Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twelfth day of May, in the forty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, FRANCIS ARDEN, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author and proprietor, in the words and figures following, to wit:

"A Translation of the First Book of Ovid's Tristia, in Heroic English Verse; with the Original Text. By Francis Arden, Counsellor at Law.

Ore legar populi: perque omnia sæcula fama
(Si quid habent verí vatum præsagia) vivam.

Ov. Metamorph. lib. xv. in peroratione."

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act, entitled, "An act supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."


Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.



THE free spirit of these United States owes so much of its origin to classic sources, that an American translator of a Roman poet, is naturally led to seek for a patron, who to the soundest political principles of ancient Greece and Italy, adds the cultivation of their learning; and in a search thus directed, it cannot excite surprise in any well informed mind, that I have found you.

Your education was completed inter silvas Academi; you were among the early assertors of our liberties; and your conduct in the perilous struggle that attained them, is not more sure to command notice from History, than to be read with admiration and gratitude by our posterity.

Nor have your after services in times less dangerous, been of inconsiderable character; they too have produced

great public benefits, alike indicative of your reach of thought, and the national feelings that direct it.

For all of these, I, in common with every person sincerely attached to this favoured country, am your debtor.

That the essay of an author, hitherto unknown, shall be found to deserve protection so valued as your's, is more than the writer himself dares to declare; he could not however forego this occasion to manifest his respect for a firm patriot, an enlightened statesman, an upright man, and sincere Christian.



THE translation of a Latin Poem into English Verse by an American, may be regarded as an innovation upon usage: I have hazarded the attempt, and be the result what it may, feel assured that my countrymen will commend the undertaking.

It is to be regretted that modern British writers of eminence, who have enriched our language by rendering much of Ovid familiar to the English reader, should have neglected his Tristia and Fasti, works certainly deserving more than ordinary notice.

A hope of reputably filling such a chasm, might tempt the exertions of the first writer in the Union; its accomplishment would probably render his name

equally lasting with that of the Roman Bard himself, and let the belief be cherished, that it shall yet be effected by American genius and learning.

The present essay claims to be no more than an experimental effort, in which the translator has so markedly preferred the words and order of his text. to less restrained attempts at imitative elegance, that in no instance has he dropped expressive terms of the original, or presumed to vary from its manner, unless the genius of our language, or some metrical obstacle, seemed to require the liberty. He is not conscious, however, of needing much indulgence either for what he has omitted, or may in any way have ventured to change.

A course so straitened not only diminishes opportunities for ornamental display, but renders the display itself proportionably difficult; the reader i therefore cautioned against anticipations of hig poetical beauties, and intreated to rest satisfied with a degree of smoothness in the composition, exceeding, perhaps, what its alleged closeness might have prepared him to expect.

« AnteriorContinuar »