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design of the historian to supply us with a kind of criterion for computing the number of the people present. But this could be no criterion, unless we knew the value of the Snvagiov.
5. "But," say those modern correctors," in the examples above-mentioned, when the knowledge of the value of the coin, and the capacity of the measure, is of importance to the sense, no method can be equal, in point of perspicuity, to that recommended by us, whereby both are reduced to an equivalent in the monies and measures of the country. Thus, the first passage quoted would be rendered, A measure of wheat, capable of supporting a man for one day," for thus Le Cene proposes to translate xovie, "for sevenpence halfpenny. The second, The chief priests covenanted with Judas for three pounds fifteen shillings sterling. The third, Why was not this ointment sold for nine pounds seven shillings and sixpence? And the fourth, Six pounds five shillings would not purchase bread sufficient."
The exceptions against this method are many. In the first place, it is a mere comment, and no translation. Considered as a comment, it may be good; but that must be egregiously wrong as a version, which represents an author as speaking of what he knew nothing about, nay, of what had no existence in his time. And such, surely, is the case with our sterling money, which an interpretation of this sort would represent as the current coin of Judea in the time of our Saviour. Nothing ought to be introduced by the translator from which the English reader may fairly deduce a false conclusion in regard to the manners and customs of the time. Besides, as the comparative value of their money and measures with ours is not founded on the clearest evidence, is it proper to give a questionable point the sanction, as it were, of inspiration? Add to all this, that no method can be devised which would more effectually than this, destroy the native simplicity and energy of the expression. What is expressed in round numbers in the original, is, with an absurd minuteness, reduced to fractions in the version. Nothing can be more natural than the expression, Two hundred denarii would not purchase bread enough to afford every one of them a little. This is spoken like one who makes a shrewd guess from what he sees. Whereas, nothing can be more unnatural than, in such a case, to descend to fractional parts, and say, Six pounds five shillings would not purchase. This is what nobody would have said, that had not previously made the computation. Just so, the round sum of three hundred denarii might very naturally be conjectured, by one present, to be about the value of the ointment. But, for one to go so nearly to work as to say, Nine pounds seven shillings and sixpence might have been gotten for this liquor, would directly suggest to the hearers that he had weighed it, and computed its value at so much a pound. There is this additional absurdity in the last example, that it is said avw, more than;
consequently it is mentioned, not as the exact account, but as a plausible conjecture, rather under than above the price. But does any body in conjectures of this kind, acknowledged to be conjectures, descend to fractional parts?
6. Now, if this method would succeed so ill in the first of the three cases mentioned, it will be found to answer still worse in the other two, where little depends on the knowledge of the value. In the second, I may say, nothing depends on it. Now there are several passages wherein coins and measures are mentioned, in which the value of the coin, or the capacity of the measure, is of no conceivable consequence to the import of the passage. In this case, either the second or the third method above specified, is preferable to the introduction of a foreign term not used in other places of the version, and nowise necessary to the sense. But let it be observed of the second method, that I am never for using such names of coins and measures as are peculiarly modern or European, and not applied to the money and measures of ancient and oriental countries; for such terms always suggest the notion of a coincidence with us in things wherein there was actually no coincidence.
We read in the common version, "Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel,” ὑπο τον μόδιον “ but on a candlestick," Matt. v. 15. Every person must be sensible, that the size of the measure is of no consequence here to the sense, the intention being solely to signify, that a light is brought, not to be covered up, but to be placed where it may be of use in lighting the household. The general term corn-measure perfectly answers the author's purpose in this place, and as nowhere, but in the expression of this very sentiment, does the word podios occur in the Gospels, there is no reason for adopting it. The term bushel serves well enough for conveying the import of the sentiment; but as it indirectly suggests an untruth, namely, the ancient use of that measure in Judea, it is evidently improper. For an example in money, our Lord says, when the Pharisees interrogated him about the lawfulness of paying the tribute imposed by their conquerors, Επιδειξατε μοι δηνάριον, rendered in the common version, "show me a penny," Luke xx. 24; the sequel evinces that it was of no importance what the value of the money was the argument is affected solely by the figure and inscription on it. And if in no other place of the Gospels the value of that coin had affected the sense more than it does here, it might have been rendered by the general phrase piece of money. Now let us see how Le Cene's method does with these two examples. In the first he would say, Neither do men light a candle to put it under a measure which contains about a pint less than a peck; or, according to the manner which he sometimes adopts, containing such a precise number of eggs, (I do not recollect how many ;) would not this particularity in fixing the
capacity of the measure but too manifestly convey the insinuation that there would be nothing strange or improper in men's putting a lighted candle under any other measure larger or smaller than that whereof the capacity is, as a matter of principal moment, so nicely ascertained? A strange way this of rendering Scripture perspicuous!
Nor does it answer better in coins than in measures. When our Lord said Επιδειξατε μοι δηνάριον, the very words imply that it was a single piece he wanted to see; and what follows supplies us with the reason. But how does this suit Le Cene's mode of such reduction? Shew me sevenpence-halfpenny. Have we any piece? The very demand must, to an English reader, appear capricious, and the money asked could not be presented, otherwise than in different pieces, if not in different kinds. It is added, "Whose image and superscription hath it?" Is this a question which any man would put, Whose image and superscription hath sevenpence-halfpenny?" But there may have been formerly sevenpence-halfpenny pieces, though we have none now." Be it so. Still, as it is unsuitable to have the head and inscription of a Roman emperor on what must, from the denomination, be understood to be British coin, they ought, for the sake of consistency, and for making the transformation of the money complete, to render the reply to the aforesaid question, George's instead of Caesar's. If this be not translating into English, it is perhaps superior: it is what some moderns call Englishing, making English, or doing into English; for all these expressions are used. Poems done in this manner are sometimes more humbly termed imitations.
7. I observed a third case that occurs in the Gospels with respect to money and measures, which is, when the value of the coin, or the capacity of the measure mentioned, does not, but the comparative value of the articles specified does, affect the sense. Of this kind some of our Lord's parables furnish us with excellent examples. Such is the parable of the pounds, Luke xix. 13, &c. I shall here give as much of it as is necessary for my present purpose, first in the vulgar translation, then in Le Cene's manner. 13. He called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.-16. The first came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities." Nothing can be more manifest, than that it is of no consequence to the meaning and design of this brief narration what the value of the pound was, great or little; let it suffice, that it here represents the whole of what we receive from our Creator to be laid out in his service. In the accounts
returned by the servants, we see the different improvements, which different men makes of the gifts of heaven; and, in the recompenses bestowed, we have their proportional rewards. But these depends entirely on the numbers mentioned, and are the same whatever be the value of the money. I shall now, in reducing them to our standard, follow the rates assigned on the margin of the English Bible. Ducats, so often mentioned by Le Cene, are no better known to the generality of our people than talents or Whether the rate of conversion I have adopted be just or not, is of no consequence; I shall therefore take it for granted that it is just. The different opinions of the comparative value of their money and ours, nowise affect the argument. The objections are against the reduction from the one species to the other, not against the rule of reducing.
The foregoing verses so rendered will run thus: He called his ten servants, and delivered them thirty-one pounds five shillings sterling, and said, Occupy till I come. The first came, saying, Lord, thy three pounds two shillings and sixpence have gained thirty-one pounds five shillings. And he said to him, Well, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord thy three pounds two shillings and sixpence have gained fifteen pounds twelve shillings and sixpence. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. In regard to the parable of the talents, (Matt. xxv. 14,) it is needless, after the specimen now given, to be particular. I shall therefore give only part of one verse thus expressed in the common version; "To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one;" which, in Le Cene's manner would be, To one he gave nine hundred thirtyseven pounds ten shillings sterling: To another, three hundred seventy-five pounds: And to another, one hundred eighty-seven pounds ten shillings.' In both examples, what is of real importance, the comparative degrees of improvement and proportional rewards, which in the original and in the common version are discovered at a glance, are, if not lost, so much obscured by the complicated terms employed in the version, that it requires an arithmetical operation to discover them. In the example of the king who called his servants to account, (Matt. xviii. 23.) this manner is, if possible, still more awkward by reason of the largeness of the sums. One of them is represented as owing to the king one million eight hundred seventy-five thousand pounds, and his fellow-servant as indebted to him three pounds two shillings and sixpence. There is some importance in the comparative value of the denarius and the talent, as it appears evidently one purpose of our Lord, in this parable, to show how insignificant the greatest claims we can make on our fellow-creatures, are compared with those which divine justice can make on us. And though this be strongly marked when the two sums are reduced
to one denomination, this advantage does not counterbalance the badness of the expression, so grossly unnatural, unscriptural, and in every sense improper. In conveying religious and moral instruction, to embarrass a reader or hearer with fractions and complex numbers, is in a spirit and manner completely the reverse of our Lord's.
8. I will not further try the patience of my readers with what has been proposed in the same taste with respect to the measures, both liquid and dry, mentioned in Scripture, in the exhibition of their respective capacities by the number of eggs they could contain. I am afraid I have descended into too many particulars already, and shall therefore only add in general, that in this way the beautiful and perspicuous simplicity of holy writ is exchanged for a frivolous minuteness, which descends to the lowest denomination of parts, more in the style of a penurious money-broker than in that of a judicious moralist, not to say a divine teacher. Perspicuity is therefore injured, not promoted by it; and to those important lessons an appearance, or rather a disguise, is given, which seems calculated to ruin their effect. The author has never reflected on what I think sufficiently obvious, that when a piece of money is named, the name is understood to denote something more than the weight of the silver or the gold. In the earliest ages, when it was only by weight that the money of the same metal was distinguished, if the weight was the same, or nearly so, the names used in different languages served equally well. It was therefore both natural and proper in the Seventy to render the Hebrew checher, in Greek Taλavrov, and Sp shekel, δίδραχμα : for the Alexandrian δίδραχμα, which was double the Attic referred to in the New Testament, was half an ounce. But though such terms might, with propriety, be used promiscuously, when the different denominations of money expressed solely their different weights, as was the case in the earlier ages of the Jewish commonwealth, it is not so now. The name signifies a coin of a particular form and size, stamp and inscription. The Hebrew shekel, the Greek stater, and the British half-crown, being each about half an ounce of silver, are nearly equivalent. But the names are not synonymous. If one had promised to show you a stater, or a shekel, would you think he had discharged his promise by producing half-a-crown?
9. Words therefore which are by use exclusively appropriated to the coins and measures of modern nations, can never be used with propriety in the translation of an ancient author. I have mentioned three ways which a translator may take, and pointed out the different circumstances by which the preference among those methods may, in any instance, be determined. When the sense of the passage does, in any degree, depend on the value of the coin or the capacity of the measure, the original term ought to be retained, and, if needful, explained in a note. This is the