صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

the like. Speaking of a duck-gun made under his own directions by Joe Manton, he says:

* 1814, July 3rd.-Although 19 lbs. weight and loaded with } lb. of shot, it was made to shoot so pleasant, and set up so manageable, that I killed with it two peewits and two swifts out of five single shots flying'; and with the stanchion gun he fired at single swallows flying, and killed two out of three, so nicely have I brought this machine to bear, though 883 lbs. in weight.'

The wolf of the West was wild enough in France in Hawker's day; and even in our own islands his last

appearance

could scarcely be considered ancient history, for Macqueen, remembered as the slayer of the last Scotch wolf, did not die until Hawker was already a well-grown lad. Arthur Young speaks of French wolves as being so common as to be a great plague to the people, and frequently attacking the bears of the northern slopes of the Pyrenees; while Colonel Thornton tells us that wolves were one of the principal inducements which tempted him to his French sporting tour some years later. The glimpses of French sport which we get from Young are few enough; they are, however, markedly in contrast with the records of Hawker's Diary, made after the blood-storms had broken and passed, and the soldier could turn sportsman once more.

Nor need we wonder, when we remember what was the state of things in the day of capitaineries. The farmer was not permitted to steep his seed, or to hoe or manure his crops, or to mow before a fixed date, or to gather his stubble, in order that the partridge might multiply in comfort for patrician guns. Young speaks of the open fields at Montgeron as holding on an average a covey of birds on every two acres, besides favourite spots where they abound much more,' and Sir Thomas Frankland says that on the last day which the unfortunate Louis XVI. enjoyed in the field, he himself shot 572 head in eight hours.' * Young, too, instances • 4 or 5 brace of hares and 20 brace of partridges' as a poor day at Liancourt, At Longparish, on the other hand, 20 brace was the recognized raison d'être of the butcher's balloo'; while, as to France,

* Frankland adds a note, which is worth quoting:_* But as a record of slaughtered game, I shall mention the engraved "Table d'une Chasse, &c.,” now before me,

which registers the feats of a party from Vienna in the Bohemian territories, A.D. 1753. It contains columns specifying 20 days, beginning 29th August; names of the 23 sportsmen and women; their shots each day; with the pumber and kinds of game killed (beginning Stags, Roebucks, Boars, Foxes, &c.). The Emperor himself had 9794 shots (978 in one day); S.A.R. La Princesse Charlotte was in the field each day, on one of which she fired 889 times. Total of shots, 116,231 ; game killed, 47,950.'

Their

.] ha

[ocr errors]

Their game is so scarce,' says Hawker, 'that I literally never saw a partridge the whole day, and only one hare at a distance. ... My day ended as usual with finding nothing the whole day but one small covey of birds. I killed two partridges, which were considered a bonne chasse.

Though sporting incidents form by no means the least attractive pages of Hawker's diaries on the Continent, sport was not always the professed object of his jaunts. Much of the ground covered by his notes was dealt with by Pennington in bis 'Excursions'; and the latter, when publishing in 1809 his letters written some twenty years previously, says, When it is considered in what manner the mad ambition of one man has changed the face of affairs on the Continent since this was written, it may claim some attention from the reader if he should wish to compare the present state of things with that which then existed. It is, at all events, interesting to find Pennington saying of a certain Frankfort hotel that it possesses an excellent table d'hôte for 40 kreutzers. There are lew better inns than this'; while Hawker, on his honeymoon, says, 'From our entry to our departure it proved to be the worst house I ever was in: dirty, dear, bad attendance, and no civility. There is much agreement, however. Both, for instance, record their appreciation of the treckschuyt travelling between Ghent and Bruges ; but, while Pennington paid fifteen pence for his passage, and the same amount for his dinner, we find the tariff had risen to 54 francs in 1821. Both, again, experience douane difficulties on the Flemish frontier. Pennington writes :

'If you do not distribute your twenty-four sous a little freely, they have it in their power to be very troublesome. I have known some of these gentlemen with their powdered bagwigs and ruffles down to their nails make a low bow for sixpence.' Hawker, in 1821, finds them less amenable :

"They have literally taken the handkerchiefs from gentlemen's necks ... their conduct is the talk of every one.' He triumphs though, as usual :

'I had three pair of my patent piano hand-moulds to smuggle, and the very look of the douaniers was enough to set an amateur smuggler in an ague ; however, I did them, and all ended well.' Hawker's smuggling troubles were for the most part met with at the English Custom-houses, and he takes occasion to anathematize Ramsgate, Brighton, and Poule in this particular. The Poole officials he characterises as “the most savage set of

blackguards blackguards that ever were heard of,' contrasting their behaviour forcibly with that of their counterparts at Cherbourg. Other troubles were not wanting at Cherbourg, however; showers of stones greeted the arrival of the little pilot boat which he had chartered for the passage in 1814, in consequence of its being assumed that she was engaged in the export of corn, which was still a bugbear. The British hotel was also attacked because the proprietor had been engaged in the export trade, and a very similar reception awaited Hawker's vessel at Barfleur.

The Diary also abounds with vivid little sketches of French road travel and inn life. Thus, in 1814, we find the driver of the Rouen diligence dressed in a smock frock, pigtail, powder, and a pair of water-boots,' and

There is also no danger of not being called in the morning, as there is a man regularly appointed to wait on you an hour before the coach starts, and, should he neglect this, you can oblige him to pay

your fare.'

In 1828 we find that the drivers have left off powder and amputated their colossal pigtails’; but, in other respects, • Road and travelling are much the same ... no conductors or postillions to pay, but a moderate charge made in lieu of it. Inns dirty and uncomfortable as ever, charges dearer, and wines not so good. . . . Wo bad seldom less than seven horses, three at wheel and four abreast leaders, all driven by one postillion.'

Very numerous and delightful are the shrewd contrasts and reflections, and the sly little remarks, which attract the eye as one turns over these entertaining pages. Would that space permitted us to give further instances! It will, however, serve to emphasize Hawker's position as a link with the past if we remind our readers, that his . Admiral of the swivel-gunners, Elijah Buckle, has only been dead some ten or twelve years; that a patient of Abernethy's and a contemporary of Byron and of Beckford lived to take an omnibus to Hyde Park, and speak of it moreover as a “bus'; and that the man who had sailed on board the Victory ' in 1811, went down to Winchester by the morning train from Waterloo in 1852, wrote with steel pens, was well acquainted with • Fluid Magnesia,' and was sufficiently of our own times to advocate a close time for hares, and to write such a sentence as this :

• If you want to kill a chap humanely, shoot him at once; but if you want to worry his life out with successive years' plague without profit, give him land in the present times and some unoccupied houses.

ART.

[ocr errors]

ART. V.--1. The Odes of Horace. Translated into English

by the Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. London, 1894. 2. The Odes of Horace. Translated into unrhymed metres by

F.W. Newman. London, 1853. (Second Edition. 1876.) 3. The Odes of Horace. Translated into English by Lord

Ravensworth. London, 1858. 4. The Odes and Epodes of Horace. A metrical Translation

into English by Lord Lytton. Edinburgh and London,

1869. 5. Word for Word from Horace. The Odes literally

versified by W. T. Thornton, C.B. London, 1878. 6. The Odes of Horace. Translated by T. Rutherfurd Clark.

Edinburgh, 1887. 7. The Works of Horace. Translated into English Verse by

Sir Theodore Martin, K.C.B. New Edition. Edinburgh

and London, 1888.
8. The Odes and Carmen Sæculare of Horace. Translated into

English Verse by the late John Conington, M.A., Corpus
Professor of Latin in the University of Oxford. Eleventh

Edition. London, 1892.
9. Translations from Horace. With Notes by Sir Stephen E.

De Vere, Bart. Fourth Edition. London, 1893. 10. The Odes and Carmen Seculare of Horace. Translated into

English Verse by T. A. Walker, M.A. London, 1893. 11. The Odes of Horace. Books I. and II. Done into English

Verse (with other Poems) by J. Howard Deazeley, M.A.,

Merton College, Oxford. London, 1894.
12. Horace's Odes Englished and Imitated by various Hands.

Selected and arranged by Charles W. F. Cooper. London,
1880.
T is not necessary to state that the occasion for the following

article is the appearance of the version of the Odes of Horace which we have placed at the head of the above list. This event is so interesting from many points of view, that we seek no justification for asking the reader to accompany us for a few pages, while we contemplate, for the thousandth time, some of the beauties which make Horace such a favourite with translators, and examine some of the causes which make him so difficult to translate.

We approach Mr. Gladstone's book in a spirit of profound respect, not unmixed with a tinge of sadness. It is impossible to withhold our homage from one who, after achieving a political career of almost unexampled greatness—if the measure of greatness in a statesman be the

power

he
possesses and the

influence

IT

influence he exercises-returns at the age

of fourscore years and four to gather a laurel wreath for his head from those academic groves

in which he loved to stray more than sixty years ago. On the other hand, it is impossible to avoid the reflection that we cannot, under the ordinary laws of nature, expect many more productions of Mr. Gladstone's pen; and that in greeting this work it is possible that we are bidding farewell to a career unique in history.

Mr. Gladstone is a man of extraordinary powers. He is perhaps the only living Englishman of whom it can with probable truth be said, that if he had selected the Church as his profession he would have become Archbishop of Canterbury; that if he had gone to, or rather remained at, the Bar, he would have become Lord Chancellor ; that if he had stayed at Oxford he would have become Dean of Christ Church and one of the foremost scholars of the age. Fate held all these choices before her favourite: he refused them all, and chose instead the exciting chances of the parliamentary arena, and attained there a position more powerful for good or evil than any Englishman since the time of Cromwell. Now, after more than sixty years of stormy political life, he returns to his first love: prisca redit Venus'; and we hail with satisfaction his reappearance in a field where we can meet him without a thought of the public topics which have separated us. The Emperor Charles the Fifth sought repose, after putting by the cares of empire, in constructing watches: Mr. Gladstone's recreation is a worthier and loftier one, for literature is a higher pursuit than mechanics, but we fear he has found it to the full as difficult: for hard though the Emperor found it to make his watches keep time, Mr. Gladstone must often have experienced equal or greater difficulty in elaborating equivalents for the perfectly turned phrases which the careful felicity of Horace has made familiar. Indeed we should not wonder if he sometimes thought that it is an easier task to persuade the House of Commons than to express Horace's thought ; to rule an empire than translate an Adonic. However this may be, he is resolved, and we are heartily glad of it, still to be doing something ; not to hang quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail : in the words of another grand old man, the octogenarian Varro, legendo et scribendo procudere vitam'; in the words of his own poet,

nec turpam senectam

Degere nec cithara carentem.' There is another reflection which forces itself upon us in connexion with the appearance of Mr. Gladstone's work. It very possibly marks the conclusion of an epoch. The interval

between

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »