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Translation: Toast to John Adams in Amsterdam, 1782

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Translation: Toast to John Adams in Amsterdam, 1782

Postby AureaLibertas » Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:59 pm

Hello to all,

I was reading the diaries of John Adams (2nd US pres) during his stay in the Netherlands and noticed the following entry:

(1782, oct 14) Not long after my Reception here I was invited by Mr. Le Vaillant At Amsterdam, to dine with him in Company with Mr. Van Berckell, Bikker, and their Connections. When, according to the Ton in this country, We came to that Period of the Feast, when the Toasts begin, Mr. Le Vaillant produced a beautifull Glass, round the Rim which was engraved Aurea Libertas. He filled it, and first addressing himself to the Glass and then to me, pronounced these Words, with a profound Bow.

Aurea Libertas gaude: Pars altera mundi
Vindice te, renuit subdere colla jugo.
Haec tibi, Legatum quern consors Belga recipit,
Pectore sincero pocula plena fero.
Utraque Gens nectet, mox suspicienda Tyrannis
Quae Libertati vincula sacra precor.


Never was Bumper quaffed with more good Will.

(source: http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/ae ... cfm?id=D34 )


Curious as I am, I have been trying to figure out what this toast means. I know Aurea Libertas means Golden Liberty, gaude(o) to rejoice, but that is as far as I get apart from individual words, that combined in a sentence make little sense.

If anyone is interested in posting a translation of these 6 historical sentences I would be very gratefull.

Have a good day :D
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Postby whiteoctave » Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:00 pm

they are six nice lines of elegy.
"rejoice, golden liberty: with you as champion half of the world has refused to bow its neck to the yoke (of slavery). i bring this cup brimming with sincerity to you, ambassador* welcomed by your Belgian ally. that other race, and then untrustworthy Tryanny, will weave what i pray will be sacred** binds for freedom."

* i am not sure why this is legatum. if it is in the vocative, legatum would refer to a bequest or a legacy. i presume quern = quem and that Belga, is an adj. equal to Belgicus.
** this meaning makes little sense to me. an alternative rendering would be 'accursed' or 'criminal'. this last sentence is hard, owing to the fact that nectet has no direct object (unless 'ea' is understood as an antecedent to quae') and it cannot be read absolutely. 'precor' also, is apparently not separated by commas, so must be introducing an acc. and inf. construction, with esse omitted.

i hope that this, with due context, is of some use.

~D
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A French translation (with apologies)

Postby Skylax » Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:37 pm

(written before whiteoctave had posted his translation, but perire lucubrationem meam nolui)


Here is my French translation. I shoud try in English also but I am sure that someone will be able to translate it into English. At least, it could help those who will also try to translate.

And, per Album Octavium, these are Elegiacs !

Liberté d'or, sois en joie ! La moitié du monde
- car tu en es le libérateur - a refusé de mettre sa nuque sous le joug.
A toi, l'envoyé que reçoit le Belge ton frère,
j'apporte d'un coeur pur ces coupes (bien) remplies.
Les deux Nations vont nouer des liens
dont les Tyrans auront bientôt à s'étonner,
(des liens) qui seront, c'est ma prière, voués à la Liberté.

Notes:
PARS ALTERA : I understand "half the world"; it could be "the other part of the world" (America, just independent)
VINDICE TE : ablative absolute
BELGA : "the Belgian", not today's meaning; refers to Caesar's "Belgians", occupying also the lower part of the Rhine.
HAEC : agrees with POCULA
CONSORS : I think it is almost the same as "brother", here
SUSPICIENDA : "to be seen with wide eyes"
QUAE LIBERTATI VINCULA SACRA PRECOR : "links which I pray (that they should be) dedicated to Liberty (or is it Freedom?)."
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Postby Skylax » Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:50 pm

whiteoctave wrote:* i am not sure why this is legatum.


We could say LEGATUM is "originally" an apposition to TIBI (TIBI LEGATO QUEM...) which has been "attracted" into the relative clause... then emphatically put before :? . See Allen and Greenough § 307 e page 187 [198]. This construction is frequent in Caesar.
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Postby Skylax » Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:03 pm

whiteoctave wrote:and then untrustworthy Tyranny


Ah, yes. For my part, I saw Tyrannis as the plural dative of Tyrannus,i "the Tyrant", so "by the Tyrants" after the gerundive SUSPICIENDA that I saw as a plural neuter with VINCULA (which has been also "attracted" into the relative). Well, it is poetry, it isn't ?
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Postby whiteoctave » Tue Aug 24, 2004 7:30 pm

Skylax, i enjoyed your french rendering.
although i am familiar with the whole notion of attraction of the relative, it seems to me a bizarre thing for the poet to introduce, seeing as appositive 'legato' would have scanned identically and brought about a neater poem.
i think the capitalisation of Tyrannis, presuming the orthography correct, rules out it being dat.pl., but instead a personification of tyranny, taking suspicienda with it.
it's a shame M. Le Vaillant isn't here to offer a defence.

~D
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Postby Episcopus » Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:37 pm

whiteoctave ne me dis point que tu as aussi appris le francais :!:
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Postby AureaLibertas » Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:48 pm

Thanks for the replies. It makes much more sense now.

Unfortunately my French, well, c'est est une peux terrible. Skylax parlez vous aussi Hollandais?
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Postby Skylax » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:28 pm

(Mijn Nederlands is ook vreselijk, I'm afraid. Niettemin zit ik nu Ugo Claus' Het Verdriet van België te lezen)

Now I tried to turn the toast into my Dutch. Could you please correct it?
Regarding the meaning, I stayed with my interpretation. I don't think the capitalisation of Tyrannis implies it is personified Tyranny because Gens is also capitalised. On the other hand, why should Tyranny weave binds ? In my mind, the Dutch wish both (UTRAQUE) Nations, Holland and the fledgeling USA, to weave binds against Tyranny (maybe especially the King of Great Britain ?). So :

Gouden Vrijheid, wees nu eens blij.
Met jouw als voorvechter heeft de helft van de wereld geweigerd om de nek onder de juk te buigen.
Tot U, als bode die de Belg, uw broer, onthaalt, breng ik deze goed gevulde glazen toe.
Beide Naties zullen door Tirannen te verwonderen betrekkingen aanknopen die, zo bid ik, aan Vrijheid toegewijd zullen zijn.

Waiting for corrections,
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Postby AureaLibertas » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:02 am

Thanks Skylax, je nederlandse tekst klinkt volledig aannemelijk. Typisch hoe haast geen Fransman Nederlands spreekt en de gemiddelde Hollander, als ik mijzelf even als maatstaf mag nemen, zeer matig onderlegd is in de Franse taal. Gelukkig is er altijd nog Belgia :)

I appreciate the multilingual effords, but will switch to English, as that was the language I was looking for. Not since memorising the Dutch translation of the Pro Milone in highschool have I used Latin, terms like genetive and dative have happily left my vocabulary ten years ago, so I can hardly comment on the accuracy of the translations.

I will try to provide some more context for the text , perhaps clarifying what might have been meant and why. For my own future reference as well.

PARS ALTERA : I understand "half the world"; it could be "the other part of the world" (America, just independent)

While googling I noticed "America aurea pars Altera Mundi" is the name of a map of America by G. & L. Valk, Amsterdam, c. 1706. Apparently America was already considered "aurea" then.

picture:
http://www.franceantiq.fr/books/Romanti ... anticagony

"Pars Altera Mundi" - this term appears in several writing of Barlaeus, ca. 1645. eg "Laxa patent spatia, & vasti pars altera mundi" and "At Batavo jam crevit onus. pars altera mundi, Addita terrarum portio magna fuit"

Aurea Libertas


Term used by Constantijn Huygens (1596 - 1689) in "AD IUVENTUTEM ZIRICAEAM ELEGIA APOLOGETICA":

Aurea Libertas, quae non lustrabimus arva?
(50) Quanta sub hos oculos, te comitante, cadent!
Aurea Libertas, priscis adamata Batavis,
Cum socias junxit foedere Roma manus,
Aurea Libertas, superum data munere Terris,
Quis tibi, quis sanus, vincula praetulerit?
(55) Aurea Libertas, Tibi me, voveoque dicoque,
Tu quoque ne gressus desere Diva meos.


(be my guest, textkit fans, zealots and enthusiasts :))
source: http://www.etcl.nl/huygens/1618.html


Also "Aurea Libertas" is the text on the golden hat of the bronze woman statue in the mausoleum of Prince William of Orange at the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. Ref: http://www.nieuwekerk-delft.nl/eng/praalgraf.html

The Republic of the United Netherlands 1780-1789:

Patriots vs. Orangists. Revolution smolders in Europe.

Some key events:

1776: American war of independance starts against Britain, the biggest competition to the Dutch Republic, Dutch support to the Revolution leads to 4th Anglo-Dutch war (1780-1784)

1781: Battle at Doggersbank marks end of the Netherlands as a military sea-power. Patriottic leader Johan van der Kapellen (openly supporter of the American Revolution, translator of 'Observations on civil liberty' by American Richard Price in Dutch, organisor of 1780 loan to American Republic) publishes pamphlet "To the people of the Netherlands" (full text: http://home.casema.nl/wilschut/ahvvne.htm ) urging democratic reform and starting the Revolution.

1787: after turbulant years where Stadhouder Willem V was forced to move his seat of governance to Nijmegen (noviomagum) his wife, Prussian Princess Wilhelmina, rides to the Hage in order to urge the Orangist reclaiming the city. Stopped by Patriots at Goejanverwellesluis she is forced to to turn back. After this event Willem V sends Prussian troops to crush dissent. 6000 to 8000 patriots flee to Paris, to return in 1795 with French troops.

1789: Storming of the Basille. Angry mob storms heap of bricks. Freeing seven inmates: four forgers, two "lunatics" and one "deviant" aristocrat, the Comte de Solages".
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