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Mr. Reed's career which makes it unfair a broader duty. There was before the to him to say that his courageous count- House a bill authorizing the sale of lowing of a quorum was, as he regarded it, rate, short-term gold bonds, which had a party service. He considered it a party been introduced as an administration” duty, and as a party duty it was done.

It was known to be the PreHe himself had, in fact, as most other sident's wish that it should pass. The members of Congress had, taken frequent only alternatives were, on the one hand advantage of the same absurd technicali- a bond issue on far less advantageous ty to prevent the majority from acting. terms, and on the other a confession of Indeed, he delivered a speech in the sec- national bankruptcy. There were enough ond session of the Forty-Sixth Congress sound-money Democrats to pass the bill in defense of the filibustering tactics of if all the sound-money Republicans would the Republicans during the first session, vote with them; but at the crucial moin which he said:

ment Mr. Reed blocked the way merely "It is a valuable privilege for the for partisan advantage. He had a coincountry that the minority shall have bond bill of his own, with which he was the right, by this extraordinary mode of able, by virtue of his party leadership, to proceeding, to call the attention of the hold the great mass of the Republicans country to measures which a party, in a in check, and to keep them from going moment of madness and of party feel- over to the support of the administraing, is endeavoring to enforce upon the tion. As must have been foreseen, both citizens of this land. And it works equal- bills failed, and the treasury was obliged ly well with regard to all parties, for to resort to such unsatisfactory means all parties have their times when they for relief as the existing laws afforded. need to be checked, so that they may Rather than permit Congress to do its receive the opinions of the people who plain duty when a President of the other are their constituents and who are inter- party had asked it to do so, he preferred ested in the results of their legislation. to force upon the President the necessity I say that, as a practical matter, the re- of saving the national credit in a more sults hitherto, throughout all our histo- costly and less popular way. ry, have justified the construction which To civil service reform Mr. Reed has those upon

this side of the House have been tolerant, even somewhat actively put upon the matter, and which has been tolerant when his friends have had its pat equally by members of the other side execution. But the morality of the merit in times past.”

system has never appealed to him strongHere, then, is the secret of his career. ly. He has never opposed it, for he is From the first it has been as a party too frank to starve a law already on the servant or as a party leader that he has books by withholding an appropriation done his work. Not only is he a strong to carry it into effect. He is a fair and partisan; he is little more than a parti- open antagonist, but he has looked on the san. He has done nothing to show that reform with good nature rather than with he regards our present political duties as

approval. He has always had the feelin any way different from the duties to ing that a Republican ought every time which he first turned his hand twenty to draw a trump card. If he should years ago, and the political party is yet become President, perhaps we should the only instrument that he would use. not have reason to fear that the reform So late, indeed, as the last session of would slip back, but it would hardly be Congress, and on so important a matter set forward, unless he saw some partisan as the relief of the national treasury, advantage or renown in extending it. he permitted his partisanship to override So, too, as regards sound currency. He cannot be thought of as an inflationist, The nomination of Mr. Reed by the but he would again seek partisan advan- Republican party, therefore, would be tage in dealing even with this problem. notice that its programme is to keep From his sheer excess of energy, too, our politics in the old rut, and that it he might doggedly commit or permit does not recognize the new class of damistakes in our dealings with other na- ties that have thrust themselves forward. tions, and he might encourage the worst This would be unfortunate, because we Jingoes of his own party if he ought not longer to consider the great thought he saw a party end to serve office as a party prize, but as a grave rethereby.

sponsibility wisely to be bestowed.

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It is always good news to hear that he would be homesick talking Turkish. new champions are coming forward to There are a number of English transtranslate Don Quixote into English. It lations, - one by Mr. Shelton long ago, is a bold deed, well worthy a knight-er- one by Smollett, and others by Motteux, rant of the pen ; and if many men make Jarvis, Duffield, Ormsby, and Watts, – the attempt, we may be perhaps so for- all more or less inadequate, if I may tunate as hereafter to have a true Eng- judge from parts, for I have never been lish translation. Don Quixote, it is said so willful-blame as to read them all. In in the Encyclopædia Britannica, has been truth, the translation is a very difficult translated into every language in Europe, matter. Don Quixote himself is one of even including Turkish, but I cannot be- the most delicately drawn characters in lieve that any language is so fit as Eng- fiction; almost every Spanish word he lish to give the real counterfeit present- speaks stands out in the reader's mind, ment of the book. One might guess separate and distinct, like a stroke in a that a Romance language would do bet Rembrandt etching. How can you meater, but, on reflection, French prose

lacks sure out their English equivalents in the humor, and Italian has not sufficient finely adjusted scales of language unless subtlety to give the lights and shadows you have ten talents for weights ? Epiof Don Quixote ; and as for German grams are commonly of little use in prose, in spite of Goethe it still is Ger- finding the way to truth, but Coleridge man prose. There is a scintilla of truth, has left a saying that, I think, helps us so far as this translation is concerned, materially in this matter of translation. in the saying of Charles V., that French “Prose,” he said, “ is words in the best is the language for dancing-masters, Ital- order; Poetry is the best words in the ian for singing birds, and German for best order." Now, by what sleight of horses. I should like to be able to read hand shall a man keep this best order of the Turkish translation. I imagine that words in shifting thoughts from one lanthere must be a dignity and self-respect guage to another? In poetry we are wakin the language that would befit Don ing up to this, and Homer and Dante Quixote to a nicety: but for Sancho it are rendered into English prose. Now would not do, even Candide's experi- and again a man, if he have the luck to ence could not persuade me that it would be a man of genius, may make English be for him le meilleur monde possible: poetry when he professes to translate a


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foreign poet. Such a one was Mr. Fitz- This very reality lies in the arrangegerald. But I know of no one who has ment of words, and slips through the made both poetry and a translation, with translator's fingers. The hero was alive a few exceptions : such as Shelley in his and then is done into English, a process translation of the angels' chorus in Faust, that has much similarity to embalming. Dr. Hedge with Luther's hymn, and To draw the likeness of a living being in Wordsworth with Michelangelo's sonnet, words is one of the most difficult tasks “Ben può talor col mio ardente desio.”

in art.

We all, no doubt, can remember Maybe the translators of the Old Testa- some figure coming, in the days of our ment were such.

childhood, into our Eden from the vague Of all prose that I know, I should outer world, that impressed itself deeply say that Don Quixote was the hardest in our memories. Such a one I can reto translate out of the original tongue; member, — a delicately bred gentleman, for Cervantes has used his words in the one of those in whom the gentle element best order very often, and his Spanish was so predominant that perhaps the tongue was of so fine a temper

- for man was pushed too much aside. His it had been framed among high-strung bearing spoke of training and discipline gentlemen, quick in quarrel, urbane in received in some place out of Eden that manner, and of a broad human courtesy we knew not of, and there was a manner such as gentlemen have in Utopia, and of habitual forbearance, almost shrinkall men, I needs must think, in heaven ing, in his daily actions, as if he feared

that the translator need be of a stout that whatever he touched might turn to heart. Words are delicate works. Na- 'sorrow, which still kept us behind the line ture has nurtured them, art has toiled across which his tenderness was ever inover them. For a thousand years those viting us. I think to describe his smile Spanish words have been shaped by and to translate Don Quixote would be Spanish mouths, and now some zealous tasks of like quality. translator, like a lean apothecary, ex- But of all books in the world Don pects to catch their fragrance and cork Quixote is the book for an English-speak

up in English smelling-bottles. All a ing boy. There is a time in his boynation's sentiment has gone into its words. hood while the sun of life throws a long Great musicians, architects, painters, shadow behind him, when, after he has and sculptors put into their works the read the Waverley Novels, Cooper, and feelings of their country and of their Captain Marryat, he pauses hesitating age, but these works remain the works between Thackeray and Dickens. Which of individuals and bear their personal shall he take? The course is long, for a stamp, whereas all the nation, at all boy is a most just and generous reader. times, from generation to generation, has He reads his novelist straight through been putting its passions into its speech. from start to finish, David Copperfield, The Spanish heart is not the English Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Old heart.

Curiosity Shop, and all, ending finally Moreover, the translator of Cervantes with a second reading of Pickwick. has another great difficulty. Don Qui- That is the way novels should be read. xote is the delineation of a man's char- Reading the first novel of one of the aeter; he is as real as any hero in fiction ricos hombres of literature is like Aladfrom Achilles to Alan Breck, and much din going down into the magic cave: more so than the heroes who lie buried it summons a genie, who straightway in Westminster Abbey.

spreads a wonderful prospect before “ Er lebt und ist noch stärker

you, but it is not till the second or third Als alle Todten sind.”

book that you understand all the power VOL. LXXVII. NO. 460.




of the master slave. It is at that mo- that he read Don Quixote for the first ment of hesitation that Don Quixote time when a boy, and that then he “ did should be put into the boy's hands; but not know the irony that God put into that cannot be done now because there the world, and which the great poet had is no satisfactory English translation. imitated in his little world of print and Of course, Don Quixote is a man's book, paper.” Carducci is mistaken; there is also, — the great human book, as Mr. no question of knowledge and ignorance. Lowell following Sainte-Beuve calls it. The boy has his world as heavy to an Cervantes has breathed into its nostrils ounce, weighed in scales of avoirdupois, the breath of life, and, like the macro- as that of a man of fifty, and there is cosm, it has a different look for the boy no irony in it. The boy is not the suband for the man of fifty. You can find ject of illusion ; there is in fact no irony in it the allegory that the ideal is out of there. The man of fifty, le soi-disant place in this workaday world, that the désillusionné, is certainly on the border light shineth in a darkness which com- of presumption, to say that it is there, and prehendeth it not. You can find the then to call the boy an ignoramus. To preaching of vanity, if such be your be sure, he commonly couples his offenturn of mind, in Don Quixote as well as sive epithet with some mitigating adjecin the world. But the schoolboy does tive, as “ happy fool,” or thus,“ his pretty not look for that; there is no vain thing ignorance.” But in place of the adjecin life for him, and perhaps his is the tive there should be an apology. Every clearer vision. And with this school- man is born into a house where there is boy, pausing as I have suggested on the a chamber full of veritable chronicles of brink of Thackeray or Dickens, a trans- Tristram and Launcelot, of Roland and lation of Don Quixote has the best Rinaldo di Mont' Albano ; and if his chance of success. Its defects will be housekeeper, his barber, and his parson of such a nature as will mar the man's wall up the door and tell him that Freston enjoyment, but not his. It will give him el gran encantador has swooped down the gallant gentleman pricked by a no- on dragon back and carried it off by ble contempt for the ignoble triumphant night, his acceptance of their assertions and for the acquiescent many; he shall and his lofty compassion for his old illuhave there the lofty disregard of facts sions furnish but poor proof of wisdom. that hedge in housekeepers, barbers, Such men, be sure, have followed too and parsons ; he shall find courage, rashly in their youth some false advenendurance, knightliness, and reverence turer into the world of thought, and their for woman. After a boy has once been fifty years, like the monks of St. Cathsquire to Sir Kenneth, to Ivanhoe, and bert's Isle, have walled them up for punto Claverhouse, what business has he ishment. There let them lie " like muin life but to right wrongs, to succor

tines in the bilboes.” But however that maidens, and to relieve widows and all may be, mas vale buena esperanza que who are desolate and oppressed? What ruin possession.if this gallant gentleman be a mono- It is for the boy that a good translamaniac, and be subjected to disasters at tion should be made, and that might be the hands of farmyard louts and tavern done; one in which Don Quixote shall skinkers, by windmills ånd galley slaves: talk like a scholarly gentleman, and in must not Ivanhoe's squire march through which there shall be no conscious grin Vanity Fair and lodge in Bleak House, of the translator spoiling the whole, as in his long breeches unentangled in spurs, that wretched version by Motteux. The and his chief weapon of offense carried boy wants two qualities in his books, enin his waistcoat pocket? Carducci says thusiasm and loyalty; and here he has


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them jogging on side by side through any book that receives the suffrage of all four good volumes. Sainte-Beuve says is proved to be, to use Sainte-Beuve's that Joubert's notion of enthusiasm was phrase, un livre de l'humanité. By goune paix élevée ; a boy's idea is la ing back to these great human books we guerre élevée, and Cervantes was of that learn to keep our scales truly adjusted. mind. He was a soldier of the best Goethe said that every year he was wont kind, fighting for Europe against Asia to read over a play by Molière. at Lepanto, and esteeming his lost arm There have been a great many theories the most honorable member of his body. about the book, speculations as to what Don Quixote is the incarnation of enthu- purpose Cervantes had in view when he siasm ; and what loyalty was ever like wrote it. The chief two are that he inSancho's, even to the death-bed where tended a burlesque upon romances of he beseeches Don Quixote to live many knight-errantry, and that he intended an years, " for it would be the utmost fool- allegorical satire upon human enthusiishness to die when no one had murdered

Doubtless he began with the purhim”! There are many who are loyal to pose of ridiculing the old romances, but, a friend's deeds, and some to his faults, as Carducci says, genius gallops ahead of bat to be loyal to another's dreams and its charioteer. By the seventh chapter visions is the privilege of very few. Be- he found himself with Don Quixote and sides, the boy demands incident, and here Sancho Panza seeking adventures in La there is the greatest variety of adventure, Mancha; and he had in his heart a deep of that delightful kind that happens in and serious knowledge of life, and in La Mancha without having to be sought his brain wit and fancy such that the in Trebisond or Cathay.

world has but once had better, and he Another reason for a good translation wrote. Men must express the deep feelis that Don Quixote is the first modern ings within them : the common man to novel. It is the last of the romances of one or two by words and acts and silence, chivalry and the first novel; and as, on the man of genius to the world by such the whole, most of the great novels are means as nature has made easiest for English novels (for what other language him. In Spain, since the invention of can show a like richness to Robinson printing, the one form of popular literCrusoe, Tom Jones, Rob Roy, Pride ature had been the romance of knightand Prejudice, Vanity Fair, David Cop- errantry. The three great cycles of perfield, Adam Bede, and The Scarlet romantic fiction - of King Arthur and Letter?), there should be an adequate the Round Table, of Charlemagne and English version of it. So many novels of his Paladins, and of the Greek empires much skill and force are written nowa- founded by Alexander the Great - had days that we are too often swayed in our spread all over western Europe, and had judgment of them by the pulse of the year long before served their office. Their or of the decade. Were it not well, after place in Spain was filled by the romances reading Mr. Meredith or Mr. Moore, to of knight-errantry. Of these, the first take our bearings by a mark that has and best was Amadis of Gaul, which withstood the changing sentiments of was probably written in Castile about the ten generations of mortal men? “You

“You year 1350. The old version has been cannot fool all the people all the time.” long lost, but Garci-Ordoñez de MonMen during three hundred years are of talvo wrote a new one some time after so many minds, and have such diverse the conquest of Granada, which obtained dispositions and temperaments, and are wide popularity and still exists. The placed in such different circumstances, success of this was so brilliant that a with various passions and prejudices, that great many books were written in imita

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