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OF THE FIRST EDITION.
"We know of no book from which the English reader could gain a brighter or more living conception of the cordial heart and graceful song of the great Roman poet than from Lord LYTTON's translation. ... The Alcaic odes he usually renders in a rhythm remarkable for its stateliness and pomp of sound, as well as for the flexibility with which it adapts itself to a variety of subjects grave and gay. . . . It is a pleasure to know that we still have writers among us who can write their native language with such perfect mastery and grace as is exhibited on every page of the translation which we now leave in the hands of our readers with cordial approbation.' QUARTERLY REVIEW, Oct. 1869.
'For the most part he has attained literal precision with wonderful skill, and has fully justified the expectations which we should form in the case of so accomplished a master of the English language. ... Lord LYTTON has assumed the responsibility of a critic as well as a translator, in giving us the text of the original side by side with his version, and also on the notes which illustrate his pages. In this capacity he has shewn himself well able to hold his own against the eminent scholars who have devoted themselves to the elucidation of HORACE's works.'
The Times, Nov. 10, 1869. "Of the translation as a whole we can speak in terms of the highest commendation. It exhibits throughout a painstaking endeavour to render the graceful song of the Roman poet into rhymeless measures with the least possible sacrifice of literal accuracy. In choice of epithets and charın of diction Lord LYTTON has certainly carried off the palm from his rivals.' EXAMINER.
‘Every reader of HORACE, we repeat, should study this book.'
· His familiarity with the leading commentators on Horace, both English and Continental, is no less marked than his acquaintance with the original itself. But withal he is thoroughly independent in the judgment he delivers on vexed passages; and whether undertaking to hold the balance between high authorities Critical Opinions of the First Edition.
on one side and on the other, or relying solely on his own critical acumen, Lord LYTTON shews himself completely master of his subject.'
STANDARD. • At first we miss the rhyme, but by degrees we get accustomed to the want, and become satisfied with the mere rhythm. We feel that it has gained for us a degree of condensation and freedom of expression that could not otherwise have been secured. We ought not to omit stating that Lord LYTTON's volume has a value that is not found in other translations. It may be considered as a Horatian Cyclopædia, bringing together all the materials that will enable a reader of HORACE thoroughly to appreciate him.'
* If the metres fail to please, it must be indeed a hypercritical censor who denies to these translations the fullest credit for insight into the language and sentiments of HORACE, In point of language nothing can be better chosen than the poetic English which Lord LYTTON brings to his work.'
CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. * If this last translation of the Odes and Epodes of HORACE give but half the gratification to its many readers which it has afforded to ourselves, there is no book of modern times that will be more highly esteemed, largely appreciated, or universally admired.'
BELL'S WEEKLY MESSENGER.
It is not only a singularly faithful, elegant, and easily followed translation, but also a carefully edited and illustrated text of the most popular of all lyrical poets, furnished with introductions, notes, and exercises like any scholar's edition, but animated throughout by a literary and artistic spirit to which the mere scholar can make no pretension." EDINBURGH COURANT.
On the whole this translation is, under the conditions imposed on himself by Lord LYTTON, as felicitous as we can conceive any translation of HORACE to be. It is a masterpiece of linguistic skill; and again and again as we peruse it we pause in amazement to contemplate the skill, which combines a literalness that would satisfy the most rigorous pedagogue, with a subtle delicacy and force which catch every tint of HORACE's poetry.'