網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

The illustrious autocrat of all the Russias, in return for a copy of this work, has done me the honour of transmitting through the distinguished Count Nesselrode, and our highly respected minister, Mr. Pinckney, a splendid diamond ring, which was brought to this port by that experienced navigator Captain Josiah Barker, of the good ship Lady Gallatin.

(Bravo! from all parts of the Garden.) With regard to diamond, it is now supposed, from the experiments of the profound and accurate Silliman, that it may be obtained from the combustion of carbon. Some very ingenious and felicitous remarks, from the acute and distinguished Van Uxen, of Georgia, would, however, seem to render this doubtful. Science expects much from the future labours of these celebrated chemists of Fredonia.--(Applause.)

As an item of intelligence, I state, that our great and learned citizen, Captain Obed Peabody, of the smack “ Ten Sisters," with a liberality worthy of his enlarged mind, has presented to the Cabinet, a most singular, and odd-shaped crea

It is the siren of Carolina, respecting which, there is, at this moment, going on a memorable controversy, between the elaborate Cuvier of France, the erudite Rusconi, of Italy, and the highly gifted Screibers, of Vienna. The animal is a batracian reptile, or frog-formed crawler, and certainly possesses both the lungs of the mammalia, and the gills of the piscatory tribe. Of this, I satisfied myself by actual dissection, in the presence of those worthy and indefatigable anatomists, Doctors Trocar and Probang ; and that accomplished fisherman, Mr. Sam Jones, of the Washington, late Bear market.—(Repeated acclamations.)

In connection with this subject, I may mention, that a new edition of our National Pharmacopeia, is now in the press of those modern Elzivirs, the Messrs. Collins. My fellow-citizens may be assured, that its prosodial and posological merits will only be excelled by its typographical accuracy.-(Tumultuous approbation.)

* Lege-creater.

ture. *

A solemn fact 'tis ;
Lives in that work of gain and glorya
His Medical Repository,
A noble fund of song and story;

Precept and Practice ;
His volumes now may smile at fate,
Like Dwight's and Marshall's (church and state)
For books are valued by their weight,

Since Tod's new taxes.

As I belong to the matter-of-fact men, I may mention, that the existence of tides in the great lakes of our continent, which has hitherto been overlooked or denied, is now clearly proved, through the industry of the honourable B. Stickney, of Ohio, The learned communication of that excellent citizen, to me, on the subject, may be found in that widely circulated, and valuable

paper,

the Commercial Advertiser, which reflects so much honour on the industry and talent of its accomplished editor, Mr. W. L. Stone."

The voice of the speaker was now so completely lost in the wild shouts of applause, that arose from every part of the garden, that it was impossible to hear a single syllable. Recollecting, very opportunely, a previous engagement to dinner in town, we forced our way through the excited multitude, and happily arrived at the steam-boat, just as she was on the point of returning to the city.

P.S. A gentleman, decorated with a cordon bleu and rosette, (a foreign nobleman, doubtless,)* informed us last evening, that we lost every thing by not remaining to the Symposium or dinner. We persuaded him to draw up an account for your next number. One joke, however, was so good, that he must excuse us for the plagiarism. The first toast given, was, “ The health of Dr. S. L. M. the Lacepede of America.” The Vice-President, in repeating it, made the following judidicious variation. 6. The health of Dr. S. L. M. the Velocipede of America.” It is needless to add, that it was received with a thundering burst of applause.

F.

SONGS BY THE WAY.

The fact that classical education, in almost all the seminaries of the United States, is exceedingly imperfect, and that a young man, to have even a respectable acquaintance with the works of the ancients, must be self-taught, is too obvious to require illustration. One result, however, and a very striking one, is, that in the published poetical effusions of the young, of which so many have heretofore appeared, and been immediately forgotten, although indications of imagination, talent and study, have frequently been exhibited, the want of correct and precise ideas about the poor old Greeks and Romans, their mythology, his

* Our friend, ;F. has, doubtless, confounded a member of the Philharmonick, with a peer of the realm.-Ed.

[ocr errors]

tory, and localities, has eternally betrayed itself. The quantity of proper names, of more than two syllables, has been wrong in three instances out of four; and time, place, and circumstance, have been confounded, in a manner at once ludicrous and distressing. It would be an invidious and useless task, though it might afford some amusement, to exemplify the enormity of the tresspasses committed upon classic ground, by quotations from works which now slumber in oblivion. It is not very long since we saw an ode on Greece, said in the newspapers to be superior to Lord Byron's verses on the same subject, (from which it was, in fact, adumbrated,) in which the writer continued to plant Mount Ida, (whether the Cretan or Mysian we know not,) in the middle of the Peloponnesus; and to bring the straits of Thermopylæ in loving conjunction with the Dardanelles.

When an utterly ignorant person undertakes to meddle with classical names, we would think the chances even as to his being right or wrong. The fact is, however, otherwise. He is almost invariably wrong. Whoever, for example, will take the trouble to examine the rejected addresses for the NewYork Theatre, will find every one of the muses called by a wrong name; and the tragic writers so bemauled in uncouth metre, that no classical ear has any association with the sound of their names as they must be pronounced. When we find, however, those who have had the benefit of education, falling into the same errors, in so many instances, the fault must be ascribed to the imperfections of the system, or to the ignorance or carelessness of the instructors.

It is not, however, with a view of entering upon this subject, that we have made these remarks. Nothing can, at present, have a more immediate tendency to correct the evils of which we complain, to throw ignorance into the shade, and to inspirit modest talent, than the success of genuine and classical poetry. As well with this hope, as for its intrinsic excellence, we hail with satisfaction the appearance of the volume of poems, just published, by the Rev. Mr. Doane. *

The promise held forth by the typographical beauty of this work, is amply realized in its contents; and the head and the heart may both be benefitted by its perusal. It is obviously the production of an unaffected christian, and an accomplished scholar.

The first part of the volume consists of devotional pieces, which are written with great simplicity and purity, and breathe

* Songs by the Way, chiefly devotional, with translations and imitations, by the Rev. George W. Doane, A. M. New-York. E. Bliss & E. White. 1824. Vol. I. No. II.

29

1

a spirit of unaffected piety. Among those which follow, “ Thermopylæ," “ Lines on a very old Wedding Ring,” and the spirited apostrophe to the “Sons of the Greeks,” have most claim to high poetical merit. The latter we have seen stated in the newspapers to be a better translation of Riga's song than that by Lord Byron. It is not a translation of that song: excepting the first line, and never was intended as such. We extract part of the second piece mentioned. The others have, we believe, already appeared in the public prints.

I like that ring—that ancient ring,

Of massive form, and virgin gold,
As firm, as free from base alloy,

As were the sterling hearts of old.
I like it-for it wafts me back,

Far, far along the stream of time,
To other men, and other days,

The men and days of deeds sublime.
But most I like it, as it tells

The tale of well-requited love;
How youthful fondness perseverd,

And youthful faith disdain'd to rove-
How warmly he his suit preferr'd,

Though she, unpitying, long denied,
Till, soften'd and subdu'd, at last,

He won his “fair and blooming bride."
How, till the appointed day arriv'd,

They blam'd the lazy-footed hours
How then, the white-rob'd maiden train,

Strew'd their glad way with freshest flow'r glow
And how, before the holy man,

They stood, in all their youthful pride,
And spoke those words, and vow'd those vows,

Which bind the husband to his bride:
All this it tells ;--the plighted troth-

The gift of ev'ry earthly tbing-
The band in hand-the heart in heart-

For this I like that ancient ring.
Remnant of days departed long,

Emblem of plighted troth unbroken,
Pledge of devoted faithfulness,

Of beartfelt, holy love, the token:
What varied feelings round it cling :-

For these I like that ancient ring. P. 73, 74, 75. The second part consists of Hymns, translated from the Latin; some of which, we should think, would form a valuable addition to the collection now sanctioned by the church. The third part, containing versions and imitations of Greek, Latin, and Italian odes, sonnets, &c., is, in our opinion, decidedly the best. They possess a spirit and ease, which translators rarely find compatible with a strict adherence to the meaning of their

*

*

original. The free translations from Horace unite these qualities in an eminent degree. For the same reason before assigned, we deem it unnecessary to make extracts from them. The beautiful soliloquy in the Demofoonte of Metastasio, with the exception of a slight error, is very elegantly rendered.

6 Perchè bramar la vita."
Why wish for life? has this vain world

One source of pure delight,
Whose ev'ry fortune has its pang,

And ev'ry age its blight?
Trembling in childhood at a look,

In youth, with love's vain fears,
Man walks awhile, the sport of fate,

Then sinks, oppress'd with years.
?Tis now the strife to win that racks

His inmost soul with pain;
And now, far worse, the fear to lose

What cost so much to gain.
Thrones have their thorns-eternal war

Must gain them, and must guard;
And
envy

still and scorn are found
Fair virtue's best reward.
Vain world! whose dreams and shadows mock,

Whose follies cheat the eye,
Till age the base delusion shows,
Just time enough-to die !

P. 146, 147. In the fourth verse, the translator has inadvertently taken i rei for i re, and destroyed the meaning and the antithesis of

the passage.

Eterna guerra
Hanno i rei con se stessi; i giusti l'hanno

Con l'invidia e la frode. “The guilty hold eternal war with themselves ; the just, with envy and deceit.'

The Idyl of Meleager, “On the Spring,” is rendered with nearly as much faithfulness to the original as the blank verse translation of Elton; and possesses infinitely more smoothness and freedom.

See, wak'd by stormy Winter's parting wing,
Smiling, 'mid flow'rs, comes on the purple Spring,
While verdant herbage crowns the dusky earth,
And new-leav'd plants are joying in their birth;
While fertilizing dews refresh the ground,
And early roses bloom and blush around.
Glad, o'er the hills, the shepherd's pipe we hear,
Where snow-white flocks in frolic mirth career
Cheerly his ocean-path the seaman hails,
While fav’ring zephyrs fill his swelling sails
The Bacchants now, with clust'ring ivy crown'd,
Invoke the genial god with jocund sound-

« 上一頁繼續 »