Immagini della pagina


The Bedouins are acquainted with1 few medicines. The desert yields some valuable simples, which are, however, rarely used.

Dr. Sandwith hearing from Suttum that the Arabs had no opiates, asked what they did with one who could5 not sleep. "Do!"6 answered the Sheikh : "why, we make use of him, and sets him to watch the camels."LAYARD, Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon.



Not even a rumour of Sir Sidney's escape had or could have run before him,10 for at the moment of 11 reaching the coast of England11 he had started with post-horses 12 to Bath. It was about dusk when he arrived; 13 the postilions were directed 14 to the square 15 in which his mother lived;

1 Are acquainted with, fennen.
2 To yield, liefern; simples, Heil-


8 Hearing when heard; Sheikh Suttum accompanied the author. 4 Supply 'he' after asked; did with one, mit Jemand thäten.

5 Could is here the conditional of 'can,' and not the imperfect. This remark may seem superfluous; still the distinction between fonnte, the imperfect, and könnte, the conditional, of fönnen is very often neglected even by advanced students of German.

Supply 'with him' before do. 7 Why, here nun.

8 Render make use of, by benußen; set by lassen, and watch by hüten.

That famous Admiral had been

taken prisoner by the French in a naval combat near Havre in 1796.

10 Had-him, war ihm vorangegangen oder hätte ihm vorangehen können. In German the repetition of the verb vorangehen is preferable on account of the different auxiliary verbs which are required in the above clause.

11 Turn of England by 'when (wo) he reached the English coast.' 12 Post-horses, here Extrapost.

13 Begin the German version by he arrived, and transl. it-when by ungefähr in der Dämmerstunde.

14 Render were directed by er ließ ...fahren.

15 The term square denoting a thing peculiar to England, may

in a few minutes he was in his mother's arms,1 and in fifty minutes more2 the news had flown to the remotest suburb of the city.


The agitation3 of Bath on this occasion was indescribable. All the troops of the line then quartered in that city and a whole regiment of volunteers immediately got under arms, and marched to the quarter in which Sir Sidney lived. The small square overflowed with the soldiery; Sir Sidney went out,8 and was immediately lost to us who 10 were watching for him in the closing11 ranks of the troops. Next 12 morning, however, I, my younger brother, and a schoolfellow of my own age, called formally upon 13 the naval hero. Why, I know not, unless as alumni14 of the school at which Sir Sidney Smith 15 had received his own education, wel were admitted without question or demur; and I may record 17 it as an amiable

be retained in German, and used as a masculine noun. Play would not be the exact equivalent.

1 Turn 'in the arms of his,' &c. 2 Turn in...more by 'after;' flown, transl. fich verbreitet.

8 Agitation, Aufregung.

The definite article after the numeral all is not required in German, except in emphatic speech. For troops of the line form in German the compound expression 'lines - troops,' and supply the words which were.'

5 To quarter, here einquartieren; volunteers, Freiwillige.

6 To get under arms, ins Gewehr treten; quarter, here Stadttheil or Stadtviertel.

7 Overflowed with, war gedrängt voll von; soldiery = soldiers.

8 Went out, trat heraus.

9 Turn to us by for us.' The author refers here to himself and his schoolfellows at the Bath Grammar School.

10 When a relative pronoun refers to a personal pronoun of the first or second person singular or plural-the personal pronoun must, for the sake of grammatical dis

tinctness, be repeated after the relative which, in this case, is never to be rendered by welcher, welche, welches, but by der, die, das. The verb in the relative clause agrees in such cases, generally, with the personal pronoun. Render, therefore, who him, by die wir auf ihn


11 Closing, transl. geschlossenen. 12 When next refers, as is the case here, to a period of time past, it is usually rendered by folgend, and when referring to the future by nächst. See also page 59, note 2.

13 To call formally upon, einen förmlichen Besuch machen. For naval hero use the compound expression Scchero.

14 Unless as alumni, es sei denn daß wir Alumnen.... waren.

15 Supply the word selbst, which will convey the meaning of the word own occurring in the original.

16 Demur, Aufenthalt. Place the words we demur, which form here the principal clause at the beginning of the sentence, viz., before why, I know not, &c.; admitted, here vorgelassen.

17 May record, kann...anführen.


trait in1 Sir Sidney, that he received us then with great kindness, and took us down with him2 to the pump-room.3 Considering, however, that we must have been most afflicting bores to Sir Sidney—a fact which no self-esteem could even then disguise from us—it puzzled me at first to understand the principle of his conduct. Having s already done more than enough in courteous acknowledg ment of our fraternal claims as fellow-students at the Bath Grammar School,10 why should he think it necessary 11 to burden himself further 12 with our worshipful 13 society? I found out 14 the secret, and will explain it. A very slight 15 attention to Sir Sidney's deportment in public revealed to me that he was morbidly afflicted 16 with nervous sensibility and with mauvaise honte.17 ***

And yet there was a 18 necessity that Sir Sidney should gratify 19 the public interest, so warmly expressed, by presenting himself somewhere or other to the public eye. 20*** from; kindness, Freund

1 In = lichkeit. 2 Turn took 'went with us.'

him briefly by

3 The expression pump-room may be considered as a proper name of the place where the mineral waters at Bath are drunk. The corresponding designation for similar places is in German Trinkhalle, or simply Brunnen.

4 Considering, however, da ich aber in Erwägung zog.

5 Must-bores, äußerst lästig gefallen sein mußten, or, wie entseßlich langweilig... sein mußten.

6 Render a-us by ein Factum, welches wir bei der besten Meinung von uns selbst, uns schon damals nicht verbergen konnten.

7 It-principle, so zerbrach ich mir zuerst den Kopf darüber (.e. I racked my brains about) den Grund...zu entdecken. 8 See Int. p. xvi., c.

9 Use def. art. before courteous. 10 The English Grammar School corresponds in a great measure to the German Gelehrtenschule, which term should here be followed by the words at Bath.

11 To think anything necessary, eine Sache für nöthig halten.

12 Further still longer. To burden himself may be rendered literally, or by sich aufbürden lassen.

13 The expression worshipful, used here ironically, may be rendered in German by hochlöblich or hochachtbarlich.

14 Turn found out, and further on revealed, by 'discovered.' 15 Supply degree of;' to, auf; deportment in public = public deportment (Benehmen).

16 Was morbidly afflicted, auf krankhafte Weise...litt; with, here an.

17 The French expression mauvaise honte corresponds to the German falsche Scham. The term Be fangenheit would here be equally applicable.

18 Use here the definite article, and place the adverb there after necessity.

19 To gratify, here Genüge thun, which governs the dative. The expression so warmly expressed. (bezeigte) qualifies the term interest (Theilnahme). See Int. p. xiv., I.

20 Turn the whole clause by

The thing1 was unavoidable, and the sole palliation that it admitted was to break the concentration of the public gaze by associating Sir Sidney with some alien5 group, no matter of what cattle. We, the schoolboys, being three, intercepted and absorbed part of the enemy's fire. -DE QUINCEY, Autobiographic Sketches.



The eloquent Buffon says that the style is the man;10 by which he means that we may see what the man is when we see his style. If this is true, every man should think11 well what he is before he begins to write, and whether it is wise to expose himself.12 It is true that nobody may 13 read his book, and that is often the best 14 luck that may befall him.

The first rule in good writing 15 is to know what you 16 are

' whilst he showed himself publicly in (an) the one or the other place.

1 There are two terms in German for the word thing, viz. Ding and Sache. For the present purpose it will suffice to mention one characteristic distinction between these synonyms namely, that when thing is synonymous with 'matter, affair,' &c. as is the case here, it must be rendered by Sache, and not by Ding.

2 Palliation, here Erleichterung. 3 Render to break by abzulenken, and retain the term concentration, pronouncing it like a German word.

4 The expression public gaze may be rendered somewhat freely by allegmeine Angafferei; to associate, sich beigesellen. Cf. Int. p. xv., II., α. 5 With some alien, einer fremdar tigen.

6 No-cattle, transl. von welcher Art sie auch sei.

7 Turn being by 'were,' and see page 68, note 10.

8 Intercepted, &c., fingen auf und absorbirten (einen); enemy's hostile. "We should in German say lleber ben Stil, as in French sur le style. 10 See note to Ext. 14; may, fann. 11 To think, here erwägen. 12 To expose oneself, here fich blosstellen.

13 Use here the present conditional of dürfen, and in the last clause that of können.

14 Turn here best by 'greatest;' to befall, here widerfahren.

15 In good writing, einer guten Schreibweise.

16 See page 38, note 4, and render are going by will; to go, expressing futurity, is generally translated by the corresponding tense of wollen.


going to write about,1-a plain,2 simple rule, but one thats is very much neglected. If a man makes a good choice of his subject, he will not fail to have the best words at his command, and to put all in the best order. So Horace says, and he may be right; but it strikes me9 that a man might 10 choose a good subject and yet11 spoil it, of which we have notable 12 examples in our own days. The Roman, however, tells us that we must well consider 13 what our shoulders will bear, and what they will not; 14 and so 15 the rule is this choose a good subject, if you16 are able to handle it. If you are not,1 need I tell you that you had 18 better let it alone? 19-An Old Man's Thoughts about Many Things.*

1 What...about, worüber.

2 Plain, schlicht.

3 Render but one that by die aber. Much = often.

4 Turn if-subject by 'if any ore chooses a good subject.'

5 The verb to fail cannot, in the sense in which it is used here, be employed personally; we must therefore turn the clause he will not fail by 'so it is certain.'

6 To his command, daß ihm...zu Gebote stehen werden.

7 To-order, er Alles aufs beste zusammenstellen wird.

8 The above and the following allusions refer to the verses of Horace :

Sumite materiam vestris, qui scri

bitis, æquam Viribus; et versate diu quid ferre


Quid valeant humeri. Cui lecta po

tenter erit res, Nec facundia deseret hunc nec lucidus ordo.

(Epist. ii. 3, v. 38.) 9 The idiomatic phrase it strikes me may be rendered here by es will mir scheinen.

10 When might expresses a supposed possibility, it is translated

by the indicative of fönnen or by the present conditional of dürfen.

11 When yet is used as a conjunction, and synonymous with nevertheless,' it is generally translated by dennoch.

12 The term notable will here best be rendered by the corresponding foreign expression notorisch, derived from the Latin notorius.

13 When to consider is a synonym of 'to reflect, to deliberate,' it is usually rendered by überlegen, or by erwägen; the latter expression is here preferable.

14 Turn what-not by 'what our shoulders can bear, and what not.' 15 Render here so by demnach; and transl. this by Folgendes, placing

it before the rule.

in German the familiar second 16 In similar apostrophes we use addresses his readers collectively. person singular, unless an author To handle (a subject), behandeln.

17 Turn If-not by 'if thou canst it not;' to need, here brauchen.

18 Use for had the present conditional of thun.

19 The idiomatic phrase to let a thing alone is rendered in German by eine Sache sein or bleiben lassen, i.e. to let it be, or remain, what it is.

The above extract is taken from a work full of wit, humour, and original thought, which has been published anonymously, but is attributed to Professor George Long.

« IndietroContinua »