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work was intended to answer. Consequently, when in these we find an entire coincidence, we, without further examination, pronounce the names equivalent. Thus Olmos, vavs, xh.vn, in Greek, and domus, navis, lectus, in Latin, answer sufficiently to house, ship, bed, in English, on account of the coincidence in use of the things signified, notwithstanding the less important differences in structure and workmanship
These, however, are not entirely on the same footing with natural objects, in which there is everywhere, and in every age, a more perfect uniformity. The names BiBacov, liber, book, are in most cases suited to ane another. But as the books of the ancients were in outward form and construction very different from ours; when we find any thing advanced concerning Bißalov in Greek, or liber in Latin, with an evident allusion to the outward make, we know that the English word book is not a proper version, Thus the words ερανος απεχωρισθη ως βιβalov Echloquevov ", if rendered, “heaven departed
as a book that is rolled up,” would not be intelligible, though nothing conveys a more distinct image than the words in the original. Their books consisted of long scrolls, commonly of parchment, sewed or pasted together, and fastened at the ends to two rollers. Our translators properly therefore employed here the more general word scroll, which perfectly conveys the meaning. Again, the word Bufauov occurs in an
34 Rev. vi. 14.
application wherein the term book could not be rightly apprehended by a mere English reader: Bihuov γεγραμμενον εσωθεν και οπισθεν 35, in the common version, a book written within and on the back-side. To such a reader, the last term thus applied would be understood to mean the cover, which is not very fit for being written on, and could, besides, contain no more than might have been contained in one additional leaf, though the book had consisted of a thousand leaves. Now the long scrolls or books of the ancients were seldom written but on one side, here said to be sowSev, within, because that side was turned inwards in rolling. When any of these scrolls was written on both sides, it contained twice as much as if written in the usual way 36. The chief intention of the Prophet in mentioning this circumstance, must have been to signify that this volume was replete with information, and that its contents were not to be measured by its size. But notwithstanding the exceptions in a few particular cases, the names of the common productions of the most necessary arts, may be considered as so far at least corresponding to each other in most languages, as not to throw any difficulty worth mentioning in the way of a trans-, lator.
35 Rev. v. 1,
36 A book executed in this mannerithe Greeks called oxito Soy peep, which is thus expressed by Juvenal, “ Scriptus et in tergo."
" Sat, 1.
$ 4. The second class above mentioned, is of those words which, in one language, do, but imperfectly, correspond to any of the words of another language compared with it. Of this kind will be found, if properly attended to, most of the terms relating to morals, to the passions and matters of sentiment, or to the objects of the reflex and internal senses, in regard to which, it is often impossible to find words in one language, that are exactly equivalent to those of another. This holds in all languages, less or more, according as there is more or less, uniformity, in the constitution, religion, and laws, of the nations whose languages are compared; on which constitution, religion, and laws, as was observed, the sentiments, manners, and customs of the people, in a great measure, depend. Herein consists one principal difficulty which translators, if persons of penetration, have. to encounter. Finding it sometimes impossible to render fully the sense of their author, they are constrained (if I may borrow a term from the mathematicians) to do the best they can by approximation.
To come to examples: To the Greek words apeτη, σωφροσυνη, εγκρατεια, φρονησις, ελεος, the Latin words, virtus, temperantia, continentia, prudentia, misericordia, are not entirely equivalent ; still less the English words virtue, temperance, continence, prudence, mercy : for, though these last are manifestly formed from the Latin words, one would think that, by being adopted into another country, they had all, more or less, changed their nature with the climate.
Those persons whose knowledge, in such matters, is but superficial, will not enter readily into these sentiments. They are accustomed to consider certain words, in the different languages, as respectively correspondent. The grammars, lexicons, and common translations, lead them to conclude so, and they inquire no further. But those who are conversant with authors of reputation, in these different tongues, will need no arguments to convince them of the truth of what has been advanced.
Who knows not that the Latin word virtus would, in many instances, be but weakly, not to say improperly, rendered by the English word virtue; as that word, in Roman authors, comes often nearer the import of what we call valour or fortitude, sometimes even brute force? We should not readily ascribe vir. tue to wild beasts; yet Tacitus so applies the term virtus : “ Fera animalia, si clausa teneas, virtutis obliviscuntur." And if some of our words have too great latitude of signification to answer always to their Latin etymons; some have, on the contrary, too little. For example, the English word temperance is too confined in meaning to answer to the Latin tem-. perantia, which implies moderation in every desire, and is defined by Cicero, in one place, “moderatio cupiditatum rationi obediens 37 ;” and in another, “ temperantia est quæ in rebus aut expetendis aut “fugiendis, rationem ut sequamur, monet 33.” Now all that is implied in the English word is almost only
37 De Fin. l. ii.
3.$ De Fip. ). i.
[D. II. that species which he denominates “ temperantia in vietu.” And, though the differences may not be so considerable in all the other related words above mentioned, it were easy to shew that they cannot, in every instance, be made to tally.
It requires, indeed, but a very small skill in languages to enable us to discover that etymology is often a very unsafe guide to the proper acceptation of
It will not be doubted that the Latin word sobrius is the root of the English word sober, and their term honestum of our term honesty ; but every body knows that the related words, in the two languages, will not always answer to each other. Nay, to shew, in the strongest manner, how much more difficult it is, than is commonly imagined, to apprehend the precise import, and proper application, of words of this order in dead languages, I shall transcribe a short passagte from the fourth book of the Tusculan Questions, where the author explains the generic word ægritudo, with the various names of species comprehended under it. Amongst other observations are the following : Ægritudo est opinio recens mali presentis, in
quo demitti contrahique animo rectum esse videatur. Ægritudini subjiciuntur angor, mæror, dolor, luc
tus, ærumna, afflictatio : angor est ægritudo pre“mens, mæror ægritudo flebilis, ærumna ægritud “ laboriosa, dolor ægritudo crucians, afflictatio ægri“ tudo cum vexatione corporis, luctus ægritudo ex " ejus, qui carus fuerat, interitu acerbo.” “Let any one,” says D'Alembert”,
“ examine this passage 39 Sur l'Harmonie des Langues, et sur la Latinité des Mo. dernes.