« PreviousContinue »
.with such a custom as we profess ourselves to be. It is singular that Mr. T. cannot distinguish between a literal and metaphorical expression: by iifiip%ovii)o Maximus wishes to mark extravagance of conduct. In order to have conveyed his meaning to the English reader, Mr. T. should have expressed himself somewhat after this manner.—" But here, these sober orators of ours being abridged by no law, of the full liberty of speech, are guilty of more extravagance in these assemblies than any intoxication would produce." Evrat'flz Se, o! v>j:pov7sf Ostbi hnix.xywyi>}, finSevos durois i$c$u]os 1/ifj.ou, x'Aai^o'As rr,v Izpvcizi rSiv hoyaiv, t*aipxp'wn ev Tsuj Jxx>.r,<ri'aif "ninr.s fJLid'ns axoXajorapav. P. 337. S', Ed. Dav.
Perhaps Mr. T. will tell us that he has translated, with literal exactness, the words ot his original. In the above instance lie has done so, at the expence os common sense: but what will he say to the passage which we shall, in the next place, notice; and where did he learn that otvwcoor fig, nified a hearer, and z'tSus afpeclator?
In short, historical narrations are, to the hearer, most delightful •with respeil to pleasure, and to the spectator most alluring nvith reJpeil to recolleelion. What banquet then can be more agreeable to the foul than such relations as these? It is difficult, indeed, to oppose many, and these illustrious historians, but at the fame time we must fay," &c.
The words of the original author are Si/veXov?! Se sirfiv, al xaS' iyo^iav Xoyoi tw fj.h ivr,x6tii repitwlallov xa6' iSov^v, ra Sa fiSori iirxyuyolxioy xxlsL ava/xwiciv. Ti'i av ouv yevoi/o -^vyjxis ivuyjoi Xor/wv rxvrns trpoirits^ipoi; Xahiitov y.tv ImiTi xai atlira^aoOat itoWx xxi ycvvziai Kc/morl) piTc'ov Se t(juns. P. 341. y'.
That is, ' historical relations are most delightful to those who have never heard them before, in consequence of the pleasure they afford: and are moll soothing to such as are already acquainted with them, by the recollection they produce.' We think also, that the latter part of the sentence has a different meaning from that which has been affixed to it by its translators. We suspect it to signify, // is difficult, indeed, for a skilful and experienced writer to name any thing that can be put in competition with it: yet we mujl nevertheless declare, He.
We cannot but object also to the manner in which Mr. T. translates the word yevta'koyti. "Gcnealogizes" is barbarous; its place should have been supplied by ' points out the descent of:' again, ' a sedition which no crier has proclaimed,' it by no means the fense of 2t«<»v wtxpiv »£ £xwpvx%*. These
words words signify, as any lexicon would have informed Mr. T., a bitter and implacable contention. So also E<piS/xso«, which he has translated diurnal, means things which last hut for a day. The last mistake which we shall notice in the extract that we have made, occurs at the conclusion of the dialogue.
"But Homer ascribes these things to Apollo, obscurely signifying the solar rays which pervade the air swifter than any arrow, and are far more unmingled than the/jmmetry *f bodiei."
If Mr. T. Taylor would have condescended to profit by the labours of verbalists, he would not have given us a translation which, to say the best of it, approaches near to nonsense. The words of Maximus are these, "O/xr^or 11 itrrZ vpooiQrix.i Tw $ -n/AW, a'mlrofjLtvis Tw rjkiw d.y.rn% Si" dis os yupvsan oifou 6o7to», dxparcJlifav Ttis rut aoiy.£[u\ av^it-tralxi. oki. ad im.
The author is explaining the reason of Homer's attributing to Apollo the infliction of pestilence. The above passage should, therefore, have been rendered thus.
"Homer attributes these to him, obscurely signifying thereby, that the rays of the fun pervade the air more swiftly than an arrow, and are more powerful than the materials of which bodies are composed."
In giving this explanation, we have the support of that able scholar Markland, whose note we subjoin.
"Dubitavi an scribendum esset xpalaio1tp«»; vel ax^aioTipiw, ex Luciano Dipsad. p. 482. 0 Jjjuo?—AKMAIOTEPAN T\i AKTJNA zfoeCxAur. Sed nihil mutandum i-sse vides, ex Suida in V. axparoc l^ou axlij, •vehemens Joliii radius. Axf<*1aiTipa» est fotentiorem, validiorem: cui cedit corporis humani compositio."
It is probable that the word obtained this fense from the circumstance of its being applied to wine unmixed with water, and therefore signifying Jirong wine. From this it might, by an easy transition, come to denote strength or power in other things.
After having noticed so many blunders, in a space so comparatively small, we shall easily be credited in our assertion, that they are scattered over every part of the work with the most liberal hand. Let the public bear with us while we draw a few from these copious stores; this done, and Mr. T.'s obligations to Heinsius noticed, we shall take our leave of this dull and incorrect production.
In vol. 2. p. 150. this sentence occurs. "But I who am desirous of liberty have need of law, have need of reason: these will preserve for me felicity, erect, unshaken, unattended with fear, and self-suflicient; ar.d which is not groveling and subject to servile arts; through ivhich being imfo'verijhtd I collect the mighty emolument pleasure."
The original of the latter part is, Cf' Sit sfau^a/zEvor dQpoiaw To fxiyx ,ToiHo'ifi>.os r$ovr,v: i. e. trom ivhc/e Jcanty contributions I lhall collect that mighty advantage pleasure." Not a syllable is said in the original about being impoverished, epavityttau, the middle verb, as grammarians term it, signifies colligere vel aucupari aliquid. If Mr. T. had followed his friend Hcinfius in this instance, he would have avoided this mistake; but, by a singular infelicity, he follows him in his errors only.
Every school-boy we had supposed to be acquainted with that part of Grecian history which is distinguished by the retreat of the ten thousand, as they are called. Yet Mr. T. appears to know nothing about it. As the following passage will show.
"When, however, war came to him from the sea, myriads of Greeks and skilful generals, being vanquished, he fled to a little hill," &c.
It is not possible that this should be an error of the pen, as the fame blunder is committed in another place. Let us, therefore, inform Mr. T., that n-vploi always means ten thousand or one myriad, whereas the manner in which he translates it, implies that there were two myriads or twenty thousand at the least. The sentence is also badly arranged. On a first perusal, one would imagine that the Greeks were the vanquished instead of the victors.
Turn to any part of these volumes, and you cannot proceed far without discovering marks of ignorance or haste. Maximus attempts to prove that pain and pleasure are not the standard by which we must distinguish a friend from a foe: and in proof of it observes tf>i\ovti It itov K, iratlas irxliqss, xai SiSatOKaXoi /xa^r,ras. Kai Ti atv tir, aviaporepov ■h vatSi ital-h^, xai ym-h-sir-y iiSeioxakos; " Parents love their children and instructors their pupils. And yet, what occasions greater pain than a parent to the child, an instructor to the pupil." But Mr. T. is so careless as to translate it, "Fathers also love their children, and disciples their preceptors." Vol. I. p. 43.
Again, " the third form of polity, which is speciously denominated a democracy, but is in reality an ochlocracy, or government remittent of a mob, resembles the Attic, or Syracusian, or Milesian, or some other republic, luhicb is strong in the multitude." Vol. I. p. 69.
It would afford us some satisfaction to know what sense Mr. T. affixes to jlrong in the multitude; we can affix but one, that of a country being populous, but this will not ac xord with the meaning of Maximus, who is speaking of the persons in whole hands the supreme power Is placed.^ The fact is, Mr. T. has most miserably mistaken the passage; and it should have been translated thus. The third kind of government is that which is called by the specious name of a democracy, but whose true appellation is an ochlocracy, or mob-rule. Such is the constitution of Athens, Syracuse, Milesia, and any other place in whish sovereign power is vested in the multitude. Tpilov 5* al •naKtli'ias yitos y otofiu. /aev cti^vxov onix.oxpxiisc, To os dKrfits oyfioxfalia, xofli TT,y *AT7iitr,v 7) 2,vpaxovalxv, »j MiXWav, 7j Tint iXXw 7t\v>Bout i«Xw. Our translator does not appear to have discovered that the grammatical order of the words is xara rm 'Arlixr,* 'itXvv—ri nva aKkini Wxtisous. By the way, we do not know whether the old reading, which D.ivies rejected, is not the preferable one, rt rims a\>.w mh-nbovs \ayjjv. Both, however, convey the fame meaning.
We shall give one example more of Mr. T.'s very imperfect knowledge of the Greek language, and then proceed to prove that he frequently copied from the Latin version of Hemsius, without troubling himself to consult the original.
"A shepherd and a cook travelling the same road saw a well fed lamb, wandering from the flock, and abandoning his associates. Both, on feeing this, ran to the lamb. And because at that time, there was a communion of speech between men and brutes, the lamb enquired ivhich ixiould be 'willing to take charge of him and be his conductor." Vol. 1. p. 96.
We have no hesitation in pronouncing that Mr. T. here betrays the most lamentable ignorance ot the idiom of that tongue in which he would pass for a perfect mailer. The words, which he has rendered as above, most unquestionably mean " the lamb enquired who each of them was tiiat wished to take charge of him and be his conductor." r\s ui ixxlipos i6i\ei dvrov t/.erayjEip'iaaa6a.i xa\ a.ynv. p. 301. If the original had been doubtful, as it is not, the subsequent words would have decided the question. "But as soon as the lamb discovered the truth, and what was the trade of both, ke entrusted himself to the Jhepherd. We may further obferve,.that payupos means a butcher in this place, not a cook,
and that £iK>kti$U\1a. means being left by his companions, not leaving them.
There cannot be a stronger proof that a work which pro. fesses to be a translation from an original is derived, in part at least, through the medium of a third language, than the discovery, that a word which in the original is not ambiguous, has been expressed in that third language by a word which consists of the fame letters as some word, totally distinct from it in meaning; and that the latter word has been erroneously expressed in the translation, when the former alone conveys the idea of the original. This is a proposition self-evident, and on it we ground our charge, that Mr. T. has occasionally translated from Heinsius, instead of having recourse to Maximus himself. In Vol. I. p. 1S8. these words occur "Bœotia, however, abounds in People."—" At Popu Lis abundat Bœotia," fays Heinsius, " dX>' dyeipn^opos v Boioflix is the original !u Here we have the strongest of all pofiible proof that Mr.T. T. the Grecian, confounding populus, which means a poplar tree, with populus, which means people, never once cast his eye upon the original, the expression in which is in no degree ambiguous, and can only mean abounding with poplars. We might rest satisfied with this single proof, which no sophistry can elude, and no excuses can palliate. But we shall give a few more. In page 58 we meet with the subjoined passage:
"Vice may by all spontaneously be gain'd;
Says the Bœotian poet, unless some one Jhouldpraise a turestlcr ivh» it unwilling /* be crowned without sweat."
So fays Mr. T.—Heinsius has the very fame words. "Nisi quis athktam laudst, qui ante sudorem coronam poj. tulat.
The Greek, however, gives a very different turn to the passage. KaXoy 75 0 dymit-hs v>/j.'it dviSpafll fttyavouadau efleXwv; i. e. " A fine wrejller truly would he be who jhould wi/h to gain the crown without toil. Such a deviation from the Greek, and such an Israel and singular agreement with the Latin, could only have proceeded from a servile translation of the latter. The same want of correspondence with the original, and the same unaccountable adherence to the Latin (unaccountable we mean except on our hypothesis} is exhibited in the following sentence.