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Notes and Queries, Number 40, August 3, 1850   By:

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"When found, make a note of." CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

NO. 40.] SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 1850. [Price Threepence Stamped Edition 4d.



NOTES: Page Translations of Juvenal Wordsworth Dedication to Milton by Antonio Malatesti, by S.W. Singer Pulteney's Ballad of "The Honest Jury," by C.H. Cooper Notes on Milton Folk Lore: High Spirits considered a Sign of impending Calamity or Death Norfolk Popular Rhymes Throwing Salt over the Shoulder Charming for Warts Notes on College Salting; Turkish Spy; Dr. Dee: from "Letters from the Bodleian, &c.," 2 vols. 1813 Minor Notes: Alarm Taking a Wife on Trial Russian Language Pistol and Bardolph Epigram from Buchanan

QUERIES: Calvin and Servetus Etymological Queries Minor Queries: Countess of Desmond Noli me tangere Lines in Milton's "Penseroso" "Mooney's Goose" Translation of the Philobiblon Achilles and the Tortoise Dominicals Yorkshire Dales

REPLIES: Tobacco in the East "Job's Luck," by Coleridge, by J. Bruce Eccius Dedolatus Replies to Minor Queries: Hiring of Servants George Herbert Lord Delamere Execution of Charles I. Charade Discursus Modestus "Rapido contrarius Orbi" "Isabel" and "Elizabeth" Hanap Cold Harbour

MISCELLANEOUS: Notes on Books, Sales, Catalogues, &c. Books and Odd Volumes Wanted Notices to Correspondents Advertisements



Mr. Markland's ascertainment (Vol. i., p. 481.) of the origin of Johnson's "From China to Peru," where, however, I sincerely believe our great moralist intended not so much to borrow the phrase as to profit by its temporary notoriety and popularity, reminds me of a conversation, many years since, with the late William Wordsworth, at which I happened to be present, and which now derives an additional interest from the circumstance of his recent decease.

Some mention had been made of the opening lines of the tenth satire of Juvenal:

"Omnibus in terris, quae sunt a Gadibus usque Auroram, et Gangem pauci dignoscere possunt Vera bona, atque illis multum diversa, remotâ Erroris nebulâ."

"Johnson's translation of this," said Wordsworth, "is extremely bad:

"'Let Observation, with extensive view, Survey mankind from China to Peru.'

"And I do not know that Gifford's is at all better:

"'In every clime, from Ganges' distant stream, To Gades, gilded by the western beam, Few, from the clouds of mental error free, In its true light, or good or evil see.'

"But", he added, musing, "what is Dryden's? Ha! I have it:

"' Look round the habitable world , how few Know their own good, or, knowing it, pursue.'

"This is indeed the language of a poet; it is better than the original."

The great majority of your readers will without doubt, consider this compliment to Dryden well and justly bestowed, and his version, besides having the merit of classical expression, to be at once concise and poetical. And pity it is that one who could form so true an estimate of the excellences of other writers, and whose own powers, it will be acknowledged, were of a very high order, should so often have given us reason to regret his puerilities and absurdities. This language, perhaps, will sound like treason to many; but permit me to give an instance in which the late poet laureate seems to have admitted (which he did not often do) that he was wrong.

In the first edition of the poem of Peter Bell (the genuine, and not the pseudo Peter), London, 8vo. 1819, that personage sets to work to bang the poor ass, the result of which is this, p. 36.:

"Among the rocks and winding crags Among the mountains far away Once more the ass did lengthen out More ruefully an endless shout, The long dry see saw of his horrible bray... Continue reading book >>

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