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leading associations. The Germans have Thermometer' and · Wärmemesser' (warmth-measurer), ‘Barometer' and * Wetterglas' (weather-glass), &c. &c.: making native compounds in all departments of knowledge. We are almost entirely given over to the classical names.
'I agree, I concur with you', is often a needless departure from the emphatic Saxon, 'I am at one with you'.
Instead of "ignoring the existence of a particular person', which has a certain precision, we may obtain more familiar forms adequate to the occasion, from such well known verbs as “know', 'leave', 'heed', 'pass by'. The statute ignores the existence of dissenting sects'; 'the statute leaves out (the mention of) dissenters '.
• Existing Institutions' has a fine Saxon rendering' Things as they are'.
'Lays of ancient Rome' could have been 'Lays of old Rome'.
It is of some practical consequence to observe that, while the leading terms of science, law, and business, should be dis. criminating and accurate, yet these need not be retained throughout the exposition. On the first presentation of a difficult idea, or in the enunciation of a principle, we are unable to dispense with the most precise words, however learned they be; but after these are fairly launched, we may indulge in the less exact, but more suggestive, Saxon equivalents. The statement of the law of gravity requires us to use the technical terms 'attraction', 'gravitation', but in the iteration, and in the examples, we take such words as 'weights', 'falling bodies ', 'heavy', 'pull', 'fast', ‘slow'. • It was asserted by the followers of Aristotle that a tenpound weight would fall to the ground ten times as fast as a one pound weight. Galileo let two such weights drop from the top of the leaning tower of Pisa; and they both reached the ground very nearly together; the larger weight being slightly before the other' (Balfour Stewart). These sentences are almost pure Saxon.
When we have once designated a peculiar kind of primary doctrine as an · Axiom', we may afterwards vary the desig.
nation to 'principle', 'doctrine', 'truth', 'saying',-all more familiar than the proper scientific word, and not misleading us, after the teacher has made known the distinctive features of the Axiom.
The other case, namely, the unsuitable introduction of Saxon words, is less common, but not unknown. A 'writer' for an author' is admissible when the sense shows that a literary man or writer of books is intended; but "author is undoubtedly the most exact and suitable word. Also, the Greek termination 'grapher' is very useful in designating authors with reference to their departments—as geographer, bibliographer, historiographer, logographer; and gives us besides the names – lithographer, photographer.
The streaks and lines of debris on the glaciers are termed dirt-bands'; a gratuitous employment of a coarse Saxon word, aggravated by a wrong meaning. The word primarily and prominently carries with it the idea of impurity from vegetable or animal decomposition; and is loosely extended to inorganic mud, which mars the cleanliness of our dress. For the present application, 'debris', 'rubbish', 'mud', or some such term would seem preferable.
So 'dirt-beds', are certain dark-coloured loam-like beds that occur between the oolitic limestones and sandstones of Portland.
'Dirt-pies might bemud-pies' without loss of accuracy.
A poet is sometimes called by the Saxon term 'singer', which is wanting in aptness to the modern poet. The Welsh name 'bard’ might have answered our purpose, without requiring a resort to the classical languages. In old English a poet was a 'maker'.
' And hath he skill to make so excellent
Yet hath so little skill to bridle love ?' (Spenser.) The same occurs several times in Piers the Plowman'.
Our translation of the Bible is usually referred to as showing most remarkably the force of the Saxon element in our language, whereby it is intelligible, familiar, and homegoing. These qualities it certainly possesses in a very high degree; but as the translators seem to have been guided
rather by an unconscious tact, which must sometimes have failed them, than by a deliberate preference of Saxon words, the statement must be received with some qualifications. A short account of their way of employing both the Saxon and the classical vocabularies will still farther illustrate the principles already laid down.
When emotional effect is chiefly aimed at, the translators often give the Saxon in great purity. Thus:- For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin wormis destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.' Here there are only two classical words, and both quite familiar. Many such examples might be produced from the Psalms. The 23rd is a good specimen } excepting the 5th verse, which contains so many as five classical words, the other five verses have in all no more than five such terms. Robert Hall remarks on the Saxon melody and pathos of the last verse : Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.'
So also in passages characterised by great simplicity, the Saxon vocabulary is used in abundance. Here the Gospels furnish numerous examples. The following is exceedingly simple, and contains only three Latin words : Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. The parable of the sower (Matt. xiii. 3-9) is a similar passage of much simplicity, and here the translation is still purer Saxon: of 106 words used in the whole parable, only three are classical• devoured', 'scorched', 'fruit'. The introduction to John is even more remarkable; in the first ten verses, there is but one word, excepting a proper name, that is not of native origin—' comprehended'.
The advantage of the Saxon style of the authorised English translation, for popular impressiveness and general in
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE.
telligibility, is best seen when it is compared with others of a more Latinized character. Such a comparison has frequently been instituted with the Douay and Rheims (Roman Catholic) version. The following words are given as specimens of the Latinized English so extensively employed by these translators: 'odible', 'suasible', exinanite', contristate', 'postulations', 'coinquinations', 'agnition', zealatour', 'donar'. (Trench, English Past and Present, p. 38.) Principal George Campbell's translation of the Gospels, though not carrying the use of classical words so far as this, is from the same cause less simple than the common version. The following examples will illustrate this statement. “A city situate on a mountain must be conspicuous', is not so simple as, ' A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid'. The foxes have caverns, and the birds of the air have places of shelter, but the Son of man hath not where to repose his head' is not so touching as the purer Saxon, 'The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head'. The following larger passage will show the contrast: ‘But as to the vicious servant, who shall say within himself, My master deferreth his return, and shall presume to beat his fellow-servants, and to feast and carouse with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not expecting him, and at an hour he is not apprised of, and having discarded him, will assign him his portion with the perfidious'. Here the advantage of easy intelligibility is noticeably on the side of the common version, which has only about half as many classical terms: see Matt. xxiv. 48-51..
While, however, the great majority of words in the English Bible are native, there is necessarily also a considerable mixture of the classical element. One reason of this is that the terms in use for designating ideas peculiar to Judaism or Christianity had mostly been derived from Latin. The fol. lowing are examples of such words; some of them were originally Greek, though received by us through the Latin :evangelist, apostle, bishop, baptism; grace, inspiration,
; salvation, redemption, regeneration, propitiation, mediator, repent, justify, sanctify, saint, elect, resurrection, eternal, immortal; miracle, angel, antichrist, creation, sacrifice, circumcision.
These have become household words. In so far as they represent easy conceptions—as 'evangelist', 'baptism'-we are as much at home with them as we should have been with native terms. In so far as they signify the more abstruse doctrines of Christianity or the deep operations of religious life-- inspiration', 'mediator', 'justify', sanctify'-they are so peculiar, not to say technical, that Saxon equivalents, even if such were always available, would assist us little in understanding them; and indeed many people take them only as words of emotion.
In other cases the desire for precision made it necessary to have recourse to the classical element. The Saxon words, as we have seen, are more vague and undiscriminating; and this defect must be specially felt, when the object is to represent, by a literal translation, the exact meaning of a foreign author. On that ground, a good number of the Latin terms employed by our translators may be justified. It was avowedly for this reason that Campbell introduced considerably more of the classical element than had been used in our version. While he has thus lost in simplicity and its attendant advantages, he has gained in exactness of rendering. Thus the phrase βασιλεία των ουρανών Or του θεού, which our translators always render by 'kingdom of heaven' or 'of God', is translated by Campbell as reign when it refers to time, and kingdom only when it refers to place. So γέεννα and άδης, confounded in our translation under the one rendering, 'hell', are distinguished as hell and hades. • Whosoever heareth these my precepts, I will compare to a prudent man’ is more precise than the Saxon, Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, I will liken him unto a wise man'.
'I am not come to subvert, but to ratify’is definite, while the more familiar 'I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil’ is also more vague.
But allowing for those cases where the use of classical words was really necessary, there are still in the English