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induce him to form the intention of translating it. Boswell tells us that he went so far as to render the two first cantos into English prose, preparatory to forming them into couplets, similar to those of his “Vanity of Iluman Wishes ;" but that the labor and time required by his Dictionary and Lives of the Poets, forced him to relinquish the task; not, however, without strongly advising Goldsmith to undertake it, and offering him all possible assist
Goldsmith had every disposition to gratify his illustrious friend, and actually commenced the translation. But he had already entered into arrangements with the booksellers for the translation of Bullon, and the compilation of his histories of England, Greece, aul Rone ; and his necessities left him no choice but to proceed with the latter, and clefer his version of the Lusiad to another time—a time, unfortunately for the fame of Camoens and the cause of classic literature, never to arrive. llad the poem been lost i century since, anul that we had not now Vestige of it lest, from which we could form an estimate of its merits, the fact that it was so much admired, not only by Johnson and Goldsmith, but also by Milton, Pope, and Dryden, might well be regarled as satisfactory proof that it was a noble periormance. But even Vickle gives sulficient of the beauties of the original to show this. Before we give any specimens, lowever, of the passages in which he has taken least liberties with the text, we will liere take a brief glance at the machinery of the pocin.
The action opens with a view of the Portuguese fleet in a prosperous gale, on the coast of Ethiopia. The deities of classical mythology are represented as in council, deliberating on the fate of the fleet, on which the fate of the eastern world depends. Meantime the crews, weary with struggling against the winds, long for a friendly harbor, where they might be able to rest, and get fresh provisions, if not money to send to their wives and children, who mourncil at home for their absence, and the dangers to which they were exposed. The gols having fully discussed the probable results of an eastern empire, established ly a western people, Jupiter, as president, declares that the Lusians shall be successful—a decision considerably influenced, if not brought about, by the cloquent pleadings of Venus, who assumes the office of protectress of the Portuguese ; Vars interests himself in the same cause, and his chief duty is to prevent Jupiter, ly fre
quent intercessions, froni altering his mind. On the opposite side we have Bacchus, as the evil demon of Mohamadanisin, who, foreseeing the danger of his own empire and religini, does all in his power to destroy the fleet, and liy mheunis similar to those adopted by Juno aguinst Eneas, lie is on the point of succeeding, when the son of Maia leads tlie fleet into it safe harbor at Mozambique. Here they engage in battle with the natives, and on gaining the victory, they take a Voorish pilot on board, who tries to induce them to enter another harbor, in wlick their destruction would have been inevitabiles ; but they receive timely warning of the danger from celestial l'enus. In all this the Lusiad resembles the Iliad and Eneidl, especially the latter, without borrowing from either. Is Virgil makes Eneas relate to Dido the cause of his royage, the destruction of Troy, anillolends the history of Rome up to his own time, with his narrative ; so does ('amoens make Gama relate to the King of Melinda all that is interesting in the history of lortugal, including the ciremistances which led to the expedition on which he was now embarked. The evil demon pursues the flect everywhere. While crossing the Indian Ocean, he implores Neptune to raise one of his worst tempests. Vor does the god of the sea refuse; but just as shipwreck begins to sccm inevitable, Venus is introduced, under the appearence of the star bearing her name. She calls on her nymphis to still the tempest, as Juno calls on Eulus in the Eneil, the former, as well as the latter, promising marriage as the reward of compliance :
• Thus every nymplı her various lover chides;
In flowery beds are brought." While returning to Europe, after Gama had accomplished his purpose, the fleet is pursued by the demon the same as it was in its way to India ; and as there would be too much sameness in finding safe harbors again, Venus is made to form the celebrated Floating Island—a sort of Marine Paradise, intended to reward her heroes. The poet has been censured for this ; but it contains nothing more lascivious than is to be found in any of the other great poets, whether of ancient or moderns times, not excepting Milton. After the goddess of the ocean gives her hand, and cominits her empire to Gama, she conducts him to her palace, as Dido
does Æncas in similar circumstances ; but not an indelicate word is used by the former more than the latter. And be it observed, that it is to this enchanted island, or as it is inore generally called the Island of Bliss, we are indebted for Tasso's enchanted gardens of Armida, the description of which forms ore of the most delightful cpisodes of the Gerusalemme Liberata. But a much nobler fiction is that of the Spirit of the Cape, already referred to. In the original this is truly lIomeric. Even in the diluted translation of Mickle, it rises to the true sublime. The poet uses great art in preparing the reader for the terribly startling incident which is to happen. The first intimation of the spectre is given
Beneath the glistening wave the god of day
As when hoarse surges lash their rocky mounds, &c. Nothing in IIomer is better calculated to Gll the imagination than this. The description of the spectre, which follows, possesses an air of reality that excites horror—a feeling not a little increased, when the monster speaks and utters his awful predictions, until interrupted by Gama. No translation could do justice to this, a fact which it is particularly necessary to bear in mind in reading the following version.
I spoke, when rising through the darken'd air,
There is grandeur in every stage of the fiction. The daring one in which the phanto is interrogatul and questioned by Gamit, is $12!1p. I wiili the genrrile Surit on the heroic age.
Tin uriin. Lui!: huitely are ihan in IV lillier " nelinpii.--- !,!" Whil illere is in the Encidl, an as mul ils 1:!!i!! the lin. To, perhaps, not i fow this will soon caratioll; but it is nililie less strictly true. There woulil tur. Bliv Ble's id lor?"lon Worithe poem known in its 111e jom!. Since this (al!!!.0; lie wil diere is a new translafin, il liwxplanatory Als all}}"fest!"Y: In the first place it is adminico all hards, in every civili.c:16.ry, that the genius of Cambodia is of the P1 kl vitler. li is ('ually known that it mori (uth:11=sir !!!! HIV livel, Ahi (Ven among poets there his !?!)Wimmer iulile!'ofilurilor sex, or one more suscepithe i themele pission. Besides the literatures of Cireccn:ut Rivl!!", with which his lid was deeply imbuci, he knew !! that was lirih knowing in the literature of modern Italy . ?.mely, the works ni Danie, Piltresi, Bocaccio, and a few others, kuiverd the needlities Colle', iind was fond of indventure ; in whici les hougil d till, le vil not shrink from expressing 1, recopik citer Virgil or 'Tasso : he pretired io liepos 1:10 viricel roher han bei parasite. It was for 11 king or great londinäille 111!1! liis lyre ; but for the glory of his country and tur immortalit;, thic noblest motives which call actuair t?re livman hind. If henters
the incense of praise, it is to beauty and virtile; 10! 1. wealth and power ; and if he has complaints (1) make, it is the former, not the latter, he adresses; as, for example, in ihat beautiful passage in the seventh canto, tolerally well rendered by Mickle, thus :
Ye gentle nymphs of Tago's rosy bowers,
With similar independence and love of truth hc interweaves the history of his country with the narrative of the Lusiad, bestowing, indeed, full praise where praise is deserved, but equally ready to censure where censure is deserved. Vor does he spare the king more than the beggar. In describing the reign of Don Jolin and Queen Leonora, he says :
The burning forex of clomestic rage,
All holy ties the frantic transport braved,
There is a melancholy pleasure in turning from the character of Leanora, to the tragic story of Ignez de Castro, as given in the form of an episode—a story which has afforded a subject for more