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MANUAL OF GREEK PROSE.
HE success of my • Manual of Latin Prose' has induced
with the sanction of the authorities at the principal public schools, to publish a work on Greek Prose Composition, on a nearly similar plan. I say, 'nearly similar, because, though the principle of the work is the same, the arrangement has been altered in details.
Page 186. Read Note7 thus:-'Qoi unt' opbakuoig úroxprobar.
188. Note ! read 'Aroidovrai.
I. The First Part contains a series of passages translated literally from authors of the golden age of Greek composition, intended for the use of those who are conversant with the ordinary rules of Syntax, and who have practised short sentences in some elementary work, like that of Mr. Kenrick. Idioms and phrases have been liberally suggested in the margin; and references given to the most approved Greek Grammars, whenever any important grammatical principle is involved.
In the First Part I have referred chiefly and very frequently to the valuable Syntax in Dr. C. Wordsworth's Grammar, which is the basis of such instruction at Har
row, Eton, Rugby, and many other schools; and I trust that the Exercises will be found to strengthen and to develop the student's knowledge of the Grammar.* Reference has also been made to the Grammars of Messrs. JELF and BUTTMANN, which are used at the Charter-House and Harrow, wherever more ample illustration is required.
I have purposely forborne any marginal reference to the works of Messrs. Arnold and Kenrick; in the hope, should the proposal be favourably received, of publishing hereafter an Elementary Manual, constructed upon a smaller scale than the present volume, based upon Dr. Wordsworth’s Syntax, and traversing the ground occupied by those writers. Mr. Arnold's book is, doubtless, useful; but great complaints are made of its intricacy; and the study of it may not inaptly be compared with the embarrassment producible by placing a child in the midst of a dense and tangled forest, with a very slender thread for a clue.
II. The SECOND PART contains a selection of passages from English prose authors. The original passage is first given ; and appended to it is a version adapted to a literal translation into Greek - designed to illustrate, by practice, the characteristic differences of the Greek and English idiom.
The value of this section of the volume, of course, depends entirely upon the merit of the translations themselves. They were contributed by the following scholars, to whose classical distinction I appeal as a guarantee :
1. CHARLES R. KENNEDY, M.A., late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Author of 'A Translation of select Speeches of Demosthenes, with Notes.
* The rules have been quoted by sections, to meet the convenience of Eton, should this work find any favour at that illustrious institution.
2. T. S. Evans, M.A., Composition Master of Rugby School; formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; Senior Classic, 1847.
3. J. W. DONALDSON, D.D., Author of 'New Cratylus,' Varronianus,' etc. etc. etc. Late Head-Master of Bury St. Edmund's Grammar School.
4. JAMES RIDDELL, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of Balliol College, Oxford.
5. John R. TURNER EATON, M.A., Fellow and Senior Tutor of Merton College, Oxford ; Editor of ARISTOTLE's Politics.'
6. LEWIS CAMPBELL, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of Queen's College, Oxford.
7. HENRY MONTAGU BUTLER, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; Senior Classic, 1855.
8. John Young SARGENT, M.A., Tutor of Merton College, Oxford; Ireland Scholar; Hertford Scholar.
9. J. GREGORY SMITH, M.A., late Fellow of Brasennose College, Oxford; Hertford Scholar ; Ireland Scholar.
10. Four translations, to which the letter S. is appended in the 'Key,' are derived from a collection of versions by Shrewsbury scholars, entrusted to me by Dr. KENNEDY, the Head-Master, whose revision they had undergone.
III. The THIRD PART contains a series of passages from Greek classics of the purest epochs, translated into idiomatic English. It is intended for boys in the highest forms of public schools, and for university students; and it is hoped that the process of re-translation will be similar to that of rendering original English into Greek.
Subjoined are a few versions from Thucydides, designed to practise students in the imitation of that historian's style, which has strongly-defined characteristics of its
It would be futile to disguise the source of these translations; for it may fairly be presumed, that scholars who are capable of imitating so difficult an author, will be above the folly of abusing facilities of reference.
By an idiomatic translation, I mean a translation which, without omitting anything important in the original, or inserting anything foreign to the original, represents the author's meaning in the current English of the day. A literal version affords no adequate scope for an estimate of the relative qualities of the two languages. Still less can it embody the beauties of the original. These, indeed, must to a great extent be ever untransfusible. Where the merit of an author lies in strength and grandeur of thought, the translator has a fair field; but where the subtle graces of form are distinguishing traits, they are apt to evaporate, when transferred to the imitator's canvass, like the fugitive bouquet of Chambertin, when carried beyond the boundaries of its native vineyard. Thus Gifford has succeeded in his version of Juvenal; but no translator has yet arrayed in English garb the inimitable beauties of Horace. It is like the expression, which painters say is so difficult to catch. Such efforts remind us of the fate of the columns of the temple of Vesta, which the Marquis of Bristol removed to Ickworth; but they lost their beauty in a foreign soil.
Even in the simplest passages, a word for word translation fails as an echo of the sense. Simple as its language is, the terseness of the following apophthegm of Tacitus defies the literal translator : Eloquentia, sicut flamma, materie alitur, motu excitatur, et urendo clarescit.' Mr. Pitt † was challenged to translate it; when he extempo
* The same reason has been alleged to explain the ludicrous failure of French translations of Demosthenes.
+ Classical translation was a favourite study of the great states