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as he does hypocrisy,—and hypocrisy as he does the devil. Thus you see he will be kind, generous, pleasant, and useful, and what further can any one desire ? Perhaps you may be inclined to think I have exacted rather too much,
I have, indeed, some reason to suppose that very few of the above-mentioned qualities are requisite to form what, an Etonian would call, a good fellow; and that term seems so often applied to undeserving and opposite characters, that I am inclined to think, that the judgment of the school, in this respect, is neither very severe, nor very consistent. Once I was extremely surprised at hearing a boy mentioned as a good fellow, whom I had always held in the light of a reputed bully, whose tyranny, in common with others, I had frequently felt, and abused. This change was accounted for, by his having assisted a party in a contest with some blackguards, either out of wantonness, the mere love of fighting, or perhaps, after all, because he could not help it. I have often been present when the epithets of beast and good fellow have been given to the same person, in less than a minute, the latter of which, was apparently used as a conciliatory, upon his consenting to lend a book, which he had before refused. What way of entreating can be so effective, so moving, as the usual form ?“ Pray do me what I ask, and you will be a good fellow." The name, hackneyed as it is, seems to have an inexpressible charmit is equivalent to thanks and to flattery-an incitement to perform a service a reward when it has been performed. I, for my own part, entertain a great respect and veneration for this honourable title, and I
cannot sufficiently regret that it should be given to the ill-natured, because they happen once to have deviated from their usual practice; to the sullen, because they sometimes laugh; to the stingy, because they now and then squeeze out from their purses an extravagant shilling; to the bully, because he for once in a way bullies those who deserve it. I think, however, it may, with great justice, be applied to whoever is strongly attached to his own pursuits, but never abuses those of others. In this opinion I am the more decided, from my willingness to allow this title to many who are deficient in most of the above-mentioned qualifications. In short, I am very ready to extend the appellation to every one who has a kind heart; to every one who “ lives as he ought to do;" to every one who sweetens his last glass of port, by drinking“ prosperity to Eton, happiness to his schoolfellows, and long life to The Etonian."
THOUGHTS ON TRANSLATION.
We think that the exercise of translation is the very worst plan that a young man of literature could set out with. Unhabituated to any style, his ideas yet unsettled and unlinked to their proper terms, he is sure to yield to the language which he translates. This may flatter the foreigner who prepares the original, that he is rendered the more forcibly; but he is deceived. The expressions will not strike the public ear
as they have struck his. He is misunderstood, or, more generally, not understood at all; while the young translator loses his vernacular tongue, and becomes afterwards incapable of expressing his own thoughts in his mother tongue. For this reason it is likely that France will be a long time ere she can revive any thing like a literature. She has evinced such a rage for translations, and such a contempt for any original works, that her men of literature can produce, that booksellers are compelled, by their own interest, to publish translations, and translations only. So far is this carried, that original essays have been published lately, and sold in France, as translations from the English and German. Hence it is that Paris overflows with what are called young men of literature, but who, in fact, do nothing but translate.* They neither read nor write to any worthy purpose, and their taste is formed, of course, in prejudice of the literature over which they are obliged to spend some time. These young men are all romantic, whilst the old stagers are classic, in taste nearly as ignorant, and having read little beyond the Moniteur, Corneille, Racine, the tragedies and light pieces of Voltaire, they are scarcely able to hold their ground against the partizans of the romantic, and only hold their ground, because that, by prescription, they have possession of the public journals. The pre
The mode is, for some literary man of reputation, to advertise his name as the translator, while the translation is performed, in fact, by young men, for ever so little per sheet. Thus the wretched translation of Shakspeare by Guizet. Guizet never wrote one word of it, except the introductory essay. On the same plan, he is translating a series of our historians during the civil war, and has begun with Thomas May.
sent race of French writers, (of the lighter kind,) are translators,—the next will be mere imitators. We already begin to return them the compliment, of imposing a foreign school upon their taste, which is evident from the verses of La Martine, their most popular living poet.
CHARACTER OF PETRARCH.
NATURB had doomed Petrarch to such a necessity of interchanging affections, that he never seemed happy unless when loving or being loved. Affection, in his eyes, levelled the inequalities of education and fortune, and, in spite of his yearning for solitude, he was solus sibi, totus omnibus ; omnium locorum, omnium horarum, omnium fortunarum, omnium mortalium homo. He speaks in the same terms of the peasant and his wife, who waited on him at Vaucluse, as he uses when recording the good qualities of his powerful friends.-"He was my counsellor, and the keeper of all my most secret designs; and I should have lamented his loss still more grievously, had I not been warned by his advanced age, that I could not expect long to retain possession of such a companion. In him, I have lost a confidential servant, .or, rather, a father, in whose bosom I had deposited my sorrows for these fifteen years past; and his humble cottage was to me as a temple. He cultivated for me a few acres of indifferent land. He knew not how to read, yet he was also the guardian of my library. With anxious eye he watched over my most rare and ancient copies, which, by long use, he could distinguish from those that were more modern, or of which I myself was the author. Whenever I consigned a volume to his custody, he was transported with joy; he pressed it to his bosom with sighs; with great reverence he repeated the author's name, and seemed as if he had received an accession of learning and happiness from the sight and touch of a book. His wife's face was scorched by the sun, and her body extenuated by labour; but she had a soul of the most candid and generous nature. “Under the burning heat of the dogstar, in the midst of snow, and of rain, she was found from morning till evening in the field, whilst even a greater part of the night was given to work than to repose. Her bed was of straw; her food was black bread, frequently full of sand ; and her drink was water, mixed with vinegar; yet she never appeared weary or afflicted, never shewed any desire of a more easy life, nor was even heard to complain of the cruelty of destiny, and of mankind.”
It was on account of his natural benevolence, that Petrarch seemed free from that feeling by which almost all men of letters, if not during the whole, at least, in some moments of their lives, are inwardly humiliated. The mystical tradition of Apollo flaying his competitor, is related by a Greek antiquary, with such praises of the musical skill of Marsays, and with such imputations of trickery and cruelty on the god of poetry, that it was probably an allegory, not so much of the chastisement merited by presumptuous ignorance, as of