of doing it.-- That the measure of your translation, although the same with that of the original, seemed harsh and unpleasant to his ear, and that without intending any disrespect to the author, or disparagement of the merit of the translation, he had followed his old habit of making such alterations as pleased him. On learning from Anderson what he had done I determined to give you this explanation immediately that you might be satisfied that the fault was an accidental one, and would not be committed a second time.
The translation is a beautiful one and we are greatly obliged to you for it.-- I have heard nothing of your article on Everett "Orations" yet.--
I am dear Sir
yrs truly &c &c
W. C. BRYANT
NewYork Sept. 1, 1825.
My dear Sir
I intended to have answered your letter before this but I have been exceedingly lazy, and somewhat hurried, during the hot weather that has continued almost ever since I received it. I have found time however to look over the lines you sent me, and as you seemed to give me leave, to make some alterations. 1 I have in particular taken the liberty, whenever I found you out of the pale which the lawgivers of versification have put up to confine poets in,--to catch you and bring you back and put on your fetters again. There are two lines which I am confident you left on purpose to try me
O'er hills, through leafy woods, and leafless;-- To me--who love the stream to trace, &c
I tried, by reading these lines over and over, to make them agree in rhyme and measure--but finding that impossible, I altered them, and in doing this was obliged to alter several of the neighbouring lines. I must confess that you had one good reason--I have written good reason but that is wrong--you had one apology for leaving the lines as they were, namely, the difficulty of making them otherwise.