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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 Coroná, and the Dioremeia 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 par( ticularly 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 con