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him, and two pages after he is represented as supposing he might conceal his villamy from him. - -
It is true, that these and other faults of the same kind betray a wildness of imagination, which too full of its subject,
disdaining every species of constraint—but it is equally true,
that they render the perusal of the book a perfect task, and deduct much from the merit of originality which the production before us really must be allowed to possess. And though we are willing to give to Mr. Thruston every credit for the ingenuity and erudition which he has displayed, yet we should recommend him in good earnest to revise the book with accuracy, and adopt quite a different mode of arrangement. Whenever we may be inclined to engraft upon any part of the Scriptures, an explanation different from that which has been generally received, the first duty of an expositor is to adopt both method and perspicuity. If a reader is to puzzle his brains to find out the meaning of the exposition, he may as well be satisfied with the commentaries of ancient and approved expositors.
If in an exposition of the Scriptures a point of taste could for a
moment be admitted, we should be disposed to enter our pro-
The doctrines which he labours to establish by his new mode
of interpretations are sound and good; but from the same principles of exposition applied in other cases, the most unwarrantable and fatal errors might also result. Originality is but a very questionable qualification in an interpreter of Scripture, truth is an essential. When therefore we think that we have discovered any new sense in an important passage of Scripture, so far from being primá facie enraptured with our ingenuity, we should be
inclined rather to distrust our judgment; and instead of running wild upon an hypothesis, however novel and is genious, it would rather become us to submit to the severest scrutiny of calm and dispassionate research. We trust that Mr. Thruston will not be discouraged in the prosecution of his labours; he has both piety and genius, but he has yet to learn precision in statement, accuracy in deduction, and sobriety in reasoning. There is much intricacy to unravel, and many excrescences to reduce. Would he be a successful commentator upon Holy Writ, he must rein in his imagination, and ever so to himself the advice represented to have been given to him who would direct the horses of the Sun, - - e. Parce puer stimulis, et fortius utere loris.
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ARt. VI. Charlemagne. An Eric Poem. By Lucien Buonaparte. Translated by the Rev. S. Butler, D.D. and the
Rev. F. Hodgson, A.M. 2 Wols. 4to. Longman, and Co. 1815.
HAVING considered the history, the machinery, and the structure of this extraordinary Poem so much at length in our last number, we shall now proceed to view it divested of its original garb, and presented to us under the form of an English translation. The gentlemen who have undertaken this task, stand deservedly high in the estimation of the literary world: Dr. Butler, the editor of Æschylus, as a powerful and distinguished scholar, and Mr. Hodgson, the translator of Juvenal, as a classical and an animated poet. We consider Lucien peculiarly fortunate in being enabled to submit his Poem to the hands of such translators, who cannot fail to add lustre, even where they found it not, and to attract the attention of the public to a Poem, which would otherwise have had very little interest in the eyes of the English reader. - The first six Cantos were placed by Dr. Butler in the hands of the Rev. John Maunde, by whom it was originally intended that the whole work should have been translated ; before however he had completed even these, he fell a viction to a lingering and a hopeless disease. He died, leaving them incomplete: Dr. Butler however from the imperfect state of Mr. Maiude's translation, and the perpetual alterations made by the author in the original Poem, was forced to undertake the laborious task of * - - knew? Wol. IV. J Up, Y, 1815.
new casting nearly the whole of the six Cantos, so that not a
twentieth part of Mr. Maunde's composition remains. In ad
dition to these Dr. Butler took the 7th, 8th, 15th, 6th, 18th,
and 19th, as his moiety of the work; the remainder was entrusted to Mr. Hodgson. - - We shall now proceed to give a general outline of the events. and the conduct of the Poem, as it appears in the English garb, selecting such parts, as will in our opinion reflect the greatest credit upon the translators. We shall not repeat the criticisms upon its structure, which we gave in our last number, but shall' leave it to our readers to apply them, as we advance in our outline of the history and the details. . . . The Poem opens with the union of the Lombards with Didier their king, and the Iconoclast Greeks under the walls of Spoleto. Longin the Ambassador of Constantine Porphyrogenetes assures the Lombard monarch of his master’s zeal in their cause: while Rodmir, the disappointed lover of Armelia, now wedded to Charlemagne, urges the immediate advance of the allied host to the very gates of Rome. While the crafty Didier pauses, the bands of Longim take Spoleto by storm, and murders its venerable prelate at the foot of the altar, while he defends the image of his Saviour. The Latins are warned by a voice from heaven to betake themselves and not their wives and children, but their images to Rome. This introduces a description of the
Church of St. Peter, and the sacred tapestries, with the cere
mony of pouring ashes on the Pontiff's head. We are next transported to Paradise, where the Virgin Mary offers a prayer
to the Almighty for the success of the Church against the Lom
bards. . - - - •
: - f EXXI.
, The Gods fantastic, which their hands have raised:
The poles are shaken: but Jehovah, God,
To saints alone his face divine displays,
What do I say ? a fire celestial cheers . . . . * My renovated voice, and God appears God even to me descending from his might, . . . . Beneath a mortal symbol strikes my sight! 2. LXXII. Type of the Trinity, and God alone, . . . . . . . Sudden a flaming triangle is shown, . . . .
Which, glittering like the star, whose piercing light ... ...
Rests on a cloud of gold before its fires,
In one sole essence joined, and yet apart,
“The Godhead speaks; and Heaven’s remotest bound
The second Canto introduces us to Paris, and the field of May: Egbert the future monarch of England, Alphonso of As: turia, and Monclar of Narbonne receive their knighthood from Charlemagne. Roland(the Orlando of Ariosto) in his phrenzy, pours out an invective against the king for having forsaken Adelinda his former wife, and having taken Armelia the daughter of Didier to his arms. Though restrained from further violence by his friend Oliver, his accents penetrate the conscience of the guilty monarch.
The third Canto comes in again to Heaven, and opens with the hymn of the Blessed to the Virgin. The twelve disciples now pass before our view, and Peter unfolds to the heavenly hosts the events which are to take place in the present struggle. Elias is dispatched to Mount Cassin, a famous monastery in the kingdom of Naples, to whose cloisters several princes of the seventh and eighth centuries retired. . .
XIX. ... "
“Hail, regal cloisters hail, retired abode :
Monarchs by you are levelled with the mean.” Vol. I. P.30.
This and the following stanza do credit to the pen of Dr.
“ Now o'er the world as spread the veil of night,
Elias now appears to Adeland the abbot of the convent, who is commanded to repair to Charlemagne for the purpose of recalling him to his duty, and the recluse is wasted through the air, to the tomb of Martel and Pepin in a sacred isle, formed by two arms of the Seine. At the beginning of the fourth Canto we find the monarch + V.
“Weighed down by pensive melancholy’s force,
The abbot succeeds in his heavenly mission, and recalls the monarch to a sense of his duty towards the Church. As he retires from the sacred island, he is arrested by the sounds of a fray arising between Eginhand, who had alone met the recreaut knights urged by Armelia to destroy Roland. . Gamelot, their leader falls by his hands, and in his dying speech confesses to Charlemagne, that by his artifices he had been estranged from Adelinda, and had been induced to wed Armelia. As he returns he is met by Emma, his daughter by Adelinda, who by her beauty and resemblance to her mother, in a still stronger degree confirms his resolution. *
Armelia now exerts all her influepce over Charles, to induce
him to relinquish his intention of recalling Adelinda to his arms, but in vain: Charles continues fixed in his determination; and Armelia by might flies from the walls of Paris. The cloister of Adeliuda is next presented to our view, from whence she is led amidst the shout of universal applause, to the palace of her - - former