Translation revised and corrected — by an ass

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.

At least I think the last word is God. Any thoughts on the Loeb Classics Library edition?


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