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...What is really best in any book is translatable,--any real insight or broad human sentiment. Nay, I observe, that, in our Bible, and other books of lofty moral tone, it seems easy and inevitable to render the rhythm and music of the original into phrases of equal melody. The Italians have a fling at translators, _i traditori traduttori_, but I thank them. I rarely read any Latin, Greek, German, Italian, sometimes not a French book in the original, which I can procure in a good version.I like to be beholden to the great metropolitan English speech, the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven.I should as soon think of swimming across Charles River, when I wish to go to Boston, as of reading all my books in originals, when I have them rendered for me in my mother tongue.
For history, there is great choice of ways to bring the student through early Rome. If he can read Livy, he has a good book; but one of the short English compends, some Goldsmith or Ferguson, should be used, that will place in the cycle the bright stars of Plutarch. The poet Horace is the eye of the... Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Excerpt from The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 3, January, 1858 · This quote is about language · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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