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intereft, and to leave to induftry its full operation and entire reward.'

The volume concludes with Remarks on War and Military Establishments; but, as the pen of the moralift will be little regarded in the eager claims of contending nations, we need not enlarge on this fubject. That part of the chapter which is more interesting, as it relates more nearly to domestic polity, and of courfe to human happinefs, is on the comparative advantages and disadvantages of a ftanding army. These are enumerated with judgment and propriety.

We have now purfued our author, in a brief detail, through this large volume, in which we have found much to praife, and little, very little, to blame. Thofe, indeed, who may be more diffatisfied than ourselves with separate parts, fhould read the whole with attention; for the reasoning is conducted with fo much art and precifion, the connections are so minute, that we sometimes begin to doubt of the corollary, though we afterwards find it drawn with accuracy, from an unexceptionable propofition. We mention this precaution against hafty and partial criticism, because we have been more than once on the brink of the precipice.

We need not now repeat thofe commendations which we have fo freely intermixed with our account of the work itself; and we shall only add, that the language is as clear and accurate as the principles are juft and unexceptionable. It is always to be diftinguished for its precifion, and that kind of elegance, which arifes from proper words in proper places.' There are few fentences which a critic would wish to amend; and there is fometimes an expreffive energy, which few could reach.


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La Pucelle; or, the Maid of Orleans: From the French of Voltaire. The First Canto. 410. 25. Wilkie.

THO HOSE works whofe merit depend on the brilliancy of wit, the acuteness of fatire, and peculiar turns of language, are tranflated with difficulty, and their beauties are very imperfectly preferved. On this account, the humorous works of Swift, the inimitable Hudibras, and some others of the fame kind, lofe their fpirit in the tranflation; and our neighbours, with little fuccefs, look for that humour wirh which we are fo much delighted. La Pucelle, on the contrary, has hitherto had no proper reprefentative in English; and we approach only to the fprightliness and fimplicity of Fontaine. In our forty-ninth volume, we reviewed a probationary canto of the former, which stepped forward with an epic dignity, and feemed



to difdain the quirks, the quips, and wanton imiles,' of the original. It was Cato at the Floralia.. Our prefent tranflator comes nearer the author in his form. His Hudibrafic fuits better with the comic vein of the story, and his fancy is ready to finish what Voltaire fometimes leaves incomplete yet, on the whole, he is a faithful, and often a happy, tranflator. He has with-held the rest of the poem, from a diffidence of fuccefs but profeffes that he is not ftudious of profit,' though his affluence is not fufficient to make him indifferent to lofs.'

There are two very respectable defcriptions of men to whom the tranflator muft particularly addrefs himself: the periodical critics, who avow themselves the guardians of the public talte; and the men of grave characters, who, alarmed at the name of Voltaire, may, on this occafion, feel themfelves the guardians, and prepare to enter the lifts as the champions, of the public morals. To the former the tranflator muft announce himself the writer of amufement, and not of profeffion; but he wishes not, under any pretences, to obtain more than his due, and his object is not to preclude criticifm, but to depreciate feverity. Acquainted with the original, the ftyle of which, like that of all fatyrical writings in French verfe, is clofe, compreft, and abrupt; they must be fenfible of the difficulties of the undertaking, and it is only for the indulgences to which thefe may be entitled, that he prefumes to folicit. If, therefore, in adapting the poem to an English drefs, the tranflator has here and there been tempted to ufe fome little latitude in the conftruction, he has only to throw himself on the candour of his judges, and to hope that he has neither been fo frequent, nor fo licentious in the use of it, as to deftroy the general fenfe and fpirit of the author, to amplify his compreffion into weakness, or overlay the character of his wit with fuperfluous ornament. To the latter, the tranflator finds it lefs difficult to addrefs himself, for his literary delinquency he feels to be greater than his moral. The Pucelle is ufually marked with the most exceptionable of its extraordinary author's productions, but the tranflator cannot fubfcribe to the propriety of this difpofition; he allows, indeed, that the poet's wit is fometimes too wanton, and his fatire fometimes too undiftinguishing; but the frippery of a declining fuperftition, the abufes and corruptions of popery in particular, and of prieftcraft in general, feem to be the juft object of the one; and to entertain the fancy rather than taint the mind, is the obvious tendency of the other. It was under this alpect of the work, that the tranflation was undertaken, in which the tranflator trufts nothing will appear to juftify clafling him amongst the open, or the infidious, enemies of virtue or religion.'

We have preferved the author's defence entire, because we think it candid, and in general juft; but we fear, that though P 2


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the objections to this poem are foftened by his fatire being called too undistinguishing, and his licentious wantonness entertainment of the fancy, yet, together, they have raised fuch a hoft of enemies, as to prevent the fuccefs of a translation. While we are pleased with the author's wit, and amused with his descriptions, we cannot approve of undistinguishing attacks or lively fancy. No one, as Mr. Paley obferves, can answer to a fneer, or obviate the effect of a warm defcription by a moral leffon. It is, however, our present business to examine the translation; not to fit in judgment on the original.

As the author had prepared us for a little amplification, we were not furprifed to find an additional couplet, to exprefs a word or two, which could not be introduced into the former one; we were generally amufed at the eafy flow of verfification, and often at the happy imitation of the original. But the following lines, though lively and harmonious, are a little too far extended for the original,, which we have fubjoined.

• Le diner fait, on digère, on raifonne,
On conte, on rit, on medit du prochain,
On fait brailler des vers à maîtré alain,
On fait venir des docteurs de Sorbonne,
Des perroquets, un finge, un arlequin.
Le foleil baiffe; une troupe choifie
Avec le Roi court à la comédie,

Et fur la fin de ce fortuné jour
Le couple heureux s'enyvre encor d'amour.'
• The cloth remov'd, to help digestion,
Debated is fome gen'ral queftion;
Where pleafantry, and reafon find
Employ for body and for mind:
Smut, inuendos, jokes abound,
The titter, and the tale go round;
And in the various bill of fare
Scandal, and politics have fhare.
Whilft here fome rhyming coxcomb peer,
As vain as noify, ftorms your ear
His flimfy madrigals to hear.
Another, fkill'd to rhyme and fing,
Fit comrade for a jolly king,
A bawdy fong is heard to roar,
Till all the room is one encore.
The scene now shifts, the grave
Is fummon'd to afford them fun,
Like mummies plaifter'd to the ears
With learning of fome thousand years;
And mock affociates of their train,
Like them as formal, pert and vain ;·


With flowing gowns, and pompous wigs,
Your dancing dogs, and learned pigs.
Close on their heels are usher'd in
Punch, Scaramouch, and Harlequin.;
A tribe the lynx's eye to cozen,
And your
fire-eaters by the dozen :
With all that's strange of plum'd, or hairy,
An Irish giant, and a fairy.
At dufk choice parties with the king
To fee the play are on the wing;
For tho' the joyous day is done,
Their pleasures fet not with the fun,
But on through ev'ning hours furvive,
Kept by variety alive;

Till paffion founds the charge anew,
And love again demands his due,
Demands the undivided right
To rule the happy couple's night;
C'er whom his purple wings out-spread,
Flung bridal rofes round the bed,
Where lapt in extacy they lay,

Till wak'd by fuch another day.'

But, in fpite of this amplification, we now and then perceive fome flight omiffions. One, which we remarked in our account of the former tranflation, occurs alfo in this, viz. amour est un grand fard.' If the following lines are intended to include it, they lofe the force of the original, by extending the expreffion.


"Tis love, 'tis pleafure, muft difclofe, And give at once the full-grown rose.'

The French may now retort the fatire, and speak of their line of bullion ornamenting whole, pages, when drawn into Englif wire.

On the whole, however, we have.not feen a more happy verfion of this celebrated poem. The tranflator feems to have understood his author, and to have preferved his brilliancy: if the poignancy is lefiened, it has arifen chiefly from his defire of leaving no drop of this immortal man.'


For those who wish to compare the different tranflations, we shall select, as a specimen, the fame paffage which we quoted from the former verfion, in page 224, of our fortyninth Volume. That is written in more finished verfe, and is nearer to the words of the original. This approaches more closely to the careless, roguish manner of Voltaire. The features are often exactly traced in a picture, where, from a neglect of the air and manner, we find no great refemblance of the original.

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Le bon Roi Charle, au printems de fes jours,
Au tems de Pâque, en la citié de Tours,
A certain bal (ce prince aimait la danse)
Avait trouvé pour le bien de la France
Une beauté nommée Agnes Sorel.
Jamais l'amour ne forma rien de tel.
Imaginez de Flore la jeuneffe,

Le taille & l'air de la nymphe des bois,
Et de Vénus la grace enchantereffe,
Et de l'amour le féduifant minois,

L'art d' Arachne, le doux chant des firénes;
Elle avoit tout: elle auroit dans fes chaines
Mis les héros, les fages & les rois.

La voir, l'aimer, fentir l'ardeur brulante
Des doux défirs en leur chaleur naiffante,
Lorgner Agnès, foupirer & trembler,
Perdre la voix en voulant lui parler,
Preffer fes mains d'une main careffante,
Laiffer briller fa flamme impatiente,
Montrer fon trouble, en caufer à fon tour,
Lui plaire enfin, fut l'affaire d'un jour.
Princes & rois vout tres vite en amour.'
''Twas on one Eafter tide at Tours,
Where Charles in cap'ring spent his hours,
The youth, bleft circumftance for France!
Saw Agnes Sorel at a dance.

A form of that fuperior kind

As leaves defcription far behind;
For let imagination feek
The first young rofe on Flora's cheek;
Go bid the Sylvan nymphs attend
Their harmony of fhape to lend;
And then to Love's enchanting face
Add all that beauty owns of grace ;
For eafe and elegance make room,
And drefs her from Arachne's loom :
With fyren mufic let her tongue,
Her steps be with feduction hung:
Befide, like bees round ev'ry charm
Let je n' fcai quois unnumber'd fwarm,
A fingle one of which contains

A pow'r to lead the world in chains;
On's marrow-bones the hero brings,
Makes fools of fages, flaves of kings;
And yet fuch colours were too faint
This lovely paragon to paint.
The monarch faw and felt a flame,
To fee and love her was the fame ;
And through th' afcending fcale of fire,
From the firit fpark of young defire,


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