Page:Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, 1842.djvu/38

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this last, with the exception of an abridgment by Parker, is the best translation hitherto extant in the English language.

The present translator originally contemplated merely a revision or improvement of the last English version, but a slight examination will satisfy any one, that such labour would be equivalent to that of an original translation itself, whilst it could at best present little better than a mutilated aspect. The present, therefore, is a version entirely new. It has been finished in the midst of other vocations, and the author expected to have brought it to a state of readiness, for the press, before or about the beginning of the past winter. At the commencement of the work he anticipated a period of leisure, which would have enabled him to meet this expectation fully. But this period of expected leisure was absorbed by care and solicitude, amid sickness in his family, whilst his own health was but little calculated for the necessary effort.

It was one of the translator's original intentions to make the work more useful by the addition of many notes. Eusebius admits of a constant commentary, and there are some parts of the work, which besides mere illustration, require a separate discussion. Valesius has interspersed notes, which are more extensive than the whole work. They are mostly verbal criticisms, and refer to the various readings of the Greek text, and as such have but little interest for the general reader. Whoever wishes to consult these, will find the most of them translated in Shorting's Eusebius. The few notes that are scattered through the following pages, are by the present translator. He was diverted from his original plan of commenting on his author, partly by an apprehension of swelling the work; chiefly however, by a conviction that the time under existing circumstances would be better employed in a more diligent revision, and lastly, because he contemplates a prosecution of the author's historical works, in which abundant room and materials will be furnished for this purpose. In the mean time, the work is committed to the hands of the public, and in the quaint but expressive words of the oldest English translator of Eusebius: "If aught be well done, give the praise to God, let the pains be the translator's, and the profit the reader's." — Hanmer.