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inspire confidence in the merit of their publications. Nor do we admit this fact the less willingly because both belong not to New York, but to Boston, however much some of our enterprising neighbors may frown upon us for it. We do not pretend to be critical in music; it is one of the many things in regard to which our knowledge is limited. But we have good reason to believe that the two volumes before us are each excellent in its kind. The “Merry Chimes” contains a large variety of familiar and beautiful songs, suited for youth; the whole collection is admirably calculated to encourage the study of music, partly by the skill and taste with which the pieces have been selected, and partly by the clear and lucid instructions in the elementary part.
The Eli has a European fame. Indeed, there are but few oratorios that give more satisfaction to a religious audience. There is not so much sublimity or grandeur in it as in the oratorio of the Creation, but some think there is more tenderness, more pathos--in short, more piety. It contains many passages of exquisite sweetness and melody. This is true, for example, of “ Woman, how long wilt thou ?” “Hannah, why weepest thou ?” and “O, ye Kindreds !" (chorus of Levites), in Part I, and of “Woe unto us!” “My mother, bless me," and "When shall I arise ?" in Part II. Both volumes are tastefully gotten up, and correctly printed ; in a word, they are in every respect such as we would confidently recommend to our friends.
Remember Me ; or, The Holy Communion. By Ray PALMER. 12mo. pp.
102. Boston: The American Tract Society, 1865.
THERE is so little in this volume which is sectarian that we can hardly infer from it to what church the author belongs. We learn from the preface that he is a pastor of some church, but nothing further in regard to his peculiar theological views. How much more Christian-like it is to write or compile a book in this spirit than to fill it with denunciations and invectives against all who differ with the author. There is nothing more ill-judged than one of the latter kind; nothing more unchristian, since nothing is more contrary to the teachings of Christ than to seek to disseminate strife, or to revile those whose only alleged fault is that they entertain opinions different from our own. The object of the present volume is to show all in need of information on the subject how they should devote themselves to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and the author avails himself of poetry as well as prose, as a means of producing that feeling and condition of mind which the divines of nearly all churches hold to be necessary for that purpose.
The Charimeter, or Christian Man's Measure of Charity. New York;
General Prot. Episcopal Sunday School Union, 1865. We think there is no Christian family which would not do well to have a copy of this simple chart hung up in some discreet corner of the
house ; but in order that its usefulness may be appreciated it must be seen and examined. It shows by a graduated scale how we may be elevated by faith and good works from heartlessness and distrust to genuine Christian love.
Annual Report of Samuel Leiper Taylor, Librarian of the Historical Society
of Pennsylvania, for the year, 1864. Philadelphia, 1865. We are glad to learn from this report that this Historical Society of Pennsylvania is making considerable progress in the good work of estab. lishing a library; in our opinion its efforts show that it deserves the aid of all who are capable of appreciating the value of historical research as a means of improving civilization and increasing human happiness.
NATIONAL QUARTERLY REVIEW.
S SEPTEMBER, 1865.
ART. I.-1. The Iliad of Homer, rendered into English Blank
Verse. By EDWARD EARL OF DERBY. In two vols. New
York, 1855. 2. ΟΜΗΡΟΥ απαντα: H. E. HOMERI Opera Omnia, en Recen
sione et cum notis SAMUELIS CLARKII, S. T. P. Accessit varietas lection um Ms. lips. Et Vratislav, et edd. Veterum. Cuba 10. Augusti Ernesti qui et suas notas adspersit. Lipsiæ libraria weidmannia G. Reimer. MDCCCXXIV.
THERE is no proposition more generally assented to, at the present day, among literary men, than that it requires a poet to translate poetry. But many other qualifications are necessary in addition to poetic genius. It is almost superfluous to say that no one should attempt to translate a poem without a perfect knowledge both of the original and of the language into which it is sought to be rendered. But one may be a good poet and an accomplished linguist, and yet . fail to produce even a tolerable version of a work of such astonishing variety as the Iliad. He may be entirely successful in the narrative part, the descriptive, the allegorical, the dramatic, or the oratorical, &c.; but in order to succeed in each, he must not only be a universal genius, but he must have a true conception of the design of the author ; he must be acquainted with the manners and customs, laws and religion, of the age in which he wrote; in short, it is necessary that he know what was the public opinion of the people for whom the poem was originally written. Nor is all this sufficient; there must be similarity of mental associations in order to produce similarity of expression.
These remarks apply with tenfold force to a translation from a language which is no longer spoken. There are many expressions both in the Iliad and Odyssey which were VOL. XI.-N0. XXII.
pregnant with meaning to the Greeks of the time of Homer whose signification is now conjectural ; numerous allusions which were at once beautiful and eloquent are utterly faded, or serve only to mislead the reader. Again, expressions which were dignified, graceful, or tender in the time of Homer now seem vulgar or ludicrous; and the same is true of many of the habits and customs which those expressions represent. Hence it is that so few scholars agree as to the meaning of particular lines and passages in Homer, and that every succeeding edition of the original text, whether issued at Leipsic, Paris, or London, contains “emendations ;" although it is universally agreed that Homer is as superior to all other poets in clearness and lucidity as he is in beauty, sublimity, and attractiveness.
This is one reason why so many attempt to translate him ; another is, that he is always true to nature, and that nature is the same everywhere and at all times. This seems plausible at first sight, but it is not correct in the sense in which it is applied. Let it first be borne in mind that there are more local allusions in Homer than in any other poet, because those who took part in the war on both sides, although chiefly Greeks and Trojans, were the subjects of different princes, and the citizens of different republics, each having laws and customs, as well as territories, of their own, and differing from all the rest as much as any European nationalty of the present day differs from another. Even their modes of warfare were different ; some had made considerable progress in the arts and sciences, others but little; and those distinctions are fully, though briefly, exhibited by Homer.
Almost every state had its own peculiar mode of attack ; its mode of encampment; its mode of retreat ; its mode of ambuscade, &c., as well as its own peculiar weapons. Thus, for example, we are shown how the Thracians encamped in three lines, with their arms on the ground before them, and their chariots as a fortification on the outside.
Τω δε βάτην προτέρω διά τ’ έντεα και μέλαν αίμα
II. X. 469 et seq
Rang'd in three lines they view the prostrate band :
And the white steeds behind his chariot bound.-Pope. Nor is it alone the military art of the time which is fully described in the Iliad. The poet is equally communicative and instructive in regard to agriculture, architecture, mechanics, music, painting, sculpture, medicine, politics, &c., &c. Homer describes the mode of ploughing with oxen,
* with mules, and shows how the former did the work of the threshers ;' he describes fishing by anglingtt and by diving ;ll the hunting of the wild boar, the deer** and the lion ;tf he describes a marble palace upon arches ;ff and he shows how rafters are placed, &c. In short, he omits nothing that was characteristic of his time. It is needless, then, to say that a thorough knowledge of the Greek is necessary to understand all these descriptions, especially as there are many of the weapons of war, implements of husbandry, and other articles, particularly these used in field sports and amusements, for which modern languages have no terms, because they no longer exist.
We see from this that a poet may be abundantly lucid and clear in his own language and time, and yet be difficult to translate. Nor will the second reason assigned by those who are ambitious to translate Homer prove much more satisfactory when carefully examined ; namely, that nature is the same everywhere, and at all times. The laws of nature are, indeed, always the same; but it must be remembered that they are never stationary. Their results must be different at one stage of any particular process from what they are at another ; thus, what is true of the acorn is not true of the oak, nor what is true of the oak true of what it becomes in the lapse of time when imbedded in the earth under certain conditions.
That a country once fertile and beautiful becomes sterile and unsightly is known to every intelligent person; and who will pretend that it awakens the same ideas in its altered state which it did before that alteration took place? It would be as unreasonable to pretend that a woman who is beautiful and lovely at twenty, must be equally so at sixty or eighty. It is as natural to be old as it is to be young ; but this
Oxiii. 703. f See x. 420, Pope's Translation. | Ib xx. 520. If Ib. xxiv., 107. || xvi. 904. Txvii. 814. ** xi. 595. †† 378. ## Ib. vi. 304.88 xxiii. 826.