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Talem olim ego putem
Nec unquam ab inferis
"The sense of this elegant description is as follows:
"May you meet with a wife who is not always stupidly silent, not always prattling nonsense! May she be learned, if possible, or at least capable of being made so! A woman thus accomplished will be always drawing sentences and maxims of virtue out of the best authors of antiquity. She will be herself in all changes of fortune, neither blown up in prosperity, nor broken with adversity. You will find in her an even, cheerful, good-humoured friend, and an agreeable companion for life. She will infuse knowledge into your children with their milk, and from their infancy train them up to wisdom. Whatever company you are engaged in, you will long to be at home, and retire with delight from the society of men into the bosom of one who is so dear, so knowing, and so amiable. If she touches her lute, or sings to it any of her own compositions, her voice will soothe you in your solitudes, and sound more sweetly in your ear than that of the nightingale. You will waste with pleasure whole days and nights in her conversation, and be ever finding out new beauties in her dis
course. She will keep your mind in perpetual serenity, restrain its mirth from being dissolute, and prevent its melancholy from being painful.
"Such was doubtless the wife of Orpheus; for who would have undergone what he did to have recovered a foolish bride? Such was the daughter of Ovid, who was his rival in poetry. Such was Tullia, as she is celebrated by the most learned and most fond of fathers. And such was the mother of the two Gracchi, who is no less famous for having been their instructor, than their parent.'
N° 164. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1713. simili frondescit virga metallo.-VIRG. Æn. vi. 144. The same rich metal glitters on the tree.
N eminent prelate of our church observes that "there is no way of writing so proper for the refining and polishing a language, as the translating of books into it, if he who undertakes it has a competent skill of the one tongue, and is a master of the other. When a man writes his own thoughts, the heat of his fancy, and the quickness of his mind, carry him so much after the notions themselves, that for the most part he is too warm to judge of the aptness of words, and the justness of figures; so that he either neglects these too much or overdoes them: but when a man translates, he has none of these heats about him; and therefore the French took no ill method, when they intended to reform and beautify their language, in setting their best authors on work to translate the Greek and Latin authors into it." Thus far this learned prelate.
And another lately deceased tell us, that "the way of leaving verbal translations, and chiefly regarding the sense and genius of the author, was scarce heard of in England before this present age."
As for the difficulty of translating well, every one I believe must allow my Lord Roscommon to be in the right, when he says,
'Tis true, composing is the nobler part,
For tho' materials have long since been found,
Dryden judiciously remarks, that "a translator is to make his author appear as charming as possibly he can, provided he maintains his character, and makes him not unlike himself." And a too close and servile imitation, which the same poet calls "treading on the heels of an author," is deservedly laughed at by Sir John Denham; "I conceive it," says he, a vulgar error in translating poets, to affect being fidus interpres. Let that care be with them who deal in matters of fact, or matters of faith; but whosoever aims at it in poetry, as he attempts what is not required, so shall he never perform what he attempts; for it is not his business alone to translate language into language, but poesy into poesy; and poesy is of so subtle a spirit, that in pouring out of one language into another, it will all evaporate, and if a new spirit is not added in the transfusion, there will remain nothing but a caput mortuum, there being certain graces and happinesses peculiar to every language, which give life and energy to the words; and whosoever offers at verbal translation, shall have the misfortune of that young traveller, who lost his own language abroad, and brought home no other instead of it. For the grace of the Latin will be lost by being turned into English words, and the grace of the English by being turned into the Latin phrase."
After this collection of authorities out of some of our greatest English writers, I shall present my readers with a translation, in which the author has conformed himself to the opinion of these great men. The beauty of the translation is sufficient to recommend it to the public, without acquainting them that the translator is Mr. Eusden of Cambridge, who obliged them in the Guardian of August the 6th, with the Court of Venus out of the same Latin poet, which was highly applauded by the best judges in performances of this nature.
The Speech of Pluto to Proserpine, from the Second Book of her Rape, by Claudian.
Cease, cease, fair nymph, to lavish precious tears,
If you above terrestrial thrones aspire,
A fairer scene shall open to your view,
An earth more verdant, and a heaven more blue;
That shade whom you approve shall first be brought
The ravisher thus sooth'd the weeping fair,
N° 165, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1713.
Decipit exemplar, vitiis imitabile—Hor. 1 Ep. xix. 17.
T is a melancholy thing to see a coxcomb at the head of a family. He scatters infection through the whole ous His wi and children have always their eyes upon him; if they have more sense than himself, they are out of countenance for him; if less, they submit their understandings to him, and make daily improvements on folly and impertinence. I have been very often secretly concerned, when I have seen a circle of pretty children cramped in their natural parts, and prattling even below themselves, while they are talking after a couple of silly parents. The dulness of a father often extinguishes a genius in the son, or gives such a wrong cast to his mind, as it is hard for him ever to wear off. In short, where the head of a family is weak, you hear the repetitions of his insipid pleasantries, shallow conceits, and topical points of mirth, in every member of it. His table, his fire-side, his parties of diversion, are all of them so many standing scenes of folly.
This is one reason why I would the more recommend the improvements of the mind to my female readers, that a family may have a double chance for it; and if it meets with weakness in one of the heads, may have it made up in the other. It is indeed an unhappy circumstance in a family, where the wife has more knowledge than the husband; but it is better it should be so, than that there should be no knowledge in the whole house. Is is highly expedient that at least one of the persons, who sits at the helm of affairs, should give an example of good sense to