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generally obtained it, to avoid the extremes of a fervile verfion and a diffufe imitation. The difficulties, which it is obvious he must have had to encounter with, were fuch as required confiderable ingenuity as well as learning to furmount. As a proof of this, and as a fpecimen of the fpirit of his tranflation, we fhall give the following paffage, together with the very curious Note that is fubjoined to the two laft lines:

Ceres, to thee belongs the votive lay,
Whofe locks in radiance round thy temples play,
And Proferpine, whom, diftant from thy fight,
Fierce Pluto bore to realms of endless night.
For thus decreed the god, whofe piercing eyes
Trace every act, whose thunder shakes the skies,
That fhe, whofe hands the golden fickle bear,
And choicest product of the circling year,
Rich fruits, and fragrant-breathing flowers, fhould know
The tender conflicts of maternal woe.

In Nyfia's vale, with nymphs a lovely train,
Sprung from the hoary father of the main,
Fair Proferpine confum'd the fleeting hours
In pleasing fports, and pluck'd the gaudy flowers.
Around them wide the flamy crocus glows,
Thro' leaves of verdure blooms the opening rofe;
The hyacinth declines his fragrant head,
And purple violets deck th' enamell'd mead.
The fair NARCISSUS far above the rest,
By magic form'd, in beauty rofe confeft.
So Jove, t' enfnare the virgin's thoughtless mind,
And please the ruler of the thades defign'd;
He caus'd it from the opening earth to rife,
Sweet to the fcent, alluring to the eyes.
Never did mortal, or celeftial power
Behold fuch vivid tints adorn a flower.
From the deep root an hundred branches fprung,
And to the winds ambrofial odours flong;
Which lightly wafted on the wings of air,
The gladden'd earth, and heaven's wide circuit fhare.
The joy-difpenfing fragrance fpreads around,
And ocean's briny fwell with miles is crown'd.

Pleas'd at the fight, nor deeming danger nigh,
The fair beheld it with defiring eye:
Her eager hand fhe stretch'd to feize the flower,
(Beauteous illufion of th' ethereal power!)
When, dreadful to behold, the rocking ground
Difparted-widely yawn'd a gulf profound!-

* The Hymns to Ceres and Proferpine were called Juli. A de Jeho zahteva, &c. Vid. Athenæi Deip. L. 14.-It was a harvest forg, and was fung by the Initiated. Vid. Hefch. in vocem Iahu, & Cafaub. Animad. in Athen. p. 563.

REV. Aug. 1781..

I

Forth

Forth-rufhing from the black abyfs, arofe
The gloomy monarch of the realm of woes,
Pluto, from Saturn fprung-the trembling maid
He feiz'd, and to his golden car convey'd.
Borne by immortal fteeds the chariot flies:
And thus fhe pours her fupplicating cries-

Affift, protect me, thou who reiga't above Supreme, and beft of Gods, paternal Jove! But ah! in vain the hapless virgin rears Her wild complaint-nor god nor mortal hears!Nor to the white arm'd nymphs with beauty crown'd, Her lov'd companions, reach d the mournful found.'The original is, dayλanagπol Exαial; "neither did the beautiful-fruited olives hear her." This paffage Ruhnkenius gives up as unintelligible. Probably erasgas fhould be read inftead of that, and in that cafe it would fignify; "Neither did her beautiful-wrifted (whitearm'd companions hear her voice." Ayλanages is used by Pindar in that fenfe, and applied to Thetis in his third Numaan Ode.'

Conjectural criticism hardly ever fupplied a happier emenda

tion.

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

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And now th' all-feeing god, whofe thunders fhake

Th' aerial regions, thus to Rhea spake:
Around whole form her robes in darknefs flew;
From whom her birth the queen of feafons drew-
Let Ceres haften to th' ethereal plain,

And every honour the defires, obtain.

Her Proferpine, with heavenly powers, fhall share
In joy, two parts of the revolving year,
The rest in realms of night.-The thunderer faid:
The willing goddess his commands obey'd;
And from Olympus, cloud-encircled height
Bends to Callicorus her lofty flight:
O'er the drear region defolation frown'd,
So late with fruits, and waving verdure crown'd.
But foon the earth its wonted power regains;
Again the harvest cloaths th' extended plains;
Increasing ploughfhares turn the grateful foil,
And weighty fheaves reward the lab'rer's toil.

Through air's ungenial void the goddess bends
Her flight fublime, and now on earth defcends.

Each kindred power to hail the other flies,
Joy rules their hearts, and sparkles in their eyes.
At length fage Rhea, 'round whofe awful head
The wreath of fplendor glow'd, to Ceres faid:

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

The

The rest in realms of night.-His facred nod
Confirm'd the promife of th' all-ruling god.
Hafte then-no more oppofe with wrathful mind
Heaven's mighty lord, mid' dark'ning clouds enfhrin'd:
But thy kind influence to the earth impart,
And with thy bleilings cheer man's drooping heart.

The power, whofe brow the flowery wreath entwines,
Obeys her word-her anger the refigns.

Th' extended plains with fruits and flowers are crown'd,
And plenty reigns, and nature fmiles around.

Then to the chiefs, who o'er Eleufis fway'd,
Whofe righteous laws the grateful realm obey'd,
Eumolpus, and Triptolemus the fage,
Diocles fkill'd to tame the courfer's rage,
Kind Polyxenus, and the King who reign'd
Supreme, great Celeus, the her rites explain'd;
Thofe facred myfteries, for the vulgar ear
Unmeet; and known, moft impious to declare!
Oh! let due reverence for the gods restrain
Difcourfes rafh, and check enquiries vain!

Thrice happy he among the favour'd few,
To whom 'tis given those glorious rites to view!
A fate far different the rejected share ;
Unbleft, unworthy her protecting 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 Proferpine the wings her towering flight:
The facred powers affume their feat on high,
Befide the god, whofe thunders fhake the fky.

Happy, thrice happy he of human race,
Who proves deferving their benignant grace!
Plutus, who from his unexhausted stores
To favour'd mortals boundless treasure pours,
Th' aufpicious Deities to him fhall fend;
And profperous fortune fhall his steps attend.

And now, O Ceres! at thy hallow'd fhrine
Submiffive bow the Eleusinian line:
Antron's dark rocks re-echo with thy praife,
And fea-furrounded Paros thee obeys.
Goddefs! thro' whom the feafon's circling flight
Succeffive bleffings pours, and new delight;
And thou, O lovely Proferpine, reward
With honour'd age, and tranquil joys the bard
Who fings your acts; and foon his voice he'll raife,
And other trains fhall celebrate your praise.'

6

On the paffage Her laws eftablish'd, to the realms of light, &c. we have the following Note, equally learned, ingenious and fenfible:

Herodotus, in the 2d book of his hiftory, relates that the myftic rites of Isis were originally carried from Egypt to Greece by the daughters of Danaus; and that the Pelafgic women were inftructed

by them in the nature, defign, and forms of their celebration. From the fame authority, ftrengthened by that of Apollodorus, it hath been fuppofed that these myfteries, difguifed under other names and other forms, were afterwards celebrated at ELEUSIS in honour of CERES; and obtained the name of THESMOPHORIA.

• The Eleufinian myfteries were, however, divided into two dif tinct claffes. The Thefmophoria were in the fubordinate class.

A ftriking fimilitude hath been frequently observed, by the curious enquiries into antient cuftoms, between the mysteries of Isis and CERES and the fuppofition, that the latter were borrowed from the former, is fupported by the ftrongeft analogy, as well as the most refpectable authority.

Many of the learned, indeed, have conjectured that Greece was indebted to ORPHEUS for their introduction into that country: and that this antient bard had an eye to the Egyptian myfteries in their inftitution; and accommodated the general plan of the one, to the particular genius and defign of the other. Some have even conjec tured that the hymns which have been tranfmitted to the present times, under the name of Orpheus, were the fame that were originally fung at the celebration of the rites of Ceres.-This honour, Paufanias remarks, had never been conferred on the hymns of Homer; who, probably, by indulging his fancy in fictions of its own creation, and departing with too bold a licence from the eftablished traditions of the gods, had rendered his hymns unfit for their worfhip. It was owing to this unwarrantable stretch of poetic liberty that his works were profcribed by Plato.

The Egyptian priefs threw an awful and ambiguous veil over their religious rites, and, having enjoined SILENCE and SECRECY, as indifpenfible terms of initiation, gave an air of pomp and folemnity to inftitutions that were trifling, and doctrines that were abfurd. The fimpleft truths were loft in the croud of myftic rites which gathered thick upon them; and, while hiftorical 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 ftories of Egypt; they fometimes debafed, at other times they improved and embellifhed them. That which amufed the fancy, at length was admitted as the truth: and what at firft was meant to be FIGURATIVE, was, in process of time, believed to be LITERAL.

·

If this hymn fhould not be fuppofed to allude to the Egyptian His, figured under the character of Ceres, and to Proferpine, 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 fimply this? The conjecture is vague, but it is hoped excufable, as many inftances occur of the poets blending history with allegory:

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

• So Perfephone fignifies in the Phoenician language, from whence Proferpine is fuppofed to have been derived.

who

who had connived at the invafion, 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 ftyle of Mr. Hole's tranflation is by no means destitute of spirit or freedom; that his verfification is in general easy and harmonious; and that his language, if allowance be made for the hafte with which the tranflation may probably have been compofed, is far from being inelegant. In a word, this Writer, if we mistake not, will prove an ornament to the poetic world.

Cr-t.

ART. VI. Sermons, preached at Lincoln's Inn, between the Years
1765 and 1776. Vols. II. and III. By Richard Hurd, D. D. Lord
Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and late Preacher of Lincoln's
Inn. 8vo. 10s. Boards. Cadell 1781.

A

N Advertisement prefixed to these volumes informs us, that the fermons contained in them were prepared for the ufe of the Society of Lincoln's Inn, and delivered by the Author in their chapel, during the course of seven years, while he > had the honour of being their Preacher; and that, upon his refignation of that office in 1776, the Masters of the Bench were pleafed to make it their requeft to him, that they might be publifhed.

Every candid and difcerning 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 inftruction, many important leffons for the conduct of life; with an intimate knowledge of the world, and of the human heart. The Preacher's reasoning, indeed, does not always appear to be folid and conclufive, and he fometimes advances what it is fcarcely poffible for a rational inquirer to believe, unlefs he difcards his reafon in order to make room for his faith. He often endeavours, likewife, to give an air of novelty and great confequence to fubjects, which, comparatively, are of little importance. But though the attentive Reader will have occafion to obferve feveral inftances of affectation and refinement, he will be pleased with the ability that is difplayed upon almoft every subject; and the fincere and unprejudiced Chriftian, while he fees with concern the greateft abilities employed in supporting the established creeds and fyftems of fallible man, will obferve with pleasure fome of the principal objections of unbelievers answered, in a clear, distinct, and forcible manner. His Lordship's ftyle, too, is always perfpicuous, and often extremely elegant; his method is natural and eafy, and his manner, in general, fimple, and frequently striking.

I 3

His

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