Page images

the objections to this poem are foftened by his fatire being called too undistinguishing, and his licentious wantonness en tertainment of the fancy, yet, together, they have raised suchi 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 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 surprifed' to find an additional couplet, to express a word or two, which could not be introduced into the former one ; we were generally amused at the easy flow 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 subjoined.

• Le diner fait, on digère, on raisonne,
On conte, on rit, on mcdit du prochain,
On fait brailler des vers à maîtré alain,
On fait venir des docteurs de Sorbonne,
Des perroquets, un finge, un arlequin.
Le soleil baisse ; une troupe choisie
Avec le Roi court à la comédie,
Et sur la fin de ce fortuné jour
Le couple heureux s'enyvre encor d'amour.'
• The cloth remova, to help digeftion,
Debated is fome gen'ral question ;
Where pleafantry, and reason 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 share.
Whilst here some rhyming coxcomb peer,
As vain as noisy, itorms your ear
His flimsy madrigals to hear.
Another, kill'd to rhyme and fing,
Fit comrade for a jolly king,
A bawdy song is heard to roar,
Till all the room is one encore.
The scene now fhifts, the grave

Is fummon'd to afford them fun,
Like mummies plaister'd to the ears
With learning of some 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 Irith giant, and a fairy.
At dusk choice parties with the king
To see 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 survive,
Kept by variety alive;
Till passion founds the charge anew,
And love again demands his due,
Demands the undivided right
To rule the happy couple's night ;
O'er whom his purple wings out.spread,
Flung bridal roles round the bed,
Where lapt in extacy they lay,

Till wak'd by such another day.:' But, in spite of this amplification, we now and then per ceive some light cmiffions. One, which we remarked in our account of the former translation, 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 expreflion.

'Tis love, ’ris pleafure, must disclose,

And give at once the full-grown rose.' í The French may now retort the fatire, and speak of their line

of bullion ornamenting whole pages, when drawn into English wire.

On the whole, however, :we have not seen a more happy verfion of this celebrated poem. The translator seems to have understood his author, and to have preserved his brilliancy: if the poignancy is leffened, 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 same passage which we quoted from the former version, in page 224, of our fortyninth 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 features are often exactly traced in a picture, where, frem a neglect of the air and manner, we find no great resemblance of the original.

P 3

• Le


' Le bon Roi Charle, au printems de ses jours,
A: 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 jeunesse,
Le taille & l'air de la nymphe des boię,
Et de Vénus la grace enchantereífe,
Et de l'amour le séduisant minois,
L'art d'Arachne, le doux chant des firénesį
Elle avoit tout: elle auroit dans ses chaines
Mis les héros, les sages & les rois.
La voir, l'aimer, sentir l'ardeur brulante
Des doux désirs en leur chaleur naissante,
Lorgner Agnès, foupirer & trembler,
Perdre la voix en voulant lui parler,
Presser ses mains d'une main caressante,
Laisser briller fa flamme impatiente,
Montrer fan trouble, en causer à son tour,
Lui plaire enfin, fut l'affaire d’un jour.
Princes & rois vout tres vite en amour.'

'Twas on one Easter tide at Tours,
Where Charles in cap'ring spent his hours,
The youth, bleft circumstance for France !
Saw Agnes Sorel at a dance.
A form of that superior kind
As leaves description far behind;
For let imagination seek
The first young rose on Flora's cheek;
Go bid the Sylvan nymphs attend
Their harmony of shape to lend ;
And then to Love's enchanting face
Add all that beauty owns of grace ;
For ease and elegance make room,
And dress her from Arachne's loom :
With syren mufic let her tongue,
Her steps be with seduction hung:
Beside, like bees round ev'ry charm
Let je n' fcai quois unnumber'd swarm,
A single one of which contains
A pow'r to lead the world in chains;
On's marrow-bones the hero brings,
Makes fools of fages, faves of kings;
And yet such colours were too faint
This lovely paragon to paint.
'The monarch saw and felt a flame,
To see and love her was the same;
And through th' ascending scale of fire,
From the first spark of young desire,

His royal breast was taught to prove
The whole thermometer of love.
And now 'twas ogling, trembling, fighing,
The voice in speechless murmurs dying;
Lock'd hands unto each other growing;
The anguilh of the bofom showing
By looks that speak, and eyes that burn,
Impatient of a fond return:
In short, in each occasion seizing
To practice ev'ry art of pleafing
Which love ingenious could invent,
A day, a live-long day was spent.
The bus'ness which their subjects mince
At once is swallow'd by a prince,
Who falls in love oʻr head and ears
No sooner than the fair

Made of combustibles to catch
At sight of beauty, like a match:

An Inquiry' how to present the Small Pox. By Jobn Haygarth,

M. B. ,F. R. S. 8vo.“ 35. Johnson. THI *HIS Inquiry is conducted with great judgment, and the

rules of prevention are dictated by an intimate acquaintance with the subject. In fome respects it has confirmed our opinion where we once doubted; and, in others, we are not ashamed to own, that it has corrected our mistakes. Yet there is one view of the question, which we wish ftill to fuggeft, for farther examination. In many instances, the small pox appear without spreading, and are styled sporadic, though the disease has not for some years been epidemic. We cannot reaSonably suppose that, at these times, mothers are more strict, or children more cautious : it must depend either on the air not being capable of conveying the infection, or the body not being susceptible of it. The former reason is satisfactorily obviated, by the very careful observations of our author, since he has shewn that, except when the wind blows directly from the patient to the perfon liable to the infection, the contagion ceases at a very little distance, Yet this proposition must be in some degree limited by the state of the body; and, in an epidemic small-pox, the contagion must be supposed generally diffused, though in such a state as to be often harmless, unless other occasional causes concur. In other fevers, any cause of debility, any obstruction of perspiration, a common cold, or a surfeit, will bring on a fever of the peculiar type which diftinguishes the constitution. In these cases then, the miasına must be generally present; and we think that we have seen P 4


the small-pox occur in the same 'manner. But we will allow the extreme difficulty and uncertainty of such observations ; at the same time it must be evident, from the very rapid progress of the disease, that somewhat, decidedly in the conftiiution itself, must contribute to render the poison efficacious, in the most diluted state. We mention this view of the subject with great diffidence; fince by the diligence of the infpectors at Chester, its progress has been very generally traced by actual infe&tion : but this or some other reason is still wanting to explain the different rapidity with which the disease frequently spreads.

We shall extract a few of the propositions which are remarkable for their utility, or which we think clearly and fatisfactorily demonftrated. • Sect.

5. The period between infection and the commencement of the variolous fever is generally from the 6th to the 14th day inclusive, after inoculation : and this period is not much longer in the natural small-pox.' . This proposition is just, and well supported. It explains too the reason why infection, received at the same time with inoculation, does little injury; but it is most precisely true, when the matter inserted is in a fuid state,

• Sect. 6. Persons liable to the small-pox, and infected by breathing the air, impregnated with variolous miasms : either (1) very near a patient in the distemper, from about the time that the eruption has appeared, 'till the lait scab is dropt off the body, or ( II ) very near the variolous poison, in a recent state, or (!!!) that has been close shut up ever since it was recents'

* Sect. 7. Clothes, furniture, food, &c. exposed to the variolous miasms, never, or very rarely, become infectious.'

Though the last pofition is well supported, yet, as the danger is often fo great, it should not occasion neglet.

• Sect. 8. The air is rendered infectious, but to a little di. itance from the variolous poison.'

We must subjoin a curious fa&t from the commentary.

• These observations may be deemed too general to determine, with sufficient exactness, to what distance from the poi. fon the air is rendered peftilential. But, as the following fact will ascertain, with fome precision, in certain circumstances, the limit where the variolous poison begins and ceases to be infectious, in the open air, I shall endeavour minutely to defiribe every particular that could be supposed to influence this effect. A gentleman's family, of whom eight were children, all liable to the small-pox, became inhabitants of Chester, in November 1777, having always till then lived in the country;



« PreviousContinue »