Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/15

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TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.


In the present English version of the Comedies of Aristophanes, the text adopted is that of Dindorf, as revised for the edition recently published by Didot, which it may here be observed is a great improvement on that contained in his Poetæ Scenici. The translator's aim has been to render the very words of Aristophanes into English as closely and exactly as the idioms of the two languages admit, and in illustrating his author the most approved commentators and versions have been diligently consulted. Any other mode of proceeding would have been inconsistent with the profession of a new and literal translation. Loose paraphrases of difficult Greek authors,—of which the world has more than enough already,—would be any thing but new, while an attempt to improve the author by substituting modern conceits, or fanciful interpretations, whenever the quaintness or freedom of the original appeared likely to offend the reader, would be inconsistent with his professed object. He has endeavoured to give what Aristophanes actually wrote, as far as could be accomplished in English words, excepting in passages of extreme indeli-