Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

clear to every scholar that Mr. Bryant would have done well to have repeated himself. Certainly he has not bettered the rendering. “Or midst his kindred when the war was o'er” is more faithful than the two lines and more which

express

the same sentiment in the other version. This and other expanşions have swollen the translation of the four lines of the orig. inal froin five in Mr. Bryant's first book to about seven in his fourteenth. It is needless to remark that “the harpy brood” is far less definite, exact, and poetical than the simple designation of the “Harpies."

The story which Eumæus told of his adventures from the time when he was kidnapped by Phænician sailors from his princely home, to be sold into slavery in another part of the Greek world, is interesting as throwing light upon the manners and customs of the day. It was a Sidonian woman, herself torn from a wealthy home by Greek pirates, that served as the instrument of betraying him into the hands of her countrymen. Mr. Bryant thus renders the narrative:

"There came a crew of that seafaring race,
The people of Phænicia, to our isle.
Shrewd fellows they, and brought in their black ship
Large store of trinkets. In my father's house
Was a Phænician woman, large and fair,
And skilled in embroidery. As she came
A laundress to their ship, those cunning men
Seduced her. One of them obtained her love;
For oft doth love mislead weak womankind,
Even of the more discreet.

The Phænician crew remained
Until the twelvemonth's end, and filled their ship
With many things, and when its roomy bull
Was fully laden, sent a messenger
To tell the woman. He, a cunning man,
Came to my father's house, and brought with him
A golden necklace set with amber beads.
The palace maidens and the gracions queen,
My mother, took it in their hands, and gazed
Upon it, and debated of its price.
Meantime the bearer gave the sign, and soou
Departed to the ship. The woman took
My hand and led me forth. Within the hall
She found upon the tables ready placed
The goblets for my father's guests, his peers;
But they were absent, and in council yet
Amid a great assembly. She concealed

Three goblets in her bosom, and bore off
The theft. I followed thoughtlessly. The sun
Went down, and darkness brooded o'er the ways.
Briskly we walked, and reached the famous port
And the fast-sailing ship. They took us both
On board, and sailed.” (Book XV, lines 526, etc.)

In this fine bit of word-painting there is little to criticise. A minor inaccuracy occurs in lines 531 and 532. The Phænician woman does not appear in the Greek as having come “а laundress to their ship;" but her countrymen merely met her as she washed, doubtless for the princely family to which she was a slave, at some spring or stream that flowed into the sea near the spot where the ship was drawn up upon the sands. The poet, it will be remembered, represents (Odyssey VI, 109, etc.) even a queen's daughter, Nausicaa, as engaged with her maidens, after the same primitive fashion, in washing not far from the sea on

“The river's pleasant brink, Where lavers had been hollowed out to last Perpetually, and freely tlırough them flowed

Pure water that might cleanse the foulest stains." In the line before us Homer simply says:

πλυνoύση τις πρώτα μίγη, κοίλη παρά νηί. We have looked for some of our favorite passages, and we have in no case failed to find a noble' and worthy rendering in Bryant's Odyssey. Take the sixteenth book, in which Telemachus recounts to his now recovered father the numbers of the haughty suitors for Penelope with whom Ulysses will have to contend before he regains his throne, with a feeling akin to that which prompts Elisha's servant, seeing the city encompassed with horses and chariots, to exclaim: “Alas, my master! how shall we do?” (2 Kings vi, 15.) There is some touch of the Hebrew prophet's heroism in the reply of Ulysses, although it comes far short of the simple assurance, “Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” The Supreme God, the god of justice, and his daughter, the goddess of reason, Ulysses says, are on his side:

" "Now, if thy thought
Be turned to some ally, bethink thee who
Will combat for us with a willing heart.'

Again Ulysses, the great sufferer, spake:
* Then will I tell thee; listen, and give heed.
Think wliether Pallas and her father, Jove,
Suffice not for us. Need we more allies?'

And then discreet Telemachus rejoined:
Assuredly the twain whom thou hast named
Are mighty as allies; for thongh they sit
On high among the clouds, they yet bear rule
Both o'er mankind and o'er the living gods.'"

[ocr errors]

We have room but for one more extract from this delightful poem, of whose excellences no line or lines taken here and there can give an adequate idea, but which to be fully appreciated must be read from beginning to end. We quote the exquisite description of the embrace of Ulysses and Penelope, when at last the latter has been convinced that she sees before her her long absent lord :

“She spake, and he was moved to tears; he wept
As in his arms he held his dearly loved
And faithful wife. As welcome as the land
To those who swim the deep, of whose stout bark
Neptune has made a wreck amid the waves,
Tossed by the billow and the blast, and few
Are those who from the hoary ocean reach
The shore, their limbs all crested with the brine,
These gladly climb the sea-beach, and are safe,
So welcome was her husband to her eyes.
Nor would her fair white arms release his neck,
And there would rosy-fingered Morn have found
Both weeping, but the blue-eyed Pallas planned
That thus it should not be; she stayed the night
When near its close, and held the golden Morn
Long in the ocean deeps, nor suffered her
To yoke her steeds that bring the light to men,--
Lampas and Phaëthon, swift steeds that bear

The Morning on her way." (Book XXIII, lines 280-298.)
In conclusion, we need only to express our conviction that
Mr. Bryant has given us a translation of both of Homer's great
epics which is unequaled in our language for its fidelity both
to the spirit and to the letter of the original-a work, in short,
which, while it reflects great credit upon his classical scholar-
ship, will invest with still higher glory his well-earned poetical
laurels.

ment.

erature.

Art. VIII.-SYNOPSIS OF THE QUARTERLIES, AND OTHERS OF

THE HIGHER PERIODICALS.

American Quarterly Reviews.
BAPTIST QUARTERLY, July, 1872. (Philadelphia.)—1. Certainty in Religion.

2. Palfrey on Religious Intolerance in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay.
3. Jewish Proselyte Baptism. 4. The Platonic Myths. 5. The Warning against

Apostasy.
BIBLIOTHECA SACRA, July, 1872. (Andover.)1. The Influence of the Press.

2. Destructive Analysis in Theology. 3. Revelation and Inspiration. 4. Char.
acteristics of the Growth of Christ's Kingdom. 5. Lyell's Student's Elements
of Geology. 6. Christ as a Practical Observer of Nature, Persons, and Events.
7. Eyo Banticw év üdati.-John i, 26. 8. Church Creeds. 9. Hebrew Grammar

and Lexicography. 10. Dr. Hodge's Systematic Theology. CHRISTIAN QUARTERLY, July, 1872. (Cincinnati.)—1. The Doctrine of the Atone

2. The Status and Relations of the Christian Church. 3. Judaic Baptism. 4. The Representative Import of “Ekklesia.” 5. Have Hunian SpeculaLions Obscured the Once Plain Way? 6. The Office of the Presbytery. 7. The

Worshiping of Jesus. 8. Peter and Paul on Baptism and Justitication. EVANGELICAL QUARTERLY REVIEW, July, 1872. (Gettysburg.)-1. The Principle

of the Lutheran Reformation. 2. The Descent of Man. 3. The Communion of Saints. 4. John Kepler, the German Astronomer. 5. Sources of Power in Preaching. 6. The Eloquence of St. Paul. 7. Recent Works on English Lit

8. Exposition of 1 Cor. xv, 22. THEOLOGICAL MEDIUM, A CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN QUARTERLY, July, 1872.

(Nashville, Tenn.)-1. Sum Via. ("I am the Way.”) 2. Man's Creation and
Capabilities. 3. Creation ex Nihilo. 4. An Apology for Faith. 5. Christianity
a Universal Religion. 6. The Evangelical Union of Scotland. 7. The Passover.
8. The Jesuits. 9. Philosopbic and Religious Basis for a Life of Jesus Christ;

Supernaturalism.
UNIVERSALIST QUARTERLY, July, 1872. (Boston.)-1. The Genesis of Science.

2. Letters of Murray and Richards. 3. Reminiscences of W.J. Fox, of London,
and of the Author of " Nearer, my God, to Thee.” 4. Doctrinal Phases of
Universalism during the Past Century. 5. Africa: Plıysical, Historical, and
Ethnological.—Christian Missions. 6. Bayle and Leclerc; or, The Manichean

and the Universalist.
The fourth article, by Rev. G. W. Whitney, is a review of
Mr. Dorchester's discussion of Universalist History in our
Quarterly. It is free-spoken, but courteous and candid.

In regard to the spiritual decline imputed to Universalism by Mr. Dorchester, the Reviewer replies: “In point of fact it is continually tending toward a higher religious experience. We feel confident that the last twenty years have witnessed a great improvement in the devotional aspects of Universalism, though aware that much remains to be done. This incompleteness is not owing to inherent defects, we apprehend, but to the magnitude of the work and human imperfection. When has man ever done his work perfectly ?”-P. 323.

He quotes the decline which occurred even in Luther's days

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

in the fervor of the piety of the reformed Churches, and the generally interior fervor of Protestantism in comparison with Catholicism." He then adds the following paragraplıs, containing thoughts which it may be well for Methodists to hear and to weigh :

“ The Methodist Church, which seems to be a solitary exception, is unique because it represents a tendency to return to the priinitive fervor of the Church, and rests its claims more largely on its warmth and zeal than on any doctrines which distinguish it. Yet even the followers of Wesley have not equaled, we believe, the fervor and the constancy or the early Church. That was strong enough to force its way among a people utterly hostile to its spread, and relied so much on its power over the hearts of believers that every diversity of belief was allowed except on the fundamental point of Christ's authority. Limitarians, Annihilationists, Universalists, all labored together, and the good work prospered in their hands. Thus the Church existed for more than two hundred years, and very rarely did it lose its hold on any of its members. Indeed, the Methodist Church can scarcely be said to equal the Catholic Church in fervor and religious power; and if it exbibits some results which the Romanists cannot equal, is it not fair to attribute them to its better doctrines, rather than to its superior methods? We cannot help admiring many of the aesthetic accessories of the Mother Church, nor refrain froni contrasting them with the meager details of Methodist routine. The Catholic Church is like a plant with many roots, and could get along better without the doctrine of endless misery than could the Methodist. The next fifty years will test the spiritual power of Methodism as it never has been tested before.”—P. 324.

Our Reviewer quotes two passages, both second-hand, to show that Wesley was a Universalist! It is by wrenching them from their connections and imposing upon their mere verbiage a meaning that never entered Wesley's head. In their true meaning our Methodism of the present hour perfectly coincides in letter and spirit with every word and syllable. The first quotation, with the Reviewer's own italics, is as follows:

By salvation I mean not barely, according to the vulgar notion, deliverance from hell, or going to heaven, but a present

« ПредишнаНапред »