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The following Commentary has been prepared with a view to illustrate, by historical parallels and references to some military operations of modern times, one of the most memorable campaigns of antiquity; and, at the same time, to offer such suggestions of a philological nature, as shall afford the usual assistance to the Classical Student. For this latter purpose, it has appeared advisable to prefix a few observations upon the best mode of transferring the idiomatic phrases of the Latin language--especially those by which the style of Livy is characterized—into the nearest analogous English words.
The object of all philological study is twofold; in the first place, to give such exercise and development to the analytic faculty of the mind as shall conduce to the formation of a correct literary and rhetorical taste; and secondly, to obtain true and accurate transcripts of literary compositions in dead and foreign languages. It is scarcely necessary to observe, that it is in this latter sense that the study of those languages
in which the inspired writings were originally composed is so indispensable for all who would understand, and still more for all who presume to teach, the doctrines which they contain
The utility of the practice of correct and elegant translation, upon sound grammatical principles, and as a matter of mental discipline, was fully recognised-more fully perhaps than in our own time—by the most distinguished of the ancients, and by some eminent scholars of the eighteenth century. “The translation of Greek into Latin,” says Quintilian, "was considered a most useful practice by the orators of our country: Lucius Crassus, as quoted by Cicero in his Essay de Oratore, professes to have constantly adopted it: Cicero, speaking in his own character, frequently recommends it, and he published translations by his own hand of
some books of Plato and Xenophon.” (Inst. Or. x. 5.) He might have added, that Cicero also translated the memorable speech of Demosthenes de Corond, and the Diosemeia of Aratus. Pliny (junior) also speaks of it as an exercise, “ by which propriety and brilliancy of language, richness of imagery, power of illustration, and a rival faculty of invention, from the imitation of the best models, may be attained; more especially, as beauties that may fail to strike the reader, cannot possibly escape the translator.” (Ep.vii. 7.) In the last century, the subject of translation was ably discussed by Dr. Campbell, in a Preface to his translation of the Gospels, by Archbishop Huet of Avranches, by M. D'Alembert, the Abbè Bateux, and, in an Essay especially devoted to the subject, by the late Lord Woodhouselee (Professor Tytler). Previously to arranging any rules particularly applicable to the present work, we shall examine those which the two last-mentioned authors have laid down.
The laws suggested by the Abbè Bateux are, 1. That the periods of the translation shall correspond in all their members with those of the original. 2. That all conjunctions shall be carefully retained. 3. That all adverbs shall be placed in juxta-position with their respective verbs. 4. That the order of the words, as well as of the ideas, in the original, shall be strictly maintained in the translation. Of these laws, it may be observed, that in any version deserving the name of a translation, as distinguished from a paraphrase, the first is not only indispensable, but easy. The second precept, correctly understood-in the sense of requiring some equivalent for every conjunction and particle—is also necessary, and presents little difficulty to a translator sufficiently acquainted with the two languages in question. By a strict observance of the third and fourth, however, it must often happen, that not only grace and emphasis, but, in some cases, even the sense of the original, will be sacrificed.
The laws proposed by the Scotch Professor are, 1. That the translation shall be an exact transcript of the ideas of the original. 2. That the style and manner of writing shall be of the same character with those of the original. And, 3. That the translation shall have all the ease of original composition. Of these laws, the first may be said to contain within it all others that can possibly be framed on the subject. The second will be best observed by attending to the length and rhythm of the sentences, and such details as emphasis, antithesis, (i. e. double emphasis,) and alliterations. Of these latter embellishments, many will occur which it may be impossible, without the exercise of considerable ingenuity, to transfera. The importance of the third law is far too frequently overlooked in a mistaken and ignorant desire to be literal. While it has been satisfactorily demonstrated by more than one instance, that a sufficient command of language will enable a translation to approach the original so closely as to employ very nearly the same number of words consistently with “the ease of original composition;" but this fact is so often forgotten or unknown, that an easy and graceful translation is frequently condemned, in the belief that it cannot be literal.
Here it may be necessary to explain, that while, on the one hand, the wide differences of idiom and construction render it impossible that any word-for-word translation from an ancient language into English, or, in fact, from any language into another, can have the ease of original composition, or form grammatical sentences, or be at all intelligible--for a faithful translation can only result from the use of equivalent phrases-still, on the other hand, such word-for-word translation is a highly indispensable discipline for the oral teacher to enforce upon beginners as a test of grammatical knowledge. The difference, in short, is that between translation, properly so called, and parsing.
The chief difficulty, as well as the great beauty, of translation, is the judicious employment of the secondary (or metaphorical) senses of words. When the primary or literal senses of the words in question are common to the two languages, the difficulty disappears; e. g. when allusion is
& Of the instances which memory supplies just now to the author, the most remarkable are, the resemblances between amentium and amantium, (in Terence); ornare and onerare (in Cicero), “ to laud and to load ;" τρόπον and τόπον, « disposition and position ;” κεφαλήν and κεφάλαιον, “ head and capifal” (in Demosthenes); hostis and hospes (repeatedly in Livy). A very complicated and totally untranslatable play on words is attributed to Cicero; sc. Ego quoque (coque) tibi jure (either “ law” or sauce"). favebo.
made to the universal phenomena of nature, then a secondary sense can be easily transferred by an analogous phrase; but when the subject is a word used in a secondary sense, of which the primary relates to some peculiarity of time or place—such as an obsolete political or social institutionthe translator has to search further for an equivalent expression. For instance, when an epithet relating literally to the spring, is applied, in a secondary sense, to the youth of a human being, an analogous phrase will readily present itself; because the phenomena are universal, and have suggested images to writers in all times and languages; but, when the allusion is to such a thing as the torch-race, or the ostracism, or the Spartan Artemisia, or the pheiditia, or the toga as an emblem of peace, it is far less easy to find words that, in a similarly secondary sense, will accurately convey the idea; so much so, that translation, in such cases, must be illustrated by a commentary.
Previously to observing, that the greater portion of idiomatic phrases in Livy are Grecisms, it may be necessary to remark, that there are to be found in Latin two distinct classes of Grecism. The first are those resemblances (generally etymological) that result from the derivation of Latin and Greek, in two parallel streams, from the kindred sources of the Zend and Sanskrit languages: the others being those forms of expression and construction which were borrowed directly from the Greek, by the Roman writers who flourished after Greece had become a Roman province. In explaining these, and indeed in treating of idioms generally, the usual practice is to deduce rules from the usages of the Classic writers; and then, when commenting on these peculiarities, to reverse the process, and refer the usages back to the rules. The use of rules so framed can only be to guide the student in composition; but in commenting, it is evident that something more philosophic is necessary, and that we must (so to speak) anatomize peculiar and mutual forms of expression, on metaphysical principles. When we speak of zeugma, hendiadys, and the various other oxýuata mentioned in the technology of grammarians, we generally use a mode of illustration relating to the idioms of modern languages; in the same manner as we explain the phenomena of astronomy in language applicable only to the optical illusions under which we see them.
The two most remarkable peculiarities in the style of Livy are the Grecisms above mentioned, and such instances of attraction as are generally considered more perfectly legitimate in poetry; such as, 1. dicitur liberatus, (ii. 5.) where the participle must be translated as an infinitive.
2. The transposition called hypallage, e. g. proximam pugna cladem (ii. 51.), ultionem eam fraudis (xxiii. 25.), &c. where the transposition may be either retained by a paraphrase, or obviated by inversion.
3. The substitution, called enallage, of dative for genitive; such as urbi locum, remedium timori, which admits of literal translation into the English idiom. In this instance the grammatical figure is a fiction; the dative being governed by a foregoing verb.
4. The use of adjectives and pass. participles to designate abstract qualities, more usually expressed by substantives, and to be translated generally by the latter : such as, in dubio esse; in tuto esse; degeneratum. (1. 53.) The English language admits a form of expression analogous to, and probably imitated from, this; for we sometimes speak of " the ideal," "the sublime,'
" " the ignoble," &c. as abstract qualities.
5. The construction of alius with an ablative in the sense of " different from," or, “ other than," imitated from the similar use of aaaos with a genitive.
6. The use of the genitive signifying a cause or motive, evidently suggested by the Greek genitive in the same sense governed, according to the common explanation, by švexa or did suppressed.
As guides in translating, the following rules may be observed with some advantage to style.
1. A passive impersonal verb cannot be translated literally into English. The nearest approach to the meaning of such verbs lies through a paraphrase; as, for instance, ambigitur, “ a question arises ;” de quo agitur, " the subject under discussion or consideration;" id agitur, " the design or intention is;" imperatum, “ imposts laid on;" festinatum est,
hasty measures or movements were adopted;" incepto