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only there may a seeming difficulty arise ; that is, if the thought be notoriously trivial or dishonest : but the same answer will serve for both, that then they ought not to be translated:
Desperes tractata nitescere posse, relinquas. Thus I have ventured to give my opinion on this subject against the authority of two great men, but I hope without offence to either of their memories; for I both loved them living, and reverence them now they are dead. But if, after what I have urged, it be thought by better judges, that the praise of a translation consists in adding new beauties to the piece, thereby to recompense the loss which it sustains by change of language, I shall be willing to be taught better, and to recant, In the mean time, it seems to me, that the true reason, why we have so few versions which are tolerable, is not from the too close pursuing of the author's sense; but because there are so few, who have all the talents which are requisite for translation, and that there is so little praise, and so small encouragement, for so considerable a part of learning.
CANACE TO MACAREUS. I knew not from my love these griefs did grow,
Yet was, alas, the thing I did not know.
And first discover'd to my soul its wound. [eyes,
“ 'Tis love," said she; and then my down-cast
And guilty dumbness, witness'd my surprise. Jacareus and Canace, son and daughter to Æolus, Porc'd at the last, my shameful pain I tell :
god of the winds, loved each other incestuously: And, oh, what follow'd we both know too well! Canace was delivered of a son, and committed
When, half denying, more than half content, him to her nurse, to be secretly conveyed away. Einbraces
varm'd me to a full consent. The infant crying out, by that means was dis- Then with tumultuous joys my heart did beat, covered to Æolus, who, enraged at the wicked
And guilt that inade them anxious made them dess of his children, commanded the babe to be
great. exposed to wild beasts on the mountains; and
But now my swelling womb heav'd up my breast, withal, sent a sword to Canace, with this mes.
And rising weight my sinking limbs opprest. sage, That her crimes would instruct her how What herbs, what plants, did not my nurse produce, to use it. With this sword she slew herself: To make abortion by their powerful juice ? but before she died, she writ the following letter | What med'cines try'd we not, to thee unknown? to her brother Macareus, who had taken sanc
Our first crime common; this was mine along tuary in the temple of Apollo,
But the strong child, secure in his dark cell,
With Nature's vigour did our arts repel. Is streaming blood my fatal letter stain,
And now the pale-fac'd empress of the night Imagine, ere you read, the writer slain;
Nine times had fill'd her orb with borrow'd light: One hand the sword, and one the pen ernploys, Not knowing 'twas my labour, I complain And in my lap the ready paper lies.
Of sudden shootings, and of grinding pain : Think in this posture thou behold'st me write: My throes came thicker, and my cries increas'd, In this my cruel father would delight.
Which with her hand the conscious nurse sup0! were he present, that his eyes and hands
press'd. Might see, and urge, the death which he com- To that unhappy fortune was I come, mands:
Pain urg'd my clamours, but fear kept me dumb. Than all the raging winds more dreadful, he, With inward struggling I restrain'd my cries, Uomov'd, without a tear, my wounds would see. And drunk the tears that trickled from my eyes. Jove justly plac'd him on a stormy throne, Death was in sight, Lucina gave no aid ; His people's temper is so like his own.
And ev'n my dying had my guilt betray'd. The North and South, and each contending Thou cam'st, and in thy countenance sate despair; blast,
Rent were thy garments all, and torn thy hair: Are underneath his wide dominion cast :
Yet, feigning comfort, which thou couldst not give, Tbose he can rule; but his tempestuous mind (Prest in thy arms, and whispering me to live): Is, like his airy kingdom, unconfin'd.
« For both our sakes,” saidst thou, “preserve thy Ah! wbat avail my kindred gods above,
Live, my dear sister, and my dearer wife.” (life; That in their number I can reckon Jove?
Rais'd by that name, with my last pangs I strove : What help will all my heavenly friends afford, Such power have words, when spoke by those we When to my breast I lift the pointed sword?
love. That bour, which join'd us, came before its time : The babe, as if he heard what thou hadst sworn, In death we had been one without a crime. With hasty joy sprung forward to be born, Why did thy flames beyond a brother's move? What helps it to have weather'd out one storm? Why lov'd I thee with more than sister's love? Fear of our father does another form. For I lov'd too; and, knowing not my wound, High in his hall, rock'd in a chair of state, A secret pleasure in thy kisses found:
The king with his tempestuous council sate. My cheeks no longer did their colour boast, Through this large room our only passage lay, My food grew loathsome, and my strength I lost: By which we could the new-born babe convey. Still ere I spoke, a sigh would stop my tongue; Swath'd in her lap, the bold nurse bore hiin out, Short Tere my slumbers, and my nights were long. With olive-branches cover'd round about;
And, mattering prayers, as holy rites she meant,
HELEN TO PARIS.
Helen, having received an epistle from Paris, re.
turns the following answer: wherein she seeins Expos'd the self-discover'd infant lay.
at first to chide him for his presumption in The noise reach'd me, and my presaging mind
writing as he had done, which could only proceed Too soon its own approaching woes divin'd. Not ships at sea with winds are shaken more,
from his low opinion of her virtue; then owns
herself to be sensible of the passion, which he Nor seas themselves, when angry tempests roar,
had expressed for her, thougb she much Than I, when my loud father's voice I hear: The bed beneath me trembled with my fear,
suspected his constancy; and at last discovers
hér inclination to be favourable to him: the He rush'd upon me, and divulg'd my stain;
whole letter showing the extreme artifice of Scarce from iny murder could his hands retrain.
When loose epistles violate chaste eyes,
Marriage and hospitable rights prophane?
Does this deserve to be rewarded so? Out went the king; my voice its freedom found, Did you come here a stranger or a foe? My breasts I beat, my blubber'd cheeks I wound. Your partial judgment may perhaps complain, And now appear'd the messenger of Death; And think me barbarous for my just disdain. Sad were his looks, and scarce he drew his breath, Ill-bred then let me be, but not unchaste, To say, “Your father sends you”—(with that Nor my clear fame with any spot defac'd. word
Though in my face there's no affected frown, His trembling hands presented me a sword): Nor in my carriage a feign'd niceness shown, “ Your father sends you this; and lets you know, I keep my honour still without a stain, That your own crimes the use of it will show.” Nor has my love made any coxcomb vain. Too well I know the sense those words impart:
Your boldness I with admiration see; His present shall be treasur'd in my heart. What hope had you to gain a queen like me? Are these the nuptial gifts a bride receives?
Because a hero forc'd me once away, And this the fatal dower a father gives?
Am I thought fit to be a second prey ? Thou god of marriage, shun thy own disgrace, Had I been won, I had deserv'd yonr blame, And take thy torch from this detested place: But sure my part was nothing but the shame. Instead of that, let Furies light their brands, Yet the base theft to him no fruit did bear, And fire my pile with their infernal hands. l'scap'd unhurt by any thing but fear. With happier fortune may my sisters wed;
Rude force might some unwilling kisses gain; Warn'd by the dire example of the dead.
But that was all he ever could obtain. For thee, poor babe, what crime could they pre- You on such terms would ne'er have let me go; tend?
Were he like you, we had not parted so. How could thy infant innocence offend?
Untouch'd the youth restor’d me to my friends, A guilt there was; but, oh, that guilt was mine! And modest usage made me some amends. Thou suffer'st for a sin that was not thine.
'Tis virtue to repent a vicious deed. Thy mother's grief and crime! but just enjoy'd, Did he repent, that Paris might succeed? Shown to my sight, and born to be destroy'd! Sure 'tis some Fate that sets me above wrongs, Unhappy offspring of my teeming womb! Yet still exposes me to busy tongues. Dragg'd headlong from thy cradle to thy tomb! I'll not complain; for who's displeas'd with love, Thy unoffending life I could not save,
If it sincere, discreet, and constant prove ? Nor weeping could I follow to thy grave :
But that I fear; not that I think you base,
Or doubt the blooming beauties of my face;
Yet others yield; and love o'ercomes the best : But thou, my love, and now my love's despair, But why should I not shine above the rest? Perform bis funerals with paternal care.
Fair Leda's story seems at first to be His scatter'd limbs with my dead body burn; A fit example ready form'd for me. And once more join us in the pious urn.
But she was cozen'd by a borrow'd shape, If on my wounded breast thou drupp'st a tear, And under harmless feathers felt a rape. Think for whose sake my breast that wound did If I should yield, what reason could I use? bear;
By what mistake the loving crime excuse? And faithfully my last desires fulfil,
Her fault was in her powerful lover lost; As I perform my cruel father's will.
But of what Jupiter have I to boast?.
Though you to heroes and to kings succeed, Yet granting this, the other part is feign'd; Our famuus race does no addition need;
A bribe so mean your sentence had not gain'd. And great ailiances but useless prove
With partial eyes I should myself regard; To one, that comes herself from mighty Jove, To think that Venus made me her reward : Gothen, and boast in some less haughty place 1 hunbly am content with human praise; Your Phrygian blood, and Priam's ancient race; A goddess's applause would envy raise. Which I would show I valued, if I durst;
But be it as you say; for, 'tis confest, You are the fifth from Jove, but I the first. The men, who flatter highest, please us best. The crown of Troy is powerful, I confess;
That I suspect it, ought not to displease; But I have reason to think ours no less.
For miracles are not believ'd with ease. Your letter, fill'd with promises of all
One joy I have, that I had Venus' voice; That men can good, and women pleasant call, A greater yet, that you confirm'd her choice; Gives expertation such an ample tield,
That proffer'ı laureis, promis'd sovereignty, As would move goddesses themselves to yield.
Juno and Pallas yon contemn’d for me. But if I e'er offend great Juno's laws,
Am I your empire then, and your renown? Yourself shall be the dear, the only cause :
What heart of rock, but must by this be won? Fither my honour I'll to death maintain,
And yet bear witness, O you powers above, Or follow you, without mean thoughts of gain.
How rude I am in all the arts of Love! Not that so fair a present I despise;
My hand is yet untaught to write to men: We like the gift, when we the giver prize.
This is th' essay of my unpractis'd pen. But 'tis your love moves me, which made you take Happy those nymphs, whum use has perfect made! Such pains, and run such hazards for my sake. I think all crime, and tremble at a shade. I lare perceiv'd (though I dissembled too) Ev'n while I write, my fearful conscious eyes A thousand things that love has made you do.
Look often back, misdoubting a surprise. Your eager eyes would almost dazzle mine, For now the rumour spreads among the crowd, In which (wild man) your wanton thoughts would At court in whispers, bnt in town aloud : shine.
Dissemble you, whate'er you hear them say : Sometimes you'd sigh, sometimes disorder'd stand, To leave off loving were your better way; And with unusual arúour press my hand;
Yet if you will dissemble it, you may, Contrive just after me to take the glass,
Love secretly: the absence of my lord Nor rould you let the least occasion pass :
More freedom gives, but does not all afford : When oft I fear'd I did not mind alone,
Long is his journey, long will be his stay;
Then, kissing me, he said, “ I recommend Under my name, those charming words, I lote. All to thy care, but most my Trojan friend." 1, frowning, seem'd not to believe your flame;
I smil'd at what he innocently said,
Propitious winds have borne him far from hence, I could not but be sensible of this.
But let not this secure your confidence. For oh! your face has such peculiar charms, Absent he is, yet absent he commands: That who can hold from flying to your arms? You know the proverb, “ Princes have long hands." But what I ne'er can have without offence,
My fame's my burthen; for the more I'mn prais d, Play some blest maid possess with innocence. Ajuster ground of jealousy is rais'd. Pieasure may tempt, but virtue more should move;
Were I less fair, I might have been more blest: O learn of me to want the thing you love.
Great beauty through great danger is possest. What you desire is sought by all mankind : To leave me here, bis venture was not hard, As you have eyes, so others are not blind. Because he thought my virtue was my guard. Like you they see, like you my charms adore ; He fear'd my face, but trusted to my life, Toey wish not less, but you dare venture more. The beruty doubted, but believ'd the wife, Oh! had you then upon our coasts been brought, You bid me use th’occasion while I can, My virgin-love when thousand rivals sought, Put in our hands by the good easy man. You had I seen, you should have had my voice; I would, and yet I doubt 'twixt love and fear; Nor could my husband justly blame my choice : One draws me from you, and one brings me near. For both our bopes, alas! you come too late ;
Our flames are inutual, and my husband's gone : Another now is master of my fate.
The nights are long; I fear to lie alone. More to my wish I could have liv'd with you,
One house contains us, and weak walls divide, And yet my present lot can undergo.
And you 're too pressing to be long deny'd. Cease to solicit a weak woman's will,
Let me not live, but every thing conspires And urge not her you love to so much ill; To join our loves, and yet my fear retires. But let me live contented as I may,
You court with words, when you should force emAnd make not my unspotted fame your prey.
A rape is requisite to shame-fac'd joy. [ploy: Some right you claim, since naked to your eyes
Indulgent to the wrongs which we receive, Three goddesses disputed beauty's prize:
Our sex can suffer what we dare not give. One offer'd valour; t other crowns; but she
What have I said? for both of us 't were best, Obtain'd her cause, who smiling promis'd me.
Our kindling fire if each of us supprest. But first I am not of belief so light,
The faith of strangers is too prone to change, To think such nymphs would show you such a And, like themselves, their wand'ring passione sight:
range. VOL. IX.
Hypsipile, and the fond Minonian maid,
My woman knows the secret of my heart,
DIDO TO ÆNE AS.
Æneas, the son of Venus and Anchises, having, at And breaks asunder our unfinish'd joys.
the destruction of Troy, saved his gods, his But I with you may leave the Spartan court,
father, and son Ascanius, from the fire, put to To view the Trojan wealth and Priam's court:
sea with twenty sail of ships; and, haring been Shown while I see, I shall expose my fame,
long tost with tempests, was at last cast upon the And fill a foreign country with my shame.
shore of Libya, where queen Dido (flying from In Asia what reception shall I find ?
the cruelty of Pygmalion her brother, who had And what dishonour leave in Greece behind ?
killed her husband Sichæus) had lately built What will your brothers, Priam, Hecuba,
Carthage. She entertained Æneas and his fleet And what will all your modest matrons say?
with greati civility, fell passionately in love Ev'n you, when on this action you reflect,
with himn, and in the end denied him not the last My future conduct justly may suspect,
favours. But Mercury adınonishing Æneas to And whate'er stranger lands upon your coast,
go in search of Italy, (a kingdom promised Conclude me, by your own example, lost.
him by the gods) he readily prepared to obey I from your rage a strumpet's name shall hear,
him. Dido soon perceived it, and having in While you forget what part in it you bear.
vain tried all other means to engage him to You, my crime's author, will my crime upbraid:
stay, at last in despair writes to him as follows. Deep under ground, oh, let me first be laid ! You boast the pomp and plenty of your land, And promise all shall be at my command : So, on Mæander's banks, when death is nigh, Your Trojan wealth, believe me, I despise ; The mournful swan sings her own elegy. My own poor native land has dearer ties.
Not that I hope (for, oh, that hope were vain!) Should I be injur'd on your Phrygian shore, By words your lost affection to regain : What help of kindred could I there implore?
But, having lost whate'er was worth my care, Medea was by Jason's flattery won:
Why should I fear to lose a dying prayer? I may, like her, believe, and be undone.
"Tis then resolv'd poor Dido must be left, Plain honest hearts, like miue, suspect no cheat, Of life, of honour, and of love bereft! And love contributes to its own deceit.
While you, with loosen'd sails and vows, prepare The ships, about whose sides loud tempests roar, To seek a land, that flies the searcher's care. With gentle winds were wafted from the shore. Nor can my rising towers your flight restrain, Your teeming mother dream'd a flaming brand, Nor my new empire, offer'd you in vain. Sprung from her womb, consum'd the Trojan Built walls you shun, unbuilt you seek; that land land.
Is yet to conquer; but you this command. To second this, old prophecies conspire,
Suppose you landed where your wish design'd, 'That Ilium shall be burnt with Grecian fire. Think what reception foreigners would find. Both give me fear; nor is it much allay'd, What people is so void of common sense, That Venus is oblig'd our loves to aid.
To vote succession from a native prince? For they, who lost their cause, revenge will take; Yet there new sceptres and new loves you seek; And for one friend two enemies you make. New vows to plight, and plighted vows to break. Nor can I doubt, but, should I follow you, When will your towers the height of Carthage The sword would soon our fatal crime pursue.
know? A wrong so great my husband's rage would rouse, Or when your eyes discern such crowds below ? And my relations would his cause espouse.
If such a town and subjects you could see, You boast your strength and courage; but, alas! Still would you want a wife, who lov'd like me. Your words receive small credit from your face. For, oh, I burn, like fires with incense bright: Let heroes in the dusty field delight,
Not holy tapers flame with purer light : Those limbs were fashion'd for another fight. Æncas is my thoughts' perpetual theme; Bid Hector sally from the walls of Troy ;
Their daily longing, and their nightly dream.
Myself I cannot to myself restore:
Have pity, Cupid, on my bleeding heart,
And pierce thy brother's with an equal dart. These are your words, but I can guess your I rave: nor canst thou Venus' offspring be, sense.
Love's mother could not bear a son like thee. Your unripe hopes their harvest must attend : From harden'd vak, or from a rock's cold womb, Be ral'd by me, and Time may be your friend. At least thou art from some fierce tigress come; This is enough to let you un lerstand;
Or on rough seas, from their foundation torn, For now my pea has tir'd my tender hand: Got by the Winds and in a tempest boru: