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My soul shall from my body be divorc'd;
No sadder sight can wretched mortal see.”—xxii., 38-90.
It will be seen that, although this is much better, as we have said, than any of his lordship's descriptions, it is far inferior to Pope's version, and we may add that it is far less faithful to the original :
" He strikes his reverend head, now white with age ;
(All trembling on the verge of helpless age), Great Jove has plac'd, sad spectacle of pain ! The bitter dregs of fortune's cup to drain ; To fill with scenes of death his closing eyes, And number all his days by miseries! My heroes slain, my bridal bed o'erturn'd My daughters ravish’d, and my city burn'd, My bleeding infants dásh'd against the floor; These I have yet to see, perhaps yet more ! Perhaps even I, reserved by angry Fate, The last sad relic of my ruin'd state (Dire pomp of sovereign wretchedness!) must fall, And stain the pavement of my regal hall ; Where famished dogs, late guardians of my door, Shall lick their mangled master's spatter'd gore. Yet for my sons I thank ye, gods! 'twas well ; Well have they perish'd, for in fight they fell. Who dies in youth and vigor dies the best Struck through with wounds, all honest on the breast; But when the Fates, in fulness of their rage, Spurn the hoar head of unresisting age, In dust the reverend lineaments deform, And pour to dogs the life-blood scarcely warm. This, this is misery! the last, the worst, That man can feel; man fated to be curst!" We will now transcribe his lordship's version of one of the Honieric speeches, selecting the deliberative kind as that in which he is most successful himself as a parliamentary orator. The best specimens in the Iliad are the orations of Ulysses, Phønix, and Ajax, when sent by Agamemnon as ambassadors to Achilles for the purpose of moving the latter to a reconciliation with the former. Each of the three ambassadors makes a speech to Achilles, and receives a reply from the hero. No three orations ever delivered on the same subject are more unlike; yet it is difficult to say which is the best ; which is constructed with most art; which is most persuasive; or which is best calculated to disarm resentment. Not a superfluous expression is made by any of the ambassadors ; cotone which the circumstances do not seem to require. Nor is there anything omitted, the use of which the most accomplished orator might suggest as arising from any of the circumstances under which the embasøy was sent, or as likely to prove so effectual, as what has been given by the poet. Because Ulysses has more wisdom than either Phænix or Ajax, he not only speaks first, but also at greatest length : he introduces a large variety of arguments, each arranged with the skill of an accomplished artist, and yet without the least appearance of art. First, he compliments Achilles ; then reminds him, as it were
incidentally, of former agreeable scenes in the tent of Aga-
" To thee I drink,
This, as we have said, is a very good speech in Lord Derby's version, although his lordship has allowed the poetry to evaporate. The address of Ulysses does not end here; he now proceeds to describe the splendid gifts which Agamemnon is anxious to bestow on Achilles, and his lordship has no faculty for poetical description. Even the beautiful Lesbians make but a sorry figure at his hands, thus :
“Sev'n women too, well skill'd in household cares,
In beauty far surpassing all their sex. There is no poetry in this; let us compare with it the four lines of Pope :
“Seven lovely captives of the Lesbian line,
Skilled in each art, unmatch'd in form divine,
When Lesbos sank beneath thy conquering arms." But it is in the pathetic his lordship fails most. In proof of this we refer any intelligent reader to his attempts in this department; no matter what form they assume, whether that of a speech or discussion. Compare his rendering of the celebrated appeal of Andromache to Hector, the speech of Patroclus to Achilles, or that of Priam to the same hero, with the versions of Pope of the same. We transcribe as a specimen the lamentation of Briseis for Patroclus, subjoining Pope's rendering of the same:
“Patroclus, dearly lov'd of this sad heart !
I weep thy death, my ever-gentle friend !” In this there is little pathos-scarcely any of the tenderness of the original. It is otherwise with Pope's version.
Perhaps no other passage we could have selected would give a more correct idea of the difference between a true poet and one who is no poet, as a translator of Homer, although almost any of the other pathetic speeches to which we have alluded lay a deeper and more enduring hold on our sympathies.
“Ah youth for ever dear, for ever kind,
For thee, that ever felt another's woe!”—II., xix., 303-320. But we find that our space is exhausted, and can give no more specimens. We would, however, advise the reader to extend his examination; for, if he would not profit much by reading his lordship's version, but rather run the risk of being led by it to form a false estimate of Homer's style, he would lose nothing in this way for which he would not be fully indemnified in comparing the different versions with each other. He would, at least, be able to form an idea of the structure of the Iliad, and the marvellous variety of its materials. At first sight this might seem an easy task, but there are few more difficult; although the most thoughtless cannot read Homer without finding beauties in every page, no poet is understood by 80 small a number. Thus, for example, the wrath of Achilles seems an absurd thing to the casual observer as the subject of a poem ; but there is a deep moral in it, namely, that concord among governors is the preservation of states, and that discord is the ruin of them. Even the episodes contribute to develop this idea ; and how full of beauty the most incredible of them are at the same time! still more forcibly does that remark apply to the allegorical fables ; such, for example, as Discord cast out of heaven to earth ; (*) Love alluring and extinguishing Honor;* Prudence restraining Pas
* xix., 93.
† üi., 460.