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11 from bottom for Jibjibra read Jibjibia 21 for ' poovans' read 'poorani.'

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For AUGUST, 1811.

Art. I. The Book of Job; translated from the Hebrew, by the late Mis* Elizabeth Smith, Author of Fragments in Prose and Verse. With a Preface and Annotations, by the Rev. T. Randolph, D.D. Second Edition, 8vo. pp.207. Price 7s. Cadell and Davies, Hatchard. 1810.

"THERE is, perhaps, no part of the Bible that has excited the pen of sacred criticism more frequently, than the very singular and exquisitely sublime poem before us. A venerable shade of obscurity is thrown equally over its author, its language, and its train of imagery; and a hallowed curiosity has hence been evinced in all ages to dive into the gloom, and enucleate its difficulties. Hence almost every nation, independently of its general interpreters of sacred writ, has to boast of a multitude of monogrammists upon the book of Job, (if we may be allowed to employ a term which has hitherto been limited to natural history,) who, by confining their attention to this work alone, have endeavoured to put the public into possession of its full history and meaning. Of this description of critics, the best writers on the continent are—Luis de Leon of Spain, the two Schulteuses of Holland, and Vogel and Reiske of Germany, the last of whom would have been by far the best qualified for the work, if he had not unfortunately laboured under an irresistible propensity to be perpetually innovating upon the Hebrew text.

In our own country, we have been peculiarly rich in the same cla'-s of writers; and that both in prose and verse. The verse-trans'ators are Sandys and Scott; with the former of whom, it may be sufficient to observe, thai. Johnson was so highly pleased, as to have selected his poem as one of the standard authorities for his Dictionary. As a whole it possevse-i, indeed, a considerable degree of merit; though it is rather a merit that flashes occasionally upon the sight, than

Vol. VII. 3 K

that shines uniformly and continually. Scott has fewer fine passages; but his versification is more permanently correct: he is chiefly to be valued, however, on account of his critical and explanatory notes, most of which are selected with taste from preceding writers, and many of which are able specimens of original criticism. Mr. Samuel Wesley, Rector of Epworth in Lincolnshire, and father of the celebrated John Wesley, published, in 1736, a series of dissertations upon this poem, in Latin, that fill up a folio volume of six hundred pages; evincing more reading than taste, and somewhat more fancy than either—his performance being embellished with what he supposes to be a correct likeness of the patriarch at the age of seventy. Mr. Grey, of Hinton, in Northamptonshire, published, in 1742, an octavo edition of the original text, reduced to metrical verses upon Bishop Hare's system, and accompanied with Albertus Schultens's Latin rendering, and the more select of his notes; the Latin rendering being in a few places altered, and the notes occasionally amended by original remarks. Bishop Lowth gave, as is well known, a brief, but admirable history of the nature, scope, and peculiar beauties of this poem, in his elegant academical prelections De Sacra Poesi Hebreeorum, which were afterwards translated into English by Dr. George Gregory. And Dr. Stock, at that time bieliop of Killala, published in 1805 a new English translation of the whole book, to use his own words, "metrically arranged according to the Massora," and accompanied by critical and explanatory notes at the foot of the text, and by the authorised English version on the opposite Page.

Such may be regarded as a general view of the subject, (a few works being omitted which it is not necessary to notice,) when the translation before us was undertaken. The fair author is well known to our readers from a volume of Fragments in Prose and Verse, which has already been noticed widi high approbation in this journal; and still farther from the very interesting biographical memoirs concerning her, with which those Fragments were introduced; and which prove the short and evanescent life she was permitted to enjoy, to have been equally characterised by moral and intellectual , excellencies—that scarcely a moment was suffered to pass unimproved—that the extensive, and we may add almost unrivalled, talents entrusted to her, were ardently, as well as incessantly devoted to the best purposes—and that she lived more in thirty years than most people do in fourscore. To the account already given of her, we shall take leave to add the following statement from the editor's preface to the work before us, as immediately connected with the subject.

* In her seventeenth year, she acquired some knowledge of the Arabic and P.-rsian languages, when a very fine dictionary and grammar, in the possession of her brother, led her thoughts to oriental literature ;* and in a letter written in the following year, (1794,) she mentons her intention to begin tho study of Hebrew In February, 1795, she says, "As to Persian all my books are at Bath, so th:ct 1 shall most probably forget the little I knew, when I saw you last." These books were never afterwards in her possession; but it appears, that, in the course of a few months, she had made good use of them, for among her manuscripts was found a large collection of Hebrew word«,f compared with the Arabic, or Persian, to shew the resemblance between these languages; with an explanation of the Arabic names of many of the stars, and other observations upon that language. In 1799, she writes to her friend, " If you want to consult the Syriac translation of the New Testament on any particular passage, let me know it. Mr. Ci.axton lias a very fine one, printed in Hebrew characters; and the language is so very like the Hebrew, and where it differs from that, so like the Arabic, that 1 can read it very well." What facility of comprehension (as it has been before stated) Miss Smith may have brought to her Hebrew studies, from these prior investigations, cannot now be ascertained; but never, at any period of her life, did she derive from any person the smallest assistance in the pursuit of them. She had frequent access to an Hebrew bible, and for several years before her death it was constantly in her possession.

* Mr. Claxton gave her a little book, which contained maxims and opinions of the Rabbins, and sundry roots of Hebrew words; and his library furnished also a collection of prayers, used in the Jewish synagogue. She had also Bayley's Hebrew Grammar, and when she began to study that language, she had an opportunity of consulting Leigh's Dictionary! Tiiese appear to have been all the helps she had, till the year 1801, when she was put in possession of Parkhurst's Lexicon; and during her residence at L'oniston, where she had access to no other book from which she could derive any assistance, the translation of Job was the employment of her solitary hours, and was finished in November, 1803.

* In a letter written in 1805, she says, " I never read Peters on Job, nor any thing about the Hebrew language, except the book of Dr. Ken. nicot, which you lent me, and Lowth's Prelections. Parkhurst has been my only guide, but I fancy he is a very good one."

'A few chapters of Genesis, many of the Psalms, and some parts of the Prophets, filled some scattered leaves among her papers, and exhibit proofs of her unwearied application to the study of the holy writings. It may fairly therefore be alledged, that with the aid she experienced from the Grammar and Lexicon of Parkhuist, ana without any other direction than what she collected from an accurate investigation of the roots, and then following and considering the connection be;ween them and their derivalives; from making, in short, the Heorew language explicative of itself; she has extracted from this inexhaustible mine of divine knowledge (for

* 'See Fragments, vol. 1. j.age 32.'

t ' This collection will, I beiieve, be printed by the Bishop of St. David's, as a Mouel U> his Arabic alphabet.'

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