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These from their stalls rush'd bellowing to the meads,
• Now the god's changeful artifice display'd
"Now on the shield a choir appear'd to move,
• There, last, the god the force of ocean bound,
• The shield's vast bulk thus wrought, the Fire-God framed
Having placed these copious samples of Mr. Sotheby's version
of the Iliad before the reader, and having, by critical comparison of a single passage with a corresponding one from Pope, indicated, what we believe to be a fair and judicious process for testing the merits of the two translations, we leave the rest to the public, satisfied that sooner or later its decision on the matter will be a just one. We have pretty freely expressed our approbation of the specimens of a version, which Mr. Sotheby had published, and now, having the general impression, resulting from a perusal of the whole work, strong on our minds, we see no reason to retract one word of the eulogy which we bestowed on the performance. Very much the contrary, for our satisfaction at the complete undertaking is exactly increased, as the materials themselves have been extended.
We felt the less difficulty in speaking conclusively as to Mr. Sotheby's success, because the avowed design of his enterprize was one that may be said to be of a purely practical nature. He proposed to give a faithful version of Homer within the very constrained limits of measures and rhymes. Of the execution of such a plan, almost any person of good education may be a judge, and few that have read and felt the Iliad, but will readily be able to tell, if in keeping closely to the text of Homer, Mr. Sotheby has also preserved much of his spirit. We have expressed our opinion on the subject, and we have no doubt the public and posterity will agree with us. We saw in Mr. Sotheby's specimens the most unequivocal testimonies of his having thoroughly studied his great author, of having entered minutely into the wonderful contrivances, which the illustrious poet brought together, and blended with so much address, in order to produce those effects, so various, so charming, so powerful, for which his works have been so glorious throughout all time. Mr. Sotheby, himself, no mean courtier of the harmonious nine, brought to his task the learning of a scholar :-he saw the inutility of another poetical periphrase of the tale of Troy in our language :--the splendid failure of Pope had warned him from the rocks of extravagance. It is not, therefore, to be wondered at, that out of such elements an almost unexceptionable translation of the Iliad should emanate.-We say ceptionable," not that there are no faults in this version, not that Mr. Sotheby has no pet expressions which he employs in season and out of season-not that he does not show a very inconvenient preference for the language of some of our quaintest writersnot, in fine that there are no crimes of negligence and haste to be found in his volumes, and that they do not require much and careful revision—but we say unexceptionable in principle and general effect--for we know of no book in any tongue, but this single one of Sotheby's, in which any thing like a just conception of Homer, can be conveyed to an unlearned reader.
The taste, we are told, for classical literature is dying. If this be the case, we can only say, that the sooner it is revived the better whether or not Greek and Latin be worth the extended cultivation
which it has hitherto received, we shall not now discuss-but this
We close our observations with an arithmetical comparison of
Lines in. 1 781 683 13
972 2 1071 1025 14
570 3 576 533 15
842 4 687 638 16
944 5 1121 1030 17
844 6 679 606 18
708 7 579 522 19
466 8 708 644 20
568 9 837 814 21
670 10 680 618 22
582 · 11 985 956 23
1006 12 562 532 24
Art. VIII.--1. Destiny; or, the Chief's Daughter. By the author of
"Marriage" and the "Inheritance." In three volumes, 8vo. Edin
burgh: Cadell. London: Whittaker & Co. 1831. 2. Wedded Life in the Upper Ranks. The Wife and Friends, and the
Married Men. In two volumes, 8vo. London : Colburn & Bentley.
1831. 3. At Home and Abroad; or, Memoirs of Emily de Cardonnell. By the
author of "Rome in the Nineteenth Century," 6. Continental Adven
tures,” &c. A Novel. In three volumes, 8vo. London: Murray. 1831. 4. The King's Secret. By the author of “ The Lost Heir." In three
volumes, 8vo. London : Bull. 1831. 5. Lucius Carey; or, the Mysterious Female of Mora's Dell. An Histo
rical Tale. By the author of "The Weird Woman." In four volumes,
8vo, London: Newman & Co. 1831. 6. Alibeg the Tempter. A Tale Wild and Wonderful. By William
Child Green, author of “The Abbot of Montserrat, &c. &c. In four volumes, 8vo. London: Newman & Co. 1831.
7. Crotchet Castle. By the author of “ Headlong Hall.” 12mo. pp. 300.
London: Hookham. 1831. With some aid from the friendly and well timed praises of Sir Walter Scott, Miss Ferrier, the author of the first novel on our list, has already obtained a considerable portion of the public favour. More, however, of that precious commodity has not fallen to her share than was due to her deserts. She is, in our opinion, an exx ceedingly shrewd observer, and a dramatic painter of manners and character. She has a keen sense of the ludicrous, a thorough knowledge of the female heart, a sufficient insight into the follies of fashionable life, and, above all, a truly religious temperament, without a shade of bigotry or fanaticism. Her style of writing is pure and natural ; in her portraits it is neat and pointed ; in her conversations smart and witty; and in her sketches of scenery occasionally poetical. She has, indeed, the various attributes that are capable of producing, by their combination, an entertaining as well as an instructive story, and in • Destiny'she has displayed them all with complete success.
The leading personage in this exhibition, for it has the individuality of a comedy, is Glenroy of Glenroy, a Scottish chieftain of the old school. He is confined to his house by the gout, and is constantly scolding every creature about him. From morning till night every thing that happens goes wrong, and every body is to blame. His pride in the antiquity of his clan, forbids him to know any superior. The king might by a breath make a peer, but not all the sovereigns of the world could make a chief of Glenroy! His manners are rude, and sometimes even savage. Nevertheless, there is an under current of kindly feeling running beneath the more offensive parts of his character, which makes him singularly interesting. His grief for the death of his only son, the heir of his house, whom he loses at an early age, keeps our sympathies alive throughout. The perpetual reference to the tender scion prematurely cut down—"If he were here”-“his horse,” that was his dog," as if all the world must know who was meant by him, is at once natural and deeply affecting.
Glenroy had the misfortune to marry, for his second wife, the Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave, whose character coincided with his own, so far as excessive aristocratic pride was concerned, but in all other things was his antipode. A showy, vain, heartless, silly woman, a little passée, she thought to improve her pin-money by this union. She had already experienced the happiness of the matrimonial state with a spendthrift, who left her a miserable annuity, and she was anxious to throw off her weeds. Her daughter, Florinda, a peeress in her own right, and an heiress to a large fortune, as it was supposed, was the sun of her existence, whom she had educated in the very first style, by a numerous train of governesses and sub-governesses and masters and milliners. The consequence was, that the daughter proved in time a second edition
peeress. It is
of the mother, neither revised nor corrected, and inherited a similar portion of happiness. She is one of the heroines of this tale, but second to Edith, the only daughter of Glenroy, a model of amiability and good sense, though rather too close a copy of Lucy Bertram, whom she resembles equally in her character, as in her fortunes. She has also her female Dominie Sampson in a Mrs. Molly Macauley, who having grounded her in the rudiments of a sound education, was retained in the family, and shared in its disasters. Although the imitation is open and avowed, it cannot be denied that it is cleverly executed, as Macky, (her pet name) is really a most amusing personage. Her homely phraseology, her fussy, hospitable, affectionate, and disinterested disposition, will secure her the favour of every body who becomes acquainted with her. As if Miss Ferrier could not escape from the train of imitation which the Dominie suggested, Edith has also her lover, a modification of Harry Bertram, in Ronald Malcolm, a relative of her own, who quitting his home in early youth was for many years supposed to have perished at sea, but afterwards, to the surprise of his family, returns in safety. He was not, however, Edith's only swain, for her first affections were placed upon Reginald Malcolm, who after coquetting with her for a while, preferred the young
this baffled attachment that the whole interest of the story turns.
It enables the author to represent the finely formed mind, the genuine sincerity, the tenderness, the purity of Edith's character, in contrast with the superficial intellect, the plausible heartlessness, the selfishness, and love of extravagant show, which distinguished Florinda ; and to produce several striking situations and most affecting scenes, in which this contrast is turned to moral purposes. Although Florinda by her artful conduct deprives Edith of Reginald, who was apparently devoted to her, and was besides after the death of her brother, the heir of Glenroy, yet her “ destiny” which preserved her for Ronald, conferred upon her by far the happier fortune. She lived to see her rival overwhelmed with misery, the result of her own folly, and of her husband's unbounded profusion; while for her, the discarded one, after undergoing a series of heavy trials, which she endures with a resignation which adversity has taught her, an abundance of happiness is in store.
The character of Madame Latour, a French governess, is also well drawn. Her intermixture of her native language with the most abominable English, is highly amusing. We fear that Miss Ferrier has gone beyond the legitimate bounds of comedy, in her representation of M Dow, a Scottish minister. He is a most in
, sufferable bore, and is intended to be so. We doubt whether it be advantageous towards the accomplishment of any purpose, which can be proposed to be attained by the instrumentality of a novel, to introduce into such a story as this, an actor altogether so odious as M‘Dow. It is hardly an excuse for his appearance, that he is