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|French to English translations [PRO]|
History / 18th Century French
|French term or phrase: méforrer?|
|I'm translating a letter written by Comte Louis de Lauraguais to Jean le Rond d'Alembert in 1772 and I can't decipher this word in the original manuscript - if anyone can work out what it might be I would be so very grateful.|
This is the link to the page containing the word in question:
the word is about 3/4 of the way down the page with an ink splodge on it.
Here is a transcription of the section containing the word:
...je puis vous dire mon confrere, qu’un des motifs qui ont determiné Mr. Banks, a me donner l’Extrait de son voyage, (quoique les preparatifs du second, que le premier lui fait entreprendre; lui laissent a peine le tems d’en arranger les Materiaux) a été de rendre a Mr. de Bougainville, la justice qu’il n’attendoit de personne, et qui doit le flatter de la part de Mr Banks. mais comme il ne suffit pas d’etre observateur, et vrai,pour dire ce qui est; quoi qu’on dise ce qu’on a vu quil est des Choses qui ne se decouvrent enfin, qu’aux Philosophes: et que le tems Seul, leur fait decouvrir. il est tres Simple que notre ami Bougainville voyant les Otahitiens ce peuple si doux, [***word – meforrer ???***] cependant une grande quantité d’Enfans: et remarquent des Lieux consacrés à la Mort, ait crû, que la Superstition chez cepeuple si sensible, etoit la Cause des Exès ou la Barbarie eut porté des peuples féroces. Le Spectacle qui lui donnoit chez les Otahitiens l’Idée de Culte, de victimes humaines: dans quelques endroits de la Cote des Papous, par Exemple, lui eut donné l’Idée de suplice. mais il me paroit que les Otahitiens croyent moins devoüer leurs Enfants a la Mort, que les empecher seulement de prendre la vie: il sembleroit qu’ils attachent au Mot Raison quelques unes des Idées que nous attachons a l’Idée ame, au mot vie, que nous distinguons d’existence quand ils enprivent leurs Enfans, ils les enterent alors. Mais les Hommeset les femmes qui meurent apres avoir vecu, sont exposés sur des lieux consacrés a la Mort, pendant la Revolution de 5 Lunes. Je crois que c’est dans ce tems que leurs ames vont au Ciel.
and here is my translation (not finalised) of this extract for reference:
I can tell you my dear colleague, that one of the reasons behind Mr Banks’ decision to give me the Extract of his voyage (although the preparations for the second, which the first led him to undertake, leave him barely enough time to put the material together) was to render justice to Mr. de Bougainville which the latter was not expecting from anyone and which must be for him a compliment coming from Mr Banks’ However, merely being observant does not suffice, and to tell the truth, whatever is said, what has been seen can only be revealed to the Philosophers: and that with time alone. It is most straightforward that our friend Bougainville, seeing the Tahitians, this gentle people, nonetheless [***illegible word –– méforrer?***] a large number of children, and observing places consecrated to Death, believed that the superstition nurtured by this very sensitive people be the cause of immoderation where barbarity rendered people savage. He perceived the spectacle of human sacrifices on the Tahitian territory as being driven by spirituality; in some areas of the Papuan shores, for example, these brought to mind the notion of torture. But it seems to me that the Tahitians believe less in consecrating their children to death than in simply preventing them from taking on life: it would seem that they attach to the word Reason some of the ideas that we attach to the concept of the Soul, to the word life, that we distinguish from existence, when they deprive their children of life, they then bury them. However the men and women who die having lived their lives are exhibited in sites consecrated to death, throughout 5 revolutions of the moon. I believe that it is during this time that their souls go to heaven.
|Local time: 10:22|
Possibly too long for the length of the word, but that might explain the smudge if the writer tried to add the second "s", say.
Certainly looks to me as if it starts with "ma-" (m'a-, in fact, but the reflexive would make no sense, so the "apostrophe" must be a smudge).
Note added at 1 hr (2009-02-05 13:44:20 GMT)
Oops, confidence not intended to be that high.
Selected response from:
Local time: 10:22
|Selected automatically based on peer agreement.|
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
9 mins confidence: