« EdellinenJatka »
It pleas'd! the prisoner to his bold retir’d, Stout Cymon soon remounts, and cleft in two His troop with equal emulation fir’d,
His rival's head with one descending blow: All fix'd to fight, and all their wonted work And as the next in rank Ormisda stood, requir'd.
He turn’d the point; the sword inur’d to blood, The sun arose; the streets were throng'd around, Bor'd his unguarded breast, which pour'd a The palace open'd, and the posts were crown'd.
purple flood. The double bridegroom at the door attends With vow'd revenge the gathering crowd pursues, Th’expected spoufe, and entertains the friends : The ravishers turn head, the fight renews; They meet, they lead to church, the priests invoke The hall is heap'd with corps ; the sprinkled gorc The powers, and feed the flames with fragrant Besniears the walls, and floats the marble floor. smoke.
Dispers'd ar length the drunken squadron flics, This done, they feast, and at the clofe of night The victors to their vefsel bear the prize ; By kinkled torches vary their delight,
And hear behind loud groans, and lamentable These lead the lively dance, and those the brim
crics. ming bowls invite.
The crew with merry houts their anchors Now, at th' appointed place and hour assign'd
weigh, With souls resolv'd the ravishers were join'd : Then ply their oars, and brush the buxom sea, Three bands are form'd; the first is sent before While troops of gather'd Rhodians crowd the To favour the retreat, and guar'd the shore ;
key The second at the palace-gate is plac'd,
What should the people do when left alone ? And up the lofty stairs ascend the last :
The governor and government are gone.
Dauntk:ss they enter, Cymon at their head, Rhodes is the sovereign of the sea no more ;
In vain with darts a distant war they try, Their smoking load is on the pavement thrown; Short, and more short, the missive weapons fly. Each ravisher prepares to seize his own;
Meanwhile the ravishers their crimes enjoy, The brides, invaded with a rude embrace,
And flying fails and sweeping oars employ: Shriek out for aid, confusion fills the place.
The cliffs of Rhodes in little space are lost, Quick to redeem the prey their plighted lords Jove's ifle they seek; nor Jove denies his coast. Advance, the palace gleams with shining swords. In safety landed on the Candian shore,
But late is all defence, and fuccour vain ; With generous wines their spirits they restore: The rape is made, the ravishers remain :
There Cymon with his Rhodian friend resides, Two durdy flaves were only sent before
Both court, and wed at once the willing brides. To bear the purchas'd prize in safety to the shore, A war ensues, the Cretans own their cause, The troop retires, the lovers close the rear, Stiff to defend their hospitable laws : With forward faces not confesling fear: [mend; Both parties lose by turns; and ncither wins, Backward they move, but fcorn their pace to Till peace propounded by a truce begins. Then seck the stairs, and with flow hatte descend. The kindred of the slain forgive the deed, Fierce Pasimond, their passage to prevent,
But a short exile must for thew precede : Thrust full on Cymon's back in his descent, The cerm expir'd, from Candia they remove ; The blade return'd unbatb'd, and to the handle And happy cach, at home, enjoys his love.
MY LORD, Tues Miscellany Poenis are by many titles seeking fo barren a reward as fame? The same yours. The first they claim from your accepte parts and application, which have made me a ance of my promife to present them to you, be poet, might have raised me to any honours of the fore some of them were yet in being. The rest gown, which are often given to men of as little are derived from your own merit, the exactness learning and less honesty than myself. No goof your judgment in poetry, and the candour of vernment has ever been, or ever can be, wherein your nature; easy to forgive some trivial faults time-servers and blockheads will not be upperwhen they come accompanied with countervailing moft. The persons are only changed, but the beauties. But, after all, though these are your equi- fame jugglings in state, the same hypocrisy in retable claims to a dedication from other Poets, yet I ligion, the same self-interest, and mismanagement, must acknowledge a bribe in the case, which is will remain for ever. Blood and money will be your particular liking to my verses. It is a vanity lavished in all ages, only for the preferment of common to all writers, to over-value their own new faces, with old consciences. There is too productions; and it is better for me to own this often a jaundice in the cyes of great men; they failing in myfelf, than the world to do it for me. see not chose whom they raise in the same colours For what other reason have I spent my life in fo with other men. All whom they affect, look unprofitable a study? why am I growo old, in golden to them ; when the gilding is only in their
own distempered fight. These conGiderations • Prefixed to the Third Volume of Dryden's Miscela hare rilen by unwaichy ways am not alhained
have given me a kind of contempt for those who lady Pocms, printed in 1693,
to be little, when I see them fo infamously great ; comparison ? one would have thought he had neither do I know why the name of poet should learned Latin, as late as they tell us he did Greek,
be dishonourable to me if I am truly one, as I | Yet he came off, with a pace tra, by your good I hope I am; for I will never do any thing that leave, Lucan; he called him not by those outra
thall dishonour it. The notions morality are gcous names, of fool, booby, and blockhead: he known to all men : none can pretend ignorance had somewhat more of good manners than his of those ideas which are in-born in mankind; and fucceffors, as he had much more knowledge. We if I see one thing, and practise the contrary, I have two sorts of those gentlemen in our nation : mult be disingenuous, not to acknowledge a clear some of them proceeding with a seeming moderatruth, and base to act against the light of my own tion and pretence of respect, to the dramatic
conscience. For the reputation of my honesty, writers of the last age, only icorn and valify the i no man can question it, who has any of his own : presenc poets, to set up their predecessors. But ! for that of my poetry, it shall either fand by its this is only in appearance; for their real design is
own merit; or fall for want of it. ' Ill writers are nothing less than to do honour to any man, be. usually the harpest censors: for they (as the best lides themselves. Horace took notice of such men poet and the best patron said) when in the full in his age : “Non ingeniis favet ille, sepultis ; perfe&tion of decay, turn vinegar, and come again « nostra fed impugnat ; nos noftraque lividus in play. Thus the corruption of a poet is the ge
« odit.” It is not with an ultimate intention to beration of a critic: I mean of a critic in the ge- pay reverence to the manes of Shakspeare, Fletcher, neral acceptation of this age: for formerly they and Ben Jonson, that they commend their writwere quite another species of men. They were ings, but to throw dirt on the writers of this age : defenders of poets, and commentators on their their declaration is one thing, and their pradice works; to illustrate obscure beauties; to place is another. By a seeming veneration to our fasome passages in a better light; to redeem others thers, they would thrust out as their lawful issue, from malicious interpretations; to help out an and govern us themselves, under a specious preauthor's modesty, who is not oftentatious of his tence of reformation. If they could compass their pit; and, in Mort, to shield him from the ill na. intent, what would wit and learning get by such tare of those fellows, who were then called Zoili a change ? if we are bad poets, they are worse ; and Momi, and now take upon themselves the and when any of their woeful pieces come abroad, reacrable name of censors. But neither Zoilus, the difference is so great becwixe them and good Der he who endeavoured to desame Virgil, were writers, that therc need no criticisms on our part ever adopted into the name of critics by the an to decide it. When they describe the writers of cients: what their reputation was then, wc know; this age, they draw such monstrous figures of then, and their successors in this age deserve no better as resemble pone of us : our pretended pidures Are our auxiliary forces turned our enemies? are are so unlike, that it is evident we never fare to they, who at best are but wits of the second or them; they are all grotesque; the products of der, and whose only credit amongst readers is their wild imaginations, things out of nature, so what they obtained by being subservient to the far from being copied from us, that they resemble fame of writers, are these become rebels of slaves, nothing that ever was, or ever can be. But there and usurpers of subjects; or, to speak in the most is another sort of insects, more venomous than the honourable terms of them, are they from our se former. Those who manifestly aim at the deconds become principals against us? does the ivy Irudion of our poetical church and state; who undermine the oak, which supports its weakness ? | allow nothing to their countrymen, either of this what labour would it cost theni to put in a better or of the former age. These attack the living by line, than the worst of thofe which they expunge raking up the ashes of the dead; well knowing in a true poet? Petronius, the greatest wit per- that if they can subvert their original title to the haps of all the Romans, yet when his envy pre- ftage, we who claim under them muft fall of vailed upon his judgment to fall on Lucan, He fell course. Peace be to the venerable shades of Shakhimself in his attempt : he performed worse in speare and Ben Jonson: none of the living will his Elay of the Civil War, than the author of the presume to have any competition with them : as Pharsalia : and avoiding his errors, has made they were our predecessors, so they were our greater of his own. Julius Scaliger would needs masters. We trail our plays under them; but (as turn down Homer, and abdicate him after the at the funerals of a Turkish emperor) our enlignis poffeßion of three thousand years : has he suc are furled or dragged upon the ground, in honour ceeded in his attempt ? he has indeed fhown us to the dead; so we may lawfully advance our Some of those imperfections in him, which are in- own, afterwards, to fhew that we succeed: if less cident to human kind: but who had not rather in dignity, yet on the fame foot and title, which be that Homer than this Scaliger? You see the we think too we can maintain against the infofane hypercritic, when he endeavours to mend lence of our own janizarics. If I am the man, as the beginning of Claudian (a faulty poet, and I have reason to believe, who am seemingly courtLiving in a barbarous age) yet how short he comesed, and secretly undermined; I think i shall be of tim, and fubftitutes such verses of his own as able to defend myself, when I am openly attacked. delerve the ferula." What a censure has he made and to fhew belides that the Greek writers only of Lucan, that he rather seems to bark than sing? gave us the rudiments of a stage which they never would any but a dog, have made fo snarling a finished : that many of the tragedies in the fornier
age amongst us, were without comparison beyond ; ver it be, I dare establish it for a rule of practice those of Sophocles and Euripides. But, at present, on the frage, that we are bound to please those I have neither the leisure nor the means for such whom we pretend to entertain; and that at any an undertaking. It is ill going to law for an price, religion and good-manners only excepted : estare, with him who is in possession of it, and and I care not much, if I give this handle to our enjoys the prefent profits, to feed his cause. But bad, illiterate poetafters, for the defence of their
quantum mutatus” may be remembered in Scriptions, as they call them. There is a fore of due tinie. In the mcan while, I leave the world merit in delighting the spectators; which is a to judge, who gave the provocation.
name more proper for them than that of auditors; This,'my Lord, is, I confess, a long digreffion or else Horace is in the wrong, when he comfrom Miscellany Poems to Modern Tragedies : | mends Lucilius for it. But these common-places but I have the ordinary excufe of an injured man, I mean to treat at greater leisure; in the mean who will be telling his tale uuseasonably to his time submitting that little I have said to your betters; though, at the same time, I am certain, Lordship’s approbation or your censure, and you are so good a friend, as to take a concern in choofing rather to entertain you chis way, as you all things which belong to one who fo truly ho. are a judge of writing, than to oppress your monours you. And besides, being yourself a critic desty with other commendations ; which, though of the genuine sort, who have read the best au they are your due, yet would not be equally rethors in their own languages, wlio perfectly diflin. ceived in this fatirical and censorious age. That guish of their several merits, and in general prefer which cannot without injury he denied to you, is them to the moderns; yet, I know, yon judge for the easinefs of your conversation, far from affeda. the English tragedies, against the Greek and La rion of pride; not denying even to enemies their tin, as well as against the French, Italian, and just praises : and this, if I would dwell on any Spanish, of these latter ages. Indeed, there is a theme of this nature, is no vulgar commendation vast difference betwixt arguing like Perault in be. to your Lordship. Without flattery, my Lord, half of the French poets against Homer and Vir you have it in your nature, to be a patron and gil, and betwixt giving the English poets their encourager of good poets; but yoựr forcune has aindoubted due of excelling Ælchylus, Euripides, not yet put into your hands the opportunity of er. and Sophocles: for is we, or our greater fa:hers, presing it. What you will be hereafter, may be have not yet brought the drama to an absolute more than guefied, by what you are at present. perfection; yet, at least, we have carried it much You maintain the character of a nobleman, with farther than those ancient Greeks; who, begin. out that haughtiness which generally attends toa ning from a chorus, could never totally ext hide many of the nobility; and when you converse it, as we have done; who find it an unprofitable with gentlemen, you forget not that you have incumbrance, without any neceflity of entertain been of their order. You are married to the äng it amongst us, and without the possibility of daughter of a king; who, amongst her other high establishing it here, unless it were supported by a perfections, has derived from him a charming be. public charge. Neither can we accept of those haviour, a winning goodness, and a majestic per. Jay-bishops, as some call them, who, under pre fon. The Muses and the Graces are the orna. tence of reforming the flage, would intrude them. ments of your family: while the Muse fings, the Selves upon us as our superiors; being, indeed, Grace acconipanies her voice : even the servants incompetene judges of what is manners, what re of the Muses have sometimes had the happiness to Sigions, and, lealt of all, what is poetry and good hear her, and to receive their inspirations from Tense. I can tell them, in behalf of all my fel. her. dows, that, when they come to exercise a jurisdic. I will not give myself the liberty of going far: tiou over us, they fall have the stage to them ther; for it is fo sweet to wander in a pleasing Selves, as they have the laurel. As little can I way, that I should never arrive at my journey's grant, that the French dramatic writers excel the end. To keep myself from being belaced in niy English: our authors as far surpass them in ge- letter, and tiring your attention, I must return to nius, as our soldiers excel theirs in courage: it is the place where I was setting out. true, in conduct they surpass us either way; yet dicate to your Lordship my own labours in this that proceeds not to much from their greater Miscellany; at the same time not arrogating to knowledge, as from the difference of tastes in the myself the privilege of inscribing to you the two nations. They content themselves with a works of others who are joined with me in this thin design, without episodes, and managed by undertaking, over which I can pretend no sight. few persons. Our audience will not be pleased Your lady and you have done me the favour to but with variety of accidents, an underplot, and hear me read my translations of Ovid ; and you many actors. They follow the ancients too fer- both seemed not to be displeased with them. vilely, in the mechanic rules; and we assume too Whether it be the partiality of an old man to his much license to ourselves, in keeping them-only youngest child, I know not; but they appear to in view, at too great a distance. But if our au me the best of all my endeavours in this kind. dience had their tastes, our poets could more cali. Perhaps this poer is more easy to be translated ly comply with them, than the French writers than some others whom I have lately attempted; could come up to the sublinity of our thoughts, perhaps too, he was more according to my genius. or to the difficult variety of our designs. Howe. He is certainly more palatable to the reader thaq
I humbly de
of the Roman wits; though some of them are , fame diligence : but certainly they are wondermore lofty, some more inftrudive, and others fully graceful in this poet. Since I have named more correct. He had learning enough to make the Synalepha, which is cutting off one vowel im. him equal to the beft : but as his verse came eafi- mediately before another, I will give an example ly, he wanted the coil of application to amend it. of it from Chapman's Homer, which lies before He is often luxuriant, both in his fancy and ex me, for the benefit of those who understand not preffions; and, as it has lately been observed, not the Latin Profodia. It is in the first line of the always natural. If wit be pleasantry, he has it to argument to the first Iliad. excess; but if it be propriety, Lucretius, Horace, and above all, Virgil, are his fuperiors. I have Apollo's priest to th' Argive fleet doth bring, &c. faid so much of him already, in my preface to his Heroical Epiftles, that there remains little to be There we see he makes it not the Argive, but tho added in this place. For my own part, I have en Argive, to fhun the shock of the two vowels, indeavoured to copy his character what I could in mediately following each other ; but, in his fethis tranllation, even perhaps farther than I should cond argument, in the same page, he gives a bad have done, to his very faults. Mr. Chapman, in example of the quite contrary kind : his translation of Homer, professes to have done it fomewhat paraphrastically, and that on set pur Alpha the prayer of Chryses sings ; pose; his opinion being, that a good poet is to be The army's plaguc, the strife of kings. translated in that manner. I remember not the reason which he gives for it; but I suppose it is, In these words the army's, tbe ending with a vowel, for fear of omitting any of his excellencies. Sure and army's beginning with another vowel, withI am, that, if it be a faule, it is much more par- out cutting off the first, which by it had been th’ donable than that of those who run into the other army's, there remains a most horrible ill-founding extreme of a literal and close translation, where gap betwixt those words. I cannot say that I the poet is confined fo ftreightly to his author's have every way observed the rule of the Synawords, that he wants elbow-room to express his | lepha in my translation; but wherefoever I have elegancies. He leaves him obscure; "he leaves not, it is a fault in the found: the French and him prose, where he found him verse: and no the Italians have made it an inviolable precept in better than shus has Qvid been served by the fo their versification ; therein following the severe much admired Sandys. This is at least the idea example of the Latin poet. Our countrymen have which I have remaining of his translation; for I not yet reformed their poetry so far, but content never read him fince I was a boy. They who themselves with following the licentious practice take him upon content, from the praises which of the Greeks ;. who, though they sometimes use their fathers gave him, may inform their judg. Synalephas, yet make no difficulty, very often, to ment by reading him again; and see if they un found one vowel upon another, as Homer docs, in derstand the original) what is become of Ovid's the very first line of Alpha. Mývan ésid: Oide poetry, in his version; whether it be not all, or Tinamiádou 'Axiños. It is true, indeed, that in the the greatest part of it, evaporated: but this pro- second line, in these words, peupl 'Axaidīs, and ceeded from the wrong judgment of the age in éagi 8 enxsy. the Synaelpha in revenge is twice obwhich he lived. They neither knew good verse, ferved, But it becomes us, for the sake of Eu. tier loved it. They were fcholars, it is true; but phony, rather " Musas colere severiores," with they were pedants. And for a juft reward of the Romans, than to give into the loofeness of the their pedantic pains, all their translations want to Grecians. be translated into English.
I have tired myself, and have been summoned If I flatter not myself
, or if my friends have not by the press to send away this Dedication, otherflattered me, I have given my author's sense, for wise I had exposed some other faults, which are the most part, truly : for to mistake sometimes, daily committed by our English poets; which, is incident to all men : and not to follow the with care and observation, might be amended. Dutch commentators always, may be forgiven to For, after all, our language is both copious, figņia man who thinks them, in the general, heavy, ficant, and majestical, and might be reduced into gross-witted fellows, fit only to gloss on their own a more harmonious sound. But, for want of dall poets. But I leave a farther satire on their public encouragement, in this iron age, we are so wit, till I have a better opportunity to shew how far from making any progress in the improvemuch I love and honour them. I have likewise ment of our tongue, that in a few years we shall attempted to restore Ovid to his native sweetness, speak and write as barbarously as our neigheafiness
, and smoothness; and to give my poetry bours. a kind of cadence, and, as we call it, a run of Notwithstanding my haste, I cannot forhear to verse, as like the original, as the English can come tell your Lordship, that there are two fragments ap to the Latin. As he seldom uses any Synale- of Homer translated in this Miscellany, one by phas; fo I have endeavoured to avoid them as of- Mr. Congreve (whom I cannot mention without ten as I could. I have likewise given him his own the honour which is due to his excellent parts, uns, both on the words and on the thought, and that entire affection which I bear him) and which I cannot say are inimitable, because I have the other by myself. Both the subjects are patheticopied them; and so may others, if they use the cal, and I am sure my friend has added to the