صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

“O goddess, virgin-child

Of Jove, relate some part of this to me." Homer calls the lady neither a “virgin" nor a “child," but simply “goddess, daughter of Jove”. (98a, Ivyatep 4105). Mr. Bryant is equally fond of making use of such terms as “queen,” “queenly,” “mighty,” etc., etc. For instance, we only proceed a few lines farther (v. 19) when we find Calypso styled “queenly nymph,” the epithet used by Homer being “ venerated(TOTVI). A little further on we have from Mr. Bryant “the queen of Atreus' son" (v. 48), for the “espoused wife" (aloxov uvnotnv). Four or five lines lower down (v. 53) we have “queen” again for wife. In the same way Mr. Bryant gives us “Prince Orestes” (line 41) for Homer's “famous” or « distinguished Orestes » (τηλεκλυτος Ορεστης).

Mr. Bryant observes a similar style of politeness in regard to certain of the lower animals; but in this too he is probably influenced by his gallantry, it being well known that there are a great many ladies at the present day whose ears would be offended by such rude terms as oxen,

» bulls." Be this as it may, Mr. Bryant translates as follows :

“ He went to grace a hecatomb of beeves,

And lambs, and sat delighted at the feast.”—V, 34–35.

“ Some beguiled the time
With draughts, while sitting on the hides of beeves
Which they had slaughtered.”

V, 133-6. In one passage Homer uses the genitive “ of bulls" (tavpwr), in the other he uses that “of oxen(Bowr). It seems that while it is quite proper to call harmless, quiet animals, such as “ lambs,” what they are called by Homer, it is, at least, questionable whether we should be equally free in regard to naughty animals that have horns! If this be correct, the proper form of expression for the future is not, “ Bring home the cows,” or, “ Bring home the oxen,” but “Bring home the beeves ;not“ There goes an ox,

[ocr errors]


16. There goes a bull,” but “ There goes a beef.But, on the same principle ought we not to say, " There goes the veal,not“ There goes the calf ?"

Sometimes, however, Mr. Bryant goes to the opposite extreme, and calls the goddesses, as well as the gods, hard names. Thus, for example, in translating Vulcan’s complaint against his wife, Venus, he makes the jealous old smith say,

_"the impudent minx, His daughter, who is fair, indeed, but false."-B. viii, v. 392–3.

In the same passage he calls the God of War the butcher Mars” (b. 380). Homer is neither so ungallant nor so rude. The term translated “minx” is simply "girl," or "young woman” (rovpn5); and what is rendered “false" means in the original “ weak-minded” or “fickle," ('atap ov' x'Exèovuo). Then the term translated “butcher" is merely the adjective “ pernicious,” or “mischievous"

mischievous" (a’lonlov"). We are sincerely sorry that Mr. Bryant has thus marred some of the finest passages in his translation. Still, there is not a book either of his Iliad, or his Odyssey in which there is not much to admire. Indeed, he sometimes fascinates us so much, in spite of his glaring deviations from the original, that we readily forget his blunders, ludicrous as they sometimes are ; and when we cannot forget, we as readily forgive him for them. This has been our feeling in reading most of the sixth book of the Odyssey-especially the advice of Pallas to Nausicaä, in regard to her marriage robes, and the sports of her maidens after the washing is duly performed. There are hints in the following lecture from the blue-eyed goddess, from which many ladies, even of the present day, might profit :

“Nausicaä, has thy mother then brought forth
A careless housewife? Thy magnificent robes
Lie still neglected, though thy marriage day
Is near, when thou art to array thyself
In seemly garments, and bestow the like
On those who lead thee to the bridal rite;

For thus the praise of men is won, and thus
Thy father and thy gracious mother both
Will be rejoiced. Now with the early dawn
Let us all hasten to the washing-place.
I too would go with thee, and help thee there,
That thou mayst sooner end the task, for thou
Not long wilt be unwedded. Thou art wooed
Already by the noblest of the race
Of the Phæacians, for thy birth like theirs
Is of the noblest. Make thy suit at morn
To thy illustrious father, that he bid
His mules and car be harnessed to convey
Thy girdles, robes, and mantles marvellous
In beauty. That were seemlier than to walk
Since distant from the town the lavers lie.”—B. vi, 32-52.

The beautiful Nausicaä modestly requests her father to let her go. The result is finely rendered by Mr. Bryant. We extract a part of the narrative, partly for its exquisite beauty, and partly for the agreeable insight which it gives into the social habits of the Greeks of the heroic age. With this truly admirable passage we take leave of Bryant's Homer, only wishing that every one of our readers may read it carefully, and derive as much pleasure from it as we have :

“ He spake, and gave command. The grooms obeyed, And, making ready in the outer court The strong-wheeled chariot, led the harnessed mules Under the yoke and made them fast; and then Appeared the maiden, bringing from her bower The shining garments. In the polished car She piled them, while with many pleasant meats And flavoring morsels for the day's repast Her mother filled a hamper, and poured wine Into a goatskin. As her daughter climbed The car, she gave into her hands a cruse Of gold with smooth anointing oil for her And her attendant maids. Nausicaä took The scourge and showy reins, and struck the mules To

urge them onward. Onward with loud noise They went, and with a speed that slackened not, And bore the robes and her,-yet not alone

For with her went the maidens of her train.
Now when they reached the river's pleasant brink
Where lavers had been hollowed out to last
Perpetually, and freely through them flowed
Pure water that might cleanse the foulest stains,
They loosed the mules, and drove them from the wain
To browse the sweet grass by the eddying stream;
And took the garments out, and flung them down
In the dark water, and with hasty feet
Trampled them there in frolic rivalry.
And when the task was done, and all the stains
Were cleansed away, they spread the garments out
Along the beach and where the stream had washed
The gravel cleanest. Then they bathed, and gave
Their limbs the delicate oil, and took their meal
Upon the river's border,—while the robes
Beneath the sun's warm rays were growing dry.
And now, when they were all refreshed by food,
Mistress and maidens laid their veils aside
And played at ball. Nausicaä the white-armed
Began a song."

-Ib., 91-107.

ART. VII.-1. Journal of a Residence in Circassia during the years 1837, 1838, and 1839.

By James STANISLAUS BELL. 2 vols. London.

1840. 2. Voyage autour du Caucase, chez les Tcherkesses et les

Abkhases, en Colchide, en Géorgie, en Arménie, et en

vols. Paris. 1839. 3. Receuil des Principaux Traités d'Alliance, de Paix, de

Trêve, de Neutralité, de Commerce, de Limites, d' Echange, etc., conclus par les puissances de l'Europe depuis 1761 jusqu'à présent. De G. FR. DE MARTENS. 8 tomes.

Göttingen. 1835. 4. Transcaucasia. Sketches of the Nations and Races be

tween the Black Sea and the Caspian. By BARON VON HARTHAUSEN. London. 1854. SINCE the absorption of the whole region of the Caucasus into the Russian empire, and the fall of the heroic Schamyl, the prophet-warrior of the Circassians, the world's interest in a brave and hardy race has greatly diminished; and what little is now felt is mainly directed to speculations as to the result which the annexation of their territory will have upon the Turkish empire. The possession of the countries lying between the Black Sea and the Caspian has undoubtedly given to Russia a commanding position as regards both Turkey and Persia, of which she will not be slow to avail herself when the fitting occasion arrives. It would really seem as if an irresistible force is slowly but surely working on her behalf, by removing from her path the obstacles which have hitherto kept her in check. Eighteen years ago, England and France united their forces to destroy her stronghold on the Black Sea, and force her to abandon her designs on Turkey. At the sacrifice of one hundred thousand men and some hundreds of millions of money, they destroyed Sebastopol, and drove her troops out of the Turkish dominions, limiting the number of her ships-of-war in the Black Sea, and her access to the Mediterranean. And what is there to show for this sacrifice now! Nothing. The treaty of Paris has been practically torn up; Sebastopol is being rebuilt ; a chain of military forts and roads is in process of construction from Odessa to Teflis and Erivan; railways are spreading all over Russia, which, according to the most recent travellers, now resembles a vast camp, and Turkey is in greater danger than ever. Whilst the Circassians and the other Caucasian tribes were independent, they were a barrier to the Colossus of the North ; and they might have remained so but for the weakness of Turkey and Persia, and the vascillating and short-sighted policy of the European powers, especially England and France.

It is curious to note how little was really known by the leading statesmen of England with regard to the position of the Circassians, and the sovereignty over them. In 1838, the subject was brought before the House of Commons, on a

« السابقةمتابعة »