflective as well as the imaginative faculty. He is not, however, always correct in his theological information. He repeatedly puts into the mouths of the leading characters in his tale, both Catholic and Lutheran, observations altogether at variance with their sentiments. In page 97, for example, he represents Fleury, one of the Catholic polemics, --for much of the story relates to a discussion between the Catholics and Lutherans,-as holding the notion that, if a man be only sincere in his belief, no criminality attaches to his entertaining erroneous opinions on the subject of religion. This notion is very general in the present day among those who are of what is called a liberal
way of thinking; but it certainly is no part of a Catholic creed. It was far less so in the days of the Reformation,--the time to which“ The Lutherans” relates. The church of Rome, so far from viewing as harmless the holding of erroneous notions, at the period in question, shut the gates of mercy on all who did not entertain precisely the same opinions as herself.
“ The Dean of Guild" follows “ The Lutherans.” It is, perhaps, the best story in the book. In it Mr. Galt is quite at home. It is written in the same style, and with scarcely less felicity, as “ The Ayrshire Legatees." Our English readers, we fear, will think the picture of the Scotch functionary, and his colleagues of the self-elected town council, greatly overcharged. We assure them, from a rather extensive and rery intimate personal acquaintance with such“ burgh authorities," that it is, on the whole, true to the life. Did we not know that such characters as Mr. Galt has here drawn were quite common under the fostering care of that system of self-election now abolished, we should have supposed that the original of his portraiture was some of our own northern acquaintances.
In the remaining stories of the second volume, there is nothing that calls for particular remark, either in the way of praise or blame.
They are possessed of the average merit of Mr. Galt's works of fiction, but nothing more. The third volume opens with “The Jaunt," which extends to 120 pages. The idea of his story is happily conceived, and the execution is also excellent. Bailie Daidles, a Scotchman, seeing that the passing of the Reform Bill necessarily insured the speedy extinction of the self-election system in the town council, and, consequently, his loss of office, determines on a jaunt with his wife, to Greece, in the hope, no doubt, that the change of view and other cireumstances would have the effect of diverting his mind from the painful contemplation of the impending close of his magisterial career. Never having travelled before, every thing of course appears “wondrous strange" to the Bailie, and he very naturally resolves on taking notes, with the view of becoming author on his return home. “ The Jaunt" consists of a record of what he saw in the course of his journey from the “Land of Cakes to the classic shore of Greece. Mr. Galt makes the worthy Bailie tell his story in his own words, which he does in a highly characteristic and very amusing manner.
The remaining stories possess different degrees of merit. Neither “ The Craniologist” nor “ The Horoscope" is much to our taste; but if they are deficient in interest, that deficiency is amply compensated by the gratification derived from the “The Stage Coach” and “ The Deluge.'
If the “Stories of the Study” proceeded from any other pen than Mr. Galt's, we would feel every disposition in the world to rate the author somewhat roundly for the quaint phraseology with which the work abounds. Mr. Galt, however, from long usage, has almost acquired a prescriptive right to be as quaint as he pleases. The public have now been so long accustomed to his peculiarities of style, that, “ with all its faults, they love it still,” or rather, perhaps, see no fault in it.
Once more, we sincerely congratulate Mr. Galt on his re-appearance, under such auspicious circumstances, in the world of letters. We trust the public are destined to receive many more such volumes from his pen as Those we now recommend to their notice. In such a case, we shall be among the first to greet them with a cordial welcome.
Peter Simple. 3 vols. Three volumes full of perils by land and perils by water-now an escape from an enemy's battery-and now an escape from an enemy's prison--one year we are in the West Indies, the next cruising off Copenhagen--now in the gun-boats in the heat of an attack, and now tried by a court-martialall the salted provisions are excellent, but the fresh ones are not of such high order ;-or, to drop metaphor, the author is capital as far as the sea is concerned; but when he gets upon land, his adventures, unless they happen in a sea-port, seem rather taken out of some old novel, those transcripts of daily life--they are both exaggerated and improbable. People are not shut up in Bedlam, children do not tumble out of window, just in the nick of time as they are here represented. The dénouement is forced and absurd to the last degree; and were we to judge it mer
1 as a story, these three volumes might be dismissed in two words, and those words would be-very bad. But as a nautical autobiography, it is excellent; there is the graphic character which truth, and truth only, can give. We like Peter himself so much, and the Irish Lieutenant O'Brien is invaluable. We beg also to commend the boatswain, with his natural turn for gentility; the carpenter, with his for philosophy; and Captain Savage, as a fine specimen of " sea chivalry;" and, leaving land out of sight, we doubt not but that Peter Simple and his reader will meet, sail together, and part with great satisfaction.
Poems by John Galt, Esq. Mr. Galt here appears in a new character, namely, that of a poet. It is but fair, however, to state, that he does not make any great preten
sions to it. He speaks of his poetical attempts with much diffidence. Indeed, he expressly disclaims, in his dedication, having any exalted notion of their merits. In these circumstances, it would be unfair to subject them to any very rigid ordeal. Some of them are possessed of considerable merit, and so far serve to show that, had Mr. Galt assiduously cultivated an acquaintance with the nymphs of Helicon, he might have risen to distinction as a poet. It is but candid, however, to add, that we see nothing in the pieces before us, that could justify the opinion, that by any application, however intense, he would ever have attained the eminence as a poet he has reached as a writer of prose. Mr. Galt's success in the latter capacity is so great, that he can well afford to dispense with the reputation of a firstrate poet.
Dilemmas of Pride. By the Author of “First Love.” 3 vols. There is a strong and excellent moral beginning at the first page, and continuing to the last of this novel, which, in a great degree, atones for a revolting and painful plot. The talent exhibited in individual portraits is excellent; and there is a good deal of quaint, yet genuine humour in the description of the Salter family, dozens of whom are to be met with at every watering-place. The mother of the twin sons, Lady Arden, is well and truly portrayed. A fond and tender parent, ever hovering between the advantages derived from high and rich connexions, and deep anxiety to see her children happy, is no uncommon person; and yet the new reading given by our author to the part is forcible, and deeply interesting, from its truth, more than its imagination. We cannot help wishing that the amiableob author had chosen a gentler theme-her path lies more amid flowers than weeds -- she is more fitted to cull the one, than to trample the other-greater strength than she possesses is necessary to deal with pride. And she appears - aware of this, by so often recurring to, and even sermonizing on her subject.
Nevertheless, the moral is excellent, and the volumes may be safely placed in the hand of young females by the most careful parents.
Gale Middleton. By the Author of Brambletye House. 3 vols. Well do we remember the exceeding pleasure afforded us by the right excellent tale of “ Brambletye House," and many a cheerful hour did we pass amid its pleasant pages. There was much that was good, and a great deal that went far beyond what is usually denominated " interesting," in the narrative, and it was worked out with considerable skill. We are sorry that Gale Middleton" is not of that ilk; not so much in that we believe Mr. Smith's forte lies in detailing the romaunts of former days, rather than the scenes of every-day life, as that we are sorry when the dealers in tales of by-gone days become defaulters, and enter upon what even Mr. Smith's talent cannot renovate. We are heart-sick of tales of “ Parvenus"—and aristocrats--and young ladies-blues, and in blue--and all the namhypamby of what authors choose to denominate “ high life.” We are wearied of fêtes, and fools, and follies; the present age is, of all the ages that ever shone upon England, the least interesting to write about. There is no possibility of a lady's elopement producing a sensation, nor any chance of a good robbery causing anything except a trial by jury. Eugene Aram" was the last of our poetical murderers, and even he required all Mr. Bulwer's talent to make him interesting. “ Gale Middleton" ought to have been born a century ago, and then Mr. Smith could have managed him better; then he might have been really a hero,– now he little more than nice young man.” Nevertheless, there is so much point, so much bustle, and so much excitement in the volumes, that those who are not acquainted with the superior merits of “ Brambletye House" will be delighted with “ Gale Middleton." With us, the one stands out from amid all the hoohs we ever read-a thing to be remembered all our lives; the other is amusing,