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In rebus quibuscunque difficilioribus non expectandum, ut qui simul,
et serat, et metat, sed præparatione opus est, et per gradus matu.
PUBLISHED BY PHILIP H. NICKLIN, NO. 175, CHESNUT ST.
District of Pennsylvania, to wit:
BE it remembered, that on the thirtieth day of October, ADX in the forty-third year of the Independence of the United A Seal...
States of America, A D. 1818. Philip H. Nicklin, of the **** said District, has deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following to wit: An Essay on Crimes and Punishments, translated from the Italian of
Cæsar Bonesana, Marquis Beccaria. To which is added, a Com. mentary by M. D. Voltaire. Translated from the French, by Edward 1. Ingraham. Second American Edition. In rebus quibus cunque difficilioribus non expectandum, ut qui simul, et scrat, et metat, sed præparatione opus est, et per gradus maturescant.
In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled « An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies
of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such , copies, during the times therein mentioned;” and also to the act en
titled an act “ Suplementary, to an act entitled, “ An Act, for the en-
WHO the author of the translation of M. de Voltaire's commentary upon the Marquis Beccaria’s Essay on Crimes and Punishments was, I have never been able to ascertain, but it has always been a matter of regret to me, that it should have been suffered, by its appearance in print, to derogate from the reputation of the ori. ginal. It appears indeed, at the first view, to be a studied attempt to burlesque the style and misrepresent the sense of that celebrated writer. These circumstances induce me, upon the publication of a new edition of the Essay, to offer a new translation, with the hope that, though it be impossible to transfer to another language the spirit that characterises the style of the original, I might render M. de Voltaire intelligible to the American reader. That this was not the case heretofore, I need only appeal to those who have had the patience to read the version annexed to
the first American edition of the Essay on Crimes and Punishments. The reasons are sufficiently obvious; the translator appears to have been imperfectly acquainted with the French language, and totally unacquainted with English or French law terms and proceedings, a knowledge of which is absolutely necessary in order to avoid gross errors in translating a work, in which legal phrases so frequently occur. Proper names also, which the French generally alter to suit their own convenience, appear to have caused him considerable embarrassment: Mark Antonin being rendered Mark Anthony, instead of Marcus Anto. nius; and Madame Brinvilliers, is, from the same cause, metamorphosed into a man.
For some reason also all the notes and references by M. de Voltaire are omitted. It may at the same time, not be improper to remark, that the translation be. ing a literal one, the style is uncouth to a degree of barbarism, in consequence of the gallicisms with which it abounds. Let it not be supposed, how. ever, from my strictures upon another, that I am anxious to attract attention to my own work, or to deprecate criticism. Whatever pretensions I may have to notice, are founded upon the belief that I have spared no pains to fulfil the first duty of a translator-a faithful adherence to the sense of my author, at the same time that I have endeavoured to do M. de Voltaire the justice to make him
speak English. How far I have succeeded in my object, is not for me to judge; nor shall I offer any apology for an attempt to render more intelligible any subject connected with the study or improvement of law; convinced, that to make any exertion with that view, is to fulfil one of the first duties which every man owes to his profession.
Philadelphia, September 19, 1819.