תמונות בעמוד

penerally obtained it, to avoid the extremes of a servile version and a diffuse imitation. The difficulties, which it is obvious he must have had to encounter with, were such as required considerable ingenuity as well as learning to surmount. As a proof of this, and as a specimen of the spirit of his translation, we Ihall give the following passage, together with the very curious Note that is subjoined to the two last lines :

· Ceres, to thee belongs the * votive lay,
Whose locks in radiance round thy temples play,
And Proserpine, whom, diftant from thy fight,
Fierce Pluto bore to realms of endless night.
For thus decreed the god, whose piercing eyes
Trace every act, whose thunder Thakes the skies,
That she, whose bands the golden fickle bear,
And choicest product of the circling year,
Rich fruits, and fragrant-breathing flowers, should knori
The tender conflits of maternal woe.

In Nylia's vale, with nymphs a lovely train,
Sprung from the hoary father of the main,
Fair Proserpine consum'd the fleeting hours
In pleasing sports, and pluck'd the gaudy flowers.

Around them wide the famy crocus glows,
Thro' leaves of verdure blooms the opening rose;
The hyacinth declines his fragrane head,
And purple violets deck th' enamellid mead.

The fair NARCISSUS far above the rest,
By magic form'd, in beauty rose confeft.
So Jove, t'ensnare the virgin's thoughtless mind,
And please the ruler of the shades delignd;
He caus'd it from the opening earth to rise,
Sweet to the scent, alluring to the eyes.
Never did mortal, or celestial power
Behold such vivid tints adorn a flower.
From the deep root an hundred branches sprung,
And to the winds ambrosial odours fung;
Which lightly wafted on the wings of air,
The gladden'd earth, and heaven's wide circuit share.
The joy-dispensing fragrance Ipreads around,
And ocean's briny swell with (miles is crown'd.

Pleas'd at the fight, nor deeming danger nigh,
The fair beheld it with desiring eve:
Her eager hand the stretch'd to seize the flower,
(Beaureous illusion of ch'ethereal power!)
When, dreadful to behold, the rocking ground
Disparted-widely yawn'd a golf profound !

* The Hymns to Ceres and Proserpine were called Juli. Av de Iyos xoay usvar, &c. Vid. A:benzi Deip. L. 14.- It was a harvelt fors, and was sung by the Initiated. Vid. Heích. in vocem Iodur, &c Casaub. Aoimad. in Athen. p. 56;. REV. Aug. 1781. .


Forth-rushing from the black abyss, arose
The gloomy monarch of the realm of woes,
Pluto, from Saturn sprung--the trembling maid
He seiz'd, and to his golden car convey'a.
Borne by immortal steeds the chariot Aies :
And thus the pours her fupplicating cries

Allist, protect me, thou who reiga't above
Supreme, and best of Gods, paiernal Jove !
But ah! in vain the hapleis virgin rears
Her wild complaint-nor god nor morial hears! -
Nor to the white arm'd nymphs with beau'y crown'd,

Her lov'd companions, reach'd the mournful sound.' «The original is, yo ayhaunaemon Edaran; “ neither did the beautiful-fruited olives hear her.” This passage Ruhnkenius gives up as unintelligible. Probably staipan should be read initead of social, and in that case it would signify; "Neither did her beautiful-wsisted (whitearm'd companions hear her voice.” Ayhaoxaparcs is used by Pindar in that sense, and applied to Theris in his third Numxan Ode.' .

Conjectural criticism hardly ever supplied a happier emendation.

Before we conclude this Article, we shall lay before our Readers another extract, which, we imagine, will meet their approbation :

" And now th’all-seeing god, whose thunders shake
Th' aërial regions, thus to Rhea spake:
Around whole form her robes in darkness flew;
From whom her birch the queen of reasons drew
Let Ceres halten to ih'ethereal plain,
And every honour the desires, obtain.
Her Proserpine, with heavenly powers, shall share
In joy, two parts of the revolving year,
The reit in realms of night. -The thunderer said:
The willing goddess his commands obey'd;
And from Olympus, cloud-encircled height
Bends to Callicorus her lofty flight:
O'er the drear region de solacion frown'd,
So late with fruits, and waving verdure crown'd.

But soon the earth its wonted power regains ;
Again the harvest cloaths th'extended plains ;
Increasing plough Ihares turn the grateful foil,
And weighty leaves reward the lab'rer's toil.

Through air's ungenial void the goddess bends
Her flight sublime, and now on earth descends.
• Each kindred power to hail the other fies,

Joy rules their hearts, and sparkles in their eyes.
At length fage Rhea, 'round whose awful head
1 he wreath of splendor glow'd, to Ceres said:

Jove calls my daughter to th'ethereal plain ;
Such honours as thy soul defires, obtain.
He wills, two parts of the revolving year
Thy Proserpine shall heavenly pleasures share;


The rest in realms of night.--His facred nod
Confirm'd the promise of th’all-ruling god.
Haste then-no more oppole with wrathtul mind
Heaven's mighty lord, inid' dark’ning clouds enshrin'd:
But thy kind influence to the earth impart; i
And with thy bleilings cheer man's drooping heart.

The power, whofe brow the flowery wreath entwines,
Obeys her word-her anger the resigns.
Th'extended plains with fruits and flowers are crown'd,
And plenty reigns, and nature finiles around.

Then to the chiefs, who o'er Eleusis sway'd,
Whole righteous laws the grateful realm obey'd,
Eumolpus, and Triptolemus che sage,
Diocles kill'd to tame the courser's rage,
Kind Polyxenus, and the King who reign'd
Supreme, great Celeus, the her rites explain'd;
Those sacred mysteries, for the vulgar ear
Unmeet; and known, most impious to declare !
Oh! let due reverence for the gods restrain ,
Discourses rash, and check enquiries vain!

Thrice happy he among the favour'd few,
To whom 'is given those glorious rites to view!
A face far different the rejected share ;
Unblelt, unworthy her proteaing care,
They'll perish; and with chains of darkness bound,
Be plung'd for ever in the gulf profound !

Her laws establish'd, to the realms of light,
With Proserpine the wings her towering flight:
The sacred powers assume their seat on high,
Beside the god, whose thunders shake the ky.

Happy, thrice happy he of human race,
Who proves delerving their benignant grace !
Plutus, who from his unexhaufted stores
To favour'd mortals boundless treasure pours,
Th' auspicious Deities to him Mall send ;
And prosperous fortune shall his steps attend.

And now, O Ceres! at thy hallow'd shrine
Submissive bow che Eleusinian line:
Antron's dark rocks re-echo with thy praise,
And sea-furrounded Paros thee obeys.
Goddess! thro' whom the season's circling fight
Successive blellings pours, and new delight;
And thou, O lovely Proserpine, reward
With honour'd age, and tranquil joys the bard
Who fings your acts; and soon his voice he'll raise,

And other itrains shall celebrate your praise.' On the passage Her laws establish'd, to the realms of light, &c. we have the following Note, equally learned, ingenious and sensible :

• Herodotus, in the ad book of his history, relates that the mystic rites of Isis were originally carried from Egypt to Greece by the daughters of Danaus; and that the Pelargic women were instructed by them in the nature, design, and forms of their celebration. From the same authority, strengthened by that of Apollodorus, it hath been supposed that these mysteries, disguised under other names and other forms, were afterwards celebrated at ELEUSIS in honour of CERES ; and obtained the name of THESMOPHORIA.

• The Eleusinian mysteries were, however, divided into two dilo tinet classes. The Thermophoria were in the subordinate class.

A striking fimilitude hath been frequently observed, by the curious enquiries into antient customs, between the mysteries of Isis and Ceres : and the supposition, that the latter were borrowed from the former, is supported by the strongest analogy, as well as the most respectable authority.

Many of the learned, indeed, have conjectured that Greece was indebted to ORPHEUS for their introduction into that country: and that this ancient bard had an eye to the Egypiian mysteries in their institution ; and accommodated the general plan of the one, to the particular genius and design of the other. Some have even conjec. tured that the hymns which have been transmitted to the present times, under the name of Orpheus, were the same that were originally sung at the celebracion of the rires of Ceres.- This honour, Pausanias remarks, had never been conferred on the hymns of Homer; who, probably, by indulging his fincy in fictions of its own creation, and departing with too bold a licence from the established traditions of the gods, bad rendered his hymns unfit for their worfhip. It was owing to this unwarrantable atretch of poetic liberty that his works were proscribed by Plato. .' The Egyptian priesls threw an awful and ambiguous veil over their religious rites, and, having enjoined silence and secrecÝ, as indispenfible terms of initiation, gave an air of pomp and folemnity to inftitutions that were triding, and doctrines that were absurd. The fimplest truths were lost in the croud of my flic rites which ga. thered thick upon them; and, while historical facts were veiled beneath the dress of allegory, it was difficult to diftinguish the real from the fictitious; or to tell with certainty, where the ANNALIST ended his record, and where the MYTHOLOGIST took up his fable.

• The Grecians changed the names, but retained and exaggerated the stories of Egypt; they sometimes debased, at other times they improved and embellished them. That which amused the fancy, ac length was admitted as the truth : and what at first was meant to be FIGURATIVE, was, in process of time, believed to be LITERAL.

• If this hymn thould not be supposed to allude to the Egyptian His, figured under the character of Ceres, and to Proserpine, as an emblem of the * CORN BEING HID part of the year beneath the earth; may not the story on which it is founded be simply this ? The conjecture is vague, but it is hoped excusable, as many instances occur of the poets blending history with allegory:

• Pluto, probably King of the Moloilians, wages war against the Eleufinians, waftes their country, and carries of their corn-a famine ensues-Jupiter, his brother, ruler over great part of Greece,

• So Persephone signifies in the Phænician language, from whence Proserpine is supposed to have been derived.

who who had connived at the invasion, thinks proper at length to obtain a peace for them, on their paying to Pluto one-third of their tillage by way of tribute. They again cultivate their country, and Rhea, Ceres, and Jupiter are reconciled ; i.e. the earth produces corn, and the people are under the protection of their neighbouring King.

Our Readers will by this time, no doubt, agree with us, that the style of Mr. Hole's translation is by no means deftitute of Spirit or freedom; that his versification is in general easy and harmonious; and that his language, if allowance be made for the halte with which the translation may probably have been composed, is far from being inelegant. In a word, this Writer, if we mistake not, will prove an ornament to the poetic world.

[ocr errors]

Art. VI. Sermons, preached at Lincoln's Inn, between the Years

1765 and 1776. Vols. Il. and III. By Richard Hord, D. D. Lord Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and late Preacher of Lincoln's Ion. 8vo. 10 s. Boards. Cadell 1781.. A N Advertisement prefixed to these volumes informs us, A that the sermons contained in them were prepared for the use of the Society of Lincoln's Inn, and delivered by the Au. thor in their chapel, during the course of seven years, while he had the honour of being their Preacher ; and that, upon his resignation of that office in 1776, the Masters of the Bench were pleased to make it their request to him, that they might be pubJilhed.

Every candid and discerning Reader will readily acknowledge, that they are admirably calculated, in many respects, to answer the purpose for which they were intended ; they contain much useful instruction, many important lessons for the conduct of life ; with an intimate knowledge of the world, and of the hu. man heart. The Preacher's reasoning, indeed, does not always appear to be solid and conclusive, and he sometimes advances what it is scarcely possible for a rational inquirer to believe, unless he discards his reason in order to make room for his faith. He often endeavours, likewise, to give an air of novelty and great consequence to subjects, which, comparatively, are of little importance. But though the attentive Reader will have occasion to observe several instances of affectation and refinement, he will be pleased with the ability that is displayed upon almoft every subject; and the fincere and unprejudiced Christian, while he sees with concern the greatest abilities employed in supporto ing the established creeds and systems of fallible man, will obferve with pleasure some of the principal objections of unbe-' lievers answered, in a clear, diftinct, and forcible manner. His Lordship's style, too, is always perspicuous, and often extremely elegant; his method is natural and easy, and his manner, in general, simple, and frequently striking.

I 3


« הקודםהמשך »