« PreviousContinue »
BY WILLIAM HOLWELL B.D. F. A.S.
O X FORD:
PRINTED FOR J. AND J. FLETCHER IN THE TURLE:
CHURCH-YARD, LONDON. MDCCLXXVI.
THE following learned and ingenious Letters, written and published by the late Mr. Melmoth, under the name of Sir Thomas Fitzolborne, will not, it is apprehended, be unacceptable to the Reader.
T. Ë U P H R O Ñ Ï U: S.
HAVE often mentioned to you the pleasure I received
from Mr. Pope's translation of the Iliad: but my admiration of that inimitable performance has inereafed upon me, since you tempted me to compare the copy with the original. To say of this noble work, that it is the beft which ever appeared of the kind, would be speaking in much lower terms than it deserves; the world perhaps scarce ever before faw a truly poetical translation : for, as Denham observes,
Such is our pride, our folly, or our fate,
That few, but those who cannot write, translate. Mr. Pope seems, in most places, to have been inspired with the same fublime spirit that animates his original; as he often takes fire from a single hint in his author, and blazes out even with a stronger and brighter flame of poetry. Thus the character of Thersites, as it stands in the English Iliad, is heightened, I think, with more mafterly strokes of-fatire than appear in the * Greek; as many of those fimilies in
• But, I prefume, the original bath more genuine fimplicity than the translation : the fame may be said of the fimilies. The ingenious author of these letters seems to think that the translation is superior to the original. It may, perhaps, with greater justice be said, that Mr. Pope's translation of the Iliad is, upon the whole, Superior to any translation of any book whatsoever.