Not otherwise in arms untaught to yield j

Rome's burden'd soldiers seek the iron sield,
And six e'er fame's swift voice prevents their way,
Mid unsuspecting foes their war array.

In th£ former passage, the description is clear arid complete, in the latter it is obscure and para* phrastic; and the most important circumstance of all is omitted pojitis cajiris, which conveys an astonishing idea of the rapid and dauntless operations of the Roman legions.

TJryden has sometimes taken the liberty of substituting one image for another, but with singular propriety and spirit. Take for instance the beautiful apostrophe to Nisus and Euryalus;

O happy friends! for if hiy verse can give
Immortal life, your fame shall ever live,
Fix'd as the Capitol's foundation lies,
And spread uhere'er the Roman Eagle Jlies *>.

But aster all, may we not apply to Translations, the remark made by Philip of Macedon to a person who prided himself upon imitating the notes ot the Nightingale? I prefer the Nightingale herself.

The desects and dissiculties of the translator are increased by the inseriority of his language. The

l " Fortunati ambo, si quid mea carmina posiint!
Nulla dies unquam memori vos eximet ævo,
Dum domus Æneæ Capitoli immobile saxum •
Accolet, impaiumque Pater Ropunuf habebit."

vou i. L elastics classics are Characterised by a native elegance and dignity of thought, a peculiar precision of style, a copious flow of period, and a regular construction of sentence: in addition to which their poetical works are adorned with the harmony of numbers and the various beauties of metrical versisication. The modern languages poflei's some of these beauties in an inserior degree, and of others they are totally destitute. If therefore the flowers of eloquence and poetry, which bloom in the sields of Cicero and Virgil, be transplanted into a less genial foil, and a colder climate, their vigour declines, and they lose the. brightness of their colours, and the richness of their fragrance'..

The fragments of the annals of the Pontisfs, and the laws of die Twelve Tables, are sussicient to prove the, rude and impersect state of the Latin language, during the early times of the republic. Two of the sirst historians of Rome composed their works in Greek: and even Ikutns, the contemporary of Cicero, wrote his1 epistles, in the fame

1 My own practice may afford an apt illustratien of the inferiority of a translation.to an original : for i have represented in- feeble English the just and beautiful observations which Graving an eminent writer of Latin, bus conveyed in strong and'Ciceronian periods. (Opufc. p. 183.)

3Ce qil'il y a Yses plus delicat dans les penfees, et dans lea expreffions des auteurs, qui ont ecrit avec beaucoup de justesife, :se' perdi qu'and on les veut tnettre dans lme autre langue: a-pea-pres comme ees essences exquises, doiit le parsum subtile sTeVapore quand on les verft d'un vsfti'Aans un autre. Bohours,' ^Perfees Ingeiviufts, p. 195:

s '. *.'.? a. language.

language. That great orator wrote a Greek History of his own consulship; and his friend Atticus produced a Greek work upon the fame subject. The Latin was not only fof a considerable time an unpolished, but a desective language. Its poverty of expression was a subject of complaint, as soon as it began to be regularly studied. Cicero and Lucretius were sensible of the want of terms adapted to philosophical topics. Even the names of physics, dialectics, and rhetoric, were unknown before the former of these authors introduced them into his works; and the latter laments that his native tongue was not calculated to communicate with adequate strength and copiousness of expression, the wonders and the beauties of Grecian philosophy. Its defects were not so great, when applied to subjects more congenial to the manners of the Romans. From their constant occupations in domestic and foreign wars for many centuries, their language took a deep and peculiar tincture, and the marks of it Were evident from many modes of expression. Virtus, for instance, denotes virtue as well as courage; Exercitus, which signisies au army, conveys likewise in its original import the idea of strong bodily exercise; Imperator, originally appropriated to a general, was asterwards applied to the supreme civil magistrate of the empire; and the term Hojiis, which was employed in contradistinction to a native of Rome, in its primary meaning, denoted a stranger*. The Roman

* Hoftis enim apud majores nostros is dicebatur, quem nunc L 2 peregri?mm

gentlemen were called Equkes, which had a reserence to the military service performed on horseback by persons of their quality, in the early ages of the commonwealth, when a soldier and a citizen were the same.

I. Latin Classics.

It might naturally enough be supposed, on comparing the Comedies of Plautus with those of Terence, and the Poems of Lucretius with Virgil, that they had lived at the distance of several centuries from each other: and yet they were in reality separated by no long interval of time. Plautus flourished about thirty years before Terence, and Lucretius about sifty before Virgil. The rapid progress of the Latin tongue to perfection will appear less extraordinary, when we remark the labour bestowed upon its cultivation by persons as eminent for their taste and learning, as for their rank and falents. Scipio Africanus was the assistant of Terence in his comic productions; and Cicero and Cæsar promoted the improvement and resinement of their language, not only by examples of correctness in their inimitable writings, but by composing treatises on grammar.

• '. -\

peregrinsm dicimus. Indicant ]C tabula*, nut status dies cum hone, &c. Cicero de Officiis, .lib. i. o. 1'2.

Virtus is probably derived from vis or vir, as Asm* is from A;.«. ".Virtute semper præ valet i'upieutia." Pliædrus.

'-».'... . • • AU

• AH the Latin authors, who were remarkable for pure and elegant diction, flourished within the {pace of a century and a half, viz. from the time of Scipio Africanus to the death of Augustus.. During that period, it was evident with what great success the Roman language could be adapted to every species of composition. The prose writer expanded his ideas in flowing periods, or condensed them into concise sentences. The poet adapted the various kinds of metre to the melodious notes of the lyre, or, aided by the fancied inspiration of the epic muse, poured forth the more regular numbers of heroic song.

The purest, and as it is sometimes called the golden age of Latin composition, commenced with Terence, who introduced the characters of his elegant comedies, conversing in terse and perspicuous language. Lucretius gave to the Epicurean philosophy the wild but captivating charms of a vigorous fancy, and nervous expression. His versisication is sometimes rough and unpolished, and sometimes rises into so much grace and smoothness as to resemble the hexameters of Virgil. The principal instances that consirm this assertion are, the beautiful exordium of his poem, his description of the mansions of the Gods, and his highly fanciful account of the origin of music from $he singing of birds'. There is a wild sublimity

i Lib. iii. 1. 13. Sec. Lib. v. 1.1377

L 3 and

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