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In the cases of very short lines, for That a large mileage of capital does the reasons we have already explained, not necessarily infer an unprofitable enthe cost per mile is much greater. Thus terprise, we have abundant proofs. The the Manchester and Bolton line, which Liverpool and Manchester line, of 31 measures only ten miles, cost at the rate miles, which cost above a million and of £84,272 per mile, and the London and three quarters, sterling, divides ten per Blackwall, which measures only four cent. per annum among its shareholders. miles, and passes through a thickly The London and Birmingham line, which peopled district, cost at ihe enormous cost forty two thousand pounds per mile, rate of £269,690, or above a quarter of makes a like dividend; and the original a million sterling per mile!

shares of these companies are now sold Although certain items of expenditure, at 128 per cent. premium. The York, such as parliamentary expenses, be and North Midland line, of equal length much greater in England. than in other with the Liverpool and Manchester, cost parls of Europe, yet on the whole the nearly the same amount of capital, and cost of railways does not seem to be con- produces the same dividends. siderably less elsewhere. The cost of We bave now before us the returns of the line between Paris and Orleans, forty railways in actual operation in Eu

which is now in full operation,) has rope. Of these, six pay ten per cent. per been £2,082,916, and as ihe length of annum on the subscribed capital, eight the line is 82 miles, the cost per mile is pay seven per cent and upwards, sixteen £25,400. The cost per mile of the line pay five per cent. and upwards, and the between Paris and" Rouen has been remaining ten pay from two to five per £29,419. The great northern railway, cent. extending from Paris to the Belgian The extent of railway in actual opefrontier, (which has just been put in op- ration in England, is two thousand miles, eration,) has been eight millions sterling the construction of which has cost sevenIts length is about 182 miles, and its cost ty millions of pounds sterling, being at per mile must therefore be about £44,000. the average rate of thirty-five thousand

These figures will convey to our read. pounds per mile. On this seventy milli. ers some general idea of the scale of ex ons of capital, the dividends annually penditure on which these great arteries paid amount to about four millions, of European commerce and intercommu- which, one with another, give an avenication are constructed, and will show rage dividend of five and seven-tenths how little analogy they can be truly said per cent on the capital invested. to have with similar lines carried through These results are given in round numa new country such as ours.

bers, without affecting to aim at the last The magnitude of the capital thus in. degree of numerical accuracy; but they vested would naturally raise doubts are sufficiently exact for the present purwhether any amount of traffic which pose, and put the matter in a clearer and could be expected would render these more striking point of view than would vast enterprises profitable. The com be effected by the complexity of the most mercial advantages, however, which exact numbers. have resulted from most of those which The railways which are projected, have been brought into actual operation, and for which the Legislative sanction have been so great that an incredible has been actually, or will probably be, extent of railway has within the last two obtained in England, independently of years been projected, not only in Eng- those now in operation, involve a further land, but in every country of Europe, in investment of capital, amounting, in round the West Indies, and in India.

numbers, to a hundred millions of This is the natural consequence of the pounds sterling ; which, supposing the high profits obtained on most of the ca cost of the lines per mile to be equal, on pital already invested. It is true, that in an average, to those already constructed, some instances the dividends are low, and would represent about three thousand the shareholders are losers; but new pro- miles of railway, but, as it is contended jectors flatter themselves that such loss that the cost of construction and other es proceed from want of judgment in the expenses are and will be reduced, we speculators, and retain undiminished con- may perhaps take this capital to reprefidence in the probable results of the en- sent three thousand five hundred miles ; terprises which each has takenj into bis which, with the length of the lines alreafavor.

dy open, will make a total of about five

thousand five hundred miles of railway the railways, and comparing them with in the Island, costing a hundred and sev. dividends. enty millions of pounds sterling; and in We find that the annual gross receipts order to pay the same average dividends of the roads now in operation are about as those which are paid on the present six millions, of which four millions are lines, there will require to be a gross an net profits or dividends. To produce di. nual dividend of little less than ten mil. vidends of ten millions, therefore, the lions of pounds sterling.

gross receipts must be fifteen millions. But in order to obtain a net profit an To make the system of railways pronually of this enormous amount, what jected in England, and about to be exemust be the gross receipts, or, in other cuted, pay, therefore, so as to give arewords, the gross amount paid by the pub- rage dividends of five and seven-tenths lic for transport ? We shall obtain the per cent. on the capital invested, the pubmeans of this with some degree of accura- lic must pay, annually, fifteen millions of cy, by taking the gross annual receipts of pounds sterling for transport.


fore us.

We have an old Greek saying, to the turn leaf after leaf in one place without effect that “a great book is a great mis- stopping for more than a hasty glance; chief ;" an adage which, like most other and pause at another, attracted by an adages, is sometimes true, often false, illustrious name, a piquant heading, or and oftenest appealed to when it is false. a whimsical combination of metres. He It would not be strange, therefore, if some is not to regard himself as in a hostile critic should be found, ill-natured and territory, and so take it for his rule to unscrupulous enough to apply it to the leave behind him nothing which he has large and beautifully printed volume be- not mastered. It is, in fact, a book to be

Even we, with all our respect read in, not read through. From the vast for the book, rich as we deem it to be in variety which it presents, of matter and the most various materials for instruction of style, it is for each one to select that and amusement, if compelled to read it in which appears most congenial to his regular course, from end to end, should, tastes and habits. From the crowd of in all probability, be tempted to make the distinguished personages to whom he is application ourselves. It is, indeed, not introduced, let him choose his own soa little questionable, whether any reader ciety. He may rest sure of finding assowill arise, gifted with the dogged pa ciates enough, and such associates as he tience, the Herculean perseverance, neces- will not need to blush for. He is allowed sary for so vast an undertaking. The to hold converse with the great and wise; nature of the work allows little continuity with those who have spoken most eloof thought or interest. It is a collection quently and most truly to the hearts of of short pieces, loosely strung together, men; those who have swayed the minds like the articles of a dictionary, or the of their contemporaries, and impressed dates of a chronological table. Hence their influence upon posterity; who are that propensity to skip, which spoils the to live through all coming time, as the connected reading of so many productions guides, instructors, and benefactors of more connected than the present, besets mankind. There is something ennobling us here with irresistible importunity. in the communion we are thus permitted Under such circumstances, the reader to enjoy with the master-minds of modern should make a virtue of necessity, and Europe. Though, in the disguise of a yield with a good grace to the temptation translation, we may understand but imwhich he cannot overcome. If he would perfectly the language which they speak, draw from the book a maximum of plea- it cannot be unprofitable for us to read sure, he should give himself up to the their names, to dwell upon their memoguidance of fancy or caprice ; move back- ries, to recognize and revere their merits. ward or forward, as chance may direct; Mr. Longfellow has stated in his pre

face, briefly and modestly, the object poetry among the nations of modern which he has had in view, and the course Europe, and forming a critical estimate of which he has taken in the preparation of the most eminent poets. For such as the work:

may wish to examine more minutely any “I have attempted only to bring together portion of the ground surveyed in these into a compact and convenient form, as sketches, copious references are given to large an amount as possible of those Eng; the best special treatises both in English lish translations, which are scattered and in foreign languages. through many volumes, and are not easily

Mr. Longfellow has omitted in the body accessible to the general reader. In doing of the work all mention of the translators this, it has been thought advisable to treat the subject historically, rather than critic lish dress. Probably he thought it suffi

to whom we owe the pieces in their Engally. The materials have, in consequence, cient to give their names in the table of been arranged according to their dates; and in order to render the literary history contents; and he may have been in. of the various countries as complete as

fluenced by an unwillingness, natural these materials, and the limits of a single enough in a modest man, to bring his volume would allow, an author of no great own name repeatedly before the notice of note has sometimes been admitted, or a the reader. Yet it is clumsy and irksome, poem which a severer taste would have especially in so bulky a volume, to be excluded. The work is to be regarded continually turning to the index for that as a collection, rather than a selection; which might equally well be given us and in judging any author, it must be borne from page to page, for that which we alin mind that translations do not always preserve the rhythm and melody of the ways wish to know, or ought to wish it, original, but often resemble soldiers moving if we do not. The inconvenience, though on when the music has ceased and the time trifling in each case, becomes burdensome is marked only by the tap of the drum. by constant repetition. It can never be

“ The languages from which translations a matter of indifference to the reader by are here presented are ten. They are the whom the version before him was exe. six Gothic languages of the North of Eu- cuted. Two elements enter into every rope-Anglo-Saxon, Icelandic, Danish, translation : the author and the translator. Swedish, German and Dutch; and the four If you would understand aright the nature Latin languages of the South of Europe, of the compound, you must take into acFrench, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, count both these elements. But the transIn order to make the work fulfill entirely lator is in general the more important of the promise of its title, the Celtic and Sclavonic, as likewise the Turkish and Romaic, the two. It is his influence which predoshould have been introduced; but with minates. The compound takes its charthese I am not acquainted, and I therefore acter chiefly from him. Thus, Hoole's leave them to some other hands, hoping Ariosto is nearer to Hoole than to Ariosthat, ere long, a volume may be added to to. So, in Pope's Homer, the Greek is this which shall embrace all the remaining nothing-the Englishman everything: European tongues.”

The reader should never forget that if Throughout the volume are scattered there are some versions which reflect the literary notices, which add much to its original, there are more which reflect the size, and still more to its value. The translator. He should beware how he translations made from each of the lan- makes up his judgment of the former guages embraced in the work, are intro- without knowing the name and qualificaduced by a brief historical survey of the tions of the latter. poetical literature belonging to that lan The editor of this work, speaking of guage. We have also a particular ac “the authors upon whom he has chiefly count of the life and writings of each relied, and to whom he is indebted for the poet prefixed to the specimens of his largest number of translations,” names poetry. For most of these biographical first the veteran Bowring. This indefasketches the editor professes himself in- tigable writer has studied the poetry of debted to Mr. C. C. Felton. It is hardly many different nations, with the view of necessary for us to say of them, what all introducing it by select specimens to the would infer from the name of their au- acquaintance of his countrymen. For thor, that they are admirably executed. this purpose he has mastered not only A large amount of literary history and the Teutonic and Romance languages, criticism is thus presented to the reader. but also the Sclavonic dialects, and even He has the means furnished to his hand the difficult idiom of the Magyars. He for tracing the origin and progress of has published Russian, Polish, Servian



and Hungarian Anthologies, which, of gracious and ungrateful to complain of course, furnish nothing to this volume, one who has given us much, because he but would be exceedingly useful in pre bas not given us more. Yet we cannot paring a supplementary work such as refrain from expressing the regret which Mr. Longfellow has suggested. It is hy all must feel, that the number of pieces his translations from the literature of Hol contributed to the work by Mr. Longfel. land and of Spain that he comes before low is so small-so much smaller, cerus here. But for him, indeed, Dutch tainly, than we could wish to have it. poetry would make a sorry show. Two As a translator he has no reason to shrink thirds of the pieces which appear under from comparison with the ablest of those this head, are taken from his Anthology. by whose labors he has profited. His He has made it the labor of his life to versions are delicate, spirited and faith. botanize for the flowers of poetry in ful in the highest degree. No one has places where no one else bad ever succeeded better, scarcely any one so thought of finding them; and, upon this well, in solving that most difficult probquest, chancing to visit the Netherlandish lem of translation, to reconcile idiomatic flats, was rewarded for his enterprise and ease and grace with literal exactness. industry by the discovery of new and There is a curiosa felicitas in his phraseansuspected treasures. He translates in ology. His words appear to us not sima fair workman-like manner, precisely as ply as the best which could be used a man should who has made translation under the given requisitions of rhyme his business. He gives you the sense of and metre, but as best in themselves his original with sufficient fidelity, in lan better suited than any other words to guage not particularly felicitous, yet per convey the meaning of the writer. It fectly well chosen; sustaining himself al. would seem as if he could discern by ways at a certain moderate elevation; intuitive perception under every vocable without genius to rise very high; with and phrase of Swedish, German, Spantoo much taste to sink very low. ish, the most perfect English equivalent;

Under German poetry we meet with and as if, by some happy accident, the some excellent translations by the cele expression which occurred to him were brated William Taylor of Norwich. His always in exact conformity with every version of Bürger’s Ellenore has the fire metrical and rhythmical condition. and spirit of an original performance : it It is a charge, which has sometimes must take one of the highest places in been brought against Mr. Longfellow, the ballad literature of our language. that he adheres with over-scrupulous ex. The same may be said of the Spanish actness to the letter of his text; or at ballads translated by Mr. Lockhart. least that its principles would lead him They are not, like most translations, to do so, and that only his delicacy and dried specimens of foreign song preserved purity of taste preserve him from the in scientific collections: though exotics, prejudicial influence of his erroneous they take firm root in our own soil, and maxims. We are not disposed to deny flourish, green and vigorous, side by side that the majority of translators, should with plants of indigenous growth. High they attempt to act upon the rules wbich praise should be awarded also to the Mr. Longfellow seems to have laid down Danish ballads as rendered by Jamieson; for himself, would be in danger of falling and to Weber's translations from the into an awkward, unintelligible styleHeldenbuch and the Nibelungenlied, neither English, nor Greek, nor German, which represent with wonderful fidelity nor anything else known among articu. the form as well as the spirit of the lately speaking men: or, avoiding that, rough old Teutonic originals.

would exbibit à dexterous word-mongerThe editor himself has repeated here ing scarcely less detestable, in which the the beautiful translations which he has form should be imitated, while the spirit published from time to time in periodi- was suffered to evaporate. That there cals, and inserted in the collections of is such a thing as being too literal, can.

He gives us also other not be questioned. The mere mechanitranslations of his own, which, as we cal substitution of word for word will by have not seen them before, we presume no means answer the ends of a translation. to have been made with special reference The words of different languages bare to this work. There is an old proverb, seldom the equality of those mathematiwhich warns us “ not to look a gift- cal figures which, on being applied 10 horse in the mouth.” It may seem un- each other, coincide throughout their

his poems.

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whole extent. And even if the corre better represented in the rhymes just spondence of single words be absolutely quoted, than in the following paraphrase ? perfect, it will not follow, that the similar

“How pleasant, how divinely fair, combinations formed from them are pre- O Lord of Hosts, thy dwellings are ! cisely equivalent. Such is the influence

With long desire my spirit faints of usage, analogy, association, complex To meet the assemblies of thy saints. and variable causes, which it is difficult My flesh could rest in thine abode, to measure, and impossible to predict, My panting heart cries out for God.” that an expression which in one language is elegant and dignified, may be or, as it stands in this more condensed

version : rude or vulgar, may have a wholly different meaning or no meaning at all, “ Lord of the worlds above, when presented word for word in anoth How pleasant and how fair, er. Take now a poem, the Iliad, if you

The dwellings of thy love, will, or the Æneid. The principle of

Thine earthly temples are ! literal translation, vigorously enforced,

To thine abode my heart aspires would lead us into the clumsiest prose,

With warm desires to see my God.” such as we find in Clarke's Latin Homer, From this example we may see what or the Interlinear Virgil of the Hamil. must be the consequence of adopting the tonian system. Allow us some relaxa. rule countenanced by so many recent tion; permit us to substitute for the authorities, that a metrical translator Latin or Greek expression some vernacu- should use no liberty beyond those which lar idiom which shall represent its spirit metrical conditions imperatively demand. though departing from its letter ; and we An original--at least, any original worih may produce a version, still in prose, the labor of translating—has freedom, but not wholly wanting either in ele. ease, and grace. In a servile version, gance or clearness.

But suppose we these qualities are inevitably lost. But would give our version a metrical form; if the impression of the original is to be we then subject ourselves to additional reproduced in the translation, the latter difficulties, and are driven by sheer ne must have the ease and freedom of the cessity to the use of greater license. former: and no translation can be conHere, too, the versifier, wbo from scru. sidered as good, if it fail to represent ples of conscience refuses to avail him. these characteristics of the original

. self of any liberty not absolutely indis. Yet on the other hand it cannot be de. pensable to the construction of his nied, that liberal translations are generrhythms, will produce a work of the ally worthless. In most instances, they same order with the Latin lliad and the are hastily and carelessly executed. Interlinear Æneid. So great a inan as There is a fatal facility about this mode Milton amused himself once with “do. of rendering, which is likely to prove a ing into metre nine of the l'salms, where snare to the translator. It is such a sim. in all but what is in a different character ple matter to string together rhymes on are the very words of the text, translated ihe same theme with your author, availfrom the original.” Take a favorable ing yourself of his ideas, when your own specimen:

happen to come short, or supplying the

deficiency of sense by an easy flow of “ How lovely are thy dwellings fair!

verse, that we cannot be surprised at the O Lord of Hosts how dear The pleasant tabernacles are,

number of those who practise after this Where thou dost dwell so near!

fashion. It is a method, undoubtedly, My soul Joth long and alınost die

which has great advantages. It super. Thy courts, O Lord, to see:

sedes the necessity of extensive and My heart and flesh aloud do cry,

exact philological attainments. It reO living God, for thee.”

quires no insight into the genius and Hear now the passage as it stands in and trouble of real acquisition, it procures

spirit of an author. Without the toil

for the indolent or incapable the fame of “How amiable are thy tabernacles, 0 great proficiency in languages, and proLord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, digious acquaintance with foreign litera. even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord: ture. It enables an aspiring dunce to my heart and my fiesh crieth out for the put forth his own dullness and absurdity living God.”

under the shelter of a distinguished name, Will any one say that the original is to divert towards himself some part of

our common version.

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