« הקודםהמשך »
Occasion to use this proverb in Ifrael. If a man keep my judgements to deal truly, he is just, he shall surely live. But if he be a robber, a shedder of blood; if he have eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife; if he have' oppressed the poor and needy, have spoiled by violence, have not restored the pledge, have lift up his eyes to idols, have given forth upon usury, and have taken increase: shall he live? he shall not live: he shall surely die; and his blood shall-be upon him. Now, lo, if he beget a son, that feeth all his father's fins, and confidereth, and doth not such like; that hath not eaten upon the mountains, hath - not lift up his eyes to idols, nor defiled his neighbour's wife, hath not oppressed any, nor with-held the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and covered the naked with a garment; that hath not received usury nor increase, that hath executed my judge. ments, and walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father; he shall surely live. The soul that finneth, it shall die; the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the ini. quity of the fon; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Have I any pleasure that the wicked should die ? faith the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways and live?
The repetitions in Homer, which are frequent, have been the occasion of much criticism. Suppose we were at a loss about the reason, might not taste be sufficient to justify them? At the same time, one must be devoid of understanding not to be sensible, that they make the narration
dramatic; and give an air of truth, by making thing's appear as passing in our fight.
A concise comprehensive style is a great ornament in narration ; and a superfluity of unneceffary words, not less than of circumstances, a great nuisance. A judicious selection of the striking circumstances clothed in a nervous style, is delightful. In this style, Tacitus excells all writers, ancient and modern. Instances are numberless: take the following specimen.
Crebra hinc prælia, et fæpius in modum latrocinii: per faltus, par paludes ; ut cuique fors aut virtus : te. mere, proviso, ob iram, ob prædam, jussu, et aliquando ignaris ducibus.
Annal. lib. 12. § 39.
After Tacitus, with respect to this property, Ollian justly merits the place of distinction. His whole works may be given for an example, which are perfectly uniform in this respect. I give the following instance, meeting my eye at the first opening of the book:
Nathos clothed his limbs in thining steel. The stride of the chief is lovely : the joy of his eye terrible. The wind rustles in his hair. Darthula is filent at his fide : her look is fixed on the chief. Striving to hide the rising figh, two tears fwell in her eyes.
I cannot forbear adding one other instance, which, beside the property at present under consideration, raises delicately our most tender fympathy: VOL. II,
Son of Fingal ! dost thou not behold the darknefs of Crothar's hall of shells? My foul was not dark at the feast, when my people lived. I rejoiced in the presence of strangers, when my fon fhone in the hall. But, Orfian, he is a beam that is departed, and left no streak of light behind. He is fallen, son of Fingal, in the battles of his father, — Rothmar the chief of graffy Tromlo heard that my eyes had failed; he heard that my arms were fixed in the hall, and the pride of his soul arose. He came towards Croma ; my people fell before him. I took my arms in the hall, but what could fightless Crothar do? My steps were unequal; my grief was great. I wished for the days that were paft; days! wherein I fought; and won in the field of blood. My son returned from the chace ; the fair-haired Fovar-gormo. He had not lifted his fword in battle, for his arm was young. But the foul of the youth was great; the fire of valour burnt in his eyes. He faw the disordered steps of his father, and his sigh arose. King of Croma, he faid, is it because thou hast no son? is it for the weakness of Fovargormo's arm that thy fighs arise? I begin, my father, to feel the strength of my arm; I have drawn the sword of my youth, and I have bent the bow. Let me meet this Rothmar, with the youths of Croma : let me meet him, O my father, for I feel my burning foul.
And thou shalt meet him, I said, fon of the fightless Crothar! But let others' advance before thee, that I may hear the tread of thy feet at thy return; for my eyes behold thee not, fair-haired Fovar-gormo! He went, he met the foe; he fell. The foe advances towards Croma. He who flew my son is near, with all his pointed spears.
If a concise or nervous style be a beauty, tautology must be a blemish; and yet writers, fet
tered by verse are not sufficiently careful to avoid this slovenly practice : they may be pitied, but they cannot be justified. Take for a specimen the following instances, from the best poet, for versification at least, that England has to boast of.
High on his helm celestial lightnings play,
Iliad, v. 5:
Strength and omnipotence invest thy throne.
Iliad, viii. 576.
So filent fountains, from a rock's tall head,
Iliad, ix, 19.
His clanging armour rung.
Iliad, xii. 94.
Fear on their cheek, and horror in their eye. ! .
Iliad, xv. 4.
The blaze of armour flash'd against the day.
Iliad, xvii. 736.
As when the piercing blasts of Boreas blow.
Iliad, xix. 380.
And like the moon, the broad refulgent shield
Iliad, xix. 402.
No-could our swiftness o'er the winds prevail,
Iliad, xix. 466.
The humid sweat from ev'ry pore defcends.
lliad, xxiii. 829.
Redundant epithets, such as humid, in the last citation, are by Quintilian disallowed to orators, but indulged to poets *; because his favourite poets, in a few instances, are reduced to such epithets for the sake of versification; for instance, Prata canis albicant pruinis, of Horace, and liquidos fontes, of Virgil.
As an apology for such careless expressions, it may well suffice, that Pope, in submitting to be a translator, acts below his genius. In a translation, it is hard to require the same spirit or accuracy, that is chearfully bestow'd on an original work. And to support the reputation of this author, I shall give some instances from Virgil and Horace, more faulty by redundancy than any of those above mentioned ;
Sæpe etiam immensum cælo venit agmen aquarum,
Georg. lib. i. 322,
Poftquam altùm tenuere rates, nec jam amplius ullæ Apparent terræ; cælum undique et undique pontus ;
• L. 8. cap. 6. fe&. 2.