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in his chamber while he slept. This he refused, and was locked up between eleven and twelve, leaving orders to be called at four. When his servant came at that hour, he found him as sound asleep as at any time in his life. As he awoke, he asked what o'clock it was; but whilst his servant was preparing his things for him to dress, he fell asleep again. Dr Burnet coming in woke him, saying, What, my lord! asleep? Yes, Doctor,' he said; I have slept heartily since one o'clock.' He then - desired him to go to his wife, to say that he was well, and had slept well, and hoped she had done so. He remembered himself kindly to her, and prayed for her. He dressed himself with the same care as usual; and said, he thanked God he felt no sort of fear or hurry in his thoughts. He pray. ed several times with Dr Burnet, and afterwards with Dean Tillotson; and, at intervals, went into his chamber, and prayed by himself. Once he came out, and said he had been much inspired in his last prayer, and wished he could have written it down and sent it to his wife. He gave Dr Burnet several commissions to his relations; but none more earnest than to one of them, against all revenge for what had been done to himself: he told Burnet he was to give him his watch; and as he wound it up, he said, I have done with time now eternity comes.'
"About half an hour before he was called on by the Sheriffs, he took Dr Burnet aside, and said that he meant to say something of the dangers of Slavery as well as Popery; but on Dr Burnet's telling him it would look like resentment, and begging him to let it alone, he smiled, and said he would do so.
"As he came down, he met Lord Cavendish, and took leave of him; but remembering something of importance, he went back to him, and spoke to him with great earnestness. He pressed him anxiously to apply himself more to religion; and told him what great comfort and support he felt from it now in his extremity. Such was his last advice and farewell to his dearest friend. He went into his coach with great cheerfulness. Dr Tillotson and Dr Burnet accompanied him. As they were going, he looked about him, and knew several persons. Some he saw staring on him, who knew him, and did not put off their hats. He said, there was great joy in some, but that did not touch him so much as the tears he observed in the eyes of others; for that, he said, made him tender. He sung within himself as he went along; and Dr Burnet asking him what he was singing, he said it was the 119th psalm; but he should sing better very soon. As the carriage turned into Little Queen Street, he said, I have often turned to the other hand with great comfort, 10
but now I turn to this with greater.' As he said this, he looked towards his own house, and Dr Tillotson saw a tear drop from his eye.
"Just as they were entering Lincoln'sInn-Fields, he said, This has been to me a place of sinning, and God now makes it the place of my punishment.' He wondered to see so great a crowd assembled. He had before observed, that it rained, and said to his companions, This rain may do you hurt that are bare-headed.'
"After all was quiet, he spoke to the Sheriff as follows:
"Gentlemen,-I expected the noise would be such, that I should not be very well heard. I was never fond of much speaking, much less now; therefore I have set down in this paper all that I think fit to leave behind me. God knows how far I was always from designs against the King's person, or of altering the government. And I still pray for the preservation of both, and of the Protestant religion. Mr Sheriff, I am told that Captain Walcot yesterday said some things concerning my knowledge of the plot. I know not whether the report is true or not.'
"Mr Sheriff. I did not hear him name your lordship.'
"Writer. No, my lord, your lordship was not named by any of them.'
Lord Russell. I hope it is not true; for, to my knowledge, I never saw him, nor spake with him, in my whole life; and, in the words of a dying man, I profess I know of no plot, either against the King's life or the government. But I have now done with this world, and am going to a better: I forgive all the world hearti ly, and I thank God I die in charity with all men; and I wish all sincere Protestants may love one another, and not make way for Popery by their animosities. I pray God forgive them, and continue the Protestant religion amongst them, that it may flourish so long as the sun and moon endure. I am now more satisfied to die than ever I have been.'
"Then he desired the Dean to pray. After that he spoke a word to the Dean, and gave him his ring, and gave Dr Burnet his watch, and bid him go to Southampton-House, and to Bedford-House, and deliver the commissions he had given him in charge. In these his last moments, one of his commissions was a message of kind remembrance to one who held the principles in opposition to which he was about to sacrifice his life. This was Mr Kettlewell, a clergyman, who, for his religious zeal, had been introduced as chaplain into the Earl of Bedford's samily, but who held, to their farthest extent, the doctrines of unlimited obedience, and the illegality of resistance under any pretence whatsoever. And he lost no opportunity of explaining
and defending these opinions to Lord Rus sell. But, says his biographer, al though this unfortunate Lord had no very favourable opinion of the English clergy in general, as thinking them, for the most part, a set of men too much bigoted to slavish principles, and not zealous enough for the Protestant religion, or the common interest of a free nation; yet it is worthy of observation, that the meek and Chris tian behaviour of Mr Kettlewell would not suffer him not to have an esteem for him, which he failed not to express, even in his last moments, by sending a message to him from the scaffold, of his kind remembrance
"He then knelt down and prayed three or four minutes by himself. When that was done, he took off his coat and waist. coat. He had brought a night-cap in his pocket, fearing his servant might not get up to him. He undressed himself, and took off his cravat, without the least change of countenance. Just as he was going down to the block, some one called out to make a lane, that the Duke of Albemarle might see; upon which he looked full that way. Dr Burnet had advised him not to turn a bout his head when it was once on the block, and not to give a signal to the executioner. These directions he punctually
"When he had lain down,' says Dr Burnet, I once looked at him, and saw no change in his looks; and though he was still lifting up his hands, there was no trembling, though in the moment in which I looked the executioner happened to be laying his axe to his neck, to direct him to take aim: I thought it touched him, but am sure he seemed not to mind it.'
"The executioner, at two strokes, cut
off his head."
REMARKS ON RING'S VIRGIL.
THERE is no poem, which has been more enthusiastically admired in this country, than the immortal epic of Virgil; but it cannot be disguised, that after all the attempts which have been made to marry this song of Latium to the tongue of England, no Eneis has yet appeared, which is not either deformed by vulgarity, or debased by baldness and prolixity. No Englishman needs be reminded how much his native language is indebted for its copiousness, its richness, and its susceptibility of linked harmony, to the stores of expression which were poured into it in its infancy, by translations from the Italian; and it, therefore, cannot but afford matter of
regret, that it has derived so little in this respect from a poem which is confessedly, in point of elegance and splendour of diction, the finest monument antiquity has left us,-which was the subject of passionate admiration at Rome, as long as there existed any spirit of enterprise,—and which, upon the subversion of that empire, whose eternity it had fondly predicted, passed safely and proudly through the dark and stormy ages which subsequently ensued. We should like to see the Eneis in English, as Virgil would have written it had he been an Englishman; but, we confess, we do not feel at all surprised, that so few genuine translations are extant of any poet of eminence. To translate literally, and also tastefully-to convey the ideas of an author in a close copy of his own words, and yet to suffer none of his spirit to evaporateto be true, as it has been happily expressed, at once to the sense and to the fame of an author, is, we suspect, a task which few have either the ability or the courage to undertake. Every language has its own artifices of structure-its own peculiarities of idiom-its own capabilities of poetical and rhymthical expression-its lighter and indescribable touches of grace and beauty, which must all of course be lost in a foreign tongue, and much of which must be overlooked by foreigners even in the original. In addition to the difficulties imposed upon him by these adventitious circumstances, the translator has also to combat a host of evils inseparable from the duty of a "traducteur." The words which go to the constitution of a Latin or a Greek Hexameter will not, even with all the arts and shifts of synonyms and circumlocutions, fall into the ranks of the English heroic verse. Then comes the prodigious difficulty of finding rhymes, which is greater in this than in any other species of composition, inasmuch as they must be kept in strict subordination to the sense of the original, and not allowed to assert their natural privilege of being, as Butler has it, the "rudders of verses." And last, though not least, there is the difficulty of preserving in a modern tongue that simplicity, which the ancients were enabled to retain, even in their most highly finished pictures, from the exquisite beauty of their metrical struc
ture, and from the consequent gratification which the mere sound of verse gave to their ear.
The consequence of all this is, that a poet who undertakes the task of exhibiting, in a modern dress, any of the venerable productions of Greece and Rome, will find himself continually dissatisfied with the bald and spiritless version which must result from an undeviating adherence to the text. He will feel the same effect, as if he were stripping an antique statue of its gloss and colour of hoarantiquity." He will be led to lay the blame on himself, which in justice belongs solely to his system-to touch and re-touch his translation to height en his colouring to sprinkle here a metaphor, and there an epithet-to make amends for the tastelessness of his version, by trying to give life and animation to what was far more impressive and dignified in the calm and marble sedateness of the original till by heaping image above image, and superadding one piece of drapery to another, scarce a trace is left of the simplicity and the chasteness of the original, and there is excited against him the indignation of all, who are capable of observing how plainly and palpably he has departed from the truth and the reality of his model.
But must we, on this account, give up all hopes of ever seeing a translation of Virgil "worthy of the name;" and must we pin our faith to the current coin of public opinion, which at once bars all exertion, by maintaining that the dignified and polished beauty of Rome's immortal epic can never be transfused into the more diffuse and less melodious tongue of England? We think this would be too incautiously to adopt an opinion, which, though it has received some colour of truth from the woeful failures of most of our English translators, goes to affix the charge of barrenness of talent on our poets, and poverty of expression on the language, which has given a local habitation to the richness and the sublimity of the Faery Queen, and the Paradise Lost. We are confident, that the want of success which has attended modern translators, has been owing neither to debility of talent, nor poverty of language, but to the ridiculous principle on which they have proceeded, of rendering as literally and as closely as possible, and of rather
meagrely and servilely copying, than of catching the general spirit, and imitating in a free and sketchy manner. Of the hopelessness of this mode of procedure, it will be tantamount as proof to refer to the Homer of Cowper, which of all faithful and literal translations, is the most literal and faithful, and which is allowed on all hands to be of little other use, than that of serving as a beacon to warn all succeeding poets of the shoals and quicksands of literal translation. Every thing, we think, ought to be allowed to a translator, which is in consistency with the mind of the original. Adherence to the letter, where it enervates the spirit of the work, is the most unpardonable infidelity. If the great outlines, general features, and costume, be preserved, he should be allowed to fill up the minuter parts of the work in his own way; if the character of the landscape be retained, he may be allowed to vary the light and shade with which it is invested.
By following this mode of translation, many beauties must necessarily be lost, and the curiosa felicitas of every single writer be completely sacrificed. But many compensating advantages will be gained. One of the principal charms of Virgil, for example, consists in the selection and picturesque effect of his diction, and in the mellifluous cadence and varied structure of his versification. Much of this peculiar character must of course be lost. But a poet may have many similar beauties, although they are not exactly the beauties of Virgil. "Let the English poet, who would attempt this method of rendering, form to himself a style at once as rich and as chaste as his language will furnish-let him enter by long study and attention into the mind of his original, that he may, as it were, look at every thing with the same eye, and feel with the same soul. Whatever is thoroughly in the manner of Virgil, let him introduce when neces sary, and giving to this all the varied modulation of which it is capable, adhere to it from first to last, for Virgil is never unequal-and when he has completed an excellent poem, which can stand by itself with all the air of an original, he may then assure himself that he has done some justice to Maro."
We will fairly confess that we do not think Mr Ring has performed this difficult task. Our first idea of his work, upon reading its title, was a very equivocal one; and we cannot say, after we have given it an attentive perusal, that we have seen much reason to alter it. His plan, we think, first of all, is very preposterous. Mosaic work does very well in architecture; but, we suspect, we must have an abler production than Mr Ring can give us, before we can admit that it will do equally well in poetry. We have never understood, that the impulse and the excitement which are so universally considered as essential to a poet, are quite compatible with the calculating soberness, and unruffled mediocrity of feeling, that are the characteristics of a critic. An author, who composes a work, by combining the reflections of others on the same subject, may be able to exhibit many beauties; but what he gains in point of expression, must necessarily be more than counterbalanced by the want of connection, and the heterogeneous complexity which it must present. The man who deals only in picking and selecting verses, can hardly be entitled to the appellation of a poet. He is at best only the retailer of other people's ware, and though he may mix up with his selections some original verses, this will very little alter the case, as his own will be introduced for the sole purpose of giv
ing consistency to what would have been otherwise loose and unconnected, and can therefore be viewed in no higher light than that of a thread on which the "pearls of the work" are strung.
We will admit that there is less clumsiness and disjointedness about the workmanship of this translation than we anticipated; but we believe this has been effected, not by any artifice in the manner of combining the various and incongruous materials of which it is constituted, but by the adherence of the author, for several pages together, to one of the authors whom he has chosen to take as the stamina of his translation.
If he has been unfortunate in his choice of a plan, we think he has been still more unhappy, as well as injudicious, in making Pitt's transla tion the basis of his version of the Eneis, in preference to that of Dryden. Pitt's Eneis is certainly, upon the whole, less incorrect, and more uniformly dignified than Dryden's, though even on this point there is room for two opinions; but in reference to Dryden's as a version of Virgil, it must, we suspect, be allowed to occupy but a very subordinate sta tion. It contains many passages of great neatness, and some of considerable elegance, but, on the whole, it must be regarded as a performance of level and uninteresting mediocrity, and the occasional specimens of close translation which it furnishes, cannot be admitted to atone for its general Our readers will find, in our Number for tameness of diction, spiritlessness of Sept. 1819, some remarks upon the speci- execution, and utter chillness and barmens of Mr Ring's patched up translation renness of every thing like Virgilian of the Eneid, which he issued to the world fire and pathos. In balancing acbefore the whole of his work was published. We there took some notice of his mode counts, therefore, with Pitt on the of translation, and contrasted some of his score of poetical merit, Mr Ring can "specimens," with the same passages as have nothing to fear. We readily translated by other writers, and in particu- admit that he has caught much more lar with the old Scotch version of Gawaine of the spirit-embodied in his verDouglas. Mr R. seems not to have taken sion much more of the lofty musicin very good part our friendly hints to him and translated with much more subon the nature of his work, and is particu- mission to the sense of the Mantuan, larly enraged at the introduction of the than his sober and noiseless predecesname of Old Gawaine in the same page sor. With Dryden, however, we will with his erudite performance. We need not here say whether or not we think Mr well. From him he has been less lanot say that he has succeeded equally R. has any title to be angry on this ac- vish in levying contributions, and count. But we have so far prevailed upon though he has transplanted into his ourselves to give way to his prejudice against Gawaine, that we have in this arti- pages many of Dryden's finest verses, cle confined ourselves solely to Mr R.'s we think he wishes rather if possible laborious work, without once mentioning to shrink from all comparison with the name of our illustrious countryman. him. We are quite aware of the
numberless and unpardonable blemishes of the Virgil of Dryden. We are convinced, that with many very splendid beauties, and many accurate passages scattered over his pages, he has not done all that might be done for Virgil-that he is often unfaithful to the sense, and often departs from the character of the original-that he falls on many occasions where his author rises, and betrays throughout an inequality quite unknown to the Mantuan; but we cannot close our eyes to the fact, that Dryden's translation, with all its crying sins against Virgil and poetry, with all its inequality and faithlessness, must be regarded on the whole as a noble and animated composition-that its beauties are the efforts of a kindred mind struggling for superiority with the master spirit of Latium-and that its faults are the aberrations of a man of genius, owing more to the haste with which they were composed, than to any incompetence for the task. Mr Ring has alleged, as an apology for choosing Pitt's translation in preference to Dryden's, that the latter degenerates almost from beginning to end,
Desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne,
and that, instead of acquiring strength as he advances, he resembles the galley of Sergestus after the wreck,
Amissis remis, atque ordine debilis uno.
Our opinion, we confess, is different. He has himself indeed assured us, that the labour of translation grew on him in his progress; but we are disposed to concur with Dr Symmons, that, with the exception perhaps of the fourth, the last three books are the most happily executed of any of the whole poem. In comparing the present version with that of Dryden, therefore, Mr Ring must excuse us, if we are less decided in giving an opinion. As a whole, it is perhaps liker Virgil, and this is no small praise; but its best passages do not exhibit such majesty and exuberance of diction, nor are its worst redeemed by such a fearless waste and superabundance of expression. It may be that he has produced a more correct translation, but certain we are that it is a much less attractive poem. We think it superfluous to enter
minutely into the merits of the present versions, either of the Æneid, or the Bucolica. They are confessedly, the one almost literally a reprint of the version of Pitt, and the other of that of Dryden. Except, therefore, a few remarks on one or two passages where Mr Ring has injudiciously altered their translation, we shall not venture any thing on these poems in addition to the general opinion we have already expressed of their merits.
There is no sin which appears to be a "more besetting" one with transla tors in general, and with Dryden and Pitt in particular, than that of altering and disfiguring the allegorical personages of the original. This is the more provoking in a version of Virgil, as no poet seems to have been more aware of the importance, and to have made more exertion for the purpose of preserving truth and accuracy in his costume. So far has he gone, indeed, in this respect, that in his imitations of Homer, he has often omitted a single feature of the picture; for which omission no possible reason can be assigned, except that the feature in question, though quite consistent with the Grecian, was incompatible with the Roman ideas of grace and beauty. Dryden is particularly open to the charge of carelessness and inadvertency in this respect. Instead, for example, of delineating Bacchus with that fine and perfect beauty which was deemed one of his characteristics both among the Greeks and Romans, he has represented him with a plump and jolly countenance. Proteus he has depicted with grey, instead of dark-coloured locks-the Goddess of Peace with wings-and the Minotaur with his lower parts brutal, and his upper parts human. Aurora, in like manner, is introduced waving a streamer in her hand-Cybele is chariotted by tigers, instead of lions-Janus brandishes a bunch of keys-and Neptune is accoutred, not with his trident, but like the figure of Julius Cæsar in the great church at Breda, with a Gothic mace in his hand.
But mere misrepresentation of drapery will not serve Dryden's turn; he must also invest them with powers, and exhibit them in attitudes, of which the Latin poet had never forined the slightest idea. Thus, not