Зображення сторінки

sabbath, purim, and some others, run through most languages.

$ 4. There is a conveniency in translating, rather than transplanting, the original term, if the word chosen be apposite, as it more clearly conveys the import, than an exotic word, that has no original meaning or etymology in the language. This never appears in a stronger light than when the reason of the name happens to be assigned by the sacred author. I shall give, for instance, that Hebrew appellative; which I but just now observed, that both the Seventy and the Vulgate have retained in their versions, and which the English interpreters have translated. The word is, pascha, passover. In the explanation which the people are commanded to give of this service to their children, when these shall inquire concerning it, the reason of the name is assigned as: Ye shall , say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's PASSOVER, who PASSED OVER the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians. · Now, this reason appears as clearly in the English version, which is literal, as in the original Hebrew; but it is lost in the version of the Seventy, who render it thus : Ερειτε: Θυσια το ΠΑΣΧΑ τοτο Κυριω, ως ΕΣΚΕΠΑΣΕ της οικος των υιων Ισραηλ εν Αιγυπτω, ηνικα επαταξε τες Αιγυπτιες. Here, as the words πασχα and eoxeTAGE have no affinity, it is impossible to discover the reason of the name. The authors of the Vul.

[ocr errors]

15 Exodus, xii. 27.

gate, who form the word phase, in the Old Testament, more closely after the Hebrew (though they call it pascha in the New,) have thought proper, in turning that passage, to drop the name they had adopted, and translate the word transitus, that the allusion might not be lost. Dicetis, victima TRANSITUS Domini est, quando TRANSIVIT super domos filiorum Israel in Ægypto, percutiens Ægyptios.

This manner is sometimes necessary, for giving a just notion of the sense. But it is still better when the usual name, in the language of the version, as happens in the English, preserves the analogy, and renders the change unnecessary. In proper names, it is generally impossible to preserve the allusion in a version. In such cases, the natural resource is the margin. The occasion is not so frequent in appellatives, but it occurs sometimes. It is said, by Adam, of the woman 16, soon after her formation, She shall

, be called woman, because she was formed out of MAN. Here the affinity of the names, woman and man, is preserved, without doing violence to the language. But, in some versions, the affinity disappears altogether, and, in others, is effected by assigning a name which, if it may be used at all, cannot, with propriety, be given to the sex in general. It is lost in the Septuagint. Αυτη κληθησεται ΓΥΝΗ, οτι εκ τε ΑΝΔΡΟΣ αυτης εληφθη αυτη. Not the shadow of a reason appears in what is here assigned as the reason. The sounds youn and avdpos have no af

[ocr errors]

16 Gen, ii. 23.


finity. The same may be said of mulier and vir in Castalio's Latin. Hæc vocabitur MULIER, quia sumpta de vino est.

Other Latin intrepreters have, for the sake of that resemblance in the words, on which the meaning of the expression depends, chosen to sacrifice a little of their latinity. The Vulgate, and Leo de Juda, have, Hæc vocabitur virAGO, quia sumpta de vino est. Junius, Le Clerc, and Houbigant, use the word vira, upon the authority of Festus. Neither of the words is good in this application ; but not worse than ανδρις εξ ανδρος, used by Symmachus for the same purpose.

Much in the same taste are Luther's mænnin, the homasse of the Geneva French, and the huoma of Diodati's Italian.



I SHALL now proceed to the third general class of words, not capable of being translated, with exactness, into the language of a people whose customs are not in a great measure conformable to the customs of those amongst whom such words have arisen. ! This class comprehends names relating to dress, peculiar modes, judicatories, and offices. In regard to garments, it is well known, that the usages of the ancients, particularly the Orientals, differed considerably from those of modern Europeans. And though I am by no means of opinion, that it is necessary, in a translation, to convey an idea of the exact form of their dress, when nothing in the piece translated appears to depend on that circumstance, I am ever for avoiding that which would positively convey a false notion in this or any other respect. Often, from that which may be thought a trivial deviation from truth, there will result inconveniences, of which one at first is not aware, but which, nevertheless, may produce in the mind of the attentive reader, unacquainted with the original, objections that affect the credibility of the narration. A general name, therefore, like clothes, raiment, is sufficient, when nothing depends on the form, in like manner as a piece of money, a corn measure, will answer, when no light, for understanding the scope of the place, can be derived from the value of the one, or the capacity of the other. Where some distinction, however, seems to have been intended in the passage, there is a necessity for using names more definitive. It is not often necessary, for naming the parts of dress, to retain the terms of a dead language. The English

a translators have never done it, as far as I remember, except in naming that part of the sacerdotal vestments, called the ephod, for which it would be impossible to find an apposite term in any European tongue. Phylacteries, too, will perhaps be account. ed an exception.

may not

| 2. But, though it is rarely necessary to adopt the ancient or foreign names of garments,

it be always proper to employ those terms for express. ing them, which are appropriated to particular pieces of the modern European habit. The word coat answers well enough as a name for the under

garment, in Greek XITWv. Cloak, by which our translators in the New Testament commonly render quatlov, the name for the upper garment, I do not so much approve. My reasons are these : First, cloak is not the term that they have used in the Old Testament for that vestment; though we have no reason to believe that there was any change in the Jewish fashions in this particular. It is well known, that the modes, respecting dress, are not, nor ever were, in Asia, as at present they are in Europe, variable and fluctuating. The Orientals are as remarkable for constancy in this particular, as we are for the contrary. Now, though the Hebrew words, answering to 'quatiov, are frequent in the Old Testament, and the Greek word itself in the translation of the Seventy, the word cloak has never been admitted by our translators into the version of the Old Testament, except once in Isaiah "", where it is used only as a simile. Wherever they have thought proper to distinguish the upper garment from that worn close to the body, they have named it the mantle. See the places marked in the margin 19.' But these are not all the



17 Isaiah, lix, 17. Judges, iv. 18. 1 Sam. xxviii. 14. 1 King, xix. 13. 19. 2 Kings, ii. 8. 13, 14. Ezra, ix. 3. 5. Job, i. 20, Job, ii. 12. Psal, çix. 29. VOL. II.


« НазадПродовжити »