Wednesday, October 31, 2018


A Howler

G.G. Coulton (1858-1947), Fourscore Years: An Autobiography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1943), pp. 81-82:
We were always allowed to prepare the morrow's work in pairs, and generally did so. My usual partner was G.F. Colborne....[O]nce, in the Lower Fifth, he suffered heavily for our partnership. We were at Livy, XXI, 10, where Hanno tries to dissuade his city from war: 'Aegatis insulas Erycemque ante oculos proponite, quae terra marique per quattuor et viginti annos passi sitis'.1 It was probably I who had excogitated the absurd translation of that sentence, but Colborne, as it happened, was put on to construe it, and he thus rendered the words: 'Set before your eyes the Aegatian Isles and Eryx, which suffered thirst by land and sea for four-and-twenty years.' He was sent down ignominiously, and it took him several lessons to work his way up again to first or second.

1 'Set before your eyes the [case of] the Aegatian Isles & Eryx; [consider] what [disasters] you have suffered for 24 years, both by land and by sea.'
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