1845 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hoole

John Wilson, in "North's Specimens of the British Critics" Blackwood's Magazine 57 (April 1845) 513-14.



Hoole's Orlando Furioso, and Jerusalem Delivered, are among the world's duller achievements in the art of Translation. They have obtained some favour of public opinion by the interest which will break through them, and which they in their unambitious way singularly attest — the interest of the matter. What is the native deficiency which extinguishes in them every glimmer of the original Style? The clerk at the India-House, or some other house, had not, in the moulding of heart and brain, any touch of the romantic. And Ariosto and Tasso are the two poets of Romance. Take a translator of no higher intellectual endowment than Mr. Hoole — perform some unknown adjuration to the goddess Nature, which shall move her to infuse into him the species of sensibility which grounds the two poems, and which we have said that we desiderate in the bold Accountant, — read the poems through with him, taking care that he understands them — as far as a matter of the sort may be seen to, teach him, which is all fair, a trick or two of our English verse to relieve the terrible couplet monotony — run an eye over the MS. on its way to the printer, and he shall have enriched the literature of his country with, if not two rightly representative, yet too justifiable Translations.