Page:Voyage in search of La Perouse, volume 1 (Stockdale).djvu/17

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TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

faithfully describing the objects of it, when he scruples not to express publicly his disapprobation of the conduct of Officers of talents and distinction, engaged in the higher departments of the same great undertaking.

In translating the work, the object aimed at was to render it so literally as never to depart from the meaning of the Author; yet so freely as not merely to clothe his French idiom with English words. The translation of such a work would, in our opinion, be free without licence, and literal without servility.

Some readers would, no doubt, have willingly dispensed with a great number of the nautical remarks, and with all the bearings and distances; but those particulars were plainly so important to navigators, that they could not, on any account, be omitted. Nor, indeed, has a single sentence of the original, been retrenched in the translation, except two passages, which would have been justly considered as indelicate by most English readers; and, for the same reason, the two engravings referred to in the exceptionable passages, have been altered.

The whole of the plates are given in a style generally not inferior to the original, which, with

the