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is unequal in the style, in respect both of purity and of perspicuity, is very evident; nay, to such a degree as plainly to evince that it has not all issued from the same pen. Considered in gross, we have reason to think it greatly inferior to Jerom's translation, as finished by himself. I may add, we have reason also to consider the version which Jerom actually made, as greatly inferior to what he could have made, and would have made, if he had thought himself at liberty to follow entirely his own judgment, and had not been much restrained by the prejudices of the people. I have already observed the advantages redounding to the critic from the use of this version, which are in some degree peculiar. I shall only add, that its language, barbarous as it often is, has its use in assisting us to understand more perfectly the Latin ecclesiastical writers of the early ages.
STRICTURES ON CASTALIO.
Having shown, that it is impossible to do justice to an author, or to his subject, by attempting to track him, and always to be found in his footsteps, I shall now animadvert a little on those translators who are in the opposite extreme; whose manner is so loose, rambling, and desultory, that, though they move nearly in the same direction with their author, pointing to the same object, they keep scarcely within sight of his path. Of the former excess Arias Montanus is a perfect model ; the Vulgate is often 100 much so. Of the latter, the most remarkable example we have in Latin is Castalio. Yet Castalio's work is no paraphrase, such as we have sometimes seen under the name of liberal translations ; for in these there are always interwoven with the thoughts of the author those of his interpreter, under the notion of their importance either for illustrating or for enforcing the sentiments of the original. The paraphrast does not confine himself to the humble task of the translator, who proposes to exhibit, pure and unmixed, the sentiments of another, clothed indeed in a different dress, namely, such as the country into which he introduces them can supply him with. The paraphrast, on the contrary claims to share with the author in the merit of the work, not in respect of the language merely, for to this every interpreter has a claim, but in respect of what is much more important, the sense; nay, further, if the sentiments of these two happen to jar, no uncommon case, it is easy to conjecture whose will predominate in the paraphrase. But it is not with paraphrasts that I have here to do. A loose manner of translating is sometimes adopted, not for the sake of insinuating artfully the translator's opinions, by blending them with the sentiments of the author, but merely for the sake of expressing with elegance, and in an oratorical manner, the sense of the original.
2. This was acknowledged to be in a high degree Castalio's object in translating. He had observed, with grief, that great numbers were withheld from reading the Scriptures, that is, the Vulgate, the only version of any account then extant, by the rudeness as well as the obscurity of the style. To give the public a Bible more elegantly and perspicuously written, be considered as at least an innocent if not a laudable artifice for inducing students, especially those of the younger sort, to read the Scriptures with attention, and to throw aside books full of indecencies, then much in vogue, because recommended by the beauty and ornaments of language.
Cupiebam,” says he, * “ extare Latinorem aliquam, necnon fideliorem, et magis perspicuam sacrarum literarum translationem, ex qua posset eâdem operâ pietas cum Latino sermone disci, ut hac ratione et tempori consuleretur, et homines ad legenda sacra pellicerentur.” The motive was surely commendable ; and the reason, whereon it was founded, a general disuse of the Scriptures on account of the badness of their language, is but too notorious. Cardinal Bembo, a man of some note and literature under the pontificate of Leo X, in whose time the Reformation commenced, is said to have expressed himself strongly on this subject, that he durst not read the Bible for fear of corrupting his style ; an expression which had a very unfavorable aspect, especially in a churchman. Nevertheless, when we consider that by the Bible he meant the Vulgate, and by his style his Latinity, this declaration, judged with candor, will not be found to merit all the censure which Brownt and others have bestowed upon it. For surely no one who understands Latin will say, that he wishes to form his style in that language on the Vulgate. Nor does any reflection on the language of that translation affect, in the smallest degree, the sacred writers. The character of Moses's style, in particular, is simplicity, seriousness, perspicuity, and purity. The first and second of these qualities are, in general, well exhibited in the Vulgate ; the third is sometimes violated, and the fourth often.
3. But to return to Castalio : he was not entirely disappointed in his principal aim. Many Romanists, as well as Protestants, who could not endure the foreign idioms and obscurity of the Vulgate, attracted by the fluency, the perspicuity, and partly no doubt by the novelty of Castalio's diction, as employed for conveying the mind of the Spirit, were delighted with the performance ; whilst the same quality of novelty, along with what looked like affectation in
* Cast. Defens. Trans. etc.
† Essays on the Characteristics.
the change, exceedingly disgusted others. One thing is very evident in regard to this translator, that when his work first made its appearance, nobody seemed to judge of it with coolness and moderation. Almost every person either admired or abhorred it. At this distant period there is a greater probability of judging equitably than there was when it was first published, and men's passions, from the circumstances of the times, were, on every new topic of discussion wherein religion was concerned, so liable to be inflamed.
4. If we examine this work by the three great ends of translating above observed, we shall be qualified to form some judgment of his merit in this department. As to the first and principal end, conveying the true sense of his author, I think he has succeeded at least as well as most other translators into Latin, and better than some of those who, with much virulence, traduced his character and decried his work. He had, indeed, one great advantage, in being an excellent linguist, and knowing more of the three languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, than most of the critics of his time. But that his immoderate passion for classical elocution did sometimes lead him to adopt expressions which were feeble, obscure, and improper, is very certain. And it must be owned, notwithstanding his plausible defence, that Beza had reason to affirm that the words ότι έπεσκέψατο και εποίησε λύτρωσιν τω λαώ αυτού, Luke 1: 68 are but ambiguously and frigidly rendered “ qui populi sui liberationem procuret.” The difference is immense between the notions of Pagans concerning the agency of their gods in human affairs, and the ideas which Scripture gives us of the divine efficiency; and therefore even Cicero, in a case of this kind, is no authority. The following instance, cited by Houbigant,* is an example of obscurity arising from the same cause : "Tu isti populo terræ hæreditatem hercisceris," Josh. 1: 6. Hercisco is merely a judicial term, which, though it might have been proper in a treatise on the civil law, or in pleading in a court of judicature, no Roman author of any name would have used in a work intended for the people. But to no sort of style are technical terms more unsuitable than to that of holy writ. It was the more inexcusable in this place, where the simple and natural expression was so obvious ; Tu terram—dalis isti populo possidendam: Whereas the phrase which Castalio has adopted would have probably been unintelligible to the much greater part of the people, even in Rome, at the time when Latin was their mother-tongue.
5. As to the second object of translating, the conveyance of the spirit and manner of the author, in a just exhibition of the character of his style ; I hinted before, that in this particular he failed entirely, and I may even add, intentionally. The first characteristical
quality of the historic style of holy writ, simplicity, he has totally renounced. The simple style is opposed both to the complex and to the highly ornamented. The complex is, when the diction abounds in periods, or in sentences consisting of several members artfully combined. This is much the manner of Castalio, but far from that of the sacred historians. In a former Dissertation* I gave a specimen of this difference, in his manner of rendering the first five verses of Genesis. Now, for the transformation he has made them undergo, he has no excuse from either necessity or perspicuity. The simple style will suit any tongue, (though the complex will not always), and is remarkably perspicuous. His affecting so often, without necessity, to give, in the way of narrative, what in the original is in the way of dialogue, is another flagrant violation of ancient simplicity.
Nor is simplicity alone hurt by this change. How cold and inanimate, as well as indefinite, is the oblique but classical turn which Castalio has endeavored to give to Laban's salutation of Abraham's servant, “ Eumque a Jova salvere jussum, hortatur, ne foris maneat,” compared with the direct and vivid address in the Vulgate, literally from the Hebrew, " Dixitque, Ingredere, benedicte Domini : cur foris stas?” or, as it is in the English translation, “ Come in, thou blessed of the Lord: wherefore standest thou without?” Gen 24: 31. That he transgresses, in this respect also, by a profusion of ornament, is undeniable. By his accumulated diminutives, both in names and epithets, in the manner of Catullus, intended surely to be ornamental, he has injured the dignity, as well as the simplicity and seriousness, of Solomon's Song.
Another ornament in the same taste, by which the simplicity of the sacred writers has been greatly hurt in his translation, is the attempt, when the same ideas recur, of expressing them almost always in different words and varied phrases. It is not only essential to the simplicity, but it adds to the majesty of the inspired penmen, that there never appears in them any solicitude about their words : No pursuit of variety, or indeed of any thing in point of diction out of the common road. Very different is the manner of this interpreter. - I had occasion to remark before,t that there were no fewer than seven or eight phrases employed by Castalio, in different places of the New Testament, for expressing the import of the single verb Meravotn, though used always in the same acceptation. And as another specimen of this inordinate passion I shall add, that, to express dioyuós, he uses, beside the word persecutio, the far too general terms, vexatio, afflictio, insectatio, adversa, res adversæ. Nay, in some instances, his love of variety has carried him so far as to sacrifice, not barely the style of his author, but his sense. What can be a stronger example of it, than his degominating God Deus obtrectator, Josh. 24: 19, rather than recur, with his author, to any term he had employed before. For the Hebrew Nap kone, rendered jealous in the English translation, he had used, in one place, æmulus, in another, sociï impatiens, and in a third, rivalis impatiens. Though some exception may be made to the last two, the first was as good as the language afforded. Another translator would not have thought there was any occasion for a fourth ; but so differently thought our classical interpreter in matters of this kind, that he preferred a most improper word, which might contribute to give his style the graces of novelty and variety, to an apposite, but more common terın, which he had employed before. The word obtrectator is never used, as far as I remember, but in a bad sense. It is acknowledged, that when jealousy is ascribed to God, the expression is not strictly proper : he is spoken of after the manner of men. But then the term by itself does not imply any thing immoral. We may say of a man properly, in certain cases, that he had reason to be jealous; but with no propriety can we say, in any case, that a man had reason to be envious, that he had reason to be calumnious. These epithets are better suited to the diabolical nature than to the divine ; yet both are included in the word obtrectator.
* Diss. III. sect. 4. | Diss. VI. Part jii. sect. 11.
In short, his affectation of the manner of some of the poets and orators has metamorphosed the authors he interpreted, and stripped them of the venerable signatures of antiquity which so admirably befit them; and which, serving as intrinsic evidence of their authenticity, recommend their writings to the serious and judicious. Whereas, when accoutred in this new fashion, nobody would imagine them to have been Hebrews; and yet (as some critics have justly remarked) it has not been within the compass of Castalio's art to make them look like Romans.
6. I am far from thinking that Castalio merited, on this account, the bitter invectives vented against him by Beza and others, as a wilful corrupter of the word of God. His intention was good; it was to entice all ranks as much as possible to the study of the divine oracles. The expedient he used appeared at least harmless. It was, in his judgment, at the worst, but like that which Harace observes was often practised by good-natured teachers :
-Ut pueris oliin dant crustula blandi
Doctores, elementa velint ut discere prima. He regarded the thoughts solely as the result of inspiration, the words and idiom as merely circumstantial. "Erant apostoli," says he, (Defens.) “natu Hebræi : et peregrina, hoc est Græca lingua scribentes hebraizabant ; non quod id juberet spiritus : neque enim