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THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND FILDEN FOUNDATION, 1910
EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, to wit:
Be it rememberen, 'That on the third day of October, in the forty-third year of the independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1818, M. Carey & Son, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
Sermons by J. B. Massillon, Bishop of Clermont. To which is prefixed, the Life of the Author. Selected and translated by William Dickson. Second American edition, revised and materially corrected. In two volumes.
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, intituled, "An act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.”And also to the act, entitled, “ An act supplementary to an act, entitled, 'An act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other Prints.”
TO THE PUBLIC.
IT is equally proper for a translator, as for an author, to give some explanation (not apology, for surely a generous public will require none, when the dissemination of virtue is evidently the purpose) of the production which he obtrudes upon the public.
This translation was at first undertaken merely for the recreation, during illness, of the translator ; his admiration of Massillon's abilities increasing as he went on, he was induced to continue far beyond his first intention ; that animation, that unction, as D'Alembert says, which flowed from his pen on every subject, that gentle, yet feeling address to the hearts of his hcarers, and to which the most indifferent could not refuse attention, struck him so forcibly, that he could not reflect, without surprise, that no translation of his works had as yet appeared in English. Impressed with a conviction of their moral tendency, he determined, in consequence of the approbation of some respectable clergymen, his friends, to publish a selection of such as, unconnected with local or temporary events in France, would, in his opinion, be an acceptable present to Christians of every denomination. He now offers the present volumes to the public; and so impressed is he with a sense of their merit, that he is convinced that the weakness, or the inaccuracy of the translation, can alone prevent a generous public from receiving them favourably.
In the translation, he has endeavoured, as much as in him lay, to convey the meaning and sentiments of his original; in doing of which, he may perhaps be thought sometimes too literal; but if the meaning be conveyed, surely the error is on the safest side; for many of our translations may with much more propriety be called paraphrases than translations; and (at least in the translator's opinion) it is much better to err in keeping rather too closely to the text, than, by studiously avoiding the appearance of literality, to render the sense both obscure and unintelligible. If the translator be mistaken, it is an error which in future may easily be corrected ; and this being his first publication, he trusts that a generous public will not cashier a subaltern, because he may not as yet be capable of discharging the duty of a general officer.
The translator takes this opportunity of returning his acknowledgements to his friends above mentioned, from whose advice he has reaped many advantages.