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Saint Augustin   By: (1866-1941)

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SAINT AUGUSTIN

BY

LOUIS BERTRAND

TRANSLATED BY VINCENT O'SULLIVAN

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

The quotations from Saint Augustin's Confessions are taken from Canon Bigg's scholarly version, which seems to me the best in English. But there are places where M. Bertrand's reading of the original text differs from Dr. Bigg's, and in such cases I have felt myself obliged to follow the author of this book. These differences never seriously affect the meaning of a passage; sometimes it is a mere matter of choice, as with the word collactaneum (i, 7) which Dr. Bigg translates "twin," and M. Bertrand, like Pusey, frère de lait , or "foster brother." As a rule, Dr. Bigg chooses the quietest terms, and M. Bertrand the most forcible. Those curious in such matters may like to see an instance.

The original text runs:

Avulsa a latere meo tanquam impedimento conjugii, cum quâ cubare solitus eram, cor ubi adhaerebat, concisum et vulneratum mihi erat, et trahebat sanguinem.

( Confessiones , vi, 15.)

M. Bertrand translates:

Quand on arracha de mes flancs, sous prétexte qu'elle empêchait mon mariage, celle avec qui j'avais coutume de dormir, depuis si longtemps, là où mon coeur était attaché au sien, il se déchira, et je traînais mon sang avec ma blessure.

Canon Bigg's version is:

My mistress was torn from my side as an obstacle to my marriage, and my heart, which clung to her, was torn and wounded till it bled.

In this place, it will be observed that Dr. Bigg does not emphasize the word ubi which, as the reader will find on turning to page 185 of this volume, M. Bertrand thinks so significant.

The remaining English versions of the writings of Saint Augustin and of the other Latin authors quoted are my own, except the passages from The City of God , including the verse translation of Persius, which are taken, with some necessary alterations, from the Seventeenth century translation ascribed to John Healey.

V. O'S.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

PROLOGUE

THE FIRST PART

DAYS OF CHILDHOOD

I. AN AFRICAN FREE TOWN SUBJECT TO ROME

II. THE FAMILY OF A SAINT

III. THE COMFORT OF THE MILK

IV. THE FIRST GAMES

V. THE SCHOOLBOY OF MADAURA

VI. THE HOLIDAYS AT THAGASTE

THE SECOND PART

THE ENCHANTMENT OF CARTHAGE

I. CARTHAGO VENERIS

II. THE AFRICAN ROME

III. THE CARTHAGE STUDENT

IV. THE SWEETNESS OF TEARS

V. THE SILENCE OF GOD

THE THIRD PART

THE RETURN

I. THE CITY OF GOLD

II. THE FINAL DISILLUSION

III. THE MEETING BETWEEN AMBROSE AND AUGUSTIN

IV. PLANS OF MARRIAGE

V. THE CHRIST IN THE GARDEN

THE FOURTH PART

THE HIDDEN LIFE

I. THE LAST SMILE OF THE MUSE

II. THE ECSTASY OF SAINT MONNICA

III. THE MONK OF THAGASTE

IV. AUGUSTIN A PRIEST

THE FIFTH PART

THE APOSTLE OF PEACE AND OF CATHOLIC UNITY

I. THE BISHOP OF HIPPO

II. WHAT WAS HEARD IN THE BASILICA OF PEACE

III. THE BISHOP'S BURTHEN

IV. AGAINST "THE ROARING LIONS"

THE SIXTH PART

FACE TO FACE WITH THE BARBARIANS

I. THE SACK OF ROME

II. THE CITY OF GOD

III. THE BARBARIAN DESOLATION

IV. SAINT AUGUSTIN

INDEX

SAINT AUGUSTIN

PROLOGUE

Inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te. "Our heart finds no rest until it rests in Thee."

Confessions , I, i.

Saint Augustin is now little more than a celebrated name. Outside of learned or theological circles people no longer read him. Such is true renown: we admire the saints, as we do great men, on trust. Even his Confessions are generally spoken of only from hearsay. By this neglect, is he atoning for the renewal of glory in which he shone during the seventeenth century, when the Jansenists, in their inveterate obstinacy, identified him with the defence of their cause? The reputation of sour austerity and of argumentative and tiresome prolixity which attaches to the remembrance of all the writers of Port Royal, save Pascal has that affected too the work of Augustin, enlisted in spite of himself in the ranks of these pious schismatics? And yet, if there have ever been any beings who do not resemble Augustin, and whom probably he would have attacked with all his eloquence and all the force of his dialectic, they are the Jansenists... Continue reading book >>




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