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intereft, and to leave to industry its full operation and entire reward.'
The volume concludes with Remarks on War and Military Establishments; but, as the pen of the moralist will be little regarded in the eager claims of contending nations, we need not enlarge on this subject. That part of the chapter which is more interesting, as it relates more nearly to domestic polity, and of course to human happiness, is on the comparative advantages and disadvantages of a ftanding army. These are enumerated with judgment and propriety.
We have now pursued our author, in a brief detail, through this Jarge volume, in which we have found much to praise, and little, very little, to blame. Those, indeed, who may be more diffatisfied than ourselves with separate parts, should read the whole with attention ; for the reasoning is conducted with so much art and precision, the connections are so minute, that we sometimes begin to doubt of the corol. lary, though we afterwards find is drawn with accuracy, from an unexceptionable propofition. We mention this precaution against hasty and partial criticism, because we have been more than once on the brink of the precipice.
We need not now repeat those commendations which we have so 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 distinguished for its precision, and that kind of elegance, which arises from proper words in proper places.' There are few fentences which a critic would wish to amend; and there is fometimes an expreflive energy, which few could reach.
La Pucelle ; or, ihe Maid of Orleans : From the French of Voltaire. The First Canto. 4to.
Wilkie. THOS HOSE works whose merit depend on the brilliancy of wit,
the acuteness of fatire, and peculiar turns of language, are translated with difficulty, and their beauties are very imperfectiy preserved. On this account, the humorous works of Swift, the inimitable Hudibras, and some others of the fame kind, lose their spirit in the translation ; and our neighbours, 'with little success, look for that humour wirh which we are so much delighted. La Pucelle, on the contrary, has hitherto had no proper representative in English ; and we approach only to the sprightliness and simplicity of Fontaine. In our forty-ninth volume, we reviewed a probationary Canto of the former, which stepped forward with an epic dignity, and seemed
to disdain the ' quirks, the quips, and wanton (miles,' of the original. It was Cato at the Floralia. Our present tranflator comes nearer the author in his form. His Hudibraltic suits better with the comic vein of the story, and his fancy is ready to finish what Voltaire sometimes leaves incompleté : yet, on the whole, he is a faithful, and often a happy, translator. He has with-held the rest of the poem, from a diffidence of suc. cess : but professes that he is not' Itudious of profit,' though his affluence is not sufficient to make him 'indifferent to lots."
• There are two very respectable descriptions of men to whom the trandator must particularly address himself: the periodical critics, who avow themselves the guardians of the public talle; and the men of grave characters, who, alarmed at the name of Voltaire, may, on this occasion, feel themselves the guardians, and prepare to enter the lifts as the champions, of the public morals. To the former the translator must announce himself the writer of amusement, and not of profeffion ; but he wishes not, under any pretences, to obtain more than his due, and his object is not to preclude criticism, but to depreciate feverity. 'Acquainted with the original, the style of which, like that of all satyrical writings in French verse, is close, compreft, and abrupt; they must be sensible of the difficulties of the una dertaking, and it is only for the indulgences to which these may be entitled, that he presumes to folicit. If, therefore, in adapiing the poem to an English dress, the translator has here and there been tempted to use some 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 so frequent, nor so licentious in the use of it, as to destroy the general sense and spirit of the author, to amplify his compression into weakness, or overlay the character of his wit with superfluous ornamene. To the latter, the translator finds it less difficult to address himself, for his literary delinquency he feels to be greater than his moral. The Pucelle is usually marked with the most exceptionable of its extraordinary author's productions, but the translator cannot subscribe to the propriety of this dispofition; he allows, indeed, that the poet's wit is sometimes too wanton, and his fatire sometimes too undistinguishing; but the frippery of a declining fuperfiition, the abuses and corruptions of popery in particuler, and of priestcraft in general, seem to be the jult 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 aspect of the work, that the translation was undertaken, in which the translator trusts nothing will appear to justify clailing him amongst the open, or the insidious, enemies of virtue or religion.'
We have preserved the author's defence entire, because we think it candid, and in general juft; but we fear, that though
the objections to this poem are softened by his fatire being called too undistinguishing, and his licentious wantonness en. tertainment of the fancy, yet, together, they have raised fuch a host of enemies, as to prevent the success of a translation. While we are pleased with the author's wit, and amused with his descriptions, we cannot approve of undiftinguishing attacks or lively fancy. No one, as Mr. Paley observes, can answer to a sneer, or obviate the effect of a warm description by a moral lesson. It is, however, our present businefs 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 surprifed to find an additional couplet, to express à word or two, which could not be introduced into the former one; we were generally amused at the easy low of versification, 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 fub. joined.
• Le diner fait, on digère, on raifonne;
With flowing gowns, and pompous wigs,
Till wak'd by such another day.' But, in spite of this amplification, we 'now and then perceive fome flight omissions. One, which we remarked in our account of the former tranflation, occurs also in this, viz.
amour est un grand fard.' If the following lines are intended to include it, they lose the force of the original, by extending the expression.
“ 'Tis love, 'tis pleasure, must disclose,
And give at once the full-grown rose.' The French may now retort the satire, and speak of their line of bullion ornamenting whole,pages, when drawn into Englifl wire.
On the whole, however, we have not feen a more happy version of this celebrated poem. The translator seems to have understood his author, and to have preserved his brilliancy: if the poignancy is leílened, it has arisen chiefly from his desire of leaving no drop of this immortal man.'
For those who wish to compare the different translations, we shall select, as a specimen, the fame passage which wę quoted from the former version, in page 224, of our forty.ninth Volume. That is written in more finished verse, and is nearer to the words of the original. This approaches more closely to the careless, roguish manner of Voltaire. The fea. tures are often exactly traced in a picture, where, from a neglect of the air and manner, we find no great resemblance of the original.
Le bon Roi Charle, au printems de ses jours,