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of Homer, such as the silver-footed Thetis, the silver-throned Juno, the triple-feathered helme, the high-walled Thebes, the faire-haired boy, the silver-flowing floods, the hugely-peopled towns, the Grecians navy-bound, the strong-winged lance, and many more which might be collected. Dryden reports, that Waller never could read Chapman's Homer without a degree of transport. Pope is of opinion, that Chapman covers his defects “by “ a daring fiery spirit that animates his translation, which is “ something like what one might imagine Homer himself to “ have writ before he arrived to years of discretion.” But his fire is too frequently darkened, by that sort of fustian which now disfigured the dićtion of our tragedy. .He thus translates the comparison of Diomed to the autumnal star, at the beginning of the fifth book. The lines are in his best manner.
The woods, and all the great hils neare, trembled beneath the
weight Of his immortall mouing feet: three steps he only tooke, Before he farr-off AEge reach'd; but, with the fourth, it shooke With his dread entrie. In the depth of those seas, did he hold His bright and glorious pallace, built of neuer-rusting gold : And there arriu'd, he put in coach his brazen-footed steeds All golden-maned, and paced with wings', and all in golden
* Fol. 63. y Having wings on their feet.
Himselfe he clothed. The golden scourge, most elegantly done”,
My copy once belonged to Pope ; in which he has noted many of Chapman's absolute interpolations, extending sometimes to the length of a paragraph of twelve lines. A diligent observer will easily discern, that Pope was no careless reader of his rude predecessor. Pope complains that Chapman took advantage of an unmeasureable length of line. But in reality Pope's lines are longer than Chapman's. If Chapman affected the reputation of rendering line for line, the specious expedient of chufing a protracted measure which concatenated two lines together, undoubtedly favoured his usual propensity to periphrafis.
Chapman's commentary is only incidental, contains but a small degree of critical excursion, and is for the most part a pedantic compilation from Spondanus. He has the boldness severely to censure Scaliger's impertinence. It is remarkable that he has taken no illustrations from Eustathius, except through the citations of other commentators. But of Eustathius there was no Latin interpretation.
This volume is closed with fixteen Sonnets by the author, addressed to the chief nobility". It was now a common practice, by these unpoetical and empty panegyrics, to attempt to conciliate the attention, and secure the protećtion, of the great,
* For Horses.
* Fol. 169, seq.
* To the Duke of Lenox, the lord Chancellor, Lord Salisbury lord treasurer,
earl of Suffolk, earl of Northampton, earl
of Arundel, earl of Pembroke, earl of Montgomery, lord Lisle, countess of Montgomery, lady Wroth, countess of Bedford,
earl of Southampton, earl of Sussex, lord Walden, and sir Thomas Howard. Lady Mary Wroth, here mentioned, wife of fir Robert Wroth, was much courted by the wits of this age. She wrote a romance called URAN1A, in imitation of fir Philip Sydney's Arcadia. See Jonson's Epigr. Ioj. 105
* In quarto.
* This practice is touched by a satirist of those times, in Pasquill’s MAD Carpe, Lond. Printed by J. V. 16oo. 4to. fol. 2. Speaking of every great man.
He shall have ballads written in his praise,
mous interlude, called THE Rs YTEs his hu.
also contain a general and a very honourable commendation pf Chapman's skill as a translator".
I believe Chapman only translated about fourteen lines from the beginning of the second book of Hesiod's Works AND DAYs, “as well as I could in haste,” which are inserted in his commentary on the thirteenth Iliad for an occasional illustration". Here is a proof on what slight grounds assertions of this sort are often founded, and, for want of examination, transmitted to posterity'. As an original writer, Chapman belongs to the class of dramatic poets, and will not therefore be confidered again at the period in which he is placed by the biographers". His transla
" But this is said not without some de
* See also Bolton's opinion of Chapgree of restrićtion. For Chapman wrote
man, supr. p. 276.
'Elegy to Reynolds, ut supr. * Fol. 185. seq. * Since this was written, I have discovered that “Hesiod's Georgics translated ‘‘ by George Chapman,” were licenced to Miles Patrich, May 14, 1618. But I doubt if the book was printed. Rec 1st R. SrATion. C. fol. 290. b.
“Ovid's Banquet of Saucr; A Coro. “net for his mistress Philosophy and his “amorous Zodiac. Lond. 1595. 4to.” To which is added, “The AMoRous Con“T ENT 1 on of Phillis, and Flora,” a translation by Chapman from a Latin poem, written, as he says, by a Frier in the year 1400. There is also his PER's Eus and
AND Rome DA,
tions, therefore, which were begun before the year 16oo, require that we should here acquaint the reader with some particulars of his life. He wrote eighteen plays, which, although now forgotten, must have contributed in no inconfiderable degree to enrich and advance the English stage. He was born in 1557, perhaps in Kent. He passed about two years at Trinity college in Oxford, with a contempt of philosophy, but in a close attention to the Greek and Roman classics". Leaving the university about 1576, he seems to have been led to London in the charačter of a poet ; where he soon commenced a friendship with Spenser, Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Daniel, and attracted the notice of secretary Walfingham. He probably acquired some appointment in the court of king James the first ; where untimely death, and unexpected disgrace, quickly deprived him of his liberal patrons Prince Henry and Carr. Jonson was commonly too proud, either to assist, or to be assisted; yet he engaged with Chapman and Marston in writing the Comedy of EAST war D Hoe, which was performed by the children of the revels in 1605 °. But this association gave Jonson an opportunity of throwing out many satirical parodies on Shakespeare with more security. All the three authors, however, were in danger of being pilloried for some reflections on the Scotch nation, which were too seriously understood by James the first. When the societies of Lincoln’s-inn and the Middle-temple, in 1613, had resolved to exhibit a splendid masque at Whitehall in honour of the nuptials of the Palsgrave and the princess Elisabeth,