Over the past year I’ve been intermittently struggling through the Dryden translation of Plutarch’s Lives.
I settled on this version after noticing it was the one in Twain’s library, but I should have looked more closely. The book was an article of loathing and ridicule for Twain, who amended the title page (at right) to read “Translated From the Greek [into rotten English] by John Dryden and Others,” and “The Whole Carefully Revised and Corrected [by an ass].”
In the margin, he wrote:
When you come across the pronouns he and him in this slovenly book, you will never know to whom they refer. But never mind — neither does God.