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Old 03-20-2016, 05:51 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Help with translation please

I am preparing Life in the Sick-Room by Harriet Martineau, for the MobileRead library, and would be most grateful if some kind soul would translate a section which occurs in the original book just before the title page. The text is:

" Quand on se porte bien, on ne comprend pas comment on pourrait faire si on était malade; et quand on l'est, on prend médecine gaiement : le mal y résout. On n'a plus les passions et les désirs des divertissements et des promenades, que la santé donnait, et qui sont incompatibles avec les nécessités de la maladie. La nature donne alors des passions et des désirs conformes à l'état présent. Ce ne sont que les craintes que nous nous donnons nous-mêmes, et non pas la nature, qui nous troublent ; parcequ'elles joignent à l'état ou nous sommes les passions de l'état ou nous ne sommes pas."— Pascal.

I think I've got the diacritics right, but my French is so rusty I may have missed some. I can understand the general meaning, but can't put it into good English. I intend to use the text as is, with an endnote to the English translation.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:28 PM   #2
Arios
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Hi Alex,

Here is what I found, from Pensées:

Our nature exists by motion; prefect rest is death. [75]

«When we are well we wonder how we should get on if we were sick, but when sickness comes we take our medicine cheerfully, into that the evil resolves itself. We have no longer those passions and that desire for amusement and gadding abroad, which were ours in health, but are now incompatible with the necessities of our disease. So then nature gives us passions and desires in accordance with the immediate situation. Nothing troubles us but fears, which we, and not nature, make for ourselves, because fear adds to the condition in which we are the passions of the condition in which we are not.»

http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2407 Translator: Charles Kegan Paul

The translation sounds very nice to me.

Pascal and Chateaubriand have (at least for me) a depth and irreplaceable styles in French litterature.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:56 AM   #3
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Many thanks. I've used the Liberty Fund site before, but never thought to check there for a translation.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:25 PM   #4
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You're welcome Alex, and keep up your great work for MobileRead!

Last edited by Arios; 03-21-2016 at 06:29 PM.
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