Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

where the life and spirit of his author, without servilely copying after him word for word. This is what the French, who have most distinguished themselves by performances of this nature, so often inculcate, when they advise a translator to find out such particular elegancies in his own tongue, as bear some analogy to those he sees in the original, and to express himself by such phrases as his author would probably have made use of, had he written in the language into which he is translated. By this means, as well as by throwing in a lucky word, or a short circumstance, the meaning of Theophrastus is all along explained, and the humour very often carried to a greater height. A translator, who does not thus consider the different genius of the two languages in which he is concerned, with such parallel turns of thoughts and expression as correspond with one another in both of them, may value himself upon being a “faithful interpreter;" but

a in works of wit and humour will never do justice to his author, or credit to himself.

As this is everywhere a judicious and a reasonable liberty, I see no chapter in Theophrastus where it has been so much indulged, and in which it was so absolutely necessary, as in the character of the Sloven. I find the translator himself, though he has taken pains to qualify it, is still apprehensive that there may be something gross in the description. The reader will see with how much delicacy he has touched upon every particular, and cast into shades everything that was shocking in so nauseous a figure.

a

CHAP. XIX.

A SLOVEN.

[ocr errors]

“ Slovenliness is such a neglect of a man's person, as makes him offensive to other people. The sloven comes into company with a dirty pair of hands, and a set of long nails at the end of them, and tells you for an excuse, that his father and grandfather used to do so before him. However, that he

may outdo his forefathers, his fingers are covered with warts of his own raising. He is as hairy as a goat, and takes care to let you see it. His teeth and breath are perfectly well suited to one another. He lays about him at table after a very extraordinary manner, and takes in a meal at a

a

[merged small][ocr errors]

a

a

6

mouthful; which he seldom disposes of without offending the company. In drinking he generally makes more haste than good speed. When he goes into the bath, you may easily find him out by the scent of his oil, and distinguish him when he is dressed by the spots in his coat. He does not stand upon decency in conversation, but will talk smut, though a priest and his mother be in the room. He commits a blunder in the most solemn offices of devotion, and afterwards falls a laughing at it. At a concert of music he breaks in

upon the performance, hums over the tune to himself, or if he thinks it long, asks the musicians 'whether they will never have done ?' He always spits at random, and if he is at an entertainment, it is ten to one but it is upon the servant who stands behind him."

The foregoing translation brings to my remembrance that excellent observation of my Lord Roscommon's.

None yet have been with admiration read,
But who (beside their learning) were well-bred.

Lord RoscoMMON's Essay on translated Verse. If after this the reader can endure the filthy representation of the same figure exposed in its worst light, he may see how it looks in the former English version, which was published some years since, and is done from the French of Bruyere.

Nastiness or Slovenliness. “Slovenliness is a lazy and beastly negligence of a man's own person, whereby he becomes so sordid, as to be offensive to those about him. You will see him come into company when he is covered all over with a leprosy and scurf, and with very long nails, and says, those distempers were hereditary, that his father and grandfather had them before him. He has ulcers in his thighs, and biles upon his hands, which he takes no care to have cured, but lets them run on till they are gone beyond remedy. His arm-pits are all hairy, and most part of his body like a wild beast. His teeth are black and rotten, which makes his breath stink so that you cannot endure him to come nigh you; he will also snuff up his nose and spit it out as he eats, and uses to speak with his mouth crammed full, and lets his victuals come out at both corners. He belches in the cup as he is drinking, and uses nasty stinking oil in the bath. He will intrude into the best company in sordid ragged clothes. If he

goes

with his mother to the soothsayers, he cannot then refrain from wicked and profane expressions. When he is making his oblations at the temple, he will let the dish drop out of his hand, and fall a laughing, as if he had done some brave exploit. At the finest concert of music be cannot forbear clapping his hands, and making a rude noise; will pretend to sing along with them, and fall a railing at them to leave off. Sitting at table, he spits full upon the servants who waited there.'

[ocr errors]

I cannot close this paper without observing, that if gentlemen of leisure and genius would take the same pains upon some other Greek or Roman author, that has been bestowed upon this, we should no longer be abused by our booksellers, who set their hackney-writers at work for so much a sheet. The world would soon be convinced, that there is a great deal of difference between putting an author into English, and translating him.

[ocr errors]

THE

PRESENT STATE OF THE WAR,

AND

THE NECESSITY OF AN AUGMENTATION,

CONSIDERED,

PREFACE.

The author of the following essay has endeavoured to draw into one continued scheme the whole state of the present war, and the methods that appear to him the most

proper

for bringing it to a happy conclusion.

After having considered that the French are the constant, and most dangerous, enemies to the British nation, and that the danger from them is now greater than ever, and will still increase, till their present union with Spain be broken, he sets forth the several advantages which this union has already given France, and taken from Great Britain, in relation to the West Indies, the woollen manufacture, the trade of the Levant, and the naval power of the two nations.

He shows how these advantages will still rise higher after a peace, notwithstanding our present conquests, with new additions, should be confirmed to us; as well because the monarchy of Spain would not be weakened by such concessions, as because no guarantee could be found sufficient to secure them to us. For which reasons, he lays it down as a fixed rule, that no peace is to be made without an entire disunion of the French and Spanish monarchies.

That this may be brought about, he endeavours to prove, from the progress we have already made towards it, and the successes we have purchased in the present war, which are very considerable, if well pursued, but of no effect if we acquiesce in them.

a

In order to complete this disunion, in which we have gone so far, he would not have us rely upon exhausting the French treasury, attempts on the Spanish Indies, descents on France, but chiefly upon out-numbering them in troops, France being already drained of her best supplies, and the confederates masters of much greater forces for multitude and strength, both in men and horse, and provided with generals of greater fame and abilities.

He then considers the wrong measures we have hitherto taken in making too small levies after a successful campaign, in regulating their number by that of the enemies' forces, and hiring them of our confederates; showing at the same time the inconveniences we suffer from such hired troops, and several' advantages we might receive from employing those of our own nation.

He further recommends this augmentation of our forces, to prevent the keeping up a standing body of them in times of peace, to enable us to make an impression on the enemy in the present posture of the war, and to secure ourselves against a prince, who is now at the head of a powerful army, and has not yet declared himself.

In the last place, he answers by several considerations those two particular objections, that we furnish more towards the war than the rest of the allies, and, that we are not able to contribute more than we do already.

These are the most material heads of the following essay, in which there are many other subordinate reflections that naturally grow out of so copious a subject.

November, 1707.

THE French are certainly the most implacable and the most dangerous enemies of the British nation. Their form of government, their religion, their jealousy of the British power, as well as their prosecutions of commerce, and pursuits of universal monarchy, will fix them for ever in their animosities and aversions towards us, and make them catch at all opportunities of subverting our constitution, destroying our religion, ruining our trade, and sinking the figure

« AnteriorContinuar »