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Saint Augustin by Louis Bertrand


The quotations from Saint Augustin's Confessions are taken from Canon Bigg's scholarly version, which seems to me the best in English. But there are places where M. Bertrand's reading of the original text differs from Dr. Bigg's, and in such cases I have felt myself obliged to follow the author of this book. These differences never seriously affect the meaning of a passage; sometimes it is a mere matter of choice, as with the word collactaneum (i, 7) which Dr. Bigg translates |twin,| and M. Bertrand, like Pusey, frere de lait, or |foster-brother.| As a rule, Dr. Bigg chooses the quietest terms, and M. Bertrand the most forcible. Those curious in such matters may like to see an instance.

The original text runs: --

Avulsa a latere meo tanquam impedimento conjugii, cum qua cubare solitus eram, cor ubi adhaerebat, concisum et vulneratum mihi erat, et trahebat sanguinem.

(Confessiones, vi, 15.)

M. Bertrand translates: --

Quand on arracha de mes flancs, sous pretexte qu'elle empechait mon mariage, celle avec qui j'avais coutume de dormir, depuis si longtemps, la ou mon coeur etait attache au sien, il se dechira, et je trainais mon sang avec ma blessure.

Canon Bigg's version is: --

My mistress was torn from my side as an obstacle to my marriage, and my heart, which clung to her, was torn and wounded till it bled.

In this place, it will be observed that Dr. Bigg does not emphasize the word ubi which, as the reader will find on turning to page 185 of this volume, M. Bertrand thinks so significant.

The remaining English versions of the writings of Saint Augustin and of the other Latin authors quoted are my own, except the passages from The City of God, including the verse translation of Persius, which are taken, with some necessary alterations, from the Seventeenth century translation ascribed to John Healey.

V. O'S.

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