Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

rule of thumb misapplied, disregarding the general sense of each sentence, and making hopeless nonsense of the whole piece. It is not too much to say that a large number of boys pass through our schools without even dreaming that an ancient writer could pen three consecutive sentences with a connected meaning. Chaos is felt to be natural to ancient literature; no search is made for sense, and the Latin or Greek book is looked on as a more or less fortuitous concourse of words. Now, in the practice of unprepared translation, especially if care be taken to select passages of great literary excellence, and which are tolerably complete in themselves, the teacher will be much more free to insist on the author's ideas, as distinct from his words. In every-day prepared translation, where the ending of the necessary daily dole capriciously interrupts the author's meaning, and the grammatical drill pervades each lesson, what wonder if the schoolboy fails to realise that what he reads is really literature ?

Again, the ordinary school-work tends to prevent boys from forming a good style of English Composition. To say nothing of “cribs,” the teacher can scarcely help paying excessive attention to the literal translation of a prepared book, and verbal scholarship is inevitably directed more to the diseases than to the beauties of language. Hence Mr. Herbert Spencer is only guilty of an exaggeration when he affirms that a bad English style is the normal product of prolonged Classical study. While giving the lesson in unprepared translation, the teacher will find it much easier than at other times to ostracize slovenly English, and to teach his pupils how to polish the bare literal translation, which will be the first achievement of their ingenuity, into a pure and nervous composition. For the formation of a good style, the practice of translating into English verse is invaluable, and ought to be required at regular intervals from boys in the highest forms in Classical schools. As Greek poetry is especially suited for this kind of translation, the extracts from the Greek poets form a relatively large proportion of the whole number.

It only remains to state the grounds on which the passages have been chosen. I have striven to make the collection representative of the Greek and Latin literatures and languages from the earliest times to the periods at which they ceased to deserve the name Classical. Hence some inscriptions and fragments have been inserted. Few pieces have been extracted which are not conspicuous for some literary excellence; fewer still for their difficulty alone, or mainly. The passages of this kind that there are may serve as tough problems for advanced pupils. Care has been taken that the extracts should be intelligible apart from their context, but every teacher and examiner knows that this cannot always be so, and it is no bad intellectual exercise for a boy to learn how to divine the context, as the student of epigraphy fills out an imperfect inscription. The heading attached to each passage will sometimes give the pupil a useful clue. The great majority of the passages have been tested for their present purpose either by myself or others engaged in tuition. I have often omitted portions of the originals in order to render the extracts more suitable. It will be observed that the passages have been arranged with a view to contrast as much as possible. persons who work through a number of passages consecutively will obtain an experience in translation as diversified as possible. Although I believe the practice of translation at sight

I to be very beneficial even for junior pupils, the present collection is intended for higher forms only. Should it

In this way will appear.

be found useful, easier collections suited for junior forms

If the book is not used for the purpose for which it is primarily intended, I trust it may be found helpful, both at schools and by undergraduate students at the Universities, as an anthology or reading-book. The selection includes many specimens of Greek and Latin authors with whom most University students never make acquaintance. The pressure of competition is, at least in Cambridge, so severe, that it is perhaps unreasonable to expect students to read much of authors whom no Examiner would venture to set from in a Tripos-paper. Still, if this collection does even a little to widen the reading of University students, the editor's labour will not have been wasted.

Christ's COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE :

September 27th, 1876.

PASSAGES FOR PRACTICE

IN

TRANSLATION AT SIGHT.

1. Spring's Advent.

It ver et Venus, et Veneris praenuntius ante pennatus graditur, zephyri vestigia propter Flora quibus mater praespargens ante viai cuncta coloribus egregiis et odoribus opplet. inde loci sequitur calor aridus et comes una pulverulenta Ceres et etesia flabra aquilonum. inde autumnus adit, graditur simul Eubius Euan. inde aliae tempestates ventique secuntur, altitonans Volturnus et auster fulmine pollens. tandem bruma nives adfert pigrumque rigorem reddit: hiemps sequitur crepitans hanc dentibus algu.

2. Pompey's Strategy described by Cicero.

O rem turpem, et ea re miseram! Sic enim sentio, id demum aut potius id solum esse miserum, quod turpe sit. Aluerat Caesarem, eundem repente timere coeperat, condicionem pacis nullam probarat, nihil ad bellum pararat, urbem reliquerat, Picenum amiserat culpa, in Apuliam se compegerat, ibat in Graeciam, omnes åtposowvýrous, expertes sui tanti, tam inusitati consilii

nos

B

relinquebat. Ecce subito literae Domitii ad illum, ipsius ad consules. Fulsisse mihi videbatur tò kalóv ad oculos eius et exclamasse ille vir qui esse debuit,

Προς τούθ' ότι χρή και παλαμάσθων,
Και παν επ' εμοί τεκταινέσθων.

Το γαρ εν μετ' εμού. At ille tibi πολλά χαίρειν το καλό dicens pergit Brandisium. Domitium autem aiunt re audita et eos, qui una essent, se tradidisse. O rem lugubrem! Itaque intercludor dolore quo minus ad te plura scribam. Tuas literas exspecto.

3. Portrait of an early Roman Matron.

HOSPES QVOD · DEICO · PAVLLVM · EST · ASTA · AC' PELLIGE HEIC. EST. SEPVLCRVM HAVPVLCRUM PVLCRAI. FEMINAE NOMEN • PARENTES • NOMINARVNT. CLAVDIAM

[ocr errors]

SVOM MAREITVM CORDE • DILEXIT • SOVO
GNATOS • DVOS. CREAVIT . HORVNC. ALTERVM
IN • TERRA. LINQVIT - ALIVM' SVB TERRA · LOCAT
SERMONE . LEPIDO. TVM - AVTEM INCESSV. COMMODO
DOMVM. SERVAVIT. LANAM FECIT DIX ABEI.

4. Seneca writes of a Man too old to be reformed.

Cupio mehercule amicum tuum formari, ut desideras, et institui, sed valde durus capitur : imo potius, quod est molestius, valde mollis capitur, et consuetudine mala et diutina fractus. Volo tibi ex nostro artificio exemplum referre. Non quaelibet insitionem vitis patitur. Si vetus et exesa est, si infirma gracilisque, aut non recipiet surculum, aut non alet, nec applicabit sibi, nec in qualitatem eius naturamque transibit. Itaque solemus supra terram praecidere, ut si non responderit, tentari possit secunda fortuna, et iterum repetita infra terram inseratur. Hic de quo scribis et mandas non habet vires. Indulsit vitiis : simul et emarcuit, et obduruit. Non potest recipere rationem, non potest nutrire. At cupit ipse. Noli cre

« IndietroContinua »