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THE

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE,

AND

LITERARY MISCELLANY,

BEING A NEW SERIES OF

The Scots Wagazine.

FEBRUARY 1819.

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By Dr

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CONTENTS. ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS. REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS. On Gawin Douglas's Translation of Warder's Statistical, Political, and HisVirgil's Æneid.

99 torical Account of the United On the Dutch Herring Fisherymo... 106 States

mara 149 Narrative of an Extraordinary Escape Gurney's Notes on a Visit to some of

from Drowning, after being Wrecked the Prisons in Scotland and the North among the Rapids of the St Law. of England in company with Mrs rence

wowa

Fry
Poetical Uses of Natural History ...113 Emily ; with other Poems.
A Curious Instance of Fancy dictating

Thomas Brown.....comowane ,160 to Philosophy

mom119 Remarks by Mr Huddleston on a Mis

ORIGINAL POETRY. taken Roman Inscription ....... 120 January._Verses.-Verses on seeing On the Influence of the Diffusion of the Sua set from Arthur Seat ...... 164

Knowledge upon the Happiness of the Lower Ranks of Society casino

LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC Phenomenon of Lightroom

..127

INTELLIGENCE. On the English Dramatic Writers who Progress of the Missionaries in India, preceded Shakespeare. No. II.

in Translating the Scriptures.-Dr On the Present State of the Scottish Monro's work on Vaccination.--Cod Pulpit

mon. 131

Bank of Shetland.-London and PaVerses in the style of Old English Poe risian Theatres, &c. &c.

166 try, by G. Dyer, Esq.m www.135 Works preparing for Publication ........ 170 Localities of Tillietudlem and other Monthly List of New Publications ....171

Scenes mentioned in the Tale of Old
Mortality

coco-136 MONTHLY REGISTER. Letter Patent of the Duchess of Bur Foreign Intelligence.rocesorom .173 gundy, 1445...nam con.com.... 140 Parliamentary Intelligence

175 On Climate.ro more.141 British Chronicle

.177 Mr Pazlitt's Lectures on the Comic British Legislation

.180 Genius of England :

Patents socor

.181 LECTURE FOURTH.-On Wycher Appointments and Promotionsan....... 182 ly, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Meteorological Report www.woman.com

184 Farquhar

...143 Agricultural Reportrarnaranno LECTURE FIFTH..On the Perio Commercial Report...

dical Essayists comer mo.146 | Births, Marriages, Deaths.com...... 190

wowano ib.

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mar..187

EDINBURGH: PRINTED FOR ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND COMPANY.

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Dr Ferguson's article on “the Epidemic Typhus," &c. did not reach us till our ar. rangements for the present Number were completed.

H. A. N.'s paper has come to hand, but cannot be inserted without more explicit evidence of its authenticity.

“ A Jennerian” will observe that the subject of his communication has very re. cently engaged our attention. We may probably return to it by and by.

The Rev. D. D. has our best acknowledgments for his affecting narrative; but the substance of it has already been before the public in all the journals

We will thank S. T. and R. to favour us with their addresses.

The Correspondents of the EDINBURGH MAGAZINE AND LITERARS MISCELI ANY are respectfully requested to transmit their communications for the Editors to ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE and COMPANY, Edinburgh, or LONGMAN and COMPANY, London, to whom also orders for the Work should be particularly addressed.

Printed by George Ramsay & Co.

THE

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE,

AND

LITERARY MISCELLANY.

FEBRUARY 1819.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

ON

GAWIN DOUGLAS's TRANSLA- in all that is going on in the world :
TION OF VIRGIL'S ÆNEJD. We trust, too, that we are not insen-

sible to the genius and the lights THÈRE is no one, whose observations which have been so profusely shed can carry him back thirty years, but around the days on which we are falmust have remarked a great change, len, yet we may be pardoned if we are within that short period, in the taste still somewhat swayed by our old clasof the age, more especially with re- sical prejudices—and if spect to poetry. The classical models have fallen into much comparative The time-taught spirit

, pensive, not severe,

O‘er her lovely hopes that once were dear, neglect. We remember very well with milder griefs her aged eye shall fill, when there was scarcely a young lady And weep their falsehood, tho' she love that had any pretensions to literature, them still. who was not quite familiar with Pope's. Homer, and Dryden's Virgil. A We must admit, indeed, that if the chilles and Hector were the heroes long established images of classical that figured most in the imaginations poetry have for some time past vaof the British fair, no longer ago than nished into a dim distance-every We have now mentioned-and, if our other kind of imagery and personifie recollection does not fail us, the Trojan cation has been most liberally brought war was often keenly fought over into the foreground. All the monagain by many a beautiful combat sters of the Hindoo mythology mingled ant. They had their favourite Gods with the languor and opulence of and Goddesses too, as well as heroes. oriental scenery; all the dark pasWhat female heart could resist the sions and penetralia of Turkish serabright-haired Apollo? Minerva had her glios, with their inosques, kiosks, votaries. Venus, to be sure, had hers. guls and bulbuls; all the barsher but How many tears were shed from bril- the far more awakening features of liant eyesover the sorrows of Androma our own northern chivalry, presented che and Dido! All this is at an end. amid the scenes which have been faThe names, indeed, remain, but every miliar to us from our childhood, but feeling conneeted with them is gone. which have acquired a fresh and alWalter Scott and Lord Byron have most foreign colouring to our imaginaentirely demolished the ancient he- tions, from the antique figures which roes and heroines, and the poor Gods have been made to move over them, of Olympus cannot hold up their heads and from the glow of that Poetical before Bramah, Vishnou, and Seevah! Spirit which has clothed them in -We do not wish to rank too positive. its own excelling brightness : The ly among the laudatores temporis acti: variety and extraordinary beauty of We would rather discover a progress many of those representations may

well excuse us, if we have all, docti purity and majesty the impression of et indocti, bowed down before new à celestial mind. His serene light idols, and forgotten, for a time at may sometimes seem to vanish before least, the way to our ancient temples. the gaudiness of the common dayThings, indeed, have come to such a but there will ever be spirits of repass, that some of the most devoted finement and sensibility to whom he admirers of Homer and Virgil have will appear to been heard to whisper, a horrible Walk in beauty as the night heresy !) that they could not but pre- Of cloudless climes and starry skies ! fer the Flocden-field of Marmion even We remarked, in a former essay, to the most glorious battles on the that the perfection of the Virgilian plains of Troy; and that they have composition seems to have been even felt the death of the Corsair's wife as more an object of admiration in rude much more affecting than widow times than it is now; and, in particular, Dido's, as that atrocious hero, with we quoted the warm encomium of all his crimes, is certainly a more in- Gawin Douglas, on this “ peerless teresting personage than the pious pearl, patron of poetry.” We now, Eneas!

according to our promise, proceed to We do not, however, give up the give an account of that translation of cause of our old masters for "lost. the Æneid, which, in consequence of Perhaps they may never again acquire this admiration, amidst all the disadthat universal dominion which was vantages of his age, the Scottish Prelate long so quietly yielded to them. They has so wonderfully executed. In domay always remain a sort of ex-em- ing so, perhaps, we are making use of perors in po try ; but we are pretty a little ruse de guerre, and as we have sure they will finally settle in a much been in no inconsiderable degree wiled more extensive sway than an island of off from our ancient poetic masters, Elba or a St Helena. We shall re- by the great romancers of modern sort to them again, were it from times, it is but fair to endeavour to the impulse merely of novelty trace our way back to them again, by for, after they have been sometime the help of a fine old minstrel of the neglected, they will become new. The real chivalrous age. Gawin Douglas haste, the carelessness, the occasional finished his translation but a few years clumsiness of our present great mine before the battle of Flodden! We strels will then appear to intinite dis- have no hesitation in saying, that it advantage, when contrasted with the is by far the most spirited translation grand completeness and perfection of of that second epic in the world, which Greek and Roman composition. Ho- the world has yet seen; and although mer, too, besides, has many qua- it is about as unlike Virgil as the lities, in common with the most ad- court of James the Fourth was unlike mired poets of the preserit day, and the that of Augustus, it yet possesses a marvellous freshness and vigour of character of beauty of its own, which his pictures, if there were nothing we should in vain look for in the Roelse, would be enough to continue his man poet himself. It would give us triumphant progress down the stream great pleasure, if we could possibly of ages. The fine genius of Virgil, succeed in making our readers partake indeed, is less glaring and obtrusive, in the delight which we ourselves and may partly be concealed under have found in this noble monument the veil of that imitative spirit which of the præfervidum ingenium Scotorum. encircles him: Yet there is a charm The chief obstacle in our way is the in his tranquillity and repose ; in his language. If it were plain Scotch, or Godlike superiority to those scenes of old English, we should have no great human life which he seems to con- alarm; on the contrary, after what template, as it were, from a distance, Burns and the author of Waverley --that is infinitely refreshing and ele- have done for their native dialect, we vating when we have long been inter- should rather look upon this circummingled, either in description or instance as a powerful recommendation, actual existence, with the vehemence particularly to our southern readers. and turmoil of earthly characters and But the excellent Bishop of Dunkeld passions. It is, indeed, the language goes a step beyond our eminent conof higher natures which he at all temporaries. He seems to have thought times utters, and there is ever in his that nothing could be too good for

the

Virgil; and as he did not find a suffi-' sanctity on the vanished rites of Pa. cient quantity of expression to satisfy ganism. All this produces a peculiar him in his own simple honest Scotch, character of beauty, which belongs which, however, he gives with admir- more to a romance than to an epic, able effect when he pleases, he casts and all that remains of Virgil is the about him in all directions, and notonly regular story, which controls the coins plentifully from the Latin, by Troubadour wandering and extravawhich means, while he certainly enno- gance; the correct judgment, which bles his language, he yet often lends it reduces the poetic imagery within an air of pedantry; but he has likewise bounds; and that general diffusion of recourse to French, Italian, German, fine poetry, which constantly holds and every tongue within his reach, só up the mind of the translator to the that the result of the whole is a little level of his work, and keeps him too much of the “ Babylonish dia- steady to his aim. lect,"

The general style of the narrative The party.colour'd dress,

is much in the loose unjothted Of patch'd and pyball’d languages ; composition of the old poetic ro

mancers, although Virgil too keeps English cut on Greek and Latin, this in check. It can scarcely ever be

Like fustian heretofore on satin; said to possess the grand march of its which the witty author of Hudibras original, but there are many passages describes as the style of his hero. In composed in a strain of great natural spite of all this, however, there is elegance and simplicity. Where, at both great sweetness and great expres- any time, however, the Roinan poet sion in the language of this delight- works up a favourite description or ful old bard; and if his readers will simile, the ambition of his translator make the exertion of getting over, in is instantly roused in such passages some degree, his peculiarities, they to endeavour to keep pace with him. will be amply rewarded by his un. Sometimes he goes a little beyond the common beauties,

mark, and caricatures where he wishes If we were to give a general cha- to give the full expression ; yet, at racter of Douglas's Eneid, we would other times, he improves upon his speak of it rather as an original original, or at least gives a stroke or poem than as a translation, and we two to the picture, which, if they would describe it as the finest poeti- detract something from its elegance', cal romance which has come down and to its power. Perhaps one of. to us from the heroic ages of mo the fanlts of Virgil is, that he keeps dern Europe. It is written with all too much in generals -he is too the ardour and glow of original com- guarded to be eminently picturesque. position, because the profound admira- Whenever a picture derives its finish tion which Gawin felt for his author, from a sentiment, then this divine poet seems to have operated with him as is incomparable, but where a pointed inspiration merely, and not as any re- image is required, he too often contents straint: he introduces, indeed, no himself with some vague and indistinct thing of his own,-that he would have circumstance. One of the distinguishlooked upon as impiety,--but all Vir- ing merits of his translator, on the gil's images and conceptions become contrary, is his admirable picturesque his own in passing through his mind. talent. This seems to have been his They often, indeed, lose their gran- forte as well as Chaucer's, particulardeur and their dignity, but they ac- ly in descriptions of natural scenery. quire, in return, a character of nature Chaucer, indeed, excels equally in that and naiveté which they do not possess still more dramatic painting, which in thcir Roman garb.' We sometimes gives a character in a description. Holose sight of the conquerors of the mer, too, possesses this talent, as is adworld, but, instead, we have glimpses mirably exemplified in his descriptions of our own unconquered highlanders of Thersites and Ulysses, but we do on their native hills: the ideas of not recollect an example of it in Virchivalrous and fendal times are ever gil. Of Gawin Douglas's descriptive intermingling with the fallen great powers, some of his prologues to the ness of a former world, and even the several books of the Æneid contain names and the notions of Christian splendid instances, and we shall see worship confer a species of singular likewise what'vivacity he occasionally

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