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beauty. Like all who really love the sex, Horace could ill endure the idea of having a rival in the affections of his beloved one. Most charmingly does this fond jealousy receive expression in one of his Odes to Lydia.* Passing over the first stanza of the translation, for lack of space, we transcribe the second :
Then in my mind thought has no settled base,
To and fro shifts upon my cheek the color,
By what slow fires mine in most self consumeth." † All who compare this with the original will admit that it is capital. The last line especially is singularly happy. But this reminds us of the last stanza, which, although not perhaps so poetical as the rest of the ode, is worth quoting, as showing that however many the poet loved, still, when the moment of reflection came, he was in favor of mutual fidelity and constancy.
Thrice happy, ay more than thrice happy, they
Whom one soft bond unbroken binds together,
In life's last moment finds the first that severs. I Some have inferred from the expression “malis querimoniis” that for a portion of his time, at least, the poet was subject to "curtain lectures ;" but whether his translator has had similar experience or not, it is certain that he has succeeded well in giving the sense of the original in an agreeable form.
No one familiar with Horace need be informed that many instances might be pointed out in which justice has not been done him by the translator; but we have no wish to blame any one for what is inevitable. When a useful work of any kind is performed so well upon the whole, as the most sanguine, if acquainted with the difficulties which surround it, could expect, it is ungenerous to criticise it. This version of Horace is eminently useful; we may add that it is eminently good, and if such ought to be criticised we prefer to thank the author for the inestimable service he has rendered.
The general reader, as well as students of the classics, will find the commentaries and notes both interesting and useful ; another commendable feature of the work is that the original, as well as the translation, is remarkably free from typographical errors.
* B. i., 0. xiii.
Furtim labitur, arguens
Felices ter et amplius,
Quos irrupta tenet copula, nec malis
Suprema citius solret amor die.
Message of the President of the United States to the Senate and House of
Representatives. Washington, December, 1869. We have taken up the President's Message with every disposition to be pleased with it. There is no reason why we should proceed to its perusal with any different feeling. Our readers will remember that we were in favor of the election of General Grant, not, however, because we thought him competent to be the chief magistrate of so great and enlightened a nation as this, for we never for a moment entertained any such opinion.
We preferred the General only because we regarded his opponent as a mere politician; one whose only claim was a certain equivocal valubility of tongue. Not but we estimated as highly as most of his friends the general's military talents ; nay, more, we thought and urged that he deserved the gratitude of the nation-of Southerners as well as Northerners-for having saved the republic from permanent disruption. In short, our impression was, that Mr. Chase should be placed at the head of the republic, "and General Grant at the head of our whole military system.
Nor has anything occurred since the general's election that could excite in us any spite. We have never applied to his excellency for any office for ourselves, or anybody else. If ever so well disposed to present him a house, a horse, or even a donkey, we had none to spare. We cannot even reproach him for want of courtesy, for we have never troubled him with the briefest call, though several times in Washington since his inauguration; but it might, perhaps, have been otherwise in regard to this, had we not understood that he is always surrounded by a phalanx of generals, colonels, majors, captains, &c., &c., together with a still greater host of brokers, railroad speculators, millionaires, present makers, and politicians of all grades—in a word, by all sort of people-except literary or scientific men.
We therefore proceed to read his excellency's Message in perfect good humor; nor do we conclude its perusal in any different mood; on the contrary, we have seldom been more amused even by a comedy. With the stereotyped forms we have nothing to do; nor have we any fault to find with the substantial facts or the figures. Indeed, all the president intended to say is entirely satisfactory to us, and perfectly harmless; it is what be has said that amused us. We would, however, gladly conceal this feeling had we no other motive than to amuse ourselves or our readers; but we want to show, in as reverential a manner as we can, that it should be expected, in a great and enlightened nation like ours, that its chief magistrate should be able to express himself in the vernacular tongue, in a style which could not be called childish or “hifalutin." Nor need we go beyond the first paragraph. A sentence or two will tell whether we are over-exacting or bypercritical. First we invite attention to the following, only premising that we have examined several copies of the
message, in as many different journals, hoping, but in vain, to discover that burlesque passages were interpolated by some malicious, disappointed scribe :
“We are blessed with peace at home, and are without entangling alliances abroad to forbode trouble; with a territory unsurpassed in fertility, of an area equal to the abundant .support of five hundred millions of people, and abounding in every variety of useful minerals, in quantity sufficient to supply the world for generations; with exuberant crops; with a variety of climate adapted to the production of every species of earth's riches, and suited to the habits, tastes and requirements of every living thing; with a population of forty million of free people, all speaking one language; with facilities for every mortal to acquire an education; with institutions closing to none the avenues of fame or any blessing of fortune that may be coveted; with freedom of the pulpit, the press and the school; with a revenue flowing into the national Treasury beyond the requirements of the government."
This, it will be admitted, is on a pretty high key. But let us determine, if we can, what the whole sentence, with all its ramifieations, meansa task which, to our humble comprehension, is by no means easy. First, we are informed as to “ an area equal to the abundant support," &c., as if mere extent were the test of productiveness. This however, is but a trifle, and we may pass over our wonderful" minerals,” which are to supply the whole world for generations," with a similar remark. But our "area" and our minerals,” full of honest pride as we ought to be when we think of them, dwindle into significance when we compare them with our “climate," which, we are informed, is “ adapted to the production of every species of earth's riches, and suited to the habits, tastes and requirements of every living thing."
We beg leave to think that the President ought to have taken breath here, and commenced a new sentence. Who had ever discovered before that “climate ” is so amazingly productive ? A climate that is at once suited to the tastes of a frog and an alderman, a millionaire and a lizard, a politician and a donkey, a great statesman and a little mouse, is indeed something we may well boast of! Yet it seems that there are some “living things” to wbose habits and tastes it is not so well suited after all. We have yet no elephants, royal tigers, or even zebras in a state of nature.
Perhaps the “ blessing" which ranks next to our climate is, the “ facilities for every mortal to acquire an education." Now, seeing that every living being which is not immortal is “mortal,” it follows that even the frog, the lizard, the donkey, and the mouse, as well as the alderman, the statesman, and the politician, may avail themselves of our educational “ facilities;" but the misfortune is, that both classes of “mortals” are rather disposed to play truant, and indulge in conduct and habits very different from those of students.
Our “institutions,” also, are found to possess some new attributes, though they are rather of a negative character, “closing to none the avenues of fame, or any blessing of fortune that may be coveted." This is exceedingly encouraging! Institutions which do not close “any blessing of fortune," &c., must be held to be very indulgent. But what of the Tenure of
Office Act? Has that a tendency to close “ any blessing of fortune that may be coveted ?" So much for one sentence of the President's Message ; now we transcribe one sentence more from the same first paragraph:
“Manufactures hitherto unknown in our country are springing up in all directions, producing a degree of national independence unequalled by that of any other Power."
Who can tell us what these new and wonderful manufactures are ? Do they include our shoddy" manufactures ? our paper collar manufactures? our velocipede manufactures ? our faro bank manufactures ? or our counterfeit currency manufactures? They must be something great, undoubtedly, since they are “producing a degree of national independence unequalled by that of any other Fower.”(!) What will the other great powers of the world say when they learn that they cannot equal our" degree of national independence ?" Report of the Secretary of the Treasury. Washington, December, 1868.
Mr. Boutwell has managed to introduce a great many things into his report, but neither statesmanship nor political economy. It is true that there is a good deal which is intended for the latter, but it is the sort of political economy which we heard some time since from the young ladies of Vassar College. We readily admit, that, having been in the habit, for several years, of reviewing the masterly reports of Chase and McCullough, we may have expected too much from Boutwell. Be this as it may, the falling off is really immense.
If Massachusetts does not feel humiliated, on reading the document before us, it is because she has never recognised Mr. Boutwell as anything more than one of her fourth-rate politicians. O, shades of Webster, Everett, and Choate ! But, certainly, Massachusetts has sufficient intellectual culture and statesmanship to-day to represent her respectably in the national cabinet. Nor need she go beyond the radical party to choose one possessed of those qualifications; we do not, however, mean the silver spoon gentleman, although he, too, has a dihundred-fold more ability than Mr. Boutwell. We do not, indeed, admire all that is said and donc by Mr. Sumner. But he would do vastly more honor, both to Massachusetts and the nation, at the head of the treasury department, than the author of the report before us.
That it is not on political grounds we criticise our present secretary of the treasury, is sufficiently obvious from the fact that we should be entirely satisfied with Mr. Sumner in that position, because, however much he may err in some respects, he has undeniable claims to the character of a statesman and political economist. He would represent the refinement, as well as the talent of Massachusetts; whiereas the characteristics of that enlightened state represented at present, are its petty thrift, its fussy smartness, its little cunning, its narrow prejudices -- in a word, its “Yankee notions." We do not say that all this is apparent in Mr. Boutwell's report, but it is as much like the author as any composition of the kind could be said to resemble its manufacturer,
We are not surprised that there is no topic contained in his report, on which Mr. Boutwell is so eloquent as he is in his special pleading for the increase of salaries in the treasury departments; nor can we pretend to be much astonished, when he suggests in plain terms that honesty is as much a marketable commodity among the treasury officials, as it is among the brokers of Wall street! Thus, in winding up one of his arguments, he informs Congress and the public, that, 6 under such circumstances, the government is not without responsibility when it places its officers in such a position that they are compelled to choose between dishonesty on one hand, and penury on the other .!” That is, let the treasury officials be paid suitably for being honest, and they will not steal, thieve, or defraud ! A sentence or two farther down in the same paragraph, we have the following: “The salaries of the Assistant Treasurer and the principal officers, should also be increased, and for substantially the same reason.”
All will be honest and honorable men, if they only get their price. Our fraudulent collectors would also be honest, if they were only paid enough for not being rogues ! But this is but a specimen of Mr. Boutwell's political economy. We hope some enterprising publisher will induce him to write a treatise on the subject for the use of schools and academies; but have it in the bargain that he will employ some discreet friend to correct the English of it; so as not to allow expressions like “speaking generally " to be repeated more than twice in the one paragraph, or words like “such ” to be repeated more than twice in the one sentence.
In reviewing one of the reports of Mr. McCulloch, and commending the integrity and statesman-like ability, of which it afforded such agreeable and convincing evidence, we remarked that the only one of our state, or city officials, we could compare to its author, was Comptroller Brennan. But which of our officials shall we compare with Mr. Boutwell? Not certainly Comptroller Connolly, for lie has never proclaimed that the honesty of his subordinates is a marketable commodity-something that may be neutralized, mesmerized, or extinguished altogether, according to the amount of money brought to bear upon it! Upon the other hand, the present comptroller of New York city makes no pretensions to literary ability; and yet, if any of his reports be compared to that of the secretary of the treasury of the United States, now before us, it will be found not to contain one-fourth as much bad grammar, or one-tenth as much spurious political economy as the latter.
We can find a New York functionary, however, even without going to the custom house, who will compare quite well with the Hon. George S. Boutwell. What say our city readers, who know both parties, to the Hon. Thomas Stephens, president of the Croton Board, as a set-off to that gentleman? We beg pardon of our esteemed Massachusetts and Athenian friends for the comparison, for we admit that it is very uncom