RICHARD LORD MAITLAND
|8||LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.|
RICHARD LORD MAITLAND.
Richard Lord Maitland [note] was the eldest son of Charles third Earl of Lauderdale, who succeeded his brother, John, the second Earl and first Duke of Lauderdale, [note] in
1682. The dukedom having been restricted to the heirs male of John, became extinct at his death.
Richard stood high in the favour of his uncle the duke, an
through his interest was admitted, when very young, to a seat in the Privy Council of Scotland,
and afterwards raised to the dignified situation of Lord Justice Clerk (1681.) In 1691 he
succeeded his father, Charles, in the title of Earl of Lauderdale.
Partaking of the hereditary attachment of his family to the House of Stuart, he afterwards
followed James II. [note] to France, and died in exile. 2
While Lord Maitland, he wrote a translation of Virgil, which was a long time handed about
in manuscript, and not published till after Dryden, [note] as
Pope [note] thinks, had left no room for competition.
Speaking of Dryden's translation of some parts of Homer, [note]
Pope says, “Had he translated the whole work, I would no
more have attempted Homer after him than
Virgil; his version of whom, notwithstanding some human errors, is the most noble
and spirited translation I know in any language.” Dryden
had, besides, seen Lord Maitland's version in its manuscript
state, and had stripped it of not a few of its beauties, for the
embellishment of his own translation. Many whole lines in Dryden's Virgil have been literally borrowed from Lord Maitland.
Dr. Trapp [note] says of Lord Maitland's
version, that “it is pretty near the original, not so close as its brevity
would make one, imagine.”
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