B side. Condorcet translation

13 Dec

If you can translate French to English, we’d love your help.

Nicolas de Condorcet, a noted figure in the French Revolution, wrote a pamphlet directed to American Blacks which argued for the abolition of slavery.  Evidence of the moral development of White culture, the pamphlet Reflections on the Enslavement of Negroes has never been translated in full.

Posting them here doesn’t work.  (The sections are too long and making columns is too complicated.)

On www.esauboeck.com, I’ll post sections of the pamphlet with my attempts to translate. How kind you’d be to make corrections or, even better, skip ahead to translate yourself.

I’ll try to make the process easy, but have to figure out how first.  Until then, I’ll have to incorporate your text from email.

If you’re curious, here’s how the dedication starts:

Although I am not of the same color as you, I have always regarded you as my brothers. Nature has formed you to have the same spirit, the same reason, the same virtues as Whites. I speak here only of those in Europe, as for Whites of the Colonies, I do not insult you to compare them with you; I know how many times your loyalty, your honesty, your courage have left your masters ashamed. If we were looking for man in the Caribbean, the point would not be to search among the white people.

Which started out in Condorcet as:

Quoique que je ne sois pas de la même couleur que vous, je vous ai toujours regardé comme mes freres. La nature vous a formés pour avoir le même esprit, la même raison, les mêmes vertus que les Blancs. Je ne parle ici que de ceux d’Europe, car pour les Blancs des Colonies, je ne vous fais pas l’injure de les comparer avec vous, je sais combien de fois votre fidélité, votre probité, votre courage ont fait rougir vos maîtres. Si on alloit chercher un homme dans les Isles de l’Amérique, ce ne seroit point parmi les gens de chair blanche qu’on le trouveroit.

The last line is still only a guess!

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