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place as a critic, that the reader may judge of the soundness of those principles, upon which his translation is avowedly made.
In the elegant and judicious, though concise, life of the historian, which is prefixed to the furit volume, the translator thus speaks of the style and veracity of his author, while he lays down the principles that guided him in his arduous attempt to clothe the most ancient historian of Greece in an English dress.
- The style of Herodotus might well demand a separate disser. tation: this, perhaps, is not the properest place to speak at any length upon the subject'. It has been universaliy admired for being, be. yond that of all other Greek writers of Prose, pure and perspicu. ous. Cicero calls it fufum atque tractum, at the same time copi, ous and polished. Aristotle gives it as an example of the hišos Eleopteyn, which is literally, the connetted style; but, as he explains himself, it means rather what we should call the flowing ityle ; wherein the sentences are not involved or complicated by art, but are connected by simple conjunctions, as they follow in natural order, and have no full termination but in the close of the fense. This he opposes to that style which is formed into regular periods, and rather censures it as keeping the reader in uneasy suspense, and depriving him of the pleafure which arises from fore. seeing the conclusion. The former, he says, was the method of the ancients; the latter of his contemporaries. (Rhet. iii. 9.). His own writings afford an example of the latter ftyle, cut into short and frequent periods, but certainly much less pleasing than the flowing and natural smoothness of Herodotus. Plutarch, who wrote a treatise expressly to derogate from the fame and authority of Herodotus, in more places than one, speaks of his diftiom with the highest commendation. Longinus also, as may be seen in various passages which I have introduced, and commented upon in the progress of my work, added his tribute to the universal praise 8.
"f The following are among the passages in Cicero's works, in which he makes honourable mention of Herodotus.
? At qui tanta est eloquentia, ut mc quantum ego Græce scripta intelligere possum, magnopere delectet.—De Oratore, 1. 11. “ In his Brutus he says,
“ Sine falebris quafi sedatus amnis fiuit. " In his Hortensius,
" Quid aut Herodoto dulcius aut Thucydide gravius ? "68 Quintilian, in his ninth book, obferves, “ In Herodoto vero cum omnia, ut ego quidem fentio, leniter
- Every one knows, who has made the experiment, how diffi. cult and almost impossible it is to assimilate to the English idiom, the simple and beautiful terseness of Greek composition. If any scholar therefore, who may choose to compare my version with the original Greek, shall be inclined to censure me for being oc. casionally diffuse, I would with him to remember this. I would defire him also to consider, that it was my duty to make that per(picuous to the less learned reader, which might have been con. veyed in fewer terms to the apprehersions of the more learned or the more intelligent,
« On the subje&t of translations in general, I entirely approve of the opinion of Boileau. In a preceding publication, I have before referred to this, but I see no impropriety in its having a place here, in the words of lord Bolingbroke.
“ To translate servilely into modern language an ancient author, phrase by phrase, and word by word, is preposterous : nothing can be more unlike the original than such a copy; it is not to shew, it is to disguise the author. A goed writer will rather imitate than translate, and rather emulate than imitate: he will endeavour to write as the ancient author would have written, had he wrote in the same language."--Letters on History.
“ Perhaps I ought not to omit, that many eininent writers, both of ancient and modern times, accuse Herodotus of not having had a sufficient regard to the auftere and sacred dignity of historic truth. Ctelias, in Photius, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Aulus Gel. lius, and, above all, Plutarch, have made iirong and violent ob. jections to many of his assertions. Ctesias pretends to question his accuracy in what he relates of the Medes and Persians, but
fluant tum ipfa dialectus habet cam jucunditatem, ut latentes etiam numeros complexa videatur,
“ And again in the following book, where he draws a comparison between Herodotus and Thucydides, he says, dulcis, et candidus et fusus Herodotus. .
“ The following passage from Dionyfus of Halicarnassus is too remarkable to be omitted.- Herodotus very much surpassed all others in the choice of his words, the justice of his composition, and the variety of his figures. His discourse is composed in such a manner, that it resembles an excellent poem, in its persuasive art, and that charming grace, which pleases to the highett degree. He has not omitted any of the beautiful and great qualities, unless it be in that manner of writing adapted to contests and disputes, either because he was naturally not made for it, or that he despised it, as not agreeable to history : for he doth not make use of a great number of orations, nor speeches to promote contention, nor has he the necessary force requisite to excite the passions, and amplify and augment things."
what he says hardly merits refutation. Manetho finds very much to blame in what he writes concerning the Egyptians. Thucy. dides also, in one or two paisages, seems obliquely to glance at Herodotus. Strabo is more deinitive, and remarks that the his. torian writes pleasantly enough, and introduces in his narratives many wonderful tales to supply the want of songs, verses, &c. The following passage in Juvenal has also been applied to him.
To many general censures which on this account have be?n aimed against the fame of our historian, I have made reply in various parts of my notes : and the plaulible but unjust tract of Plutarch, on the Malignity of Herodotus, has been carefully examined, and satisfactorily refured, by the Abbé Geinoz, in the Memoirs of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres. Thus much must be allowed on all hands, that throughout his works there is the greatest appearance of candour and simplicity Seldom or ever doe, he relate extraordinary or marvellous things, without quali. fying his narrative with such expressions as there, I have heard, it is faid, this does not appear credible, &c. In what he says of Egypt in particular, which has drawn upon him the unjust cen. fure of Manethn, he invariably obferves, that he learned what he communicates, from the Egyptian priests. But what, perhaps, is of more consequence to his character for veracity than any thing that can be adduced is, that it is determined by the moít learned men, that the writings of Herodotus are more conformable to the sacred Scriptures than those of Xenophon, Ctesias, and other ancient historians." Vol. I. p. 14. :
This is surely just criticism. The style of Herodotuis is exaily what it is here said to be; and the reply which the Translator has, in his notes, made to the charges brought against the veracity of the biftorian, the reader will, in moit instances, find satisiactory. On one or two occalions, he will probably be disappointed, as we have been, at finding no extracis from Mis. Guthrie's Tour through the Tauride or Crimea, in which some of the relations of Herodotus, which his countrymen deemed utterly incredible, are completely vindicated; but Mr. Beloe, to illustrate his author, has consulted and read so many works, ancient and modernt, that it is not surprising that he should have overlooked one.
The principles, on which he has made his version, are obviously just; but if the reader entertain the flightest doubt about them, he will do well to consule din Elfar on the Prin. ciples of Translation, printed for Cadell and Davies in 1791,
and republished with considerable improvements in 1797*. In that ingenious and clallıcal work, it is shown, with the clearness of demonstration, that “ a translation should give a complete transcript of the ideas of the original work; that the style and manner of writing should be of the same character with that of the original; and that the tran!lation should have all the ease of original composition.” How attentive Mr. Beloe has been to these rules it is now our duty to furnish the learned reader with an opportunity of judging for himself; but where every thing is curious, and in some degree interesting from its antiquity, it is difficult to make a selection of pallages. The following extract gives fuch a picture of Babylonian manners, as must surprise the mere English reader, whilst it cannot fail to make every serious reader rejoice in the light of that revelation, through want of which a nation, otherwise highly polished, and contending with Egypt for being the source of civilization, fell into such enor. mities. We subjoin the translator's notes in vindication of the author's veracity.
" In my description of their (the Babylonian) laws, I have to mention one, the wifilom of which I must admire; and which, if I am not inisinformed, the Eneti +, who are of Illyrian origin,
* The first edition of that Effay was published before the commencement of our Review ; but it is noticed with just approbation in our fifth vol, p. 219. The second we unaccountably over. looked. It is known to be the performance of Alexander Fraser Tytler, Esq. now one of the judges of the Court of Session in Scotland, by the title of Lord Woodhouselee, and is a complete proof that a man of genius and industry may find leisure to culti. vate polite literature amidst the severer study of law. Rev.
“ + Eneti. )-This people, froin whom perhaps the Venetians of Italy are descended, Homer mencions as famous for their breed of mules :
The Paphlagonians Pylämenes rules,
Where rich Henecia breeds her savage mules. Before I proceed, I must point out a fingular error of Pope; any reader would imagine that Pylæmenes, as it stands in his tranNation, had the penultimate long; on the contrary it is short. There is nothing like rich Heneria in Homer; he fimply says,
Evetav. Upon the above lines of Horner, I have somewhere seen it remarkėd, that probably the poet here intended to inform us, that the Eneri were the first people who pursued and cultivated
use also. In each of their several districts this custom was every year observed : such of their virgins as were marriageable, were at an appointed time and place assembled together. Here the men also came, and some public officer sold by auction 253 the young women one by one, beginning with the most beautiful. When she was disposed of, and as may be supposed for a considerable
the breed of mules. They were certainly so famous for this he. terogenous mixture, that Evotos and Eretos denote that particular foal of the horse and the mulc, which the Eneti bred. -See He sychius.
“ A remarkable verse occurs in Genesis, fee chapter xxxvi. verse 24. “ These are the children of Zibeon ; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah, who found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.” Does not this mean that Anah was the first author and contriver of this unnatural breed ? :
This mixture was forbidden by the Levitical law. -See Levis ticus, ch. xix. ver. 19. “Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind.”
" Is it impossible that from Anah the Eneti might take their name ? Strabo informs us that the Eneri of Asia were called after. wards Cappadocians, which means breakers of horses ; and he adds, that they who marched to the asistance of Troy, were esteemed a part of the Leuco-Syri. -T.,
« 953 Sold by auction. Herodotus here omits one circum. ítance of consequence, in my opinion, to prove that this ceremony was conducted with decency. It passed under the inspection of the magistrates ; and the tribunal whose office it was to take cog. nizance of the crime of adultery, fuperintended the marriage of the young women. Three men, respectable for their virtue, and who were at the head of their several tribes, conducted the young women that were marriageable to the place of assembly, and there sold them by the voice of the public crier.-Larcher.
“ If the custom of disposing of the young women to the beft bidder was peculiar to the Babylonians, that of purchafing the person intended for a wife, and of giving the father a sum to ob. tain her, was much more general. It was practised amongst the Greeks, the Trojans, and their allies, and even amongst the deities.—Bellenger.
" Three daughters in my court are bred,