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have directed, had either the choice or the order fallen under my care or notice. His Inftitution of the Garter is improperly omitted; instead of the mock tragedy of Lucian, the verfion from Euripides, if both could not be inserted, should have been taken. Of the Imitations of Spender, one was published before the version of Pindar, and fhould therefore have had the first place.
Of his translations I have only compared the first Olympick Ode with the original, and found my expectation surpassed, both by its elegance and its exactness. He does not confine hiinself to his author's train of stanzas; for he saw that the difference of the languages required a different mode of versification. The first strophe is eminently happy; in the second he has a little strayed from Pindar's meaning, who says, if thou, my soul, wiskest to speak of games, look not in the desert sky for a planet botter than the sun, nor shall we tell of nobler games than those of Olympia. He is sometimes too paraphrastical. Pindar bestows upon Hiero an epithet, which, in one word, fignifies delighting in horses; a word which, in the translation, generates these lines :
Hiero's royal brows, whose care
Tends the courser's noble breed, Pleas'd to nurse the pregnant mare,
Pleas'd to train the youthful steed.
Pindar fays of Pelops, that he came alone in the dark to the White Sea; and West,
Near the billow-beaten fide
Darkling, and alone, he stood : which however is less exuberant than the former passage.
A work of this kind must, in a minute examination, discover many imperfections; but West's version, so far as I have considered 'it, appears to be the product of great labour and great abi. lities.
His Institution of the Garter (1742), which is omitted in this Collection, is written with sufficient knowledge of the
manners that prevailed in the age to which it is referred, and with great ele, gance of diction ; but, for want of a pro-, cess of events, neither knowledge nor elegance preserve the reader from weariness.
His Imitations of Spenser are very successfully performed, both with respect to the metre, the language, and the fiction; and being engaged at once by the excellence of the sentiments, and the artifice of the copy, the mind has two amusements at once. But such compositions are not to be reckoned among the great atchievements of intellects, because their effect is local and temporary; they appeal not to reason or passion, but to inemory, and pre
suppose an accidental and artificial state of mind. An Imitation of Spenser is nothing to a reader, however acute, by whom Spenser has never been perused. Works of this kind may deserve praise, as proofs of great industry, and great nicety of observation; but the highest praise, the praise of genius, they cannot claim. The nobleft beauties of art are those of which the effect is co-extended with rational nature, or at least with the whole circle of polished life; what is less than this can be only pretty, the plaything of fashion, and the amusement of a day.