Un dessein si funeste, S'il n'est digne d'Atree, est digne de Thyeste.

02:40 Oct 27, 2005
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Short Story
French term or phrase: Un dessein si funeste, S'il n'est digne d'Atree, est digne de Thyeste.
This is a quote I believe in French from The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allen Poe found at this link: http://www.americanliterature.com/SS/SS10.HTML
I would like it translated for a class presentation about the story. Thanks.

Summary of answers provided
5better translation
Jane Lamb-Ruiz (X)

Discussion entries: 2



11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
better translation

YOu are giving a class presentation on this and "you believe" it is in French? At this level, shouldn't you know whether this is in French or not? Really...:)

Dupin wonders what the Minister's reaction will be once he opens the fake letter, since once upon a time in Vienna, Austria, the Minister had offended him, and he had sworn at that time that he would not forget when D-- crossed paths with him. Now, Dupin has his quiet revenge of sorts, having written into the fake letter some lines that would suggest that it had been Auguste that had outsmarted him. These lines are apparently referenced in Dupin's own writing, saying that the Minister "is well acquainted with my manuscript." The brief message he wrote is an excerpt from the play Atree by Crebillon, "Un dessein si funeste/S'il n'est digne d'Atree, est digne de Thyeste, " or "A plan, if disastrous, if it is not worthy of Atreus, is worthy of Thyestes." This refers to two brothers, Thyestes and Atreus, who waged a bitter war of revenge against each other. Thyestes had a love affair with Agamemnon's wife; Agamemnon cooked Thyestes' children alive; Thyestes then cursed him, and it was Thyestes' son Aegisthus who would later help to slay Atreus' son Agamemnon. The moral of their story is that the process of revenge is ongoing, referring to this quotation. Even after such a long while since he had been offended by D-- in Vienna, he has now gotten revenge and also earned fifty thousand francs from the Prefect. In spite of his apparent stoicism, Dupin must be in good spirits.

Jane Lamb-Ruiz (X)
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 80
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.

KudoZ™ translation help

The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.

See also:

Your current localization setting


Select a language

Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search