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the selector of detached passages escapes more than half the difficulty, and all the irksomeness which belongs to the department of translation; and has the advantage of chusing his ground, when he enters the list with him who has toiled through the uninteresting details and refractory obscurities of a volume. With this allowance, Mr. Elton stands tolerably fair in a comparative view of translators; and though he certainly does not equal Mr. Sotheby, who is not likely soon to have a rival, in his specimens from Virgil, he does perhaps as much justice to Horace and Tibullus as his predecessors. In his selections from the Satires and Epistles of the former, he has been judicious, we think, in sometimes employing blank verse, the only measure which can suggest to an English reader the easy and negligent style of the Roman moralist.Once indeed there is what appears to us a terrible failure, in consequence of a different metre. Mr. Elton has been deceived by the example of Pope into a notion, that the beautiful satire Hoc erat in votis, is a ludicrous poem, and that it requires a tone of vulgar doggrel in translation. Its real character, on the contrary, is moral and even melancholy sentiment, interspersed with the serious smile of philosophy at human follies. The story of the two mice is told with mock heroic gravity ; a style which, if it may be classed, in a general way, with the ridiculous, will certainly lose its proper humour by such translation as these lines of Pope :
This jelly's rich, this malmsey healing,
Pray dip your whiskers and your tail in.
Served dish on dish in course complete,
And played the taster with the meat. Such instances of mistaking the character of his author are however not common with this translator.
We were a little surprised at finding Gallus in the list of Augustan poets. The friend of Virgil, and the subject of that beautiful, though rather fantastic poem, the 10th Eclogue, (the prototype perhaps, or at least a sort of counterpart, of Milton's Lycidas,) did not deserve to have an unclassical scrap of voluptuous poetry, commonly published with the Basia of Secundus, gravely imputed to him. Mr. Elton indeed observes, that 'the Latinity of the delicate little Ode to Julia, however elegant, has something of a modern cast. This is moderate and cautious, as four lines of the original will shew.
Conde papillas, conde semi-pomas,
We can only presume, as Mr. Elton is much too good a scholar to entertain doubts about this bratof the 16th century, that he was anxious to shew his qualifications, on the demise of the present incumbent,
who, like Augustus, young
Was call’d to empire, and has governed long, to fill the throne of amatory poetry, as much, if that were possible, to the satisfaction of ladies of fashion.
The following description of the death of Archemorus from
Thus to the Grecian kings, in plaintive grief,
Now, roll'd supine, he lies in faint despair,
As with drawn bow the Delian archer stood,
There is an unfortunate tameness in the passages rendered from Lucan, where Mr. Elton has lost the condensed and pointed sentiment of his original in the expansion of blank verse. Thus, in lines familiar to every scholar,
Nor Cæsar can to aught superior bow,
Cato the vanquished.' This is veiy flat. In return, we may justly praise the specimens from Silius Italicus, Valerius Flaccus, and 'Oppian. Perhaps the chief merit of Mr. Elton's plan is the opportunity it gives of introducing to the poetical reader those authors of a late age and unequal merit, whose real beauties have been overwhelmed by a mass of defects, and by that sweeping criticism which is entirely founded upon defects. It has been justly remarked, that in some minor excellencies, and especially in natural description, the later and less eminent poets frequently surpass those to whom we pay the exclusive homage of admiration. The following passage from the Dionysiacs of Nonnus, which we select from several equally beautiful, has a soft and splendid colouring, and a sweetness of language, that reminds us of Mr. Southey's style in description. • With crcoked bow, a dweller of the woods
Was there ; a nymph who, nourish'd on the grape,
In a cave,
Of rocks, a desert haunt, in gloomy glen
The lion's self,
Low at her feet. Upon the whole, these specimens do considerable credit to Mr. Elton's expertness in versification, and Auency in speaking the language of poetry. To each author a sort of biographical and critical sketch is prefixed. The criticisms shew a scholar and a man of taste, but they are sometimes expressed in too peremptory a mayner. He is a little too fond of reversing established opinion as to the relative merit of poets. Dejicit superbos de sede, et exaltat humiles. It is strange enough to find an ingenious man preferring the Medea of Apollonius to Virgil's Dido; but, at all events, such critical heresies ought to be propounded with diffidence.
Art. VIII. The Physiognomical System of Doctors Gall and
Spurzheim, founded on an Anatomical and Physiological Examination of the Nervous System in general, and of the Brain in particular, and indicating the Dispositions and Manifestations of the Mind. By J. G. Spurzheim, M. D. London.
1815. Royal 8vo. pp. 571. THE 'HE writer of this volume, as its title-page imports, is a dis
ciple and coadjutor of the celebrated Dr. Gall of Vienna : and, like his master, is so very equivocal a sort of personage, considered as a literary man, that in some respects we hardly know in what manner he is to be treated. In saying this, we do not particularly allude to the doctrines which he professes ; although these savour not a little of empiricism; but rather to the mode in which they have hitherto been propagated. That a man should publish his opinions upon' whatever subject, is natural enough; at least there is nothing in such a circumstance, which in the present times need excite surprize; but why he should travel over Europe for the purpose of preaching them, it is by no means so easy to explain. We do not mean to deny, but that in doing ihis Dr. Spurzheim may have chosen an honest method of gaining a livelihood; although we believe that to be pretty nearly all that can be said for it; yet it is one, which a person of liberal education and of a liberal profession would not, we should suppose, prefer, and which a man with any feeling of personal dignity about him, would surely disdain. But Dr. Spurzheim is a German, and not an Englishman, and it is possible that the manners of the two countries may make all the difference.
Be this as it may, we are inclined to think, that whatever be the cause of Dr. Spurzheim's unsettled plan of life, whether the love of money, or the love of cranioscopy, or the love of fame, in no respect will the success of the publication before us gratify his views. Our author must not imagine that, because he has been able to find people in this country who would listen to him with patience, he will therefore be able to find readers equally good humoured. His doctrines may possibly have passed off with very good success at a lecture; for, as Dr. Spurzheim's own experience mụst have informed him, there is no sort of absurdity but may
be safely adıninistered in that shape; but the difficulties which a writer has to encounter, are more considerable To suppose that nonsense may be presented to a reader, as to a hearer, stark naked and without even the decent clothing of a little sophistry, is a great mistake. Dr. Spurzheim informs us, that he has been so long associated