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I don't pretend the following Remarks contain All the Faults They have been guilty of in translating the Miser. Far from it. But the I don't make a clear riddance of all their Errors, I'll make clear work of those that come in. my way.
The Reader is not to expe&t much order in my Notes. I sali e'en take things rough as they run, and clear away the Scum as it rises.
I wou'd fain know how long un Cachet de Rubis has fignify'd a Casket of Rubies, as they English it, p. 205. 1.14. I say, un Cachet de Rubis signifies a Ruby Seal. Une Calfette does indeed signify a Casket, but un Cachet as surely Jagnifies a Seal. The Similitude of the Names was what deceiv'd these Gentlemen. Again, in the same place, on the English fide, to spell the English word Casket, Casquet, is, · besides being wrong, an intolerable Affectation. I own we Spell Paquet with a q, u, because 'tis fo in French, tho' Jome spell it Packet for all that: But why Casket shou'd be so spelt, when there's no q nor u in the Original, I know not ; for 'tis Cassette in French, not Casquet. I own, in some places even of this Play, they spell the English word Casket as it shou'd be. Which Mews they don't know when they're right, nor when they're wrong.
Again, Who told them tbåt Amorce signifies a Morsel ? p. 29. 1.6. They took it for Morceau.
Again, how long has craindre signify'd to believe, as they translate it, p. 114. 1. 2? In my old Translation I had indeed so translated it, because the Original I then went by had it craire, which fignifies to believe; and these Translators have copy'd it accordingly into theirs. Mine is p. 74. 1. 32. which I defire the Reader will alter.
Again, p. 60. 1. 4. Au denier dix-huit, they translate (because by mistake I had so done in my former Translation) eighteen per Cent. whereas it means five and a half per Cent.
A little lower, (because I had so done it) denier cinq, they fery five per Cent. whereas it means twenty per Cent. Again, a little lower, (because I had so done it) au denier quatre, they say twenty per Cent. instead of five
and twenty. Again, in p. 24. 1. 15. the French Proverb, Qui se sent morveux, qu'il se mouche, they translate (because I had
so done it) If the Cap fits any body, let 'em put it on. Whereas the true meaning is, as I have Now translated it literally, and shall do all the French Proverbs hereafter, If any body's Nose wants wiping, let 'em wipe it.
Again, p. 13. 1.3. Croire there don't fignify to believe, (which is Nonsense) but to trust to.
P. 88. 1. 17. Un corps Taille', they translate it a Body Tall, instead of WELL-SHAP'D, WELL-PROPORTION'D; for that's the meaning of TAILLE', not TALL. GRAND, HAUT, &c. is French for Tall.
P. 82. 1. 3. They say, I TELL YOU AGAIN, nobody marries a Girl except the brings something with her. I say, IN SHORT, nobody, &c. The other turn of telling again, is wrong, unless he had told her so before, which he had not. They mistook the meaning of encore there.
P.66. 1. 1. Vilenie they translate Villany, instead of Avarice; which is what Moliere means there, if we refleet by and to whom 'tis spoken.
P.65. 1.11. Four thousand, foou'd be more than four thousand, Plus de quatre mille.
I don't know in the whole French Tongue a more whimfical, and yet a more frequent Phrafe, than Avoir Bea!. The Word Beau, in this case, always fignifies that a Man does a thing in vain; nor is there any one instance in Moliere, or any other French Author, wherein those Words mean any thing else; and yet these Translators have almoft always mistaken'em, not only in this Play of the Miser, to which I confine my Remarks at present, but in the rest likewife. Turn to p. 52. 1.12. of this Play, you'll see they translate Oüi, tu as beau fuïr; Yes, you do well to run away, instead of, Yes, you may run away as fast as you please. Had the Original been Oüi, tu fais bien de fuir, their Translation had been right; but as it is, it's absolutely wrong, 'Tis plain they took beau to mean bien. Again, p.9. 1. 18. la maniere dont on les jouë, a beau être vifible, &c. they translate thus, the manner in which we play upon them, MAY VERY WELL BE VISIBLE, instead of MAY BE AS
AS YOU WILL, &C. Had thefe Gentlemen vouchsafed to consult Father Pomey's,
or any other Dictionary, they wou'd have found Tu as beau faire, tu as beau dire, je l'emporteray: Do what thou wilt, say what thou wilt, I will take it away:
Fruftrà vociferaris, Incassùm contrà eniteris, Auferam. J'ay beau me tuer de peine pour son service, il ne m'en fçait point de gré: Tho? I destroy myself to ferve him, he does not own himself in the leaj beholden to me: Ut laboribus vel me conficiam ejus nomine, tamen gratiæ omninò habet nihil. On a beau chasser le chagrin, il revient toûjours : Drive away Sorrow never so much, it will return again: More Ititiam expellas furcă licèt, usque recurret.
I doubt not but the English Reader has now a true Notion of this Phrase, which I have dwelt the longer upon, because he'll often meet with it in French Books, especially in Moliere ; and I only defire those who have the other Gentlemens Translation of Moliere, to apply my Construction of those Words wherever they find a different one, and make That the Teft of the Truth of my Observation, by seeing how the Sense will turn out then. I was saying what an unaccountable thing it is that this Adjective (Beau) which originally had but one Sense, viz. handsome, fou'd now be often used instead of the Adverb inutilement, to no purpose, in vain. But such is the Force of Custom! more powerful than King, Lords, and Commons! A late ingenious French Critick fancies this word (Beau) in the case before us, might have been firft introduced by way of Irony, and I am inclin'd to think the same. Let us try it a little by an Example. Vous avez Beau faire tous vos efforts, vous n'en viendrez à bout : You may endeavour as much as you please, you'll not gain your point : as much as to say, You have free or faÍR leave, or a FAIR field to use all your endeavours, but yet you'll not gain your point.
A& V. Scene III.' That whole Scene is quite disfigurd, by their suppressing a great many things, and altering others, as they orun they have done, not knowing what turn to give it. For my part, I have not omitted nor alter'd a single word of that whole Scene, and yet have made it intelligible to the meanest Capacity, whereas theirs is full of I know not what. Where, for instance, is the sense of I wou'd
much rather have died, than have discover'd the least Thought that cou'd have shock'd. Shock'd, whom? Where's the Accusative Cafe to the Verb shock'd ?
P. 204. 1.17. à vos paroles, is a Phrase by itself, and does not depend ( as They make it) upon the Verb repondre, which governs a subsequent Matter.
P. 205. laft Line but one. Gave us our Liberty, fou'd be Restor'd us our Liberty : Nous rendit notre Liberté.
Their French is full of Errors, such as one Word for another. Thus, p. 168. 1. 12. Savons-nous, for sauvons-nous.
P. 18. laji Line, N'ai soupçonné, for n'ait soupçonné.
P.214. 1. 2. On me veux pendre, for on me veut pendre. : P. 180. 1. 10. a vû, for ay vû.
Sometimes one Gender for another, as, p. 46. 1. 11. fon premiere marriage, instead of fon premier marriage.
P. 42. 1. 13. depouser, one Word, instead of d'epouler, twe. P. 5o. 1. 16. Two Words instead of one, qu'elle for quelle.
P. 49. In one and the fame Page they have it in Capitals too) Valerius and Valere, as if two Men. I always call bim Valerio.
P.6. 1.8. Qui commença de nous offrir aux regards l'un de l'autre. They turn thus: Which FIRST GAVE RISE TO OUR MUTUAL REGARD. They mistake the Word Regards, as if it meant Respect, whereas it means the Look, the Sight. I say, Which first gave OCCASION
Instead of enumerating the various single Words, such as Adverbs, &c. which They have omitted to translate, Ishall take notice of some Omisions, which are of na small importance. P. 28. 1.11. They make the Mifer say to himself, Ten thoufand Crowns in Gold is a Sum considerable, &c. , It shou'd be Ten thousand Crowns in Gold, AT HOME, IN ONE's HOUSE, is a Sum considerable, &c. For he was afraid of being robb’d. These Translators have left out the naterial Word of all, chez foy, at home, in one's house.
Again, those who are Masters of the French Tongue, knogu very well the importance of the Particle en, which often fands for a whole Phrase, and yet these Translators have omitted to translate it twice in one Sentence. P.8. 1. 2 & 3. J'EN attens des nouvelles avec impatience; & j'en iray
TO OUR SEEING ONE ANOTHER.
chercher moy-même, si elles tardent à venir. They make Valerio say, I expect some Tidings with great Impatience, &c. Tidings of what? of whom? Why, of his Father and Mother, for so that word en, means, it being the Relative to the Antecedent Parens. But they have omitted it twice here, and often elfewhere. But if in many places they have omitted to translate single Words, all of 'em of more or less importance, they have sometimes added Words, Rubich bave totally fpoild the Author's Sense, and have made it no Senfe at all, as the Reader will see, if he will turn to p. 32. 1.7 of their Translation, and p. 23. laft Line of mine. Cleanthes says to his father, Eft-ce être votre ennemi
que dire que vous avez du bien? They translate it, Is this to be your Enemy, to tell you that you have Means ? What the deuce has that first you to do there? 'Tis not in the Original. Indeed it was impoffible it foou'd. For there had been ng Senfe in that period tben. Instead of tell you, it shou'd be tell ABROAD, tell OTHERS.
It is always my Custom, before I fit down to translate any Book, to see if there are any Errata of the Press taken notice of in the Original. Had these Gentlemen taken the fame pains, they wou'd have found at the beginning of that Paris Edition, which they as well as myself translate from, that (among other things) APPEL shou'd have been APPELLE, (p.188. 1. 5.) A vast difference: one is a Verb, t'other a Noun Subftantive, and absolutely unintelligible there; which made the French Editors note it
other Slips of the Press, but our Editors continue it.
These Gentlemen, instead of being more correct in their French, than the Paris Edition, as they pretend, are indeed ten times more uncorrect, both as to Words and Points, as well as things of the utmost moment.
P. 176. 1.7. Theirs has it, Voilà, Monsieur, &*c. with a Comma after Voilà, which foou'd have no Stop at all after it. The Word Monfieur is there meant to be in the Accufative, vot Vocative Cafe, Ecce Dominum, not Ecce, Domine. It is indeed wrong pointed in the Original, as any one will allow, that weighs the Sense ever to little
. The Italian Translation has it right, Ecco là il Signor,