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: $ 100. Abstract Words. Abstract words are such as express (1) Qualities, as justice, wisdom, goodness; (2) Actions, as walking, eating, drinking; (3) States or Conditions, as comfort, fear, sleep. Nouns of this sort are far more numerous in English than in Latin. The simpler abstractions, e.g. names of ordinary good or bad qualities, as virtue, vice, &c., or of the ordinary conditions of the body or mind, as warmth, joy, knowledge, &c., exist and are in common use in Latin; but for long, compound abstractions, such as impossibility, improbability, identification, ingratitude, and the vast number of other English words ending in -tion, -sion, -ness, -ism, -ship, -ance or -ence, -ity, -tude, &c., there is often no Latin equivalent to be found. - Again, Abstract Nouns are not only more numerous in English than in Latin, but they are employed with fạr greater freedom. Even the commonest Latin Abstractions must be used with care. Such sentences as the following
• Literature divided his attention with his conservatories and his menagerie;'
• His second return from Bengal was not, like his first, greeted by the acclamations of his countrymen ;'
'Ordinary criminal justice knows nothing of set-off;' would be monstrous productions in Latin if translated literally, though there are perfectly good classical equivalents for the words literature, return, justice.
Elegance and correctness in the translation of English Abstract Nouns into Latin can only be acquired by intimate acquaintance with Latin Authors. The following hints, however, may be of some service.
(a) It may be taken as a fairly general, though by no means an universal, rule that the Latins shrank from imputing action, more especially intelligent human action, to inanimate things, and particularly to mere Abstractions', except in poetry, and that they forebore to regard them (as we do in the freest manner in English, both in our poetry and prose) as 'subject to the same conditions as objects endowed with life. They preferred to view them as Instrumental, Causal, or Qualifying influences, and hence we more frequently find them used as Adverbial or Adjectival Adjuncts' than as Subjects or Objects of Sentences?.
1 This remark is more particularly true of names of Qualities. It is less strictly applicable to names denoting States or Conditions; such expressions as 'pavor, dolor, &c., me capit,' 'timor urbem invadit,' &c., are frequently found.
Reflection and habit have rendered the world indifferent to me,' Cogitatione et consuetudine eo usque perveni, ut me humanae res nullo modo afficiant.
• His popularity and influence were widely felt throughout the country,' Is gratia et auctoritate plurimum apud populares valuit.
(6) For translating an English Abstract word a Concrete: Latin expression may often be used, e.g. instead of 'wisdom,' 'prudence,' • adversity,' &c., say 'wise men,' “a prudent man,' 'adverse things,' &c.
Prudence therefore compels us to restrain the impetuosity of our kindly feeling. “Prudentis igitur est sustinere impetum benevolentiae,' Cic. de Am. § 63.
• True friendship is tested in times of trouble,' Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.
‘Opposition meets us on every side,' Nobis omnia adversa.
•This season of the year is fraught with perils to navigation, Hoc anni tempus navigantibus periculosissimum. See also $ 56, a.
What need is there of torture? 'Quid opus est tortore ?' Cic. Milo, $ 57. For ‘sounds of joy,' 'tears of sorrow,' &c., see & 57.
(c) Or a Proper Name may be used to represent a Quality, e.g. Nestor for wisdom, Diana for chastity, Davus for cunning, &c.
The greatest genius may be caught napping. Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus. (d) Abstractions may also be rendered
(1) by Infinitives, e.g. Self-satisfaction, Sibi placere. Contentment, Suis rebus contentum esse. Success, Felicem esse. Prosperity, Prosperis rebus uti.
Or (2) by an Impersonal Construction, e.g. *Clemency to a foe is a quality they seldom exhibit,' Hosti perraro ab iis parcitur.
Or (3) by an Interrogative Clause, e.g. "He explained the nature and extent of the danger into which they had been led,' Quale quantumque in discrimen adducti essent exposuit.
Ti.e. in the Dative, Ablative, or Genitive Case, or in the Accusative under government of a Preposition.
? i.e. in the Nominative or Accusative Case.
3 An Abstract word is the name of a Quality, Action, or State ; a Concrete word is one in the signification of which the possession of a Quality, Action, or State is implied. Thus, philosophia, philosophy, is an Abstract word : philosophus, a philosopher, is a Concrete word, denoting a man possessed of the Quality of philosophia.
(e) The remarks made in the preceding paragraphs upon abstract nouns apply more particularly to the use of such terms in ordinary conversation, descriptions, harangues, and the like. But in a moral or scientific treatise, where qualities are the subjects of minute discussion and analysis, the abstract words denoting them are used with greater freedom. See, for instance, Cicero's treatises De Officiis, De Senectute, and De Amicitia, passim.
g 101. Abstract Words for Concrete. Latin, as a rule, employs concrete in preference to abstract expressions ($ 100, b.). Occasionally, however, an abstract word is used instead of a concrete one, for the sake of creating variety or rhetorical effect. This usage must be imitated sparingly and with care.
Livy vi. 3: “Confectaque paucitas oppidanorum,' i.e. the few inhabitants which the town contained.
Livy vi. 4 : Opus vel in hac magnificentia urbis conspiciendum,' i. e. in hac urbe magnifica.
Caes. B. G. vi. 34: ‘Haec loca vicinitatibus ( = vicinis) erant nota.' $ 102. Active for Passive: Passive for Active.
(a) The Passive Voice is used with considerably greater freedom in English than in Latin, and the writer of Latin Prose will often do well to substitute for it an Active form in translating.
They were greatly assisted by the fact that the Liger had been swollen by the snows. “Multum eos adjuvabat quod Liger ex nivibus creverat,' Caes. B. G. vii. 55.
Each side was stimulated by keen desire for glory. Utrosque laudis cupiditas . . . . excitabat, Caes. B. G. vii. 80.
Note. If the Verb be one of those which only take a Dative in Latin, this rule will always apply, e. g.
*Augustus was succeeded by Tiberius,' Augusto successit Tiberius.
(6) On the other hand the Latin Passive should sometimes be used where we use an Active; as, for instance, to avoid ambiguity, as noticed in § 2, or when, as noticed in § 100, a, some Abstract word stands as Subject of a Verb denoting human action.
§ 103. Adverb expressed by Adjective. Adverbs derived from Adjectives are much less commonly used in Latin than in English. Beware of making free use of such words as laete, jucunde, triste, &c. It is much neater to use the Adjective wherever you can. The Adjective may be worked into the sentence in two ways, viz.
(a) You may put it in agreement with the Subject of the Verb. Most Adjectives implying subjective attributes, i. e. such as signify the possession of feelings or states of consciousness, may be so used.
• He joyfully returned to the camp,' Laetus in castra rediit.
Caes. B. G. vii. 80: Milites intenti (intently, eagerly) pugnae proventum expectabant.'
So, prudens, knowingly, imprudens, unwittingly, invitus, unwillingly, &c. Other Adjectives used in the same way are absens, in one's absence (e. g. absens damnatus est), totus, entirely, multus, frequently, nullus, not at all, in no wayı. But generally speaking it is difficult to lay down a rule which will apply to Adjectives that are not of a subjective kind. Thus, you may say, Incolumis ad flumen venit, for 'he came safely to the river ;' but you could hardly say Rapidus ad flumen venit, for 'he came rapidly to the river.' Even in this last case, however, a Latin writer would be more likely to use one of the phrases to be noticed immediately under (6), than an Adverb like rapide.
(6) Or you may unite the Adjective with an Oblique Case of some appropriate Noun and so form a suitable Adverbial phrase, e.g. for, “He came rapidly to the river, you might write rapido pede, gressu, itinere, &c (rather than rapide) ad flumen venit; “He steadfastly awaited death,' Mortem constanti animo, pectore, &c. (rather than constanter) mortem expectabat.
Note. The harshness of an Adverb may sometimes be relieved by using non or haud with the Adverb of contrary meaning, e.g haud sapienter rogavit, instead of stulte rogavit, for 'He foolishly asked.'
$ 104. Again, Also, Further, Moreover. Two or three Latin idioms may be usefully remernbered in translating these words.
(a) Ille has already been noticed ($ 8, note) as appropriate for use in such sentences as . It is also to be noticed,' • There is a further, or another, remark to be made,' &c.
(6) Idem. Note the following examples of the use of this word: Cic. de Am. § 65: ‘Bonus vir, quem eundem sapientem licet dicere.' A good man, by which term we also imply a wise one.
Cic. de Sen. § 25: “Illud vero idem Caecilius vitiosius.' But there is another passage also written by Caecilius, of more vicious tendency.
Cic. N. D. $ 80: • Ayunculus meus, vir innocentissimus idemque (and at the same time, likewise) doctissimus.'
Note. From the meaning of 'at the same time' we also get the adversative notion of nevertheless,' .yet,' e. g.
Cic. Sest. § 42 : ' Quomodo hoc in genere accusas Sestium cum idem laudes Milonem ?'.
i Caes. B. G. vii. 82: ‘Nulla munitione perrupta,' The fortification being nowhere broken through. Hor. Epod. v. 29 : 'Abacta nulla Veia conscientia,' Veia in no qvay deterred by consciousness of crime.
(c) Quid ? This expression is often used by Cicero when introducing a fresh topic, in the sense of What do you think of this next thing that I am going to say ?' and can scarcely be translated by any single English word except 'again,' further,''moreover.'
Cic. de Am. & 50: Quid ? si illud etiam addimus quod recte addi potest, nihil esse quod, &c.
$ 105. Ambiguity. A passage is said to be ambiguous when it admits of two or more distinct renderings; thus, fortuna obsessorum,' Livy vi. 3, may mean the fortune of the besiegers,' or 'the fortune of the besieged. The true meaning in such instances may usually be gathered from the context, but nevertheless in writing Latin Prose we must always avoid putting down, if possible, anything which may cause a mistake.
$ 106. Ambiguous Verbs. Many English Verbs are used both transitively and intransitively, where in Latin we find distinct Verbs representing each, or else the difference shown by the use of an Active form for the transitive, and a Passive for the intransitive use. Thus the Verb 'to assemble' when transitive, as 'the king assembled his courtiers, is convoco, cogo, conduco, &c.; when intransitive, as, the crowd assembled, it is convenio. So 'to burn’is uro, or cremo, if transitive, ardeo if intransitive ; 'to break’ is frango, but for the stick, ice, &c., broke,' use frangor. 'Increase,' meaning to make bigger,' is augeo, meaning 'to grow bigger' it is cresco. Join,' meaning to unite things together,' is jungo, but in phrases like to join the army,'translate by jungi, or se jungere, with Dative. For ‘he landed his troops on the island,' use expono, for “the troops landed,' use descendo in, or appello. So, moveo and moveor for move ; pendo and pendeo for hang; concutio and concutior for shake; pasco and pascor for feed; reddo and redeo for return; decet, it becomes, meaning it befits, and fit, it becomes, in the sense of it comes to pass, it is made; with numerous others, which will cause little difficulty to those who have once made a practice of observing the different meanings of which the same word is often capable.
$ 107. Amplifications in English. Modern writers are fond of introducing amplifications of ideas which a Latin writer would express more simply. This tendency arises from the desire to particularise and to introduce circumstantial details. Thus, we read that a man 'obtained the post of captain. This only means that he was made captain, and the Latin would be simply · cohorti praefectus est,' or something of the kind. Similarly,
'He availed himself of the services of a man named Publius,' i.e. he employed a man named Publius.