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excuse for their omission must be derived either
from their inaptitude for transfusion into a foreign
idiom, or from my own incapacity for rendering
them in such a manner as I thought calculated to
produce a resemblance. Of the latter a large
proportion consists of those short epigrammatic,
I might rather say enigmatic, sentences--for the
most part, in single distichs-in which the phi-
losophical Poet thought fit to embody his ab-
struse speculative doctrines, and which require,
in order to their full comprehension, the aid of
a commentary, equal in extent to that of the
prose treatises in which those doctrines are ex-
plained and illustrated. Of these, I have, there-
fore, confined myself to a very small selection by
way of specimen; and I have made one still
smaller, from the satirical verses which, under the
name of Xenien, or Xenia, borrowed from a book of
Martial, and applied to a sort of running Dunciad,
he poured forth month after month, so abundantly,
in partnership with Goëthe, against all whom he
either chose to consider as rivals or enemies in
the fields of literary warfare. In the course of
this remarkable skirmish, Schiller, indeed, appears
to great advantage over his associate in respect of
those qualities which can alone render such a

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mode of attack justifiable upon any honourable principle—namely, in earnestness of purpose, and in the belief of rendering service to the cause of truth and virtue; and this be evidenced by his own desire still to follow


the chase, when his colleague, having no such motive to animate him, got tired of the game. It was a pursuit, however, not to be sustained single-handed; and Schiller, after having acquired in it a host of enemies, who found their revenge in fastening upon him accusations of irreligion and infidelity, which he had more successfully repelled, when he had done far more to deserve them, was glad to desist from the contest and rejoin his former ally, in the less dangerous, and far more brilliant achievements of

Ballad poetry

But a greater difficulty than even that arising from the nature of the subject matter presents itself to the translator of these compositions, whether of the moral and philosophical, or of the satirical species, in the form of verse with which Schiller has clothed them after the model of the Greek and Roman Elegiac and Epigrammatic poets; for whilst I am sensible that some of our first living scholars have, both by advice and example, encouraged the attempt to nationalize amongst



us those old classical metres-especially the hexameter and pentameter, it is impossible to deny that no such attempt has hitherto proved successful, to the extent of rendering them in any degree popular or attractive. I have accordingly, only in a few instances, ventured on the apparently hopeless experiment -- conscious, nevertheless, that in abandoning it, I have sacrificed an object of possibly greater importance--that of exhibiting my Author in the dress which he has himself assumed as most suitable to the sentiments he wished to convey. For, whatever may be alleged as to the impracticability of framing verses by rules of quantity, which do not exist in the language to which it is sought to apply them, it cannot be denied that the Germans have succeeded in introducing a species of rhythm, founded on these classical metres, which has become very popular among them; nor with all the attention I can give to the subject, have I been able to detect any such fundamental difference in the construction of our English idiom from that of its Teutonic sister, as should render it unfit for being the vehicle of similar musical impressions. I feel myself therefore driven to the conclusion that some other cause must be discovered for the want of success which has hitherto marked the same attempt in this country; and I think it may be found in the comparatively recent growth of the modern German poetry, and its consequent freedom of restraint from those conventional rules of prosody which long habit has fixed as the standard measure of our English system of versification. This appears to me the more probable from the startling and unpleasant effect upon our ears of even far less degrees of innovation on our established modes of poetical composition, until use has reconciled us to the adoption ; for instance, that of the Trochaic measure (so familiar to the Germans) in place of our ordinary Iambic structure of tensyllable verse-as in the “ Gods of Greece,”

Whilst yě pověru'd still thỉs fair création

and, should the case be so, I think it far from unlikely that a period may yet arrive when some fortunate Versifier will have to boast of his success in having rendered these classical metres acceptable to the fastidious taste of an English public.

Be this, however, as it may-I have so far yielded to the general sentiment as to allow, but in some instances only, of this single exception from the rule of constant adherence in translation to the metrical form of the original poems-a principle which I have adopted from a deep feeling that Form is of the very essence of poetry, and that the soul itself escapes and evaporates in the transfusion of the sentiment into another shape of outward vehicle. And this is perhaps the reason why we have so few instances of successful poetical translation out of ancient into modern languages-especially into those of such different construction as our English from that of the original models.

Enough, perhaps, has been already said to explain my principle of arrangement of the following poems, which is almost that of strict chronological order, distributed in two divisions—the first terminated by an Appendix of some of the earlier date—the second commencing with the new Æra of the “ Year of Ballads.” As no plan of classification appears to have been adopted in any of the German Collections, I thought myself at liberty to employ that which seemed to me best calculated to exhibit the mind of the poet in its several successive stages of intellectual progress.

Madame de Stael has said, respecting the Translator's office, that “il n'y a pas de plus émi

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