« AnteriorContinuar »
the difference in value is inconsiderable.
This naturally determined me to render xodpavons farthing ; for xodpavons (that is, quadrans) is originally a Latin word, as well as dnvaplov. They correspond in etymology as well as in value 13. By this I have avoided a double impropriety into which our translators have fallen. First, by rendering dnvaplov a penny, and aooaplov a farthing, they make us consider the latter as a fourth part of the former, whereas it was but one-tenth. Again, by rendering aocapov and xodpavons by the same word, they represent those names as synonymous which belong to coins of very different value. In translating ZENTOV, I have retained the word mite, which is become proverbial for the lowest denomination of money. Disquisitions on little points, more curious than useful, I always endeavour to avoid.
$ 11. As to measures, wherever the knowledge of the capacity was of no use for throwing light on the
passage, I have judged it always sufficient to employ some general term, as measure, barrel, &c. Of this kind is the parable of the unjust steward. The degree of his villany is sufficiently discovered by the numbers. But where it is the express view of the writer to communicate some notion of the size and capacity, as in the account given of the waterpots at the marriage in Cana, or wherever such knowledge is of importance to the sense, those ge
13 Farthing from the Saxon feorthling, that is, the fourth part.
neral words ought not to be used. Such are the reasons for the manner which I have adopted in this work, in regard to money and measures, There is no rule that can be followed which is not attended with some inconveniences. Whether the plan here laid down be attended with the fewest, the judicious and candid reader will judge.
RITES, FESTIVALS, AND SECTS.
The second class of words to which it is not always possible to find in another language equivalent terms, is the names of rites, festivals, and sects, religious, political, or philosophical. Of all words the names of sects come the nearest to the condition of proper names, and are almost always considered as not admitting a translation into the language of those who are unacquainted with the sect. This holds equally of modern, as of ancient, sects. There are no words in other languages answering to the English terms whig and tory, or to the names of the Italian and German parties called guelph and ghibelin. It is exactly the same with philosophical sects, as magian, stoic, peripatetic, epicurean ; and with the re. ligious sects among the Jews, pharisee, sadducee, es
sene, karaite, rabbinist. Yet even this rule is not without exception. When the sect has been denominated from some common epithet or appellative thought to be particularly applicable to the party,
the translation of the epithet or appellative, serves in other languages as a name to the sect. Thus those who are called by the Greeks τεσσαρεσκαιδεκατιται, , from their celebrating Easter on the fourteenth day of the month, were, by the Romans, called quartadecimani, which is a translation of the word into La
In like manner, our quakers are called in French trembleurs. Yet in this their authors are not uniform; they sometimes adopt the English word. In regard to the sects mentioned in the New Testament, I do not know that there has been any difference among translators. The ancient names seem to be adopted by all.
2. As to rites and festivals, which, being nearly related, may be considered together, the case is somewhat different. The original word, when expressive of the principal action in the rite, or in the celebration of the festival, is sometimes translated, and sometimes retained. In these it is proper to fol. low the usage of the language, even although the distinctions made may originally have been capricious. In several modern languages we have, in what regards Jewish and Christian rites, generally followed the usage of the old Latin version, though the authors of that version have not been entirely uniform in their method. Some words they have trans
ferred from the original into their language; others they have translated. But it would not always be easy to find their reason for making this difference. Thus the word reputoun they have translated circumcisio, which exactly corresponds in etymology; but the word Bantiqua they have retained, changing only the letters from Greek to Roman. Yet the latter was just as susceptible of a literal version into Latin as the former. Immersio, tinctio, answers as exactly in the one case, as circumcisio in the other. And if it be said of those words, that they do not rest on classical authority, the same is true also of this. Etymology, and the usage of ecclesiastic authors, are all that can be pleaded.
Now, the use with respect to the names adopted in the Vulgate, has commonly been imitated, or rather implicitly followed, through the western parts of Europe. We have deserted the Greek names where the Latins have deserted them, and have adopted them where the Latins have adopted them. Hence we say circumcision, and not peritomy; and we do not say immersion, but baptism. Yet when the language furnishes us with materials for a version so exact and analogical, such a version conveys the sense more perspicuously than a foreign name. For this reason, I should think the word immersion (which, though of Latin origin, is an English noun, regularly formed from the verb to immerse), a better English name than baptism, were we now at liberty to make a choice. But we are not. The latter term has been introduced, and has obtained the uni.
versal suffrage : and, though to us not so expressive of the action ; yet, as it conveys nothing false, or unsuitable to the primitive idea, it has acquired a right by prescription, and is consequently entitled to the preference.
$ 3. I said that, in the names of rites or sacred ceremonies, we have commonly followed the Vulgate. In some instances, however, we have not. The great Jewish ceremony, in commemoration of their deliverance from Egypt, is called in the New Testament naoza, the sacred penmen having adopted the term that had been used by the Seventy, which is not a Greek word, but the Hebrew, or rather the Chaldaic, name in Greek letters. The Vulgate has retained pascha, transferring it into the Latin charac
The words in Greek and Latin have no meaning but as the name of this rite. In English the word has not been transferred, but translated passover, answering in our language to the import of the original Hebrew. Exnvorngia, scenopegia, in the Gospel of John ", is retained by the Vulgate, and with us translated the feast of tabernacles. It would have been still nearer the original Hebrew, and more conformable to the Jewish practice, to have called it the feast of booths. But the other appellation has obtained the preference. The Latins have retained the Greek name azyma, which we render, properly enough, unleavened bread. But the words jubilee,
14 John, vii. 2.