« AnteriorContinuar »
Consider them, and read them o'er and o'er,
Go, see them play'd, then read them as before,
For tho’in many things they grossly fail,
Over our passions still they lo prevail,
That our own grief by theirs is rock'd af leep,
The dull are forc'd to feel, the wise to weep.
Their beauties imitate, avoid their faults.
First on a plot employ thy careful thoughts;
Turn it with time a thousand several ways:
This oft alone has giv'n success to Plays.
Reject that vulgar error, wich appears
So fair, of making perfect characters :
There's no such thing in Nature, and you'll
A faultless Monster, which the world ne'er saw.
Some faults must be, that his misfortunes drew;
But such as may deserve compassion too.
Besides the main design compos'd with art,
Each moving Scene must be a Plot apart.
Contrive each little turn, mark ev'ry place,
As Painters first chalk out the future face:
Yet be not fondly your own slave for this ;
But change hereafter what appears amiss.
Think not so much where 1 hining thoughts to pla."
As what a Man would say in such a case.
Neither in Comedy will this suffice,
The Player too must be before your eyes ;
And tho''tis drudgery to stoop so low,
To him you must your secret meaning fhow.
Expose no single Fop, but lay the load
More equally, and spread the folly broad.
Mere Coxcombs are too obvious; oft we fee
A Fool derided by as bad as he,
Hawks Ay at nobler game, in this low way;
may prove a Bird of prey.
Small Poets thus will one poor Fop devour;
But to collect, like Bees, from ev'ry flow'r
Ingredients to compose that precious juice,
Which ferves the world for pleasure and for use,
Buđingham. In spite of fa&ion, this would favour get';
But Falstaff *) stands inimitable yet.
Another fault which often may befall,
Is, when the wit of some great Poet shall
So overflow, that is, be none at all,
That even his Fools speak sense, as if possest,
And each by inspiration breaks his jest.
If once the juftness of each part be lost,
Well we may laugh, but at the Poet's cost.
That filly thing men call theer-wit, avoid,
With which our Age so nauseously is cloy'd,
Humour is all. Wit should be only brought
To turn agreably some proper thought.
But since the Poets we of late have known,
Shine in no dress so much as in their own,
The better by example to convince,
Cast but a view on this wrong side of fense.
First a Soliloquy is calmly made,
Where ev'ry reason is exactly weigh'd;
Which once perform'd, most opportunely comes
Some Hero frighted at the noile of drums,
For her sweet fake, whom at first sight he loves,
And all in Metaphor his passion proves;
But some fad accident, tho' yet unknown,
Parting this pair, to leave the Swain alone;
He streight grows jealous, tho' we know not why,
Then, to oblige his Rival, needs will die:
But first he makes a speech, wherein he tells
The absent Nymph, how much his fame excells.
And yet bequeaths her generously now
To that lov'd Rival whom he does not know;
Who streight appears, but who can Fate with.
Too late, alas! to hold his hasty hand,
That just has giv'n himself the cruel stroke,
At which his very Rival's heart is brokë;
*) An adınirable Character in foine Plays of Shakspeare.
He more to his new Friend than Mistress kind,
Bucinghang Most sadly mourns at being left behind; Of such a death prefers the pleasing charms To love, and living in a Lady's arms.
What shameful, and what monstrous things are
And then they rail at those they cannot please;
Conclude us only partial to the dead:
And grudge the sign of old Ben-Johnson's head:
When the intrinsic value of the stage
Can scarce be judg'd, but by a following Age;
For Dances, Flutes, Italian songs, and Rhime,
May keep up finking nonsense for a time.
But that must fail, which now so much o'er-rules,
And lense no longer will submit to Fools.
Wentworth Dillon, Graf von Roscommon, geb. in Irland ums J. 1633, geft. 1684. Man hat von ihm nur wenige Gedichte, die aber noch immer sehr geschågt werden, und von ihnen keines so sehr als sein Essay on Translated Verse. Dr. Johnson giebt ihm (Lives, Vol. I, p. 325.) das rühmliche Zeugniß, daß er vielleicht der einzige korrekte ens glische Schriftsteller vor uddison en; und pope erklärt ihn für den einzigen moralisch unstråflichen Dichter unter "Karls 1. Regierung:
in all Charles's days Roscommon only boasts unspotted lays. Viel Neues und Eigenthümliches enthält freilich der Unter: richt nicht, der in diesem Wersuche dem Ueberseker eines poes tischen Werks ertheilt wird. Er schränkt sich vornehmlich auf die Pflichten ein, daß jener ein seinem Genie gemåßes, der Ueberseßung würdiges, Original wählen, daß er dasselbe völlig verstehen, alles Dunkle und Sprachwidrige vermeiden, und alle die verschiednen Schattirungen der Schreibart beis behalten müsse. Aber das größte Verdienst dieses Gedichts ist die Art seiner Ausführung, die gewiß, des an sich trocks nen Gegenstandes wegen nicht wenig Schwierigkeiten hatte, und der edle, männliche, eindruckvolle Lehrton, der diesen Versuch zu dem Range eines würdigen Gegenstücks von Pos pe's Versuch åber die Kritik erhebt.
ESSAY ON TRANSLATING
The first great Work, (a Task perform'd by
Is, that yourself may to yourself be true :
No Mafk, no Tricks, no Favour, no Reserve;
Dissect your Mind, examine ev'ry Nerve.
Whoever vainly on his Strength depends,
Begins like Virgil, but like Maevius, ends,
That Wretch (in spite of his forgotten Rhymes)
Condemn'd to live thro' all fucceeding Times,
With pompous Nonsense and a bellowing Sound
Sung lofty Ilium tumbling to the Ground.
And (if the Muse can through past Ages fee)
That noisy, nauseous, gaping fool was he;
Exploded when with universal fcorn
The Mountains laboured and a Mouse was born.
Learn, learn, Crotona's brawny Wrestler
Audacious Mortals, and be timely wise!
'Tis I that call, remember Milo's End,
Wedg'd in that Timber, which he strove to rend
Each Poet with a different Talent writes,
One praises, one instructs, another bites.
Horace did ne'er aspire to Epic Bays,
Nor lofty Maro itoop to Lyric Lays.
Examine how your Huniour is inclin'd,
And which the ruling Patsion of your Mind;
Then, feeck a Poet who your way does bend,
and choose an Author as you choose a Friend.
United by this sympathetic Bond,
You grow familiar, intimate, and fond;
Your Thoughts, your Words, your Stiles, your
No longer his Interpreter, but He.
With how much Ease is a young Mufe be
How nice the Reputation of the Maid?
Your early, kind, paternal Care appears,
By.chaft Inftruation of her tender Years.
The first Impression in her infant Breast
Will be the deepest, and should be the best.
Let not Austerity breed servile Fear;
No' wanton Sound offend her Virgin-ear.
Secure from foolish Pride's affected State,
And specious Flattry's more pernicious Bait,