Imágenes de páginas

he is now chiefly known and remem In general, his translation is too bered. Of his Religious Treatises, we literal, to be a fair representation of bave seen his Communion of Saints, the original. Sometimes his desire of and an Arrow against Idolatry. They translating literally inclines him to have been published three or four retain Hebraisms, inconsistent with times. The last edition was published the English idiom, and betrays him at Edinburgh, 1789, superintended, into absurdity. Archbishop Newcome we have understood, by Dr Charles has more than once quoted this inStuart, and introduced with an account stance from Aingworth. * Psal. xcv. 2. of the life and writings of the author, “Let us prevent his face with thanksmore satisfactory than any yet given giving;” which is thus clearly expresto the world.

sed in the common translation, " Let Most of his Treatises relate to dis- us come before his face with thanksputes with the church of England, or giving.”. those of his own party, and have now Whether Ainsworth's translation is lost all interest. Some of those which formed on that authorized by King he printed before he left his native James, or on prior translations, as that country may be occasionally picked of King James confessedly was, must up; but those which were printed be- be ascertained by comparing all these yond seas are of very rare occurrence. translations. Certainly Ainsworth's

None of his writings are of much and King James's are very similar; Talue, except his translations and and when they differ, it is in those commentaries. Into these it is im- passages, in which Ainsworth gives a possible to look without a conviction inore literal translation. King James's of their excellence. On these his translation was published at London, fame entirely rests, though it has al- in folio, 1611, and Ainsworth’s transways been more widely spread on the lation of the Psalms and Song of SoloContinent than this island. His mon, in 1612; so that he was not very translation of the Hebrew text into likely to see the royal translation of English is faithful to the original, these books. The two translations of though rather literal. It resem the Psalms at least differ considerably, bles the Latin versions of Pagninus but in both, the Song of Solomon is and Montanus, though we ques- almost word for word, except when tion whether their translations be as Ainsworth chooses to be more literal. good as Ainsworth's. Often, to be As his translation of the Pentateuch sure, his translation is rather to be was later, he might, while employed reckoned an explanation in English upon it, have had a better opportuof the original terms, than a trans- nity of consulting the royal translation. lation ; but that is when a literal It may be worth while to compare translation of the original is impossible. these two translationsin a few instances, A literal translation of scripture is first quoting the Royal Translation, more defensible than a literal transla. then Ainsworth's. Genesis i. 1). tion of a profane author. The origi- Royal Translation.“ God said, Let nal of scripture we consider as the the earth bring forth grass, the herb word of God, and when it appears yielding seed, and the fruit tree yieldin our language, it would derogate ing fruit after his kind, whose seed is greatly from its authority, if the pa- in itself, upon the earth, and it was raphrases of men should be substi- so.” Ainsworth's. “God said, Let the tuted for an exact translation.

earth bud forth the budding grass, the In many passages, the elegance and herb seedliug seed, the fruit tree yieldfidelity of Ainsworth's translation are ing fruit after his kind, whose seed is astonishing. One is surprised how in itself, upon the earth, and it was so.' he could have contrived to translate Genesis xlix. 9. Royal Translation. phrases into our language, which “ Judah is a lion's whelp. From the seem altogether untranslateable; pbra- prey, my son, thou art gone up. He. ses highly figurative, and conveying a stooped down, he couched as a lion, pun or play upon words, which is and as an old lion, who shall rouse him more or less common to original lan- up?” Ainsworth's. Judah, a renting guages, before those who speak them lion's whelp. From the prey, my son, have made great progress in civiliza- thou art gone up. He stooped down, tion, or been much addicted to abstract inquiries.

Preface to Minor Prophets, p. XX.

he couched as a renting lion, as a cou- can translate freely, if he would be rageous lion, who shall rouse him?" faithful to the original.

Genesis xlix. 6. Royal Translation. Equally valuable to the pious and “My soul, come not thou into their industrious student are the commensecret ; unto their assembly, mine ho- taries annexed to the translation, es nour, be not thou united; for in their pecially those which accompany the anger they slew a man; and in their Pentateuch. No where is the Jewish self-will they digged down a wall." ritual better explained, or the explaAinsworth's. “ My soul, come not thou nation given supported by more juunto their secret ; my glory, be not dicious extracts from the Rabbis, thou united unto their assembly; for whose authority in these matters is in their anger they killed a man; and not to be despised. in their self-will houghed the ox.” Along with excellent illustrations,

Levit. xi. 3. Royal Translation. from the Rabbinical writings, of the « Whatever parteth the hoof, and is customs and usages mentioned by cloven footed, and cheweth the cud Moses, criticisms on the original are among the beasts, shall ye eat.Ains- interspersed every where through the worth's. “ All that parteth the hoof, annotations, and the phrases and senand cleaveth asunder the cleft of the timents accounted for by parallel pashoofs, and cheweth the cud among sages from the Old and New Testa. the beasts, that shall ye eat.”. ments; especially every thing relat

Psalm xxiii. 1, 2, 3. Royal Trans ing to the Messiah, promised to the lation. « The Lord is my shepherd, I Israelitish nation. shall not want. He maketh me to lie As the commentaries and transladown in green pastures; he leadeth metion of Ainsworth are the very best beside the still waters; he restoreth my helps which can be used for acquirsoul ; he leadeth me in the paths of ing a knowledge of the original, it is righteousness for his name's sake.” matter of regret that they are not Ainsworth's. Jehovah feedeth me, printed in a form that can readily be I shall not lack. In folds of budding consulted. The quartos, when to be grass he maketh me to lie down; he had, are manageable enough ; but that easily leadeth me by the waters of is far from being the case with the rests; he returneth my soul. He folios. The most commodious form leadeth me in the beaten path of jus- is octavo ; and certainly he that could tice for his name's sake."

conveniently study the translation Song of Solomon, ii, 7. Royal Trans- and commentaries for a month or lation. “ I charge you, O ye daughters two along with the text, would be a of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the much better Hebrew scholar than if hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, he had studied them for so many nor awake my love, till he please. years with only the masoretic points. Ainsworth's. " I adjure you, o daugh Whenever, in his treatises, Ainsters of Jerusalem, by the roes, or by worth quotes from difficult or disputthe hinds of the field, if ye stir, and if ed passages of scripture, he translates ye stir up the love, till it please.” from the original, and it has sometimes

From the comparative view of occurred to me, that with a little diliAinsworth's and King James's trans- gence and patience, his translations lation of these and similar passages, we of these passages might be collected may form a pretty just idea of the for- from his Of course, such a mer, though we possess little or no task could only

be important to those knowledge of the original. Both trans- who valued the manner and spirit of lations are literal, but chiefly that of Ainsworth, as a translator of Hebrew Ainsworth; and how difficult this kind and Chaldee, or respected his authoof translation is, in poetical or highly rity in those points, about which others figurative passages, no one accustom- equally skilful disagree. ed to translate need be informed. He was not destitute of imagination,

Such translations are valuable to and even attempted poetry, but his those who wish to understand the essays of this nature we do not adoriginal, and are to be studied night mire. In our judgment, he would and day, if they would read the ori- have acted more wisely, if he had conginal with ease and pleasure, or even fined himself to prose; and he would with certainty of the meaning Every have excelled in it, had he studied the man must translate literally before he rules of good writing, and composed

with care. Whoever reads his Trea- losophy with tea-drinking laundresses, tise on the Communion of Saints, and and gambling bankrupts. But there especially his Arrow against Idolatry, is an error into which those disintermust be convinced that his powers of ested moralists generally fall on this composition were not defective. Had subject. They forget that the muhis subjects been judiciously chosen, tual relations of the fortunate and unhe was perfectly able to illustrate fortunate are like those of scales in a thein : whatever were his ideas, he balance. While the levity of success could clothe them in clear and forcible buoys the one above the equipoise of language. This, however, was a mat- sober thought and consideration, the ter of indifference to him. His genius pressure of misfortune sinks the other was not of that order which selects a to the earth. The chagrin of disapsubject, "unattempted yet in prose or pointment, and the irritable jealousy rythm. The word of God controle of fallen fortunes, contribute fully led his judgment, and subdued his more to such complaints and lamenfeelings. He cncouraged no concep- tations than the natural affection and tions which had the air of originali, respect of men for prosperity and ty, or delighted in imagery, which good humour. But this is not the fancy created. His ideas were invari- view of character designed for the ably the ideas of scripture, and his present essay. language that which scripture sup Character has two properties in plied. As a literary man, his highest common with money. It is difficult ambition was to understand thoroughly to lay hold of a respectable quantity the Hebrew and Chaldee scriptures; of it, but that quantity once obtained, and he was most indefatigable in their it accumulates with great ease and rastudy, and anxious to transfuse their pidity. A great accumulation of chakrue meaning into his own language.racter begets caution and timidity. That he has succeeded in every in In the senate and at the bar no stance, we will not assert. Writings so sight is more familiar than the appaancient and so little studied in their rent accession of talent from increase originals, present difficulties not easily of reputation. The consciousness to be surmounted; but those who that he has been successful, and that really wish to master the languages in he now possesses the attention and which they are written, cannot do excites the expectation of his hearers, better than dedicate a portion of their inspires the orator with an energy of time to Ainsworth. His labours on thought and expression, which, in the Old Testament enable us to read, other circumstances, could never be with advantage and satisfaction, Po. commanded. The operation of success cock, Lowth, Blaney, Newcome, embraces both the orator and the auHorsley, Michaelis, and all those who dience: he effects more than would have been most eminent for biblical be otherwise possible, and they aplearning.

pretiate what he effects beyond its naABU. ALMAMON. tural value. The influence of success

upon genius is quite prodigious.

Many of the effects of genius are CHARACTER, -PRINCIPLE, --WITH

closely allied to those of madness.

“ The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, Let them cant about decorum

are of imagination all compact.” The Who have characters to lose.


man of genius magnifies immeasura

bly the difficulty of his task, and disIt is obvious to the merest novice parages indefinitely the efficiency of in the science of human life, that the his own powers. He who is to ravish characters of men vary with their fore the minds of listening thousands feels tunes. The insolence of the prospe- apprehensions that his ideas are those rous towards their equals and bosom- of an idiot, and that his performances friends when in humble circum can call forth nothing but ridicule or stances; the cold reserve and the gal- pity. He imagines himself walking, ling commiseration with which the not on the level and firm road, but affluent hear the complaints of the over gulfs profound on the unfortunate,-these topics form the steady footing of a spear.” In his favourite themes of sentimental phis imagination every mind that regards




[ocr errors]

him is full of intelligence, and every the inspiration of genius. Character eye that looks at him is loaded with is power where there is no genius, reflection and philosophy. Yet such but that power consists chiefly, not in is the happy inconsistency of genius, the increased energy of its possessor, that, against all probability of success but in the diminished resistance of its in its own estimation, it essays and spectators. A horse prances with the aspires. It apprehends that there is same grace and spirit under the groom searcely a possibility of any other re.. and under my lord, though in the latsult but sinking; it imagines the waves ter station his character is higher, and all tempestuous and devouring, yet it his grace and spirit are more marked commits, itself to the agitated element. and admired. There are exceptions; there are minds From these observations, we may eminently fitted to delight and to in- infer that genius is an unfortunate struet mankind, whose sensibility is encumbrance where the field of distoo morbid, and who recoil irretrievan play is limited. The splendid infinibly from the first fearful effort for ties which dazzle the imagination, and distinction. How numerous this class inspire the impetuosity of genius, may be we know not:

would be most embarrassing in the

fantastical modes of courts and cabiAh! who can tell how many a soul sub- nets. March a horse in presence of

lime Has felt the influence of malignant star!

all that is dignified in rank, or over

powering in beauty, and he will never But, happily for the world, the ambi- make a false step. But a man, sensition of genius is generally irrepressi- tive and ambitious, will exhibit all inble in proportion as its timidity is ex- conceivable awkwardnesses. We have travagant. Its timidity arises from heard of ten thousand poets and oraover-rating the distance from the tors who missed the prize through goal. Yet the same feelings which insufficiency; never of one statesman, cause this misapprehension encircle unless, perhaps, Mr Addison. Me success with indescribable charms; he Perceval was insignificant till he bebegins the race with an impetus au came prime minister, and then he was dapted to the imaginary distance, and the ablest and most eloquent man he gains the goal more easily than he alive. Lord Castlereagh was-God had calculated, and long before him knows what, till he became the first who had formed a just estimate of the man in the House of Commons, and distance, and who had adapted his ef- then behold a full disclosure of all the forts to the sober reality of things. “ gems of purest ray serene,” which One instance of success ensures a se “ the dark unfathomed caves of ocean ries. The inspiring deception is never bear.” We mean no disparagement removed, but the vigour and deter to the Noble Marquis; he has his mination of experience take the place talents, and they have their reward); of tremulous, calm, and embarrassing but we congratulate him on his entire apprehension. Thus the character of freedom from the delusions and misgenius and talent expands itself inde calculations which we apprehend Mr finitely when it once acquires a living Canning to have been once guilty of. principle in the consciousness of its pos- Londonderry's Brutus would be cusessor. With the spectators it enlarges rious, and would form a rare contrast itself without limitation or restraint. to Cicero's. The multitude of readers or hearers Now for caution and circumspeclook confidently for excellence to him tion of character. Moral character, who has once excelled. This again in its greatest accumulation, is a has a tendency to animate the object very good thing, and we willingly of general confidence with increased adopt the judicial style of the Old power. There is a reciprocal action: Bailey, and say to every one who has and reaction carried on between gee got the treasure, “ Take care of it." nius and fame. Possunt quia posse. But the character now under consividentur.

deration, when consummated and seBut this glorious delusion is un- curely hoarded, is a questionable sort known to the uninspired, and its in of commodity. Entailed estates in fluence and power increase or dimin land are reprobated by the best econoįsh with the increase or diminution of mists as nurseries of imbecility, and

stas ?

fraud in individuals, and nuisances to Verbis, quæ timido quoque possent addere the industry and commerce of society. mentem ; What if a finished and completed re I bone, quo virtus tua te vocat : i pede putation be the same? The original Grandia laturus meritorum præmia. Quid

fausto acquisition of money benefits society, by enriching it with the fruits of that Post hæc ille catus, quantumvis rusticus, industry by which money was acquir

Ibit ed. The mere hoard of money may Ibit , quò vis, qui zonam perdidit, inquit. gratify its owner, and obtain for him the attention and respect of the world, And what, then, is principle ? but it is at best useless to society. So How proudly great and inflexible is it is with character, considered as pro- the principle of conduct professed fessional reputation. When it ceases by the ancient stoics ! Consistency, to grow, it becomes a nuisance. You character, reputation, wealth, honour, would not fasten mellow apples by were all indifferent to the virtuous strings to their native boughs, so as

stoic. The excellent Hooker recog. to keep them dangling all the year nises and elevates the same prineiround. The application of this doc-' ple as that of Christian righteousness. trine is obvious to all. Mark the dif- The celebrated Edmund Burke acference between the humble and un- knowledged great obligatious to the known curate, and the lordly and ce- schoolmen, for bis acuteness in making lebrated prelate, arguing points of distinctions, and his readiness in catchfaith; or between the rational and ing the spirit of a proposition. We learned parish priest, and the shallow, think the most refined moralist may but confident favourite of the mob. derive benefit from the heavenly theory The one is sensible, patient, convin- of disinterested integrity, daring selfcing; the other arrogant, irritable, denial, and magnanimous contempt of dogmatical Mark the difference the world, which Calvin, Knox, and between the young, ardent, unprais- others, advocated and explained. We ed barrister, and the distinguish- say nothing of their personal conduct. ed, lauded, and respectable leading It might, perhaps, be maintained, that counsel. To whom will you trust they were quite different men as the your cruel, oppressive, but disreput- unknown propounders of an excellent able cause ? To the latter surely, for system, and as the venerated oracles he can command attention to its me of popular resort. This is the defirits, and enforce redress of its griev. ciency of principle which we wish ances. But he will not sully his fine here to point out. Men who have acreputation with it. The inquiry might quired a name, as men of principle, be further pushed into the

deeply im- act on every given occasion, as their portant, though stormy, provinces of good name, not as their first principle politics and patriotism, but it is un dictates. Hence the proverbially cornecessary. If the doctrine is intelli- rect remark, that every society, regible, it requires no further illustra- ligious or civil, is purest in its first tion. The well known story in Ho- stage, or that " new besoms sweep race is too apt, however, to be omit- clean.” The Scottish clergyman is ted.

much more apt to view the standard

of rectitude erected in the General Luculli miles collecta viatica multis Assembly Aisle, than that originally Aerumnis, lassus dum noctu stertit, ad set up in Nazareth. The English assem

candidate for orders pays more attenPerdiderat : post hoc vehemens lupus, et tion to the manners of my Lord the sibi et hosti

Bishop, than to those of St Peter or Iratus pariter, jejunis dentibus acer St Paul. We say so, not for the purPræsidium regale loco dejecit, ut aiunt,

pose of animadversion, (that is not Summé munito, et multarum divite rerum. Clarus ob id factum, donis ornatur hones- lustration. In his outset in life, every

our province,) but for the sake of ilAccipit et bis dena super sestertia num

upright person acts according to truth mam.

and right reason. Unfortunately, he Forte sub hoc tempus castellum evertere gets great applause for this conduct. prætor

His character is established as a good Nescio quod cupiens, hortari cæpit eundem man, a respectable man, an honour


« AnteriorContinuar »