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increase his exasperation against Eliot. A manuscript treatise by him, entitled De jure Majestatis,' still remaining at Port Eliot, shows how he passed his time in prison. Mr. Forster says of it—One derives from it a prodigious impression of the variety of Eliot's scholarship and knowledge, and of the happy power of finding relief therein from suffering and sorrow, as Raleigh in that very place had done in the earlier time. Vol. ii. p. 509. At Michaelmas, probably from fear of pushing the power

of the Star Chamber into direct conflict with the privilege of Parliament, it was resolved to proceed by information in the King's Bench against Eliot, Holles, and Valentine.

It was understood that the Judges were prepared to maintain the jurisdiction of their courts over parliamentary offences, and it was also understood that they would refuse even intermediate bail, except on the condition of 'good behaviour.' Six out of the seven who were still in custody were brought up on Saturday, October the third ; their conduct was admitted to be temperate and without offence;' but they all absolutely refused to enter into the bond for their good behaviour' which was required before they could be bailed. An information in the King's Bench was prepared and filed against Eliot, Holles, and Valentine, and on the night of the 29th of October they were brought privately from the Tower to the chambers of the Chief Justice, and were then committed to the Marshalsea—“to their country house in Southwark,' as Eliot called it.

On the 26th of January, 1629-30, the three defendants appeared with their counsel in the Court of King's Bench. The Chief Justice began by informing the counsel that the Judges had made up their minds on the point that any offence committed contemptuously or criminally in Parliament remained punishable in another court. The defendants were remitted to custody, with a direction to plead further before a certain day of that term. It ended, of course, in the court overruling the plea to their jurisdiction, and sentencing the defendants to be imprisoned during the King's pleasure. Sir John Eliot was to be confined in the Tower of London, and the others elsewhere, and none of them was to be released until he had given security for his good behaviour, and made submission and acknowledgment of his offence. Eliot was in addition fined 2000 marks, Mr. Holles 1000, and Mr. Valentine 5001.

Before this sentence was pronounced the hero of this story had been confined to his bed by sickness, and had been unable to appear in court on the last day. He knew too well that the sentence now pronounced was one of perpetual imprisonment

unless

more.

unless a Parliament was summoned. He knew, moreover, that the last thing Charles would do, if he could help it, was to summon a Parliament. When that assembly did at last meet, eleven years afterwards, the arrears against the King had accumulated, and it did not separate so easily or so calmly even as the Parliament of 1629.

Sir John Eliot died on the 27th of November, in the year 1632, in the 43rd year of his age :

• But'-says Mr. Forster, revenges there are which death cannot satisfy, and natures that will not drop their hatreds at the grave. The son desired to carry his father's remains to Port Eliot, there to be with those of his ancestors; and the King was addressed once

The youth drew up an humble petition that His Majesty would be pleased to permit the body of his father to be carried into Cornwall, to be buried there. Whereto was answered at the foot of the petition, "lett Sir John Eliot's body to be buried in the church of that parish where he dyed.And so he was buried in the Tower.'—vol. ii. p. 727.

We have long thought that recent researches and disclosures with reference to the civil war and the character of Charles I. tended rather to his disadvantage than otherwise, but we have seen no fact which is more damaging than that brought to light in the words just quoted. That he was vindictive to his opponents while they were alive we know; but there is a mean and bitter spite in the answer to the petition for Eliot's burial at St. German's which appears unworthy--we will not say of a king - but of a Christian gentleman.

Our readers must have felt how imperfectly an analysis of a book such as that before us can represent its real interest, or do justice to its merits. Mr. Forster, in his other works,* has thrown much light on the reign of Charles I., but it is impossible to estimate too highly this addition to his former labours. The public owe much to the Earl of St. German's for the liberality with which he has thrown open his family papers, but they owe him still more for the judgment which he has shown in his selection of the person to whom they have been intrusted. If we wish that the book was shorter it is not because its interest flags, but because we should desire that it might be more widely circulated. Its value as history is very great, and the picture which, as a biography, it gives of the character of Sir John Eliot is of the most striking kind.

* 'Arrest of the Five Members by Charles the First. A Chapter of English History re-written.' London, 1860. "The Debates on the Grand Remonstrance, Nov. and Dec. 1641. With an Introductory Essay on English Freedom, under Plantagenet and Tudor Sovereigns.' Second edition. London, 1860.

ART.

ON

It appears that

Art. IV.-The Iliad of Homer rendered into English Blank Verse.

By Edward Earl of Derby. 2 vols. London, 1864. N the first rumour of another translation of the “Iliad,' and

that from the pen of so eminent a person, we inquired with some uneasiness in what kind of verse it was written; and it was with a certain feeling of relief that we learnt that Lord Derby intended to offer us neither the rhyming couplet, nor any other form of rhyme, nor any labyrinthine metre of his own or other person's invention, but plain blank verse. he was too well aware of the inherent and unavoidable difficulties of translation, to weight himself with any such superfluous task. These difficulties it is almost impossible to exaggerate, for they begin with the very words for which you must find equivalents; and when this apparently easy labour commences in earnest you are mocked by phenomena of this sort :-that which in one language is expressed by a term which appeals to the sense of sight, is conveyed to us in another under a form derived from a sense of touch; that which is picturesque in one language, will be logical in another. The every-day metaphors of which even our ordinary conversation in great part consists, are not derived from the same objects in the speech of two countries; that which one people describe as an act on a given object, in another figures as a simple state in relation to it; and so we might go on with an endless classification of the sources of this manifold diversity. But even after these have been provided against by judicious compromise, there remains another class of terms that seem to correspond exactly; when in comes the terrible law of association, and completely severs the connexion between them. The word which has been accustomed to good society in one language, answers to that which has kept very low company in another; the one will suggest everything that is noble, and the other is hopelessly vulgar. The river in Macedon is suggestive of Muses, and war-chariots, and mighty floods, while the one in Monmouth offers no images save those of pic-nics, publichouse minstrels, and trout fishing. All this, which is true of any language in relation to any other, is pre-eminently true of Greek in relation to English ; and the consideration of it soon convinces a judicious interpreter that, in order to be faithful, he must renounce the hope of being literal, and continually exercise the severest nicety of judgment in seeking for the best compromises of which the case is susceptible. He must employ a kind of linguistic diplomacy, neither ignoring the force and the character of the foreign idioms, nor betraying that of which he is the representative,

The

The translator of Homer has to satisfy two classes of persons; at least we presume that he intends at the same time to offer tó the scholar the gratification of tracing throughout his work the same beauties which he felt in reading the original author, and of giving those to whom the first source is inaccessible as much of the pleasure as can be transfused into their mother tongue. Those who are pedants and not scholars will of course profess too much enthusiasm for the original to endure his work being presented to them in any less satisfactory form; but the genuine lover of letters will take an interest in translations, as so many efforts to ascertain and to bring out all the resources of which his own language is capable, and therefore as so many contributions to its strength and fulness. As for the other class of readers (we will not call them the unlearned, for many a man or woman may be learned without any knowledge of Greek), they certainly do not occupy a subordinate place in the thoughts of any one who endeavours to execute such a work as Lord Derby has undertaken; for while he remembers that for every languid supplement, and even for any appearance of a grace added by himself, as well as for every beauty omitted or feebly rendered, the scholar will call him to account, he also bears in mind that numerous body of non-Grecians who, though they cannot judge of Homer, can distinguish between flatness and spirit. Nay, as there is a certain supremacy still maintained by Greek and Latin scholars in England, he will be answerable to all those who enjoy it, if by any feebleness of his own he provokes the general public to the profane question, 'Is this dull stuff all that is to be found in the ancient authors for whom you claim such reverence, and as the priests of whom you exact so much reverence for yourselves ? Although such misgivings must have presented themselves to Lord Derby when he first began to think of publication, we gather from his very modest preface that he entered upon his labours with a very different train of thought from that which we have suggested. In the intervals of a brilliant and arduous public career he betook himself to this truly noble recreation, loving the work for the work's sake, in the true spirit of an artist, without any thought of a public until it was suggested to him by others. We cordially approve of the suggestion ; for to it we owe a translation of the Iliad' which we can admire without effort, and recommend to our readers simply on its own merits.

It is scarcely the time of day to enter into a disquisition upon the various beauties of the · Iliad,' but it will not be out of place to say something of those qualities of the poet which, as being connected with his style and diction, must be kept continually in view whenever we attempt to criticise any of his translators.

When

When Plato speaks of Homer as the chief of the writers of tragedy, it would appear from the manner of his expression, that he is not offering this as an observation of his own, but merely giving his assent to an opinion that was already current in his time. The remark of Aristotle, that tragedy seems to have been derived from the · Iliad' and the Odyssey' is more guarded, but at the same time it is less true. Historically speaking, Epic and Tragic poetry have nothing to do with each other ; but that the presence of the dramatic element in epic poetry, and that in no inconsiderable proportion to the narrative and descriptive parts, is one of the chief beauties of the · Iliad,'—this is a truth which Plato's contemporaries felt, although they expressed it incorrectly. The want of this dramatic character is one among the many points in which Virgil falls short of his original ; and it is the presence of it which increases the interest of the Inferno, and to a less extent of the Purgatorio, in both of which it relieves the fancy in its contemplation of the infinite variety of details which are sucessively presented to it.

The speeches in the “Iliad' are wonderfully in character, and,' except where they occur for the purpose of introducing an episode, they help on the narrative, even while they afford repose to the attention by establishing a pause in the succession of the events. The narrative itself excited the admiration of the Greeks on two principal grounds; first, they pointed to the unrivalled skill and judgment of the poet in the construction of his plan and in grouping of all his incidents round one centre of action. But the second excellency is that with which we are now more immediately concerned. It is that power of vivid narration which they describe as bringing everything before the eyes (προ όμμάτων). No one can read Ηomer without ratifying their judgment in this particular; and the more closely we attend to him, the more we shall be convinced that this was not a mere accident of manner or language, but that Homer himself continually had this result before his mind as that towards which all his endeavours must be directed, and to the attainment of which he must adapt both manner and language. He understood his vocation as that of the story teller; and he felt that the highest form of the story was that in which men should appear not merely as the agents of events, but as speaking and thinking characters. This is shown by many signs ; by the continual changes of scene, the distinct conception of the topography of Ilium and the camp, by his minuteness of detail, whether in describing the performance of a sacrifice, or the handling of a ship, or the selection of a robe for Pallas, or the effect of a spear-thrust; but in nothing is it so conspicuous as in his com

parisons.

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