« السابقةمتابعة »
The most accomplished German scholarship, ET, the most absolute mastery of English, the keenest insight and subtlest philosophy, combined with a fine poetic sensibility; all this, and more, is reIquired in the translator of Faust. The chief characters, excepting one, are removed from the ordinary course and interests of life; Mephistopheles is a thorough devil, Faust an abstracted Magister who stoops to earthly passion and pleasure with the fierce phrenzy and remorse of a fallen spirit, soothed only at times by the sweet tones of a human love. Fair, innocent Margaret, innocent though fallen, Hvirtue-loving though giving herself over to the strong will and passion of her lover,-Margery, whom all the world loves, in her alone is centered
POETI all the purely human interest of the drama. The Vol
FAUST. A Tragedy, translated from the German of
umes In tw
motley characters of the gate-scene, the jolly companions of Auerbach's cellar, pass out of mind as soon as we turn our backs upon them. We hardly think of Valentine beside the sorrowVOICE ing, tearful face of the stricken Margaret. The love and the grief of one sweet girl are all that link men's hearts to this wild drama of philosophy, magic, mystery and passion." BELFR Not slight, therefore, is the task of translating EVANG such a work, not ordinary the skill and talents THE S sufficient to its accomplishment. Combined THE W with a perfect comprehension of the poem, there THE Es must be true sympathy between author and trans- w. lator, in regard to its spirit and design, and a capability of reproducing it for the English readHYPER er, changed as little as possible in its passage OUTRE through another's mind. It is like creating a new body for a soul; and power must be possessKAVAN ed like in kind, even if not in degree, to that of the original creator.
Unhappily for English admirers of Goethe, Ni though a score or two of men have translated Faust, not more than one or two of them was a man of genius, or even of more than ordinary THE SC acquirements. Most of the translations are mere THE H travesties, more or less absurd, differing only by degrees of badness. Of course, we do not here include Shelley, whose fragments of translation Y. With 1 (of the Prologue in Heaven and Walpurgis Night) A WON are almost, if not quite equal to the original itEngra self. But following him, far, very far behind, were a set of men who neither understood Faust nor were capable of putting their own conceptions of its meaning into English verse.
Lord Gower's translation generally gives the correct literal sense of the German words in rather heavy and prosaic verse; of course it preserves none of the aroma of the original.
1910fvų 1 4400 མ་་ རྣམ་མམྤུཏྱོ irregular verse, in imitation of the original. His translation is freer and more elegant than Lord Gower's; there is more smoothness and ease, but he deviates strangely from the original, leaving out and interpolating at pleasure, and with no regard whatever to the proprieties of feeling and OLI thought. What is curious, the mere English reader cannot perceive the interpolations! Usually, even in translation there is so much of the original strength preserved, that the reader feels SON instinctively by its weakness what is added; but 50 cts. here all is so utterly diluted that no difference can be discerned between the spurious and the genuine.
There is another translation of Faust, in prose, 00. which has obtained a high rank as a faithful renAS dering of the author's sense, viz., that by Hayward. He deserves the praise of general faithfulness and spirited translation. His annotations, too, contain valuable matter, even for the student of the original. But his work is more for stu dents than for lovers of German poetry; for no TH man reads Hayward the second time for pleasure. Its faults however are serious. Many misconcepIN tions of the author's meaning occur, and too fre
quently he uses an intolerable license of expression. But its form is the crowning fault. Narrative poetry, like that of Homer and Dante, may CO perhaps be re-cast in the mould of prose without a, AND vital loss; but a poem of wild magic, profound mystery, high philosophy and deep passion, BIC blending human and superhuman interests, needs the form of verse to set it wholly above the range of commonplaces; nay, it requires rhyme and wildness of metre to complete the spell. To translate it into prose is like imprisoning Ariel in LIF the pine; you have deprived the spirit of its pow
er. We have never seen a reason urged against a poetical translation which does not imply a de- 1.50. ficiency of power in the translator. Now a man who cannot translate a poem of another language in its true, proper, and only form, has no busi ness to meddle with it. Verse and rhyme are not difficulties to a true poet; "they are wings by which he soars." Such a man only,-one whose PO natural expression is in "words that move in met. 5 cents. rical array," should attempt to translate a poem HI-especially one like the Faust of Goethe.
From some experience of disappointment in RE new translations of Faust, we had come to fine Ena settled belief that it could not be done, and the announcement of another attempt, by Mr. Charles T. Brooks, would have been read with indifference, had we not witnessed his success with minor German lyrics. But when it came to hand yesterday, the first sight of the volume pre