SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

Matthew Arnold, On Translating Homer:

“When I say, the translator of Homer should above all be penetrated by a sense of four qualities of his author: — that he is eminently rapid; that he is eminently plain and direct both in the evolution of his thought and in the expression of it, that is, both in his syntax and in his words; that he is eminently plain and direct in the substance of his thought, that is, in his matter and ideas; and, finally, that he is eminently noble; — I probably seem to be saying what is too general to be of much service to anybody. Yet it is strictly true that, for want of duly penetrating themselves with the first named quality of Homer, his rapidity, Cowper and Mr. Wright have failed in rendering him; that, for want of duly appreciating the second named quality, his plainness and…

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