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melt not the snowy beauty too soon! breathed on in England, and giving Suffer her to wander a little, and him the very fragrance and aroma of display her charms, in the country Walladmor in English.—What sense which she claims for her own. there can be in writing “reviews' Mount, pompholyx of Germany, or “abstracts” of Sir W. Scott's mount once more: bubble of Leipsic, English novels for English readers, glitter again for a little moment in we never yet could learn. To see a London: et vos plaudite, publishers London or Edinburgh critic luxuriof Britain, as this parhelion rises upon ously reposing on his sofa, gratifying your horizon: for it was your bre- himself up to the height of Gray's thren that were the hoaxers; and it wish by reading
" eternal new nowas nations that were hoaxed. Not vels,” and then to see him indolently a publisher but cachinnates from cutting out with a pair of scissars Leipsic to Moscow-from Stockholm this or that chapter with a request to to Vienna! you also therefore, oh, the compositor that he will reset that “ Trade” of London and Edinburgh, same chapter in a different type for we charge you, make common cause the benefit of readers—every soul of with the Jubilate catalogistæ of whom has the novel itself lying on Leipsic:
his table,-such a spectacle, we conPursue their triumph, and partake the gale! fess, moves our wonder and our dis
gust: and we know that it is not less Thus, in measured words and a disgusting to all rational people ; solemn Polonaise of rhetoric, we who see in all this neither labour to usher in-before the English public the critic-for which he should be —the interesting young stranger and thanked, nor service to any body else impostor Walladmor. The pretences for which they should thank him. of this impostor are now made known: Sooner than descend to such paraand the next question is-in what sitical or ivy-like dependence upon way are these supported? This also the stem of another man's books, we we shall answer; and shall put the for our part would betake ourselves reader in possession of the novel, to the last opprobrium of honest by rifling the charms as yet un- men-viz. the cutting out our own:
* Wallad mor stands regularly inserted in the Leipsic Mess-Catalog for Easter, 1824, under the name of Sir Walter Scott, as one of his novels : it is the penultimate article on p. 255. The Catalogue was published on the 6th of April.—Two or three years ago we remember to have heard of another plot from this quarter against the Scotch novels ; and, by the dedication prefixed to the 3d vol. of Walladmor, it would seem that in the first stage it had succeeded. Through some quarter or other it was said that a duplicate of every proof sheet, as it issued from the Edinburgh press, was forwarded to a sea-port town on the continent, and there translated into German. Now it was the design of the pirates to put this German translation into another conspirator's hands who was to translate it into good English: he was ready to swear (and truly) that he had nothing to do with any piratical practices upon English books ; for that he had translated from a known. and producible German book. The German book was in regard to him the authentic archetype. As to any Scotch book of Mr. Constable's press, for any thing he knew that might be a piratical translation from the German copy, obtained probably by some nefarious corruption and bribery of Mr. Constable's amongst German compositors. To keep up the ball, an opposition party in London designed to carry on the series of reverberations by translating the pirated English translation back again into excellent German, and launching this decomplex pirate in the German market against her own grandmother the old original pirate. Accidents favouring, and supposing the wind to be against Mr. Constable (who of course sends the copies for London by sea),-it was conceived possible that a German daughter, an English grand-daughter, and a German great-grand-daughter might all be abroad in London before the Edinburgh mother arrived; who would thus have found herself an old woman on reaching Messrs. Hursts' and Co., and blessed with several generations of flourishing posterity before she was fully aware of her own exista ence. Or, supposing Mr. Constable's steam-vessel to arrive off the mouth of the river about the same time as the Continental steam-vessel, there might have been a race between the parties—which of course Paternoster-row and Ave Maria-lane would have attended : Mr. Constable's ship and ship's-company being taken by surprize, betting would naturally have run against the old mother :” and, in any case, “ young pirate with his “ ruń goods” and smuggler's prices would certainly have been the favourite."
drawers and trowsers: this we hold but surely not a thing quite unheard of, to be a far more creditable way of that a translator should dedicate his transusing scissars. But with respect to lation to the author of the original work : Sir W. Scott's German novels the and, the translation here offered to your case is different. To be the reader's notice-being, as the writer flatters himself proxy in reading these—is at least by no means a common one,-he is the doing him some service: and if the
more encouraged to take this very uncomcritic is called upon to read three vo
Ah Sir Walter ! -did you but know to lumes containing 883 pages (each what straits the poor German translator page one-sixth more than the pages of Walter-Scottish novels is reduced, you of Sir Walter Scott's) in 32 hours, would pardon greater liberties than this. under terror of having the book Ecoutez. First of all, comes the bookseller reclaimed, and when that terror and cheapens a translator, in the very is removed, uses his spare time in cheapest market of translation-jobbers that making translations of the principal can be supposed likely to do any justice to scenes and connecting them together the work. Next-the sheets, dripping wet by the necessary links of narrative, – as they arrive by every post from the Edin, we can then understand that, whilst burgh press, must be translated just as some service is done to the reader, they stand with or without sense or con
nexion some labour is also incurred by the that, if a sheet should chance to end with
Nay it happens not unfrequently critic. This is the simple statement
one or two syllables of an unfinished word, of our own case and merits in regard we are obliged to translate this first instalto the reader. We actually read ment of a future meaning; and, by the through, and abstracted, the whole time the next sheet arrives with the syllanovel within the time specitied: and, bles in arrear, we first learn into what conthe copy not being our own but pro- founded scrapes we have fallen by guessing we read-as critics are wont to read self with reminding the public of the wellmised to an Edinburgh purchaser, and translating at hap-hazard." Nomina
sunt odiosa : else but I shall content my. --in the uneasy position of looking known and sad mishap that occurred in the up a chimney: for, in order to keep translation of Kenilworth. In another in. a book in a saleable state, the paper- stance the sheet unfortunately closed thus: cutter must not lay bare above one
-" to save himself from these disasters, sixth of the uncut leaves-nor let the he became an agent of Smith- ;” and we winds of Heaven visit their hidden all translated _“ um sich aus diesen trüba charms too roughly. At the end of seligkeiten zu erretten, wurde er Agent the 32 hours, by some accident of bei einem Schmiedemeister ; that is, he fortune's wheel, the copy turned out became foreman to a blacksmith.” Now to be a derelict, and was forfeited to sad it is to tell what followed: we had us: upon which we set to work and dashed at it, and waited in trembling hope made the most of this Godsend-by and showed that all Germany had been
for the result: next morning's post arrived, turuing “ wrecker” and plundering basely betrayed by a catch-word of Mr. the vessel of some of her best stores. Constable's. For the next sheet took up Our trust is-that we have stowed the imperfect and embryo catch-word thus ; away into the London MAGAZINE
"field matches, or marriages contracted some of the choicest scenes of Wallad- for the sake of money ; and the whole mor: and these we have endeavoured German sentence should have been repaired to translate not merely from the Ger- and put to rights as follows: “ Er negoman-but also into English, a part of cirte, um sich aufzuhelfen, die sogenannten their task which translators are apt to Smithfields heirathen oder Ehen, welche forget. We shall begin with the de- des Gewinnstes wegen geschlossen werdication of the soi-disant German den :" I say, it should have been : but translator to Sir Walter Scott—this, sheet had been already printed off with the
woe is me! it was too late : the translated which stands at the beginning of the blacksmith in it (lord confound him !); third volume, is droll enough: a and the blacksmith is there to this day, and dedication to some man of straw (Sir cannot be ejected. James Barnesly of Ellesmere) writ- You see, Sir Walter, into what "sloughs ten in the person of Sir Walter Scott, of despond” we German translators fall and prefixed to the whole work, is with the sad necessity of dragging your too dull to merit notice.
honor after us.
Yet this is but a part of
the general woe. When you hear in every To Sir Walter Scott, Bart. bookseller's shop throughout Gerinany one Sir,- Uncommon it may certainly be, unanimous complaint of the non-purchas
2 A 2
ing public and of those great profit-absorb- and you will hardly believe how much the ing whirlpools the circulating libraries,- anxiety lest another translation should get in short all possible causes of diminished the start of us can shake the stoutest of sale on the one hand ; and on the other translating hearts. The names of Lindauhand the forestalling spirit of competition Methusalem Müller-Dr. Spieker-Von among the translation-jobbersbidding Halem-and Loz t sound awfully in the over each other's heads as at an auction, ears of us gentlemen of the trade. And where the translation is knocked down to now, alas ! as many more are crowding him that will contract for bringing his into this Quinquevirate. wares soonest to market ;-hearing all this, Should it happen that the recent versions Sir Walter, you will perceive that our old of your works had not entirely satisfied German proverb
66 Eile mit Weile,” (i. e. your judgment, and that mine of Wallad(Festina lente, or the more haste, the less mor had, I would in that case esteem speed) must in this case, where haste hap: myself greatly flattered by your again pens to be the one great qualification and sending me through the house of B a sine-qua-non of a translator, be thrown al- copy of the manuscript of your next rotogether into the shade by that other pro. mance ; in provision for which case I do verb—“ Wer zuerst kommt mahlt zuerst here by anticipation acknowledge my obli. (First come first served).
gations to you ; and in due form of law I for my part, that I might not lie so bind myself over wholly at the mercy of this tyrant—Haste, 1. To the making good all expences of struck out a fresh path_in which you, Sir, were so obliging as to assist me.
2. To the translation of both prose and what new troubles arise out of this to the verse according to the best of my poor unhappy translator. The world pretends abilities ; that your eminent name may not to doubt whether the novel is really yours : * fall into discredit through the translator's people actually begin to talk of your friend incompetence. Washington Irving as the author, and God 3. To all possible affection, friendship, knows whom beside. As if any man, respect, &c. in so far as, and according as, poets out of the question, could be sup- you yourself shall be pleased to accept of posed capable of an act of self-sacrifice any or all of these from so severe as that of writing a romance in
The Translator of Walladmor, 3 vols, under the name of a friend.
Now for the novel itself: but to All this tends to drive us translators to utter despair. However I, in my garret, the nature of the leading interest
prepare the reader, we shall first state comfort myself by exclaiming “ Odi profanum," if I cannot altogether subjoin which is derived from the following -“ et arceo. From your obliging dis
case:-A young man of uncertain paposition, Sir Walter, I anticipate the gra- rentage, having been stolen when an tification of a few lines by the next post infant, and brought up among smugestablishing the authenticity of Wallade glers,-of an aspiring and energetic
Should these lines even not be duly character, but depressed by circumcertified “ coram notario duobusque testi- stances, seeks in vain to raise himself bus,” yet if transmitted through the em.
from that humblerank which the style bassy—they will sufficiently attest their own
of his mind makes him feel as a degralegitimacy as well as that of your youngest dation. Hence a gloomy discontent, child Walladmor.
Notwithstanding what I have said about and hatred of social institutions : with haste, I fear that haste has played me a trick the native dignity of his own chahere and there. The fact is-we are in racter he combines a good deal of dread of three simultaneous translations of false dignity, as might be expected Walladmor from three different publishers: from the style of associations-upon
Oh! spirit of modern scepticism, to what shocking results art thou leading us ! Already have Lycurgus, Romulus, Numa, &c. been resolved into mere allegorized ideas. And a learned friend has undertaken to prove, within the next 50 years, according to the best rules of modern scepsis, that no such banker as Mr. Rothschild ever existed ; that the word Rothschild in fact was nothing more than a symbolic expression for a habit of advancing loans at the beginning of the 19th century: 'which indeed the word itself indicates, if reduced to its roots. I should not be surprized to hear that some man had undertaken to demonstrate the non-existence of Sir Walter Scott: already there are symptoms abroad : for the mysterious author of Waverley has in our own days been detected in the persons of so many poets and historians the most opposite to each other, that by this time his personality must have been evaporated and volatilized into a whole synod of men.-- Note of the Dedicator.
+ Names of persons who have translated one or more of Sir Walter Scott's novels into German.
which his early 'misfortunes had gazetteers of two centuries back, thrown him: a gradual recklessness when Liverpool was not—and Manof character succeeds: and he at- chester, &c. as yet in ovo. tempts to obtain as a smuggler or pirate the distinctions which he had Perhaps the reader may still remember vainly sought in more honourable the following article in the Times newspaths. In the course of his wild paper, which about a year or two ago raised adventures, which afford continual
a powerful interest in our Southern capital: exercise to the hardihood and ro
“ BRISTOL.—Yesterday the inhabitants mantic address of character,—whilst
of this city were witnesses to a grand but
afflicting spectacle from the highlands of lying hid in a wood he sees
the coast. The steam-vessel, Halcyon, from young woman of great beauty riding the Isle of Wight, and bound to the north past. To her he becomes pas- coast of Wales, was suddenly in mid-chansionately devoted: and before she nel - when not a breath of wind ruffled the is aware of his character or con- surface of the sea- a-driven into our bay nexions, he persuades her, though a (the bay of Bristol !). Scarcely had she young woman of family and distinc- rounded the point of Cardowa” (q. Cartion, by the lofty air of his mamers
diff?) " when we beheld a column of smoke and sentiments into clandestine meet- rising; and in a moment after a dreadful ings; and finally wins her affec- report echoed from the mountains made tions. Afterwards she comes to hear known that the powder magazine was blown something more of his character, The barks, which crowded to the spot
up, and the ship shattered into fragments. though not the whole; is shocked; from all quarters, found only floating spars; and suffers much in mind: but at and were soon compelled to return by the length, her love predominating and coming-on of a dreadful hurricane. Of knowing that he was unfortunate and the whole crew, and of sixty passengers persecuted, she tells him—that, if he (chiefly English people returning from will wash out the stains upon his France), not one is saved. It is said that a name, « her heart shall remember prisoner, of atrocious character, was aboard only his misfortunes.”
the Halcyon. We look with the utmost But he, who knows that all hope anxiety for the next accounts of this meof retrieving his character is lost,
lancholy event.” grows desperate and frantic; for any England, this account was confirmed in its
To the grief of some noble families in chance of rising to a level with the
most dreadful circumstances. Some days woman he loves, is ready to con
after the bodies of Lord W**", and of Sir nect himself with the most criminal 0.
(that distinguished ornament enterprises; and finally becomes a for so long a period of the House of Comparty in the Cato-street conspiracy: mons ") were found upon the rocks. So whilst the young lady, who never much were they disfigured, that it was with abates in her love for him, is preyed difficulty they were recognized. And thus upon by grief and ill health. This is did an English sea take vengeance upon the nature of the presiding interest. her sons for their long and wilful expatria
tion. Both parties are still in early youth at the opening of the novel; the of the Halcyon a young man, who gazed
On that day there stood upon the deck young man being about twenty-four.
on the distant coasts of Wales apparently The novel opens with the follow- with deep emotion. From this reverie he ing scena; which, as all overtures
was suddenly roused as the ship whirled should, prefigures as it were and ab- round with a hideous heaving. He turned, stracts the prevailing character of as did all the other passengers who had the music throughout the piece. The been attracted on deck by the beauty of the reader must continually bear in mind evening, to the man at the helm. He was that the author is writing in the per- in the act of stretching out his arms to the son of Sir W. Scott; “our Southern
centre of the ship, whence a cloud of smoke capital” therefore in the first sen
was billowing upwards in voluminous tence of what follows, means London
surges : the passengers turned pale: the
sailors began to swear: “ It's all over !” -or possibly Bristol ; the relative
they shouted : “old Davy has us. So importance of which city amongst huzza ! let's have some sport as long as he English towns the Germans greatly leaves us any day-light." Amidst an upoverrate, drawing their estimate from roar of voices the majority of the crew
Alas! for poor Sir 0--
! How soon we have all forgot him !
rushed below ; stove in the brandy-casks ; therefore to an armistice. Each kept his drank every thing they could find; and hold by his right handlach raised his paid no sort of regard to the clamorous left aloft, and shouted for succour. But outcries of the passengers for help! help! they shouted in vain ; for the storm ad. except that here and there a voice replied vanced, as if it heard and were summoned -Help? There is no help: Old Nick. by the cry; the sky was black and portenwill gulp us all; so let us gulp a little tously lurid ; thunder now began to roll: comfort first.
and the waves, which had hardly moved The master of the vessel, who retained before the explosion, raised their heads most presence of mind, hurried on deck-crested with foam more turbulently at but not for any purpose of saving lives, every instant. “ It is in vain," said the With his sabre he made a cut at the ropes second man, “ Heaven and Earth are which suspended the boat : and, as he against us: one or both of us must perish: passed the young man already mentioned, Messmate, shall we go down together?” who in preparation for the approaching At these words the wild devil all at once catastrophe had buckled about his person a left loose of the barrel, by which means small portmanteau and stood ready to leap the other, who had not anticipated this into the boat, with a blow of his fist he movement, lost his balance and was sinkstruck him overboard. All this was the ing. His antagonist made use of this mo. work of a few minutes.
ment. He dashed at the sinking man's The young man becomes insensi- throat—in order to drag him entirely under ble: and, on reviving finds himself the water ; but he caught only his neck, floating on the sea: the ship is gone: other thus murderously assaulted, on find,
handkerchief, which luckily gave way. The the death-cry is over: nothing remains but a few spars in the distance: ing himself at liberty for an instarit, used but the air is no longer asleep, the and just as his desperate enemy was ha
his time, and sprang upon the barrel ; glassy mirror is no longer calm : the zarding a new attack, in a death-struggle waves are gathering and swelling he struck him with his clenched fist upon as for a storm : and the reader is the breast: the wild man threw up his aware that a second plunge is pre- arms ; groaned ; sank back ;-and the paring into the terrific. At a little waves swallowed him up.” distance he sees a barrel, sometimes Now then having mounted our hid beneath waves--sometimes rid
young man upon his barrel, and ad. ing aloit; and this he makes with vanced him to the sole command of all his strength. Then the scene goes this valuable vessel which refuses to on thus :
carry double,--the reader will be Just as he was exhausted, he succeeded glad to know who he is. We are at in reaching the barrel. - But scarcely had liberty to tell him that his name (by he laid hold of the outermost rim with both his own account, given to a justice hands, when the barrel was swayed down of peace, in vol. ii. p. 174,), is Ed. from the opposite side. A shipwrecked mund Bertram, and so we shall call man, whose long wet hair streamed down him for the future; and further, that over his face, fixed his nails, as it were the talons of an eagle, on the hoops of the he is (according to the general opibarrel; and by the energy of his gripemit nion of Germany and the design of seemed as though he would have pressed the author) the hero of the novel: them through the wood itself.—He was we indeed say No; he is only aware of his competitor: and he shook his the pseudo-hero. No matter: hero, head wildly to clear the hair out of his eyes or not, the reader is glad that he is -and opened his lips, which displayed his victorious on account of the ferocious teeth pressed firmly together.
assault of the other man: but let “ No: though the d-1 himself,—thou him not be too sure that he is victomust down into the sea : for the barrel rious :--we have not done with the will not support both."
So speaking he shook the barrel with other fellow yet; he will be back such force, that the young man, had he again in a moment: and here he not been struggling with death, would comes. have been pushed under water. Both In the moments of mortal agony and pulled at the barrel for some minutes, conflict human laws cease, for punishments without either succeeding in hoisting him- have lost their terrors : even higher laws self upon it.-In any further contest they are then silent. But, in the pauses of the seemed likely to endanger themselves or to struggle, the voice of conscience resumen sink together with the cask. They agreed its power,--and the heart of man again
*" Old Nick, a name for the D— in the popular dialect ; cspecially the nau. tical dialect of England.”-German Note.