Page images
PDF
EPUB

"T

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

HOUGH iris an agreeable task, upon

the whole, to attempt the vindication of an author's injured fame, the pleasure is much allayed, by its being attended with a necessity to lay open the unfairness and errors, in the proceedings of his antagonist. To defend is pleasant, to accuse is painful ;, but we must prove the injustice of the aggressor's sentence, before we can demand to have it repealed. The editor of the late edition of Corneille's works, has given the following preface to the tragedy of Cinna:

Having often heard Corneille and Shake(pear compared, I thought it proper to

« Thew

“ fhew their different manner, in subjects " that have a resemblance. I have therefore « chosen the first acts of the Death of Cæ

far, where there is a conspiracy, as in “ Cinna; and in which everything is “ relative to the conspiracy to the end of " the third Act. The reader

may compare “ the thoughts, the style, and the judg“ ment of Shakespear, with the thoughts, “ the style, and the judgment of Corneille. " It belongs to the readers of all nations " to pronounce between the one and the ce other. A Frenchman or an Englishman might perhaps be suspected of fome

partiality. To institute this process, it was

neceffary to make an exact translation ; “ what was prose in the tragedy of Shake“ fpear is rendered into profe; what was “ in blank verfe, into blank verse, and “ almost verse by verfe ; what is low and « familiar is tranflated familiarly and in a “ low style. The translator has endeaso voured to rise with the author when he " rises ; and when he is turgid and bom66 bäst, not to be more or less so than he.

« The

4

« PreviousContinue »