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and another in this manner : Tullius Terentiæ, et Pater Tulliolæ, duabus animis suis, et Cicero Matri optima, suavissimæ sorori. (Lib. 14. ep. 14.) Why are these addresses entirely sunk in the translation, and a naked title poorly substituted for them, “ To Te“ rentia and Tullia,” and “ To the same?” The addresses to these letters give them their highest value, as they mark the warmth of the author's heart, and the strength of his conjugal and paternal affections.
• In one of Pliny's Epistles, speaking of Regulus, he says, Ut ipse mihi dixerit quum consuleret, quàm citò sestertium sexcenties impleturus esset, invenisse se exta duplicata, quibus portendi millies et ducenties habiturum, (Plin. Ep. 1. 2. ep. 20.). Thus translated by Melmoth : “ That he once told me, upon “ consulting the omens, to know how soon “ he should be worth sixty millions of ses“ terces, he found them so favourable to “ him as to portend that he should pos“ sess double that sum.” Here a material part of the original idea is omitted; no less than that very circumstance upon which
the omen turned, viz. that the entrails of the victim were double.
· CLAUDIAN thus describes a romantic solitude on the sea-coat, near Marseilles, which was feigned to be haunted by spirits :
Est locus extremum pandit qua Gallia littus
Claud. In Ruf. l. 1.
Thus translated by Mr Addison :
A place there lies on Gallia's utmost bounds,
Remarks on several parts of Italy.
This translation, on the whole, has much merit; and the latter part, “ The lab'ring “ plowman,” &c. perhaps improves on the beauty of the original : but one circumstance eminently characteristic, is very imperfectly conveyed, tenui stridore volantûm; the faint rushing sound of the spirits in their flight. .
Analogous to the liberty of adding to or retrenching from the ideas of the original, is the privilege which a translator may assume of correcting what appears to him a careless or inaccurate expression of the original, where that inaccuracy seems materially to affect the sense. Tacitus says, when Tiberius was entreated to take upon him the government of the empire, Ille variè disserebut, de magnitudine imperii, suâ modestia. An. 1. 1. c. 11. Here the word modestia is improperly applied. The author could not mean to say, that Tiberius discoursed to the people about his own modesty. He wished that his discourse should seem to proceed from modesty ; but he did not talk to them about his modesty. D'Alembert saw this
impropriety, and he has therefore well translated the passage: Il répondit par des “ discours généraux sur son peu de talent, " et sur la grandeur de l'empire.”
A similar impropriety, not indeed affecting the sense, but offending against the dignity of the narrative, oecurs in that passage where Tacitus relates, that Augustus, in the decline of life, after the death of Drusus, appointed his son Germanicus to the command of eight legions on the Rhine, At, hercule, Germanicum Druso ortum octo apud Rhenum legionibus imposuit, An. l. 1. c. 3. There was no occasion here for the historian swearing; and though, to render the passage with strict fidelity, an English translator must have said, “ Augustus, Egad, gave Germa“ nicus, the son of Drusus, the command of “ eight legions on the Rhine,” we cannot hesitate to say, that the simple fact is better announced without such embellishment.
It may be stated as a general observation, that the nature of the work ought to regu
late the conduct of the translator with regard to the strictness he must observe, or the liberties he may use with his original. Works which consist of fact and detail demand a more scrupulous fidelity than those of which the basis is sentiment.
We have very little of professed translation from the pen of Justus Lipsius, except some small portions of Polybius, which were necessary for illustrating his own Treatise on the Roman Art of War. These passages are rendered into Latin with the most exact conformity to the original text ; the writer justly remarking, that in interpreting those parts of an ancient author which treat of controverted facts, or contain descriptions that admit of different opinions, even the change of a single word may be of consequence: cum de re agitur, verbum additum aut omissum, aut laxius etiam redditum, magnas facit vel mutationes, vel errationes. That the same learned writer judged so scrupulous a fidelity by no means requisite in the exercise of the usual duty of a translator, we learn from the advice he gives to