« AnteriorContinuar »
But since he would needs chuse that wrong way of criticism; I wonder he miss'd a stone so ready to be thrown against HOMER, for his filling the Iliad not only with so much flaughter, (for that is to be excused, since a War is not capable of being described without it) but with so many various particulars of wounds and horror, as fhew the writer I am afraid so delighted that way himself, as not the leaft to doubt his reader being so also. Like SPANIOLETTA, whose dismal pictures are the more disagreeable for being always so very movingly painted. Even Hector's last parting from his son and An DROMACHE, hardly makes us amends for his body's being draggʻd thrice round the town. M. DE LA MOTTE in his strongest objection about that dismal combat, has sufficient cause to blame his inrag'd adversary, who here gives an instance that it is impossible to be violent without committing some mistake; her paffion for Homer blinding her too much to perceive the very grofsest of his failings. By which warning I am become a little more capable of impartiality, though in a dispute about that very poet for whom I have the greatest veneration.
IF lia Ha
M. D'ACIER might have considered a little, that whatever were the motives of M. DĖ LA MOTTë to so bold a proceeding, it could not darken that fame which I am fure fhe thinks shines securcly even after the vain attempts of PLATO himself against it : caus'd only perhaps by a like reason with that of Madam D'ACIER's anger against M. DE LA MOTTE, namely, the finding that in prose his genius (great as it was) could not be capable of the sublime heights of poetry, which therefore he banish'd out of his commonwealth.
Nor were these objections to HOMER any more lessening of her merit in translating him as well as that way is capable of, viz. fully, plainly, and elegantly, than the most admirable verses can be any disparagement to as excellent profe.
THE best excuse for all this violence is, its being in a cause which gives a kind of reputation even to suffering, by never so ill a management of it.
The worst of defending even HOMER in such a passionate manner, is its being more a proof of her weakness, than of his being liable to none.
For what is it can excuse HOMER any more than HECTOR, for flying
at the first sight of ACHILLES? whose terris ble aspect sure needed not such an inexcuseable fright to set it off; and methinks all that account of MINERVA’s restoring his dart to ACHILLES, comes a little too late, for excufing Hector's so terrible apprehension at the very first.
F I N I S.