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PREFACE.

\HIS translation of Amiel's Journal In

whose knowledge of French, while it may be sufficient to carry them with more or less complete understanding through a novel or a newspaper, is yet not enough to allow them to understand and appreciate a book containing subtle and complicated forms of expression. I believe there are many such to be found among the reading public, and among those who would naturally take a strong interest in such a life and mind as Amiel's, were it not for the barrier of language. It is, at any rate, in the hope that a certain number of additional readers may be thereby attracted to the Journal Intime that this translation of it has been undertaken.

The difficulties of the translation have been sometimes considerable, owing, first of all, to those elliptical modes of speech which a man naturally employs when he is writing for himself and not for the public, but which a translator at all events is bound in some degree to expand. Every here and there Amiel expresses himself in a kind of shorthand, perfectly intelligible to a Frenchman, but for which an English equivalent, at once terse and clear, is hard to find. Another difficulty has been his constant use of a technical philosophical language, which, according to his French critics, is not French - even philosophical French — but German. Very often it has been impossible to give any other than a literal rendering of such passages, if the thought of the original was to be preserved ; but in those cases where a choice was open to me, I have preferred the more literary to the more technical expression; and I have been encouraged to do so by the fact that Amiel, when he came to prepare for publication a certain number of Pensées, extracted from the Journal, and printed at the end of a volume of poems published in 1853, frequently softened his phrases, so that sentences which survive in the Journal in a more technical form are to be found in a more literary form in the Grains de Mil.

In two or three cases — not more, I think – I have allowed myself to transpose a

sentence bodily, and in a few instances I have added some explanatory words to the text, which, wherever the addition was of any importance, are indicated by square brackets.

My warmest thanks are due to my friend and critic, M. Edmond Scherer, from whose valuable and interesting study, prefixed to the French Journal, as well as from certain materials in his possession which he has very kindly allowed me to make use of, I have drawn by far the greater part of the biographical material embodied in the Introduction. M. Scherer has also given me help and advice through the whole process of translation — advice which his scholarly knowledge of English has made especially worth having

In the translation of the more technical philosophical passages I have been greatly helped by another friend, Mr. Bernard Bosanquet, Fellow of University College, Oxford, the translator of Lotze, of whose care and pains in the matter I cherish a grateful remembrance.

But with all the help that has been so freely given me, not only by these friends but by others, I confide the little book to the public with many a misgiving! May it at least win a few more friends and readers here and there for one who lived alone, and died sadly persuaded that his life had been a barren mistake; whereas, all the while – such is the irony of things — he had been in reality working out the mission assigned him in the spiritual economy, and faithfully obeying the secret mandate which had impressed itself upon his youthful consciousness:— Let the living live; and you, gather together your thoughts, leave behind you a legacy of feeling and ideas; you will be most useful so.'

MARY A. WARD.

INTRODUCTION.

IT

was in the last days of December 1882

that the first volume of Henri Frédéric Amiel's Journal Intime was published at Geneva. The book, of which the general literary world knew nothing prior to its appearance, contained a long and remarkable Introduction from the pen of M. Edmond Scherer, the well-known French critic, who had been for many years one of Amiel's most valued friends, and it was prefaced also by a little Avertissement, in which the · Editors' – that is to say, the Genevese friends to whom the care and publication of the Journal had been in the first instance entrusted -- described in a few reserved and sober words the genesis and objects of the publication. Some thousands of sheets of Journal, covering a period of more than thirty years, had come into the hands of Amiel's literary heirs. • They were written,' said the Avertissement, with several ends in view. Amiel recorded in them his

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