Homeric Translation in Theory and Practice: A Reply to Matthew Arnold

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Williams and Norgate, 1861 - Translating and interpreting - 104 pages
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Page 69 - So shone forth, in front of Troy, by the bed of Xanthus, Between that and the ships, the Trojans' numerous fires. In the plain there were kindled a thousand fires : by each one There sat fifty men, in the ruddy light of the fire : By their chariots stood the steeds, and champed the white barley While their masters sat by the fire, and waited for Morning.
Page 27 - As when the billow gathers fast With slow and sullen roar Beneath the keen northwestern blast Against the sounding shore : First far at sea it rears its crest, Then bursts upon the beach. Or * with proud arch and swelling breast, Where headlands ' outward reach, It smites their strength, and bellowing flings Its silver foam afar ; So, stern and thick, the Danaan kings And soldiers marched to war. Each leader gave his men the word ; Each warrior deep in silence heard. So mute they march'd, thou could'st...
Page 15 - ... another, that if the living Homer could sing his lines to us, they would at first move in us the same pleasing interest as an elegant and simple melody from an African of the Gold Coast ; but that, after hearing twenty lines, we should complain of meagreness, sameness, and loss of moral expression ; and should judge the style to be as inferior to our own oratorical metres, as the music of Pindar to our third-rate modern music. But if the poet, at our request, instead of singing the verses, read...
Page 71 - Thus far he ; and here his voice was stopped by the Furies. Then, with a troubled heart, the swift Achilles addressed him : ' Why dost thou prophesy so my death to me, Xanthus ? It needs not. I of myself know well, that here I am destined to perish, Far from my father and mother dear : for all that I will not Stay this hand from fight, till the Trojans are utterly routed.
Page 71 - Or, though they came with the rest in ships that bound through the waters, Dare they not enter the fight or stand in the council of Heroes, All for fear of the shame and the taunts my crime has awakened ? So said she : — they long since in Earth's soft arms were reposing.
Page 29 - But, as at even the folded sheep Of some rich master stand, Ten thousand thick their place they keep, And bide the milkman's hand, And more and more they bleat, the more They hear their lamblings cry; So from the Trojan host, uproar And din rose loud and high. They were a many-voiced throng; Discordant accents there, That sound from many a differing tongue, Their differing race declare.
Page 73 - ... adopted by Priam ; so is the treatment of the populace by Ulysses, which does but reflect the manners of the day. I am not now blaming Homer for these things ; but I say no treatment can elevate the subject ; the translator must not be expected to make noble what is not so intrinsically. If anyone think that I am disparaging Homer, let me remind him of the horrid grossnesses of Shakspeare, which yet are not allowed to lessen our admiration of Shakspeare's grandeur. The Homer of the Iliad is morally...
Page 29 - Athene's might, And savage Terror and Affright, And Strife, insatiate of wars, The sister and the mate of Mars : Strife, that, a pigmy at her birth, By gathering rumour fed, Soon plants her feet upon the earth, And in the heav'n her head.
Page 69 - ... And some man may say, as he looks and sees thy tears falling: See, the wife of Hector, that great preeminent captain Of the horsemen of Troy, in the day they fought for their city. So some man will say ; and then thy grief will redouble At thy want of a man like me, to save thee from bondage. But let me be dead, and the earth be mounded above me, Ere I hear thy cries, and thy captivity told of.
Page 1 - IT is so difficult, amid the press of literature, for a mere versifier and translator to gain notice at all, that an assailant may even do one a service, if he so conduct his assault as to enable the reader to sit in intelligent judgment on the merits of the book assailed. But when the critic deals out to the readers only so much knowledge as may propagate his own contempt of the book, he has undoubtedly immense power to dissuade them from wishing to open it. Mr Arnold writes as openly aiming at...

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