« EdellinenJatka »
TO JOHN BOURRYAU, Es^
When I first thought of prefixing your name to this translate n of ribullua, I found myself considerably embarrassed; an I would choose to avoid the strain of adulation, so common in addresses of thia kind, on the one hand, without ftrpprrffing the just fense I have of your rising merit, on the other. I shall not, however, I flatter mylelf, incur the imputation of the first, by declaring, even in this public manner, my satisfaction at the progress you have made in every branch of useful and polite literature . and thi« too, at a time of life,, when young men of fashion are generally engrossed by the idle amusemi nts of an age abounding in all the means <f dissipation.
Is yonr maturer years answer, as I am convinced they will, so favourable a dawn, I need not a moment to hesitate, to foretel the happiness of your friends, in an agreeable companion, and polite scholar . and of your country, in a principled and urfhak.cn patriot
It is with particular pleasure, Sir, that I dwell, though but in idea, on this part of your future character. The time is not far off, when you will have finished the plan of your education, by a survey of foreign countries: and as it will then, of course, be expected from one of your opulent and independent fortune, you will, I hope, devote the fruits of your industry to the service of the public:
Hunc precor, hunc utinam nobis Aurora nitentem
JLucilerum rofeis Candida portet cquis.
When yon become a member of the most august assembly of the nation, every wcllwifher to the community will exult to fee you unawed by
power, undazzled by richet, and unbiassed by faction : an impartial assertor of the just prerogatives of the crown, and the liberties of the people: equally a foe to corruption, and a friend to virtue.
Such, Sir, are the hopes which all your friends at present conceive of you! and as your talents, both natural and acquired, seem str nely to confirm these hopes, the more inexcusable you will prove, should they be hereafter disappointed.
In regard to the trai station, with which I here take the liberty to present you; I will not pretend to say, I set no value upon it. My offering it to you isa proof of the contrary,—Indeed, the chief merit it has with me, is, that it formerly pleased you. It served also, to make many of my hours pass agreeably, which otherwise would have been extremely irksome, amid the din of arms, and hurry of a camp life.
But while you peruse sibullus as a p et, let not his integrity, as a member of the commonwealth, be forgotten. In this light he merits your highest; regard i for though he justly obtained a distinguished rank among the great writer- of the Augustan age; yet ought it more especially to be remembered to his honour, that neither the frowm of a court, nor the distresses of fortune, could ever induce him to praise those powerful but wicked men, who had subverted the liberties of his country: and thi-, at a time, when the practice of the poets his cotemporarie- might have countenanced in him the most extravagant adulation. I am. Sir,
Your most obedient
James Gsaihgek, tranquil scenes of the country: besides these, every motive conspiring to make him regard the fair sex as the chief ornaments of society, was it surprising that Tibullus, who abounds in sentiments of this kind, should soon become a favourite; and that what delighted him, he should at last be tempted to translate?
Thi following version ofTihullus was begun and ) Time and place influence us more in our opjcompleted several year- ago, when the author was | nions of, and relish for. particular writer!, than i« in the army. A militaiy man, even in the most ae- commonly imagined. Amid the horrors of war, tive campaign, has n-any houis of leisure . and as the translator could most readily sympathise with, these cannut be (pent more rationally than in some and best account sot, his. poet's aversion to a mililiterary pursuit, he employed that part of his tary life: ami while txpuied to all the hurry and time, which w as not devotsd to his ptotcffii/n, in > tumult of a camp, c. uld' not but talte with a pecup.ruling the classics, ] liar rcUsli all descriptions of the unruffled and
A pleasing employment is seldom neglected.— Those elegies which particularly touched him, were first rendered into Edglish; and as these make the greater part of Tibullus's poems, he was contented afterwards to complete the work, by finishing as a talk, what he begun as an amuse, meat.
A favourite author, on whom some labour has been employed, is not easily forgotten; the version, therefore, was retouched as often as opportunity served. All this while, indeed, the translator had no intention to make the public acquainted with his poetical amusements: he knew his poet too well, and admired him too much, to think he hid done him justice :—yet when Mr. Dart's translation of Tibullus was sent him, he was resolved to publish his own; that those who did not understand the original, might not form an idea of the most exact, elegant and harmonious of the Roman elegiac poets from the most inaccurate, harsh, and inelegant verses of the present century.
The translator hopes he will be acquitted of vanity, in presering his own performance to Mr. Dart's: indeed that gentlemen often misled the meaning of his author, while his poetry always escaped him. Neither does he appear to have been a competent judge of his own language : and from the little tenderness transfused into his verses, it may be concluded, that he was an utter stranger to that passion, which gave rile to most of the elegies of Tibullus.
What advantage the present translator may have over his predecessor in these respects, does not become him to determine: yet he is well apprised, that no translator, however qualified, can give Tibullus the genuine air of an Englishman.
It is true, that amorous elegy is less local than many other of the minor kinds of poetry, the passion of love operating pretty nearly the same upon the human mind in all ages. Yet as the modes of expressing that paslion differ much in different countries, so these modes must not be confounded: a Grecian ought to make love like a Grecian, and a Roman like a Roman.
Besides this, Tibullus abounds in images of rural theology.—He has even preserved some superstitious usages, which are to be met with in no other poet: but as these are also characteristical, and must be preserved in the version, who can hope to give a translation of Tibullus the easy air of a modern original I
Verbal translations are always inelegant, because always destitute of beauty of idiom and language; for by their fidelity to an author's words, they become treacherous to his reputation : on the other hand, a too wanton departure from the latter, often varies the sense, aud always alters the manner.
The translator chose the middle way, and meant neither to tread on the heels os Tibullus, nor yet to lose sight of him. He had not the sanity to think, he could improve on his pott: and though he has sometimes endeavoured to gift > more modern polish to his sentiments, he hai fe|. dom attempted to change them. To preserve the sense of his original was his first care; hii r.tr was, to clothe it in as elegant and becoming i dress as possible. Yet he must confess that he hii now and then taken the liberty to transpose, ard sometimes paraphrastically to enlarge the thot,ghi>. Where a sentiment was too much contracted by the closeness of the Latin idiom, to he unfolded in a correspondent expression in English ; cr from its peculiarity, might, in a modern language, fern fiat, he has endeavoured to inspirit it by collateral thoughts from other poets; and where its colour* were languid, to heighten them—with what success, the reader must determine.
The Hexameter and Pentameter is said to be peculiarly suited to plaintive subjects. The Er.;lifh have no stanza correspondent to that, but the alternate, which is supposed to possess a solemnity and kind of melancholy slow in numbers. This Mr. Hammond chose for his imitation of Tibullus; and it must be confessed, that he has happily succeeded. Vet, as in this stanza, the sense naturally ends at the fourth line, the translator thought he could not in general have adopted it, without violence to the original: he therefore preferred the heroic measure, which is not tetter suited to the lofty sound of the epic muse, than to the complaining tone of elegy. The reader, however, will find one or two elegies rendered is the alternace stanza, which is by no means lo difficult as the heroic.
As Tibullus wrote love poems like a R,— any translation of them without notes, would kw been extremely obscure to an English read;: most of his commentators are mere philologtis,': at best they have only displayed their eruption the history of a heathen god, or the topograpf! os a river. From this censure, however, Broekhusius, his Dutch editor, and Vulpiu?, his Itaiaa commentator, may in part be exempted; tkt; have indeed sometimes entered into the proprirtr of our poet's thoughts. Yet tven their chief acellcnce consists in arranging the text; in selecting the most approved readings; and in givief those passages, which they suppose sibullus either borrowed from his predecessors, or the modern* copied from him. The design of the translator u very different; he has commented on his author as a Roman poet, and as a Roman lover: and although he owns himself enamoured of his beauties, (as who can draw a pleasing resemblance of a face which disgusts him ?) he hopes he has not been blind to his imperfections. These, indeed, he ha touched upon with the tenderness of a friend, Mt the acrimony of a critic.
Yet as most of the commentators were consulted, the translator has taken from each of them, such notes, as he imagined would be most serviceable to an English reader, always ascribing then however to the author who furnished them. Thus, beside BroelthuCus and Vulpius, the name of Mr. Dart will sometimes be found at the bottom of an •bservation. Nor must'it be forgotten; that the translator has been obliged to that gentleman for tea or twelve lines in his version.
It has been judged necessary to print the Latin text along with the version: this the translator would willingly have declined, as his work can hope to find favour with those only, who understand not the original. Yet, when he considered, that the English press had afforded no one accurate edition of Tibullus: and that even the best of those printed abroad were not exempted from material errors; he surmounted his scruples, and has endeavoured to give a less exceptionable text of his poet, than any hitherto published *.
Before he concludes, the translator mud return his sincere thanks to a worthy friend, for his ele
gant version of the first elegy, and of Ovid's poem on the death of Tibullus. By what accident his own translation of the first elegy was lost, is of no consequence; especially too, as the reader, from a perusal of Mr. P'*"a specimen, will probably be induced to wish, that more of those now published, had undergone a like fate, provided the same gentleman had likewise translated them.
Nor is that the only good office which challenges his gratitude: the translator is particularly obliged to his friend, for having procured him the valuable acquaintance of another learned gentleman; who not only took the trouble to compare his version of the three last books with the original; but who also favoured him with some notes, which constitute the chief ornament of the second volume f. Thus, like the Britains of old, the translator has called in auxiliaries to conquer him.
• Tie insertion of tie Latin ttxt, ii tlit edition, bat lien deemed unnecessary, "f Tlit translation was Jirji pullifl d in 2 volt. llmo.
THE LIFE OF TIBULLUS.
^Vx are not only unacquainted with the prsenomen of Tibullus, but with the year of his birth. The biographers, from a line * in the fifth elegy of bis third book, indeed informs us, that Ovid and he were born the day that Hirtius and Panfa were killed, viz. on the tenth of the calends of April, A. U. C. 710. This was the opinion of the learned for many centuries; nor was it controverted, till Joseph Scaliger first entertained some doubts of it; and Janus Dousa the younger, about a hundred and seventy years ago, was induced, by comparing what our poet had said of himself, with what Ovid and Horace have wrote concerning him, to reject that line at spurious, and to aÆert that Tibullus must have been born almost twenty years sooner. Although we think some considerable objections may be raised against Donza's opinion -f-, yet as the old account is liable to still greater, we shall venture with that critic, to inform the reader, that Albius Tibullus, the prince of elegiac poets, was born at Rome, A. U. C. 590, six years after the birth of Virgil, and one after that of Horace,
Tibullus might fay with his great admirer, Ovid,
. usque a proavis vetus ordinit hzres,
l»on modo militiz turbine factus eques}. being descended from an equestrian branch of the Albian family: and though some of the old biographers § assert, that his ancestors made a figure
* Nataleit noflri primum via'ere patentee i^jtum eta Jit fata cenful uteroue part.
■f Set tie argument! tn botb JtJei of tie quesAen in tie notei to tie fftl elegy of tie third Int.
1 Amor. lil. iii. el. 14,
} Crimtm, We,
in the forum and in the field, yet as history makes no mention of them, posterity would have been unacquainted with this branch of that illustrious house, had it not been for our poet.
As the ancient writers of Tibullus's life have favoured us with no particulars of his infancy, it it is probable it was distinguished by nothing remarkable. The human mind does not always blossom at the same period; and it by no means follows that his childhood must have flourished, whose maturer age has produced fair fruits of science. Perhaps too, details of early excellence are less useful than is commonly imagined, as they often dispirit those who would otherwise in due time have expanded into an extensive reputation.
But if such accounts arc less useful, it would have been no unprofitable gratification of curiosity to have known by what plan his studies were conducted, and who were his preceptors. Antiquity, however, having left us in the dark with regard to these matters, we can only suppose that a* his father's condition was considerable, so nothing was omitted to render our poet an useful and elegant member of society.
The Romans possessed a real advantage over the moderns in point of education; for as the fame citizen might plead causes, command armies, and arrive at the first dignities of the priesthood; so their literary institutions were made to comprehend these several objects. It is easy to see of what vast utility so general a plan must have been to a state; and perhaps it is not paying letters too high a compliment, tu fay, that the successes of the Romans were in a great measure owing to this advantage.
In the year of Rome 705, the civil wax broke out between Ca-sar and Pompey. ( he arm-,- ar.d corrupt part of the legislature followed Cifar; while the majority of the s nate and of the knights, with all those who dreaded a perpetual dictator, sided with Pompey, as the person fr >m tvhnm the republic had les' danger to apprehend. Of thia number was the father of Tibullus; and there is reason to suspect, that he either sell in the field, or was butchered by proscription, for we know that a considerable part of his estate was left a prey to the rapacious soldiery *. These events probably determined our author's public attachments; but without these motives to revenge, it is not unlikely that Tibullus had, before this time, adopted the political opinions of his father f.
At what actions in the civil war our young knight was present, as it was not prudent in him to mention in his poems, so historians do not inform u»; but as principle and revenge equally conspired to rouse his courage (and courage he certainly possessed } ), may wclnot lasely infer, that Tibullus did not run away, like his friend Horace, from Philips! ||. at which battle he was present with his patron the illustrious Mcssala Corvinus?
But the fortune of Octavius prevailing over the better cause of Brutus and Camus, Messala too (who was next in command to these patriot citizens) going over with his forces to the conqueror, Tibullus, although he paid the greatest regard to the sentiments of that excellent soldier and orator, yet determined to leave the army; for as he would not hght against the party which his friends had now espoused, so neither could he appear in arms against those whom hi*t principles taught him to regard as the assertors of liberty. Besides, the bad success of the patriot party and his own experience, bad now inspired him with an abhorrence of the war; he therefore retired, A. U. C. to his country feat at Pcdum,
there, by an honest industry, to raise his impaired fortune to its ancient splendor, while his hours of leisure were cither devoted to philosophy or the musts
But we arc not to imigine that rural objects and study solely engaged our poet's attention ; for being formed with a natural tenderness of disposition, he began to enlarge the sphere of his pleasures by conversing with the fair sex. The first object of his assection was probably Glycera; and and we have Horace «j on our side, when we add, that she at first gave him hopes of success: but though his person was elegant j f, his lortune not
contemptible, and his life wit then in the prime, Glycera deserted him for a younger lover *. Al he entertained a real affection for that lady, her infideli'y gave him much uneasiness : he therefore endeavoured, by exerting his elegiac'genius, core1 claim her. But hi' poems producing in Gljcen no change to his advantage, his friend and oU fclbiw soldier Horace advised him to abate of hb sorrow for her loss, and fend her no more elegies.
None of these elegies having come down r? our times, I.ilio Gyraldi f supposes that Nemeai and Glycera were the fame—but the pxms which are inscribed to Nemesis \ do not farotr this supposition , and, indeed, it seems more likely that Tibullus was so piqued at the ill success of his first amour, that he destroyed all thole elegies which it gave rife to.
Some time after thiB (A. U. C. 718.) the fierce inhabitants of Pannonia rebelling, and Mcflih being one of the generals appointed by AnguSsi to reduce them, that nobleman invited Tibolfa to attend him in the expedition. As this feme was not against the Pompeian party §, tad ask hoped in the hurry of a military life to find a remedy for his melancholy, he complied with to noble friend's request, and in every action behiwi with h'is usual bravery. In proof of this, the coa> mentators quote our poet's description of the oU soldier of Arupinum.
Testis Arupinas, et pauper natus in arrmit. Quern si quis videat, vetus ut non fregerit ztat, Terna minus Pyliac miretur siecula famae, Namque senex longæ peragit dum saecula vitz, Centum fecundos Titan renovaverit annos: Ipse tamen velox celerero super edere crrprti Audet equum, validisque sedet moderator haberi
Besides these verses, some others But k brought from the panegyric, and in partien'a1^ three following, to strengthen their assertion
Nam bcllis experta cano, testis mihi victr Fortis Japidiæ miles, testis quoque sallax Pannonius, gelidas paiEm disjectua in Alps'
In this manner did our poet subdue his paSs for Glycera: but being by nature addicted if1 ■ love of the fair sex, at his return from the sraji he fixed his affections on Delia.
Cyllenius, in his commentary on Tibullus"' conjectures, that she obtained the name of IteJ
from the Greek word "tr.y.ri, on account of her I surpassing in beauty the Roman ladies. But we liave the more respectable authority of Apuleiui *, j for asserting that Delia was an appellation given j her by our poet, her rc-al name being Plania.
Some critics f contend, that Delia was a woman i of the town :—but many passage* in the elegies | addressed to her i, contradict thin assertion. Which of these poems were first written, cannot now be determined; but it is certain, they were not composed in the order they are now printed.
It would seem, that some time aster his attachment to Delia, Messala invited our poet to accompany him in some military expedition; but he was then too deeply enamoured of Delia to attend the call of honour. Tihullus, therefore, composed his first elegy, in which, as he prefers a country retirement with Delia, and a moderate income, to all the triumphs of war and allurements of fortune, so Corvinus cauld not well urge, with propriety, our poet's departure.
Messala having soon after obtained the consulship, Tibullas composed his panegyric. This poem is in heroic numbers, and though not destitute of poetical beauties; is inferior to his elegies: it seems rather an effusion of friendship than an essort of genius: it has, therefore, not been translated.
In the year of Rome 7x5 §, Messala being intrusted by Augustus Cæsar with an extraordinary command over Syria, insisted on Tibullus's accompanying him thither, to which our poet consented. This sacrifice to friendlhip was not, however, obtained without much relactance; f»r Delia, it would seem, opposed his departure. But as Messala, in this expedition, was to visit Greece, Asia, &c. and as Tibullus, in his panegyric, had said,
Pro te vel rapidas ausim maris ire per undas,
he embarked with his patron. He, however, had not been long at sea, before he was taken so ill, that Messala was obliged to put him aihore, and leave him in Phæacia as. In this island, so famous for the gardens of Alcinous, our poet composed the third elegy os the first book; which stiows, that whatever effect this sickness had upon his constitution, it did not in the least impair his poetical talents.
• " In Apologia accusent—et Tibultum, quod ei fit Plania in animo, Delia in versu." Cqsaubon and Colviua think it should be readeither " Flavia" sr *' Plansa.** In one of Fulviui Vrftnuit MS. copiet of the Apolngi, it woe written M Plantia.-' •* Mania" bowevertsaye Broclhusati, h found in Roman inscriptions, and therefore the name need not he altered.
f Ernt libertire conditions mutiercula." Broekh.
\ Fide lib. i. paffim.
\ Norrit Cenotaph. Pifan. Dijs. ii. cap. l6. § 7.
From the sentiments of tenderness expressed in that beautiful poem, it would not have been surprising, had Tibullus on his recovery returned to Italy: but he had too sincere a regard for his friend, to desert him: he therefore, as soon as he was able to renew his voyage, hastened after Messala, and with that nobleman * travelled through Cilicia, Syria, Egypt, and Greece, being then probably initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries at Athens f.
What were the political consequences of this expedition, historians do not mention: but the consequences to Tibullu3 were highly disagreeable; for, if any stress in this point is to be laid on his elegies, there is reason to suspect that Delia married before his return.
This, doubtless, occasioned much uneasiness to, and rendered our poet the less unwilling to embrace another offer made him soon alter by Messala, of going to Aquitaine; which province having revolted (A. U. C. 7z6.), Augustus had intrusted that excellent officer with the important business of its reduction \.
The Romans, fays an elegant writer, fought with other nations for glory, but with the Gauls for liberty. This observation was at least verified at this time: for it was not till after many sharp actions, in which both the general and his soldiers distinguished themselves, that Messala completed the service he was sent upon* In all these battles, our poet signalized his courage in so remarkable a manner, that the success of the) expedition was, in no small degree, owing to him.
Non sine me est tibi partus honos: Tarbella Pyrene
Testis, & oceani Kttora Santonici: [rumna, Testis Arar, Rhodanusque celer, magnusque GaCarnuti & Flavi cccrula lympha Liger §.
For which reason, he had military honour conferred on him; "militaribus donis ornatus est," as the old writer of his life informs us ||.
The reduction of Aquitaine was so acceptable to the Emperor, that Messala had a triumph decreed him the year after «j: and as our poet had borne so distinguished a sliare in the war, it is not to be supposed, but be was present at that superb solemnity; which, as an ancient inscription • • acquaints us, was celebrated on the seventh of the calends of October.
But his Gallic expedition not having banished
• Lib. i. El. 8. Also Brotlhufiui'i notee on lit third elegy of the firfl boob.
f Non ego tentavi nulli temeranda virorum Audax laudandet sacra dtcere Dree.
Lib. iii. £!■ $. \ Stepb. Vinand. Pighii Annal. 55" Norrii Cenotaph. Pifan. Dijs. ii. cap. 16. § 7. j Lib. i. Et. 8.
U In the life prefixed to tbat edition of Tilullui which woe published at Venice, A. D. 1475. *J Cenotaph. Pifan. Dijs. ii. cap. 16. § 7.
• * Pighii Annales.