He undoubtedly shared with Carlyle
, whose miscellaneous essays were first collected and edited during this period by Charles Stearns Wheeler
, another Cambridge
instructor, the function of interpreting Germany
This he did first in “Hyperion,” and continued to do in his “Poets and poetry of Europe
” and his numerous translations.
Few men, I suspect, have ever surpassed him as what may be called natural translators, proving it possible to produce versions that are both flexible and literal, sacrificing neither literalness to grace nor grace to literalness.
Perhaps it could not actually be said of any of his translations, as has been justly said by critics of Mrs. Sarah Austin
's exquisite rendering “Many a year is in its grave,” that it was better than the original, yet he sometimes came very near to this, and his widely recognized fame in this respect was of great value to the University
His influence was always thrown, of course, on the side of the elective system, yet he often writes in his diary such expressions as this: “It is pleasant to teach in college, yet it has grown wearisome to me.”
“Ah, would that I had not ”