« VorigeDoorgaan »
and green. These phenomena were not visible beyond the lunar disk. He compared the appearance to the changes in a kaleidoscope. Similar, or the same, phenomena were seen by Mr. Goldsborough, from Fort Strilacoom, and hence Lieut. Gilliss thinks that it is doubtful about their being attributable to an abnormal condition of the retina. *
Dr. J. Lamont has collected one hundred and thirteen memoirs relating to the eclipse of 1860, ninety-one of them pertaining to the observations and their results. From this memoir of Dr. Lamont, we learn that the investigators may be divided into two general classes, with respect to their opinions and conclusions in relation to the cause of the protuberances. † The first class, including Messrs. Airy, Levernir, Seechi, Aguilar, Struve, Mädler, Gautier, Bremicker, Gilliss, Winneeke, Petit, Prazmowski, and Lespiault, are in favor of the hypothesis of solar clouds; while the second class, including Messrs. Plantamour, d'Abbadi, Marquez, Legrand, Faye, and Lamont, favor the hypothesis of the interference of light. Observations made on more recent eclipses with the spectroscope, as we shall see, have decided in favor of the first hypothesis. The principal European observers stationed in Spain, at three principal places as centres Vitoria, Tarazona, Castillon de la Plana.
The French government sent to Algiers, under M. Lanssedat, a commission consisting of officers and professors of the Polytechnic School, who stationed themselves at Batna, and the Viceroy of Egypt sent the astronomer of Cairo, Mahmoud Bey, with numerous assistants, to Dongolah on the Nile.
All these observers generally found that, when viewed through the screen, the sun seemed to have entirely disappeared; but on quickly removing it, a bright solar crescent was still to be seen, and it did not disappear until the lapse of twenty or thirty seconds. Professor Airy first saw this same phenomenon during the total eclipse of July 8th, 1842, at the Superga, near Turin, and he described it by saying that he had seen the sun vanish twice behind the moon. It
* Coast Survey Report, 1860, pp. 286-7. Figures are here given, illustrative of the various phenomena seen.
+ See Forteschritte der Physik, xvi, pp. 569-602, and Smithsonian Report, 1864, pp. 240-257.
will readily be seen that this phenomenon is of considerable importance, since it will have an influence of greater or less extent on the observed period of totality, accordingly as the beginning and end are observed with the screen, or not.
During the second vanishing of the sun, or perhaps a few seconds earlier, numerous intensely red rays issued from the moon's limb, the smaller soon disappearing, but the larger ones remaining as protuberances after the completion of the eclipse. These protuberances, or red clouds, came out simultaneously on the east, south and north sides, but the period of totality was nearly half past before they were seen on the west. We have already seen that in this country the darkness was equal to that of night; but in Spain and Algiers it was sufficiently light to enable the observers to recognize the seconds of the chronometer and to read coarse print. One fact of importance we shall record here, namely, that the protuberances were better seen with a light red glass screen than without any screen at all, and with such a glass they could be followed longer, even after totality, circumstances attending the duration of an eclipse worthy of remembrance.
Several observers gave their attentions to photographing the eclipse, both when partial and when total ; and a comparison of the results thus obtained, with those derived from direct observation and measurement, has shown that the former method is by far the most delicate ; for the photographs show a considerable number of protuberances not otherwise recognized, and among them even very prominent ones, “ of which no trace was to be perceived by direct observation.” * “The explanation of this fact,” says Dr. Lamont, “presents many difficulties, since, if we say that the light of those protuberances may act chemically without affecting the retina of the eye, we must not forget that in practice hitherto no example of this sort has yet been exhibited.” + According to M. Goulier the photographs obtained by M. Lamey, in Metz, show the solar cresent surrounded on all sides by a bright light of which the direct observations show no trace. I
* Smith Rep., 1864, p. 248. † Smith Rep., 1864, p. 248.
Comptes Rendus, li.,
NOTICES AND CRITICISMS.
The Odes and Epodes of Horace. A metrical translation into English, with
Introduction and commentaries. By LORD LYTTON, with Latin Text from the editions of Orelli Macleane and Yonge. 12mo. pp. 521.
New York: Harper & Brothers. 1870. The admirers of the Venusian bard may well thank Bulwer for this volume; it is not too much to say, that had the author of “Pelham ” contributed in no other manner to the refinement of the public taste than by this translation, he would have merited the gratitude of every true lover of lyric poetry and classic culture. Other English versions of Horace, both in a metrical and prose form, have, indeed, been attempted at different times. So universal a favorite has Horace been in England, as well as in every other enlightened country, that there has not been a single English poet acquainted with the Latin, from Ben Johnson to Byron, both inclusive, who has not translated more or less of his Odes and Epodes. This is true, for example, of Cowley, Pope, Swift, Milton, Dryden, Addison, Moore, Chatterton, &c. Independently of these versions of particular lyrics, some of which are, indeed, excellent, several have undertaken to render the whole works of Horace; but the translation of Francis, first published in 1831, is the only one which is any longer referred to; the version of Lord Ravensworth, published in 1858, being confined to the Odes.
The reason of this is sufficiently obvious to scholars. There are very few who combine all the qualifications necessary to translate Horace. We have often wished, these twenty years past, that Bulwer, (now Lord Lytton), would undertake the task, feeling certain that no living author possesses so many of those qualifications. This was the general feeling among the literary men of England when his Lordship was finally induced to commence the present translation. Nor can any candidl critic, capable of appreciating how difficult it is to transfuse into English the characteristic beauties of Horace, deny that the result is a happy one.
It would be foreign to our object, in this notice, to enter into details as to those peculiarities of Ilorace, which have caused so many to fail in attempting to reproduce the charms of his poetry in the English language. At all events, we think it will be much more agreeable and satisfactory to give a few specimens of the work, side by side with the original, so that the reader may judge for himself. With this view, we will transcribe a stanza here and there, rather than a whole ode, or epode, as the former course will give a more correct idea of the translation as a whole. In selecting stanzas for this purpose we shall be guided more by the application of the sentiments which they express to our own times, than by the beauties, either of the original, or of the translation. Accordingly, our first
extract will be from Ad Avaros (To the Misers), very properly entitled by Lord Lytton, “On the Money-making tendencies of the age"—the terms equivalent to misers and millionaires being synonymous among the ancients. A part of Horace's description of a sort of person, nowhere better known than among ourselves, at the present day, is rendered as follows by Lord Lytton:
" While his mean father with a perjured oath
Swindles alike his partner and his hearth guest.
His worthless self bequeaths an heir as worthless.
But ne'er in growing can attain completion ;
Stints into want the unsufficing fortune.* This seems rather severe on the class ailuded to; but it is certainly not more so than the original; nor is it more so than the facts justify. The second line of the first stanza seems quite familiar, but let the reader compare it with the closing line of the first of the two stanzas of the original, at the bottom of the page. It would appear that “Woman's Rights," and "Free Love” were not entirely unknown in Horace's time, for he contrasts the Roman dames with the Scythian women, intimating that the latter did not undertake to rule their lords:
No dowered she-despot.rules her lord, nor trusts
The wife's protection to the leman's splendor,
Ancestral virtue, chastity unbroken.
Or death the only sentence for dishonor.
Intestine rage and fratricidal slaughter. The term “ she-despot " seems harsh, but it only shows the poverty of our language, as to gender, for no other expression would have so well rendered “nec dotata” in connection with conjux regit virum, and as for rules (regit), it is the very term the poet uses. But in order to judge
* Seu Graeco jubeas trocho
Seu malis vetita legibus alea ;
Consortem socium fullat et hospitem,
Heredi properet. Scilicet imbroba
Curtæ nescio quid semper abest rei. -Book iii., 0. xxiv.
+ Illic matre carentibus
Privignis mulier temperat innocens ;
Conjur, nec nitido fidit adultero.
Virtus. et metuens alterius viri
Ex peccare nefas, aut pretium est mori.
fully of the justice done to the misers, and those whom their money corrupts, by both Horace and the author of the “ Lady of Lyons," the whole ode must be read.
It is pleasant to turn from the millionaires and viragos to the beautiful ode addressed to Virgil, on the death of Quintilian, the prince of Roman critics, and the great champion of superior education. Few had more encmies than Quintilian, during his life time, because he never shrank from condemning whatever had a tendency to vitiate the public taste, even though it was the production of the most powerful and wealthy. But in this ode, and in his Ars Poetica, Horace has immortalised him :
So, the eternal slumber clasps Quinctilius,
Or Truth unveiled, find ?
Quinctilius from the gods. * Even Longinus has not attained greater glory than this. No one has rendered the two stanzas better than Lord Lytton ; perhaps no one has made so near an approach to a faithful rendering. He has not entirely succeeded, because it is utterly impossible to reproduce, in a similar form, the beauty, grace, and anguish, especially of the first of the two stanzas, quoted below. The pudor (modesty), incorrupta fides (uncorrapted faith), soror Justitiæ (the sister of Justice), and nuda Veritas (naked truth), of Horace, cannot be rendered into English metre, so as to do justice to the poet; yet we are much pleased with what the present translator has done. But in the second stanza he has succeeded admirably; even
Nulli flebilior quam tibi, Virgili, full of tenderness, grace and pathos as it is, is scarcely more affecting, when we bear in mind who the mourned and mourners are, than Bulwer's
" No mourner Wept with tears sadder than thine own, O Virgil !" It would not be right to take even so hurried and brief a glance as this at the Odes and Epodes of Horace without at least a passing word in regard to his amatory effusions, for, like all lyric poets, if, indeed, not like all poets and all great thinkers, he is never more truly poetical, or more fascinating, than when inspired by virtuous and modest, but partial
* Ergo Quinctilium perpetuus sopor
Urgeti cui Pudor, et Justitiæ soror,
Quando ullum inveniet parem?
Poscis Quinctilium deos.-B. i., 0. sxiv,