Tag Archives: Rpger Smith

забаллотирована

 

Если же власть категорически примет ультиматум ‒ то и этот выход не устраняет, а только отсрочивает ее падение. Достаточно будет водвориться начаткам правового строя, появиться одной вольной газете, ослабеть террору… и на другой день власть будет забаллотирована или устранена небольшой группой заговорщиков, опирающихся на общее сочувствие народных масс. Такова трагическая дилемма, перед которой очутилась власть, дилемма, в обоих случаях сулящая ее падение. С той лишь разницей, что в первом случае мы пойдем к ее ликвидации путем, способным при достаточной гибкости власти растянуться на 4-6 лет, во втором ‒ «революционно-анархическим» путем. Только война или какая-нибудь мировая катавасия могут спасти ее…

If the government categorically accepts the ultimatum, then this withdrawal does not eliminate it, but only delays its fall. It will be enough to establish the rudiments of a legal system, to appear in one free newspaper, to weaken the terror… and the next day, the government will be voted out or eliminated by a small group of conspirators, relying on the general approval of the masses. Such is the tragic dilemma that the government faces, a dilemma that in both cases promises its downfall. The only difference is that in the first case, we will proceed to its elimination by a route that can, with sufficient flexibility on the part of the government, be prolonged for 4-6 years, in the second it will be “revolutionary-anarchic.” Only war or some kind of world disaster can save it …

— П. А. Сорокин, Современное состояние России (P. A. Sorokin, The Contemporary Condition of Russia), 1922

 

*****************************************************

 

I was working on this passage today as a co-translator of the above-named work; and I got to thinking what a rich language Russian is. It has continued since my college days to fascinate and challenge me.

 

… только отсрочивает ее падение

only delays its fall

отсрочивает (otsrochivayet) … delays

 

и на другой день власть будет забаллотирована ….

and the next day, the government will be voted out …,

забаллотирована (zaballotirovana) means “voted out” (as in voted out of office) … Russian makes such intricate, complex, often long, words German-style, with prefixes and endings adding complexity and specifying grammatical function and meaning.

 

… при достаточной гибкости власти растянуться на 4-6 лет

… with sufficient flexibility on the part of the government, be prolonged for 4-6 years

растянуться (rastyanut’sya) … be prolonged (passive/reflexive with perfective prefix)

 

And …

Россия ненавидит ее сейчас сильнее, чем старый режим в самые бесславные времена последнего. Да и за что любить ее какому бы то ни было классу! Исполнила ли она хотя бы одно из своих заманчивых обещаний?

Russia hates it [the government] now more than it did the old regime in the most inglorious times of the latter. And why should any class love it? Has it fulfilled at least one of its alluring promises?

заманчивых (zamanchivykh), alluring

 

Она дала вексель на постройку нового идеального общества. Вместо этого в крови и пожаре построила душную казарму, нищую, разбойничью, деспотическую, в которой население задыхалось и вы ушную мирало.

It gave a promissory note for the construction of a new ideal society. Instead, in blood and fire, it built a suffocating barracks, impoverished, thievish, despotic, in which the population suffocated and died out.

разбойничью (razboynich’yu), thievish

задыхалось (zadykhalos’), suffocated (literally, gasped); perfective passive verb

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

   May 2021

A Seventeenth Century Biographical Sketch of William Shakespeare

 

“William Shakespeare” by John Aubrey

 

Mr William Shakespeare

Mr William Shakespeare was born at Stratford-upon-Avon in the county of Warwick. His father was a butcher and I have been told heretofore by some of the neighbours that when he was a boy he exercised his father’s trade, but when he killed a calf he would doe it in a high style, and make a speech. There was at this time another butcher’s son in this town that was held not at all inferior to him for a natural wit, his acquaintance and coetanean, but died young.

This William, being inclined naturally to poetry and acting, came to London, I guess, about 18: and was an actor at one of the play-houses, and did act exceedingly well (now Ben Jonson was never a good actor, but an excellent instructor). He began early to make essays at dramatic poetry, which at that time was very low, and his plays took well.

He was a handsome, well shaped man: very good company, and of a very ready and pleasant smoot wit. The humour of … the constable in Midsomernight’s Dreame, he happened to take at Grendon in Bucks — I think it was Midsomer night that he happened to lye there — which is the road from London to Stratford, and there was living that constable about 1642, when I first came to Oxford: Mr Jodas Howe is of that parish, and knew him. Ben Jonson and he did gather humours of men daily where ever they came. One time as he was at the tavern at Stratford-super-Avon, one Combes, an old rich usurer, was to be buried, he makes there this extemporary epitaph:

Ten in the Hundred the Devill allowes,
But Combes will have twelve, he sweares and vowes:
If anyone askes who lies in this tombe,
‘Hoh!’ quoth the Devill, ’tis my John o Combe.

He was wont to go to his native country once a year. I think I have been told that he left 2 or 300 li. per annum there and thereabout to a sister. Vide: his epitaph in Dugdale’s Warwickshire.

I have heard Sir William Davenant and Mr Thomas Shadwell (who is counted the best comedian we have now) say that he had a most prodigious wit, and did admire his natural parts beyond all other dramatical writers. He was wont to say (Ben Jonson’s Undererwoods) that he ‘never blotted out a line in his life’; said Ben Jonson, ‘I wish he had blotted-out a thousand.’

His comedies will remain wit as long as the English tongue is understood, for that he handles mores hominum [the ways of mankind]. Now our present writers reflect so much upon particular persons and coxcombeities, that twenty years hence they will not be understood.

Though, as Ben Jonson says of him, that he had but little Latin and less Greek, he understood Latin pretty well, for he had been in his younger years a schoolmaster, in the country – this from Mr … Breston.

 

****************************************************

 

This biographical sketch of Shakespeare was published in John Aubrey’s Brief Lives, a collection of short biographies written by Aubrey (1626–1697).

The version posted here, which is in slightly edited form, was been published in Ruth Scurr, John Aubrey, My Own Life.

 

— Roger W. Smith

   September 2016