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generally obtained it, to avoid the extremes of a fervile verfion. and a diffufe imitation. The difficulties, which it is obvious he must have had to encounter with, were fuch as required confiderable ingenuity as well as learning to furmount. As a proof of this, and as a specimen of the fpirit of his tranflation, we fhall give the following paffage, together with the very curious. Note that is fubjoined to the two laft lines:
Ceres, to thee belongs the votive lay,
Whofe locks in radiance round thy temples play,
Rich fruits, and fragrant-breathing flowers, fhould know
In Nyfia's vale, with nymphs a lovely train,
From the deep root an hundred branches fprung,
Which lightly wafted on the wings of air,
The gladden'd earth, and heaven's wide circuit fhare.
And ocean's briny fwell with miles is crown'd.
Her eager hand fhe stretch'd to feize the flower,
* The Hymns to Ceres and Proferpine were called Juli. As de Jeho zahuumei, &c. Vid. Athenæi Deip. L. 14.-It was a harvest forg, and was sung by the Initiated. Vid. Hefch. in vocem Iahu, & Cafaub. Animad. in Athen. p. 563.
Forth-rufhing from the black abyfs, arofe
Her wild complaint-nor god nor mortal hears!-
• The original is, dayλanagñol eλaiai; "neither did the beautiful-fruited olives hear her." This paffage Ruhnkenius gives up as unintelligible. Probably raigas fhould be read inftead of that, and in that cafe it would fignify; "Neither did her beautiful-wrifted (whitearm'd companions hear her voice." Ayλaonagros is ufed by Pindar in that fenfe, and applied to Thetis in his third Numaan Ode.'
Conjectural criticifm hardly ever fupplied a happier emenda
Before we conclude this Article, we shall lay before our Readers another extract, which, we imagine, will meet their approbation :
And now th' all-feeing god, whofe thunders fhake
Around whole form her robes in darkness flew;
The rest in realms of night.-The thunderer faid:
Through air's ungenial void the goddess bends
Joy rules their hearts, and fparkles in their eyes.
The reft in realms of night.-His facred nod
And with thy bledlings cheer man's drooping heart.
Th' extended plains with fruits and flowers are crown'd,
Then to the chiefs, who o'er Eleufis fway'd,
Thrice happy he among the favour'd few,
They'll perish; and with chains of darknefs bound,
Her laws establish'd, to the realms of light,
Happy, thrice happy he of human race,
And now, O Ceres! at thy hallow'd fhrine
Antron's dark rocks re-echo with thy praife,
With honour'd age, and tranquil joys the bard
And other trains fhall celebrate your praise.'
On the paffage Her laws eftablish'd, to the realms of light, &c. we have the following Note, equally learned, ingenious and fenfible:
Herodotus, in the 2d book of his hiftory, relates that the myftic rites of Isis were originally carried from Egypt to Greece by the daughters of Danaus; and that the Pelafgic women were inftructed
by them in the nature, defign, and forms of their celebration. From the fame authority, ftrengthened by that of Apollodorus, it hath been fuppofed that these myfteries, difguised under other names and other forms, were afterwards celebrated at ELEUSIS in honour of CERES; and obtained the name of THESMOPHORIA.
The Eleufinian mysteries were, however, divided into two diftinct claffes. The Thefmophoria were in the fubordinate class.
A ftriking fimilitude hath been frequently observed, by the curious enquiries into antient customs, between the myfteries of Isis and CERES and the fuppofition, that the latter were borrowed from the former, is fupported by the ftrongeft analogy, as well as the most refpectable authority.
Many of the learned, indeed, have conjectured that Greece was indebted to ORPHEUS for their introduction into that country: and that this antient bard had an eye to the Egyptian myfteries in their inftitution; and accommodated the general plan of the one, to the particular genius and defign of the other. Some have even conjectured that the hymns which have been tranfmitted to the present times, under the name of Orpheus, were the fame that were originally fung at the celebration of the rites of Ceres.-This honour, Paufanias remarks, had never been conferred on the hymns of Homer; who, probably, by indulging his fancy in fictions of its own creation, and departing with too bold a licence from the established traditions of the gods, had rendered his hymns unfit for their worfhip. It was owing to this unwarrantable stretch of poetic liberty that his works were profcribed by Plato.
The Egyptian priefs threw an awful and ambiguous veil over their religious rites, and, having enjoined SILENCE and SECRECY, as indifpenfible terms of initiation, gave an air of pomp and folemnity to inftitutions that were trifling, and doctrines that were abfurd. The fimpleft truths were loft in the croud of myftic rites which gathered thick upon them; and, while historical facts were veiled beneath the dress of allegory, it was difficult to diftinguish the real from the fictitious; or to tell with certainty, where the ANNALIST ended his record, and where the MYTHOLOGIST took up his fable.
The Grecians changed the names, but retained and exaggerated the ftories of Egypt; they fometimes debafed, at other times they improved and embellifhed them. That which amufed the fancy, at length was admitted as the truth and what at firft was meant to be FIGURATIVE, was, in procefs of time, believed to be LITERAL.
If this hymn fhould not be fuppofed to allude to the Egyptian His, figured under the character of Ceres, and to Proferpine, as an emblem of the CORN BEING HID part of the year beneath the earth; may not the ftory on which it is founded be fimply this?The conjecture is vague, but it is hoped excufable, as many inftances occur of the poets blending history with allegory:
Pluto, probably King of the Molollians, wages war against the Eleufinians, waftes their country, and carries off their corn-a famine enfues-Jupiter, his brother, ruler over great part of Greece,
So Perfephone fignifies in the Phoenician language, from whence Proferpine is fuppofed to have been derived.
who had connived at the invafion, thinks proper at length to obtain a peace for them, on their paying to Pluto one-third of their tillage by way of tribute. They again cultivate their country, and Rhea, Ceres, and Jupiter are reconciled; i. e. the earth produces corn, and the people are under the protection of their neighbouring King."
Our Readers will by this time, no doubt, agree with us, that the ftyle of Mr. Hole's tranflation is by no means destitute of fpirit or freedom; that his verfification is in general easy and harmonious; and that his language, if allowance be made for the hafte with which the tranflation may probably have been compofed, is far from being inelegant. In a word, this Writer, if we mistake not, will prove an ornament to the poetic world.
ART. VI. Sermons, preached at Lincoln's Inn, between the Years
IN Advertisement prefixed to thefe volumes informs us, that the fermons contained in them were prepared for the ufe of the Society of Lincoln's Inn, and delivered by the Author in their chapel, during the course of seven years, while he had the honour of being their Preacher; and that, upon his refignation of that office in 1776, the Mafters of the Bench were pleased to make it their requeft to him, that they might be publifhed.
Every candid and difcerning Reader will readily acknowledge, that they are admirably calculated, in many respects, to answer the purpose for which they were intended; they contain much ufeful inftruction, many important leffons for the conduct of life; with an intimate knowledge of the world, and of the human heart. The Preacher's reafoning, indeed, does not always appear to be folid and conclufive, and he fometimes advances what it is fcarcely poffible for a rational inquirer to believe, unlefs he discards his reafon in order to make room for his faith. He often endeavours, likewife, to give an air of novelty and great confequence to fubjects, which, comparatively, are of little importance. But though the attentive Reader will have occafion to obferve feveral inftances of affectation and refinement, he will be pleafed with the ability that is difplayed upon almoft every fubject; and the fincere and unprejudiced Chriftian, while he fees with concern the greateft abilities employed in fupporting the established creeds and fyftems of fallible man, will obferve with pleasure fome of the principal objections of unbelievers answered, in a clear, diftinct, and forcible manner. His Lordship's style, too, is always perfpicuous, and often extremely elegant; his method is natural and eafy, and his manner, in general, fimple, and frequently striking, I 3