« PrejšnjaNaprej »
He was now fufficiently rich; but wealth came too late to be long enjoyed: nor could it fecure him from the calamities of life; he loft (1755) his only fon; and the. year after (March 26), a stroke of the palfy brought to the grave one of the few poets to whom the grave might be without its terrors.
Of his tranflations I have only compared the first Olympick Ode with the original, and found my expectation furpaffed, both by its elegance and its exactnefs. He does not confine himself to his author's train of ftanzas; for he faw that the difference of the lamguages required a different mode of verfification. The first strophe is eminently happy; in the second he has a little strayed from Pindar's meaning, who fays, if thou, my foul, wishest to speak of games, look not in the defert fky for a planet hotter than the fun, nor shall we tell of nobler games than thofe of Olympia. He is fometimes too paraphraftical. Pindar beftows upon Hiero an epithet, which, in one word, fignifies delighting in horfes; a word which, in the tranflation, generates these
Pindar fays of Pelops, that he came alone in the dark to the White Sea; and Weft,
Near the billow-beaten fide
which however is lefs exuberant than the former paffage. SEURA
A work of this kind muft, in a minute examination, discover many imperfections; but Weft's verfion, fo far as I have confidered it, appears to be the product of great labour and great abilities.
His Inftitution of the Garter (1742) is written with fufficient knowledge of the manners that prevailed in the age to which it is referred, and with great elegance of diction; but, for want of a process of events, neither knowledge nor elegance preferve the reader from wearinefs.
His Imitations of Spenfer are very fuccefsfully performed, both with refpect to the metre, the language, and the fiction; and being engaged at once by the excellence of the fentiments, and the artifice of the copy, the mind has two amusements together. But fuch compofitions are not to be reckoned among the great atchievements of intellect, because their effect is local and temporary; they appeal not to reafon or paffion, but to memory, and pre-fuppofe an accidental or artificial state of mind. An Imitation of Spenfer is nothing to a reader, however acute, by whom Spenfer has never been perused. Works of this kind may deserve praise, as proofs of great industry, and great nicety of obfervation; but the highest praise, the praise of genius, they cannot claim. The noblest beauties of art are those of which the effect is co-extended with rational nature, or at least with the whole circle of polished life; what is less than this can be only pretty, the plaything of fashion, and the amusement of a day.
THERE is in the Adventurer a paper of verfes given to one of the authors as Mr. X 2 Weft's,
Weft's, and fuppofed to have been written by him. It should not be concealed, however, that it is printed with Mr. Jago's name in Dodfley's Collection, and is mentioned. as his in a Letter of Shenftone's. Perhaps Weft gave it without naming the author; and Hawkefworth, receiving it from him, thought it his; for his he thought it, as he told me, and as he tells the publick.
LIAM COLLINS was born at Chichester on the twenty-fifth of December, about 1720. His father was a hatter of good reputation, He was in 1733, as Dr. Warton has kindly informed me, admitted scholar of Winchester College, where he was educated by Dr. Burton. His English exercises were better than his Latin.
He first courted the notice of the publick by fome verfes to a Lady weeping, published in The Gentleman's Magazine.
In -1740, he ftood first in the lift of the fcholars to be received in fucceffion at New