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however, must be set down as a mere effusion of modesty; since it is apparent, in no small number of places, that they have all been studied alike. Quantas jaculetur Monychus ornos, for example, is thus vigorously and harmoniously rendered : • How Monychus the rooted ash would rend
From the deep earth, and through the air would send.-p. 5. Again :
- to Sylla we
Would have much sounder sleep in privacy.'-p. 6. We, too, have occasionally studied those qualities, and, though we pretend not to improve the first couplet, we are not quite sure that we could not add to the characteristic excellencies of the second. We propose,
-to Sylla we
He would consent to live in privacy. • Closeness and strength' the author has avowedly studied in Juvenal; but we are utterly at a loss to discover in what school he learned plain sailing, and geography.
-utere velis, Totos pande sinus: he translates,
spread each flowing sail, Steer to the wind.'-p. 15. Steer to the wind! · Ah! G- help thee, Rory! more sail than ballast.' Satire would make but little progress in this way: and the translator will probably hear, with some amazement, that when we“ spread our flowing sails, and court the gale,' we steer from the wind, and not to it.
Omnis árena Tagi, quodque in mare volvitur aurum is thus rendered :
· 0! let not all the sand of glittering gold
By refluent Tagus back to ocean rullid-p. 19. It must be admitted, that the author has the authority of Horace for the possibility of streams returning to their springs;
quis neget arduis Pronos relabi posse rivos
Montibus ?but still he is wrong; for though the Tagus may unquestionably flow back to Castile, he certainly will not find the ocean on his arrival there. We have traversed that country in all directions with
out seeing it; nor do we believe that the oldest of its inhabitants ever heard of such a thing.
Though the author has honestly attempted to deter the unlearned from approaching his translation, yet, as he must be aware of the prying nature of mankind, and their unlucky propensity to look into forbidden things, we cannot but think him somewhat accountable, in foro conscientiæ, for the wrong impressions of Roman manners, &c. which they will undoubtedly receive from his representations. For example:
* Those slaves, whose feet make white our native plains.'-p. 12.
The English reader will naturally gather from this, that the Romaus used the dried feet of slaves for scrubbing-brushes: but this, we can assure him, was by no means the case.
Again :what will the English reader, tremblingly alive to the purity of election, think of the story of Marius, who was ' sentenced by a vote inane,' a bad vote, we presume! Assuredly, while he pities the innocent sufferer, he will feel great indignation at the person whose unauthorized voice decided his fate. And he will be
wrong in both.
Instituitque rudes, melior Locusta, propinquas
Per famam et populum nigros efferre maritos. • Better than fell Locusta, she can teach
Her rustic friends to bear far out of reach Their husband's blacken'd corpse-despising vulgar speech.'--p. 10. The English reader will readily subscribe to the merits of this venerable old lady, in teaching her countrywomen to conceal such disagreeable objects. It is but fair, however, to observe that, in the original, she teaches them just the contrary, With respect to the little compliment paid to her taste in contemning vulgarity, and which is solely owing to the translator's good opinion of her, we shall not meddle with it.
He will also be charmed with the disinterested and facetious character of the Roman legacy hunters. When told that their old friend has been suddenly carried off by an apoplectic fit, without making a will, in their favour,
• No visage saddens, for none feels a wound,'--p. 10. his admiration may probably suffer some abatement when he learns that they do not bear their disappointment with quite so much composure in Juvenal, where they not only feel a wound, but carry their resentment of it so far as to insult his ashes.
But the translation is full of these pleasant misrepresentations : and we shall not be altogether easy, unless the author agrees to paint two snakes over the frontispiece of his next edition, to keep the unlearned completely out of his circle,
We must also intreat him to re-consider a few ideas which he
appears to have somewhat hastily adopted, and which, to us, at least, savour greatly of singularity. Thus, if an epithet suits one object, he immediately concludes that it wail fit every other : glowing, (for example,) which his predecessors apply to the wheels of a car, he applies to the reins, &c. If this be done to conceal his obligations, we can only say to him in the words of the original,
Tam jejuna fames, cum possis honestius illic
Et rapere! In another place he seems to think that filthiness is a cure for incredulity; at least, the English reader will discover no other meaning in the following exquisite couplet :
• Vain empty dreams! at which each boy will laugh,
Save those who wash not in the public bath.'—p. 17. But enough :--before we conclude, however, we would seriously ask the author what he really proposes to himself and the public, by this undertaking? He admits that it cannot be made interesting to the mere English reader'; and how, without critical observations, it can be made
either useful or agreeable to any other, we profess ourselves at a loss to conjecture. He is possessed of no new lights --here is nothing, therefore, to attract the scholar. But we go farther. These • Specimens' are not a translation-nor, if the writer possessed the qualities, of which we discover no traces, pathos, dignity and humour, could he make them such: for—we must be frank with him-he does not understand the original. In no instance has he entered into the author's mind : he sees pot his object; he feels not his energy; he comprehends not his dignified
Endure his Theseid still?' Does this poor drawl (the produce of an after dinner's sleep') contain a single spark of the sense and spirit of the original ? The semper ego auditor tantum, and the numquamne reponam, are as if they had never been. Juvenal breaks silence in a burst of general impatience; the translator restricts bis somnolent interrogation to Codrus : Juvenal--but it is useless to waste another word on the matter.
If, however, the writer be determined to proceed, we would intreat him not to precipitate his work. Years must apparently pass away before he can gain a competent knowledge of his author. Meanwhile the Euglish reader will manifest no signs of impatience for what is not, after all, to interest bim; and the scholar, if such a one can be supposed to waste a thought on the translator's pro
gress, may console himself with reflecting that every day is taking from his difficulties, and that he may ultimately hope to receive a version which, with the original at his elbow, he may possibly find intelligible in more places than, from the present attempt, he has any encouragement to expect.
Art. IV. Elements of Chemical Philosophy. By Sir Humphry
Davy, LL. D. Sec. R.S. Prof. Chem. R. I. and B. A. "M. R.I. F.R.S. E. M.R. I. A. M.R. A. Stockh. Imp. Med. Chir. Ac. St. Pet. Am. Phil. Soc. Hon. Memb. Soc. Dubl. Manch. Phys. Soc. Ed. Med. Soc. London. Part I. Vol. I.
pp. 530. Ten Plates. 8vo. London. 1812. IN attempting a review of this work, we cannot avoid professing,
that we are far from entertaining the impression of sitting down as competent judges, to decide on the merits or demerits of its author: on this point the public voice, not only within our own islands, but wherever science is cultivated, has already pronounced too definitive a sentence, to be weakened or confirmed by any thing that we can suggest of exception or approbation. Our humble la bours, on such an occasion, must be much more analytical and historical than critical; at the same time we are too well acquainted with the author's candour, to suppress any remark which may occur to us, as tending to correction or improvement. It has most assuredly fallen to the lot of no one individual to contribute to the progress of chemical knowledge by discoveries so numerous and important as those which have been made by Sir Humphry Davy: and with regard to mere experimental investigation, we do not hesitate to rank his researches as more splendidly successful, than any which have ever before illustrated the physical sciences in any of their departments. We are aware that the Optics of Newton will immediately occur to our readers as an exception; but without attempting to convince those who may differ from us on this point, we are disposed to abide by the opinion, that for a series of well devised experiments and brilliant discoveries, the contents of Davy's Bakerian Lectures are as much superior to those of Newton's Optics, as the Principia are superior to these, or to any other human work, for the accurate and refined application of a sublime and simple theory to the most intricate and apparently anomalous results, derived from previous observation.
Discoveries so far outshining all that has been done in other countries, and constituting so marked an era in the history of chemistry, cannot be contemplated by any Englishman, who possesses a taste for science, without some degree of national, and even local exultation; although it is true that other individuals, and other VOL. VII. NO, XV.
countries have contributed largely to the success of the common cause; some, by improving the principles of other departments of physics which have been so happily applied, or by furnishing the most powerful agents and the most convenient instruments, which have been employed with so much address; and others by collateral or independent speculations and researches, which have here been blended together into one system.
From all these sources our author has derived the materials of a volume, which, when compared even with the latest works of a similar nature, exhibits a more rapid and triumphant progress of improvement than can be paralleled in the annals of human invention. He has adverted, with a very laudable modesty, to the favourable circumstances under which his researches were conducted :
· Nothing tends so much,' he observes, 'to the advancement of knowledge as the application of a new instrument. The native intellectual powers of men in different times, are not so much the causes of the different success of their labours, as the peculiar nature of the means and artificial resources in their possession. Independent of vessels of glass, there could have been no accurate manipulations in common chemistry: the air pump was necessary for the investigation of the properties of gaseous matter; and without the Voltaic apparatus, there was no possibility of examining the relations of electrical polarities to chemical attractions.'
It must, however, be remembered, that almost every other discovery of importance, which has been made in science, has been facilitated by some previous steps, which have rendered practicable what might otherwise have presented insuperable obstacles to human ingenuity; nor has such a preparation ever been allowed to detract from the just applause, bestowed on those who have been distinguished from their contemporaries by a more successful exertion of talent.
Until the year 1806, Sir Humphry Davy had been remarkable for the industrious and ingenious application of those means of ex'periment only, which had been long known to chemists; he had acquired, at a very early period of his life, a well established celebrity among men of science throughout Europe, by the originality and accuracy of his researches; and at the same time the fluent and impressive delivery of his lectures had obtained him the most flattering marks of approbation from the public of the metropolis. But it was in the summer of this year, that in repeating some electrochemical experiments of very doubtful authority, he was led into a new train of reasoning and investigation, which enabled him to demonstrate the important laws of the connexion between the electrical affections of bodies and their chemical powers. This was his first great discovery: and when he was complimented on the occa