Madeline L'Engle's Garbled Greek

This is some high nerdiness I can get behind. In most (all?) English editions of A Wrinkle in Time there is a line in Greek. Mrs Who quotes Euripedes at one point and then offers the English translation. I learned about the problems from this article and it led to this post by J.S. Bangs.

L’Engle used Dictionary of Foreign Phrases and Classical Quotations edited by H.P. Jones as the source for the quote (How do we we know? MaryJo Cally knew L’Engle and wrote a letter to J.S. Bangs about his original article.). It renders the quote as Αελπτον ουδέν, πάντα δ´ελπιζειν χρεών.

It appears that L’Engle missed or miscopied a letter when adding it to her manuscript and then the typesetter made a few errors as well, rendering it as “Αεηπου οὐδὲν, πὰντα δ’ εηπἰζειυ χρωετ.

Bangs points out that the accents are all wrong and attempts to fix the quotation: Ἄελπον οὐδὲν, πάντα δ’ ἐλπίζειν χρωεῖ. You can note that this version has proper accents instead of a double-quote. But problems still remained as one of the words was oddly spelled and an odd choice of spelling.

Bangs later received some help in a private correspondance which susses out the likely original version, which uses an archaic spelling: Ἅελπτον οὐδέν, πάντα δ’ ἐλπίζειν χρηῶν.

“Αεηπου οὐδὲν, πὰντα δ’ εηπἰζειυ χρωετ.
Αελπτον ουδέν, πάντα δ´ελπιζειν χρεών.
Ἄελπον οὐδὲν, πάντα δ’ ἐλπίζειν χρωεῖ.
Ἅελπτον οὐδέν, πάντα δ’ ἐλπίζειν χρηῶν.
ἄελπτον οὐδέν, πάντα δ’ ἐλπίζειν χρεών.

And the chain is complete (or closer to complete as a dead language will always have noncompliant examples and discourse around spelling, grammar, and meaning). [update]Ha! Or is it? Joel P. Christensen of Brandeis University and co-editor of Sententiae Antiquae wrote up his take. I included the Greek as the last entry in the list above and his preferred translation below.

Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.
Nothing hopeless/unhoped, it’s necessary to hope for everything.
Nothing is unexpected, and one must expect everything.

Which ties nicely back into some of my other musings lately on hope, astonishment, and responsibility.