NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. ix. MARCH is, 1902.
The New Testament in Braid Scots. Rendered by
Rev. William Wye Smith. (Paisley, Gardner.) WE thought that the language of the old revisers of the Bible was familiar everywhere and considered unsurpassable. But a body of modern innovators has recently produced a c Twentieth Century Testa- ment,' and now we have the New Testament pre- sented to us in broad Scotch. The translator ren- dered, it appears, various pieces of the Bible before, and was asked for the whole, which " the Scots blude and the Scots tongue, wi' the American edication," enabled him to supply. To those who like to return to the tongue of their earlv days the book may be a boon, but we do not see that the ordinary Englishman needs more " unco tenderness or wondrous pith" than James's revisers secured. If he cannot see the extraordinary force and sweet- ness of their rendering, he may not be much more charmed and edified by the dialect of the " kail- yard," which has emptied the pockets of the Southron bookbuyer so often that he is a little tired of its appeal. Also we find ourselves somewhat irritated by the translator's commentary, which seems often otiose. He preaches in little notes, moral and controversial, which we do not want. As soon as Matthew has reached its twenty-first verse, we are told in a note that " the douriiess o'
the Jews was unco strange." Notes by way of
exegesis, especially in the Epistles, are tolerable, and perhaps desirable, but reflections we can make for ourselves, such as that " this Agrippa had some gude things aboot him." Is it necessary to say that the Romans were wise in their generation, or to add to Acts xxiii. 14 the comment, " What an awfu state o' public morals ! Nae wonder the wratl fell ! " We are not aware, as a matter of history that there is a record of any special judgment on the occasion. We gladly recognize that the trans lation approaches in several places nearer to th( original meaning, as Greek scholars conceive it than the older versions, as in Acts xxvi. 28. Here however, an evident point is missed. Agrippa says in this version, " Wi' a wee mair fleechin think yt to mak me a Christian ? " Where is the " mair " 'it the original ? Not in Westcott and Hort's recen- sion, or the Vulgate, or the Revised Version, or, we think, any good MSS. At any rate, the phrase tv o\iy v is taken up and repeated by St. Paul in
the next verse, a characteristic of his speaking which should be exhibited, and which the transla- tion, by rendering "wi' little" in the next verse loses altogether. There is an ample glossary of Scotch words at the end, and the volume is beauti- fully printed We should add that some of the equivalents adopted for the terms of the early Ohurch are likely to cause misconception ; but this is .perhaps inevitable, and the Scotch mind enjoy the discussion of such liberties. A History of Modern Europe Revised by Arthur Hassall. (Bellfe Sons.) THE third and fourth volumes are now before us of the history the earlier part of which we noticed last September 9 th S. viii. 235). The work retains its value as the best summary known to us o a mass of detail, confusing of ten to the expert historian and more often, perhaps, unknown to the general reader The volumes together cover the Period from 1576 to 1789, the latir date bringing us P up to ritish authorities than are available for periods. Dyer's style is adequate, and
By T. H. Dyer. Vols. III. and IV.
though not brilliant, at any rate lucid. The im- portance of the manner of exposition, which is denied in some quarters, we must emphasize in history, if history is to be read by the average reader. A great man gives the world the task of understanding him, it is said ; but if he does, it is a defect in him, not a merit. We can read this present work with ease, and think this no small recommendation. We differ about certain details, but where we do differ we often find the competent hand of Mr. Hassall referring to later authorities or suggesting a doubt as to the validity of the evidence proffered. Generally he supplies ample means for testing conclusions in other sources open to those who can read French and German. The index, as to which we have already expressed anxiety, is still deferred, presumably for the last volume, and we expect that Mr. Hassall will make as thorough a busi- ness of it as he has of the references to the Quellen indispensable to a modern scholar. We are a little disappointed at the brevity of the final notices of Gustavus Adolphus and the man whose career was cut short by Ravaillac, because the characters of the great men who made history interest us more than anything else. Usually these notices are judi- cious, though rather too short. More might be said in defence of the foreign policy of Charles II. of Eng- land. The incompetence of Louis XVI. amounted bo a crime, as did the insolence of Marie Antoinette, however atoned for afterwards.
As before, several celebrated remarks are pro- nounced to be inventions, but even so we are glad to have the words " Moriamur pro rege nostro Maria Theresa." There is a useful map of Europe in the eighteenth century attached to vol. iv.
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