« PreviousContinue »
translated. Who would believe that a work, which paints in such lively and natural colours the several foibles of mankind, and where we meet with more sentiments than words, should baffle the endeavours of the ablest translators ? But the reason of it is this, almost every part of it alludes to particular incidents."*
Notwithstanding this opinion, Hudibras has been admirably translated into Voltaire's own language by Mr. Townley, a Lancashire gentleman, whose version is an exact counterpart of the original. It was printed in three volumes in duodecimo, at London, 1757, but is so uncommonly scarce that the Critical Reviewers questioned its existence. There is a copy in the British Museum with a portrait of the translator, who was an officer in the French military service, and a knight of the order of St. Louis. He died in 1782, aged 85.