[Ads-l] Saying: With great power comes great responsibility (Request help with French)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 25 18:21:18 UTC 2015

Your help is requested to translate a passage (given further below)
from French to English.

A recent Supreme Court decision penned by Justice Kagan referred to a
quotation in a 1962 comic book featuring Spiderman. Fred has an entry
for the quotation in the Yale Book of Quotations: "with great power
there must also come--great responsibility". Fred also noted the
existence of an earlier citation with a matching expression:

[Begin excerpt]
‘"Wherever there is great power . . . there is great responsibility’’
appeared much earlier in John Cumming, Voices of the Dead (1854).
[End excerpt]

I have been asked about this quotation because it has also been
attributed to Voltaire. At this time the linkage to Voltaire is
unsupported. Nevertheless, I have attempted to find something
pertinent in French.

Below is a citation from the time of the French Revolution that may be
relevant. Would someone please translate the passage below?

[ref] 1793 May, Title: Collection Générale des Décrets Rendus par la
Convention Nationale, Date: May 8, 1793 (Du 8 Mai 1793), Quote Page
72, Publisher: Chez Baudouin, Imprimeur de la Convention Nationale. A
Paris. (Google Books Full View) link [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Les Représentans du peuple se rendront à leur destination, investis de
la plus hante confiance et de pouvoirs illimités. Ils vont déployer un
grand caractère. Ils doivent envisager qu'une grande responsabilité
est la suite inséparable d'un grand pouvoir. Ce sera à leur énergie, à
leur courage, et sur-tout à leur prudence, qu'ils devront leur succès
et leur gloire.
[End excerpt]

Thanks for any help you can provide,

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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